1 Corinthians 14:32-33, “32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace —as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.”
There are generally two opposite opinions concerning the order of the gifts that are both wrongly held in many churches today. First, some people think that for the Spirit of God to move freely people need to be “granola Christians,” mainly, “fruits, nuts, and flakes.” This twisted view of the gifts tries to make the bizarre and strange the “norm” and stresses human emotion and extremism.
Second, equally as wrong but on the other end, is the idea that the Holy Spirit can only move if He is neat, tidy, and in perfect order with man’s agenda. Basically, churches like this believe the Holy Spirit is the exact representation of their plans. This kind of “order” generally grieves the Holy Spirit and quenches His fire.
I believe the biblical order (or “proper use”) of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is in the middle of these two extremes. As one reads the New Testament it is clear that the Holy Spirit did unexpected things, however, He wasn’t drawing attention to “strange and weird” things but rather to the preaching of the Gospel. For example, the first time the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost the bystanders thought the disciples were drunk (Acts 2:12-13), however, this wasn’t the main emphasis because within moments they heard the Gospel preaching of Peter rebuke their sin and draw them to genuine repentance, Acts 2:37-38.
Here are three things to do to insure biblical order concerning the gifts, (a) Always remember your gift is subject to the church leadership- don’t be a “prophetic rebel,” (2) The gifts will always draw people to Christ- not “fleshly weirdness,” and lastly, (3) Remember its not about you- its about the Holy Spirit.
- Talk to your church’s leadership and seek their wisdom on how to use the gifts in the services.
- Make sure every time you’re used in the gifts people are drawn towards Jesus and the Gospel.
- Don’t be a granola Christian or a Holy Ghost quencher, instead be a radical Spirit filled disciple!