February 6,, 2012
Today’s Meditation Verse:
I Corinthians 12:8a
For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit…
For the next few weeks I want to take a closer look at the ministerial gifts of the Holy Spirit. Last week I introduced them to you with encouragement that we all need these gifts as it is our duty as Christians to minister as part of the body of Christ.
These gifts are not exclusive to the five-fold ministry or those whose vocation is ministerial in nature. They are for all of us and we should seek them earnestly.
But in order to desire these gifts we must first understand them as fully as we can. That is my goal to teach you about each of these gifts and to encourage you to seek them with earnest.
This first gift is the ‘word of wisdom’.
Now we all should pray for wisdom in our lives. We need it and no doubt our lives depend on it. But this is just a bit different than achieving wisdom in general. This is a word or a divine utterance, a speech.
Hopefully when we sit in church on Sundays the pastor which we listen to has received a word of wisdom for us as a general population; one that we can take as a whole which we can use and live by to enhance our lives. It may be unique to our congregation, but general enough to benefit the whole.
But we also need to be able to draw from the gift of a word of wisdom from time to time.
How many times in our lives are we called upon to council with a friend, co-worker or family member? It is usually not something that we ourselves have sought out, but they come to us in desperate need of a word from the Lord.
Maybe because of the turmoil in their lives they are having a hard time seeing the truth God has given them in the midst of the anxiety. You know how that is. We have all been there. Some say it is hard to see the forest for the trees, or to see the whole picture for focusing on the details.
But whatever the case may be, we will be in a position more than once in our lives where we need to know an exact piece of wisdom for a person.
Now we naturally gain wisdom through the years just by living and experiencing life, and we may be able to look at someone else’s life and think that we know exactly what they should do. How many times have we actually been judgmental at their inability to ‘do the right thing’?
But what we think is the right thing for them may in all actuality not be the right thing as far as God is concerned. He and only He, knows the exact path for a person, a path that to us may look ridiculous or un-wise in a natural kind of way.
So to be able to draw on the ministerial gift, a word of wisdom, is imperative in those times when others come to us in need. What we must remember is that this person in front of us is a life, a genuine life whose next choice could change the entire course of their life and they are looking to us for guidance. It is NOT to be taken lightly. It is not to be given from our own opinion.
When we come to a place like this where we know we must give them wise advice based on God’s divine will for them, we must stop and think and focus on the Holy Spirit within us, not from our mind, but in the depths of our soul. We must be prayerful to listen and to heed what we are told.
There have been many instances where I knew I had to speak a certain word of wisdom to someone but in my head it sounded absolutely foolish and I was timid to tell them for fear of sounding outrageously ridiculous. But what I have learned is that I don’t know the whole story.
Every time after being obedient and courageously giving that person that word of wisdom I would find that it was exactly what they needed. I could never have known that on casinostiver my own. God will often not allow us to see the whole picture. If we did our human nature would begin to contrive our own word of wisdom based on our own thoughts and experiences and this isn’t usually what God wants them to know.
So to protect the word of wisdom He has for them, He gives us limited information. We are on a need to know basis and some things we just don’t need to know. That is one way He keeps the word undefiled.
Throughout the years having lived among Christians who love operating in the ministerial gifts of the spirit, I have seen a lot of abuse of this, and other, gifts of the Spirit. I’ve seen people grow high on the power the gifts hold and often times they are no longer discerning each and every word, but responding in what they perceive the word should be based on their own knowledge.
I can’t stress to you enough just how dangerous this is! We must never ever take for granted these gifts and grow proud of our ability to operate in them. They are GIFTS, not based on our own worth or supreme ability.
Stating to someone a supposed word in error can be devastating to that person’s life and I believe we will be held accountable if we choose to operate under our own power.
So the key is to seek and pray earnestly for this and the other ministerial gifts, but at the same time reminding ourselves that these are gifts of grace and not of our own importance. We are to continually submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit prayerfully and think before speaking. Humility is the operational position for these gifts to work properly and beneficially for others.
Now for those of you who may be wondering about being on the receiving end. In my life there have been many who have come to me and proclaimed to have a word of wisdom for me. I quickly learned that just because someone comes to me and says that, doesn’t make it so.
I’ve learned to stop and listen to the voice of the Spirit inside of me. I never want to miss out if God is trying to impart a missed point of wisdom to me; however I refuse to accept garbage into my mind and my heart. So if I feel that I should give them an ear, I listen through the filter of the Holy Spirit. If it doesn’t feel quite right, if it doesn’t line up with what I’ve learned in the Word to be true, I discard it immediately without another thought.
And I know from experience that it has been rare that God has sent me to someone out of the blue to impart a word of wisdom to them. It has been my experience that God will lead them to me in search of something they need.
We will experience many, many times in our lives when it will be exceedingly beneficial for us to impart a word of wisdom to our friends, family and all those around us. There will be times when it will be exceedingly beneficial for us to have a word of wisdom imparted to us.
So let me challenge you today, no matter what your station in life is, to seek from God the ministerial gift – the word of wisdom.
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