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Right Use of the Manifestation (1 Corinthians 12)

“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” – 1 Corinthians 12:7

If you have a car, it would be fair to assume that car has value to you, not simply because it is worth money but because of the many ways in which you use it. But imagine, for a moment, that you did not know how to drive a car. Suddenly, the valuable possession, proven to be useful in your daily life, is a heap of metal taking up space. You will likely sell it, or at the very least ignore it. Everything hinges on whether you have figured out how to put it to its intended use.

Having the manifestation of the Holy Spirit can be like this. Do you know that you have been given the manifestation of the Spirit? If you are a child of God, He has given you His Spirit at the moment you put your faith in Him and received Him from your heart as Lord and Savior. At times, however, I sense that we experience this wonderful grace of the free, life-giving, weighty yet uplifting presence of the living God, and yet somewhere deep within our hearts we find ourselves wondering, “What should I do now?” When we see the glory of Jesus, we should be careful not to form a quick answer in our minds to that question, like Peter when he saw Jesus transfigured and asked, “Shall we make three tents? One for you, one for Elijah, one for Moses?” We cannot be hard on Peter; how many times have we done the same thing? Is our exaltation of Jesus on the same level of other relationships and influences in our lives? Or do we insist, in fear and trembling, that He be high and lifted up, the Name above every other name?

Assuming we don’t make hasty answers, God will honor these sincere questions. When the Spirit shows up in your life, when His presence becomes manifest to you, how should you respond? There is great joy, peace, and strength there, but if we stop at soaking in these things for ourselves, we arguably betray the character of the Lamb of God who was slain for us. There is a responsibility to freely give as it has been freely given to us. The weight of His glory comes with a weight of responsibility! Not crafty thinking and scheming our perfect “selfless” response, but a new question: “Lord, how can I use this manifestation of Your Spirit for the common good?” As you wait on the Lord for an answer or for His leading, you can be confident that He is eager to employ His manifestation for the good of someone else, even more eager than you are.

Words of wisdom and words of knowledge are to be given for the good of someone else. The gift of faith will always stir and increase the faith of other believers! The gift of healing is explicitly to bring good upon the mind, body, and soul of someone else. Prophecy, tongues, interpretations – every gift has its place in the body of Christ to bring good upon the whole family of God. If you are called to evangelize, you have the manifestation of the Spirit for the ones who have yet to meet Him. He wants to introduce Himself through us! But we must be Spirit-filled evangelists. In whatever we may be called to be or do for Jesus Christ, let our cry be, “Lord if Your presence does not go with me, I will not go!” We need His manifestation, because we can do nothing in our flesh. This generation needs His manifestation, because simply nothing less will suffice.

Alex Mack

Teaching Pastor

The Rock Church

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