Sunday, March 17, 2013

Taken Back

Taken Back
March 18, 2013
1 Corinthians 12:11  "All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."

Scripture says that the Lord's gifts to us and His call on our lives are irrevocable.  This means no one can take them away and we cannot shake them loose from our lives.  It is in reference to the gifts of clemency and salvation from our sins, and an ever present beckoning to live for Him.  But the Lord doesn't stop there in gift giving.  He has spiritual gifts for each of us, not meant for selfish consumption but for building up His church.  The Lord has given each of you a particular gift, possibly a few, that are upon your life through the power of the Holy Spirit.  They are spiritual treasures to be protected and used for the betterment of the Lord's people.  Those gifts are, but not limited to: wisdom, knowledge, healing, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc.

Those gifts, the spiritual gifts for the building of the church, can those gifts be taken back by the Giver?  Does the Lord take back your spiritual gifts for any reason?  Can you have the power to heal people but then the gift be taken away from you by the Lord?  While there isn't a clear Scripture that declares the Lord to be a taker and not a giver, I believe the Lord will take back your spiritual gifts if He deems it appropriate.  The Bible says that the Lord gives out spiritual gifts "as He determines," which would suggest the Lord has determining criteria.  It is not known what the criteria are, but the Lord does require good stewards in managing His gifts.  This suggests if you are not a good steward with His gifts, then maybe He will not allow them to be manifested in your life.

The Bible is very clear that the gifts are for the edification of the church.  The gifts are to be used for a particular purpose and to be used for good.  Scripture never actually calls the gifts "spiritual gifts," that was a term later added by us in our topical headings for ease in reading the Bible.  The only phrase used in the Bible is "gifts of the Spirit."   To make a point, I will call them "gifts OF the Spirit."  The gifts OF the Spirit are only manifested through our lives in tandem with the Holy Spirit.  We are a conduit or vessel through which the Holy Spirit pours out His power.  The Holy Spirit can turn on the flow of the gifts and turn off the flow of the gifts if deemed necessary for building the Body of Believers.  So, should the conduit or vessel not be appropriate at the time for manifestation, the Spirit will not allow the gifts OF the Holy Spirit to be present.  This isn't the Holy Spirit taking back the gifts but rather it is the Holy Spirit retaining possession of the gifts at all times. 

We are never owners of the gifts of the Spirit.  They are not ours; it is only power that flows through our lives.  We do not possess any power alone and the Spirit would never allow the gifts to be used for sinful purposes.  If it is debated that the gifts can be used as the vessel determines, I would suggest the gift is being faked.  The vessel can stop the gift from being manifested but the vessel cannot conjure up any gift of the Spirit if the Holy Spirit is not willing.  It is imperative then, if you want to develop and strengthen the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your life, to be the embodiment of selflessness and righteousness.  They are not your gifts, they are the Lord's to be used as He sees fit only to those deemed good stewards.  If the gifts are not present in your life, then maybe this gives cause for introspective evaluation.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:   Romans 11:28, Romans 12:5-7, Eph 2:8, 1 Cor 12, 1 Peter 4:9-11

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