CAN I CHOOSE TO USE MY GIFT
Want to hear something controversial? I can walk up to a person and choose to operate in the manifestations gifts of the Holy Spirit. I can say after I preach that I am going to move in healing. I can choose to answer complex questions with the wisdom of God. I can discern the events surrounding a person’s life. I can open my spiritual eyes and look to see what is present. I can do all of this at my choosing. The question is, how?
I have seen those who don’t believe in the operation of the gifts criticize healing evangelists for saying weeks in advance that they are going move in healing. Their opposition comes from their lack of understanding about God. The idea that seems to drive their opposition is they feel like such declarations imply that we are somehow commanding God in what to do. This is where their understanding is lacking. We are not commanding or telling God what to do, as much as we are choosing to partner with what He has already determined He wants to do.
But someone may be saying, “How can you know two weeks in advance what God wants to do?” The answer is simple. The Bible is clear that He wants to heal, He wants to speak, and He wants us not to be ignorant. In short, He always wants what is best for us.
I use to wait around like most people hoping that God would use me in healing. Then He explained something to me that I am going to share with you to help you get moving. But first, know this, God is not holding out on using you. He is, however, waiting for “you” to use what He has already given to you.
In Matthew 10:1-9, Jesus sends out the twelve disciples. The Bible records that when He sent them out that He “gave” them “power.” In other words, He took from His resources of power and put that same power into their hands. It also says that He gave “them instructions” on the use of that power. He said they were to use the power that they had received to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, and cleanse the lepers.” Now consider this, if He gave them some of His power and He gave them instructions for the use of that power, do you think they had to ask Him for permission to use that power every time they came across a sick person, a demonized person, a dead person, or a leper? Think about that for a minute. What sense would it make to give them power if they did not have the freedom to use that power to meet the needs they were being “sent” to encounter? In fact, His last instruction, found in the later part of verse 8 was, “freely you have received, freely give.” Most people get hung up on this verse as it relates to money and ministry. This phrase, however, is not about money and ministry. It’s about attitude and understanding our freedom to partner with the will of God to bring relief into the lives of others.
Jesus was not trying to make honest ministers of the disciples. He was trying to give them the confidence to know that God was going with them on their journey and that they should feel comfortable in ministering to all who stood before them. He was also challenging them not to be limited in their faith or by any biases they might have towards the people. To really understand this you have to remember, these are the same guys who forbid a man from operating in deliverance because he did not follow them (see John 9:49-50). These are the same guys who attempted to keep children away from Jesus (see Matt. 19:13). These are the same guys who encouraged Jesus to ignore a woman whose child had a demon because she was a Gentile (see Matt. 15:22-24). So with this in mind, He was encouraging them to freely give of the power they were given, not holding people to standards that made them earn God goodness. But overall, I want you to notice that He told “them” to “give” something. And He told them to do it without freely. All of the responsibility of the sick fell to them.
Here is the scripture to verify this idea. First, look through the book of Acts and see if you can find one person that is seen praying and begging God to heal people. Notice, that the first healing is in Acts 3 when Peter and John came across a lame man.
Now Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man that was lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms.4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and raised him up: and immediately his feet and his ankle-bones received strength. 8 And leaping up, he stood, and began to walk; and he entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 and they took knowledge of him, that it was he that sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
Did they pray for him to get him healed? No! Did they plead with God for unending hours? No! Did they have to fast first? No! Did they ask permission to do it? No! They simpley said this, “Silver and gold I do not have, but such as “I have” (or possess) “I” (as an act of my free will) “give…” to you. Then the man was healed. If you search through the book of Acts you will see this same pattern—the apostles freely giving of the power that they understood they had freely received in their lives.
So the question is “what do you have” that God has given you to “give?” This means that you must take an inventory of what God has given you or how He has gifted you. For some of you, the reason you can’t give anything is because you don’t know that you have anything to give! But as sure as my name is Kevin, God has given each one of us a gift to give and it is up to “us” to use it.
How is the question? Let’s start by getting you to agree that you have received a gift or divine ability from God. I won’t go into how to know which one you have at this time. That is a subject for another article. Nonetheless, if you can at least accept that 1 Corinthians 12 is clear that God has given each of us a gift to use ( to give or sow to the world), then that is half the battle.
So with the understanding that you have a gift, I am going to make my point with an illustration. Every person reading this has at some point used a water faucet. Did you have to ask permission to use the water? No! You were able to use the water because it was provided for your use. Did you have to say anything to get it to flow? Did you have to say, “Water, turn on!” No. Why not? You did not have to say anything to get the water to flow because the bill was paid, number one. Secondly, you did not have to say anything because the bill being paid means that the water was available. This means that the water is already in the pipeline awaiting use. All you have to do to get the water to flow is turn the knob on the faucet.
Imagine it this way. I want you to picture a water dam holding back water. Then I want you to picture a faucet on the wall of the dam. See it clearly because this is how things work in the spirit. God’s power is the water being withheld by the dam. The only way to release the power is the same way you would release the water trapped behind the wall of the dam. To get it to flow you would simply need to turn the faucet. That turn of the faucet is equivalent to an act of faith. Just like you can’t see the power of God that is in you, you also can’t see the water that is stored behind the wall of the dam. You can only by faith believe the water is available. It is your ability to accept that the water is there that makes you decide to turn the knob.
Now the same is true as it relates to God. God has paid a bill that allows Him to be available to other through us. If He paid the bill, then He intends for us to use what He paid for. In fact, the scriptures are clear that those of us who believe in Him, in what He paid for, out of us will “flow” rivers of living water. That water that comes out of us is obviously going somewhere. And we must also consider that water is meant to meet a need, to quench a thirst. This means that God wants to use us as “earthen vessels” as Paul said. So if you are Spirit filled then God has already put in you what you need to satisfy the needs He places in front of you.
This means that I can stand before the sick and minister healing to them because God has put inside of me gifts of healings. I can speak to those confused about their future because God has put inside of me a gift of prophecy, etc.
In the next article, I am going to discuss the conditions that make the gift flow i.e inner pressure, and need.