1 Corinthians 14:1, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”
As a pastor I hear the excuses people make all the time to not be used in the spiritual gifts. The most popular excuse I always hear is, “I don’t have any spiritual gifts because God hasn’t given them to me.” It may be true that they haven’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit yet, but the fact of the matter is, it’s not because God hasn’t given them the gifts, it’s really because they haven’t eagerly desired to receive them!
Take for example the topic of salvation. God has made salvation available to everyone according to the Bible. However, only those who believe and accept the gift of salvation are saved. Consider 1 John 2:2, “He [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” No one will go to hell because God didn’t offer them the gift of salvation; people will go to hell because they rejected the gift of salvation. The same is true with the spiritual gifts. God has made them available to everyone through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, however; only those who believe and accept the gifts will be used in them.
Remember what Peter said at Pentecost? Luke records in Acts 2:38-39, “38 Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are both gifts from God that must be received in faith; otherwise, they will never be present in someone’s life.
God has already made the choice for all people to be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit to operate in the spiritual gifts. Now, it’s up to each person to make their own choice; either to accept or reject God’s gifts.
That is why Paul stated what he did in today’s passage. He clearly wrote to “follow love” and “eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit.” Paul couldn’t have been clearer concerning God’s command towards all disciples of Christ and the gifts of the Spirit. God wants us, to want them!
It has always been the heart of God to have a people filled with His Spirit. In the time of Moses some of the Israelites saw new people receive the gifts and they asked Moses if they should stop them but he responded in Numbers 11:29, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”
Also, when the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, the main passage Peter preached from was an Old Testament promise that all people would be filled with God’s power. The prophet Joel said, “28 ‘And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29). Therefore, rid yourself of all excuses and jump in the rivers of God. Eagerly desire the spiritual gifts and get ready to be used by God.
Do you eagerly desire the gifts of the Spirit?
- Ask God daily to use you in the gifts of the Spirit. Lester Sumrall wrote, “When God makes a promise, He keeps it. You can begin seeking the gifts of the Spirit because the Lord said you could have them. They are for you, for your children, and for every believer. The first way to receive the gifts of the Spirit in your life is by saying, ‘The promises are mine.’”
- Always come to church ready to be used by God.
- Wherever you go in life ask God to bless others through you with the gifts of the Spirit!