We began to walk out of the stadium to catch our Uber to the airport. The Orlando air was sticky and my body was covered in sweat. My sister, her friend, and I were leaving the packed Camping World Stadium. My sister’s friend was walking with a noticeable limp. She grimaced with the pain. When I asked her what was wrong, she said that she suffered from arthritis. In the humid Florida atmosphere it was quite painful and her left knee was especially hurting. We walked on for a few minutes in silence before I couldn’t take it any more. As soon as we stopped I told her that it was time for the arthritis to leave. My sister and I laid hands and I commanded the arthritis to go. I told the pain to leave her left knee and for her body to be healed in Jesus name. Then I asked how it felt. She laughed! It’s all gone, she declared, and even jumped up and down. She said that she literally felt the pain flow out of her body. We continued walking and this time my sister’s friend wasn’t limping.
God began speaking to me about “rising like David” last August. People began to often mentioned the calling of David when they prayed over me. Every time I wanted to cry and laugh. Many of these people had no clue what they were praying. But one of the most incredible moments I had was a few months after I had begun to recognize the Father was serious about me understand my calling. I attended a church service and went up with most of the church to receive prayer afterwards. One of the Pastors eventually got to me and began to prophesy. All of the words he shared went straight to my heart. I was moved by the confirmation of many things that God had spoken to me in the secret place. But he ended his prayer with this: You are a young David rising! Yes a young David rising! He began to pray for Samuels to gather around me. I was shook to my core. I had never met this man before.
James 1:17 (ESV) says that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” I want to talk to you about the good and perfect gifts of the Holy Spirit, sent by our wonderful Father.
When I say the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I refer mainly to the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. I know there are many variations of these gifts but I believe the simplest list is found here. Paul is giving specific instruction on what the gifts are, how they work together, and that everyone is called to walk in them. He shares more in chapter fourteen. It seems many Christians are confused about the gifts or feel as if there is no way to really understand how to walk in them. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that this is not the case.
In my short life span, I have found three groups of amazing brothers and sisters. I’m sure there are others, but generally it seems most believers fall into one of these three categories: those who believe the gifts “ceased” with the apostles, those who acknowledge the gifts as still active but have not personally walked in them, and those who believe they not only exist but that they are necessary for the proclamation of the gospel and the advance of the kingdom. I will not spend time addressing the first group because I admit that I cannot understand how someone can read the Bible and decide to disregard the commandments of Jesus (heal the sick, cast out demons, cleanse lepers and raise the dead, Mark 16, Luke 9 & 10) or the clear instruction of Paul (desire earnestly the spiritual gifts, 1 Cor 14).
I am writing this to the second group of people, those who acknowledge the gifts of the Spirit as biblical and available but have yet to make them part of their lifestyle. If that is where you find yourself, please pause right now and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. I believe he will. I ask in Jesus’ name that you would be empowered to discern the truth and emboldened to receive it. Right now I say be filled. What I say next is not a matter of words but of faith. Let’s walk in it.
I have found through several conversations two hurdles for the second group. One, you do not see the importance of the gifts. Or two, you do not believe you can walk in them personally. I understand both! I read my Bible and believed it to be true for almost ten years before I saw the first gift manifested in someone’s life. During those years, I had no context for 1 Corinthians or many other portions of Scripture. Because I did not see the working of the gifts, I did not see the fruit either. And because I did not see the fruit, I did not see the importance. Nor did I ever truly consider that I could personally walk in them.
I want to give you the key to jumping over both of these hurdles. It is so simple that you cannot lose it or forget it. It is this: you must find a community that is already manifesting these gifts and enter it with a teachable spirit. That’s it.
You see, the Father has made all the gifts available to all of his children through faith. I believe it is very clear that what Jesus commanded we are able to fulfill. Why would he say “lay hands on the sick and they will recover”, if they would not? Let’s not over complicate it. Let’s not jump to “why do some people not get healed”. First, let’s settle in our hearts that the gifts are real, available, and part of our inheritance as believers. Father has already laid out a strategy to those who want to take him at his word. 1 Timothy 4:14 (LEB) says “do not neglect the gift that is in you, that was granted to you through prophecy through the laying on of hands by the council of elders.” The Father’s heart that you walk in the gifts and that you learn to do greater things than Jesus is secondary to his heart that you are discipled through accountability and sound teaching. Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has continued to pour himself out on communities. If you are hungry to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and be followed by signs and wonders, find a community that teaches and practices such a walk. It’s not about rocket science or strange incantations; it’s about discipleship and obedience.
I must mention some thing else, my dear friends. Maybe you are beginning to see that, yes, you too can see the testimonies I shared above become part of your life. But maybe you, like many others, simply don’t see the importance. You are growing in your walk with God and you feel at peace with your spiritual journey. Even if walking in the gifts of the Spirit would be cool or sparks your curiosity, it is surely not enough to find a community that walks in them. Do you recognize some of these thoughts? If so, I will leave you with this picture.
It’s Christmas morning. You just finished your Christmas-eve-frantic-Walmart-shopping-run a few hours ago. You got back late last night and hurriedly wrapped your gifts for your precious daughter. You wake up early and eagerly anticipate her smile and shrieks of joy that will assuredly come in several minutes. You sip your coffee and strain to hear her excited footsteps in the hallway. As a father, this is one of your favorite moments of the entire year. You wait patiently but hours go by and still not a peep has come from your daughters room. You walk to her room and crack the door open. To your surprise, you find the lights on and your daughter dressed and playing with her dolls from last Christmas. You are surprised and a little confused but you try to hide it. “Dear daughter,” you whisper, “it’s Christmas morning! Would you like to come and open the gifts your daddy got you?” But, instead of jumping up and down and squealing in delight as you imagined, your daughter smiles and shakes her head. “It’s ok Daddy,” she says. “See I have these dollies? I am happy with them, I don’t need any other gifts.”
Feel for a moment the heart of your Father. He has bought beautiful and perfect gifts for you. He has wrapped them in the blood of Jesus. More than toys that bring momentary joy, these gifts will bear eternal fruit! Only be obedient and earnestly desire them! Trust that he has given these wonderful gifts for a reason and open up the carefully wrapped packages. Do not reject the new gifts of your heavenly Father because you are content with the ones you have now! He wants you to have all.
Time would fail me to write all of the testimonies that I have personally seen over just the last month! I have seen the sweet fruit of softened hearts and gospel sharing seeds. Jesus is moving powerfully. He desires to have the same connection with you because you are his child. I can honestly say I have seen the real working of every spiritual gift and have walked in most of them myself. And guess what? It all started when I found a community that actively walked in them. I pray that you do likewise!
Check out two inspiring interviews below. The first is about the gift of prophecy alongside mentorship and the second is about the gift of healing through worship! I hope you take the challenge and another step in your sonship today. If you have any specific questions, comment below or email me. Thank you for reading!