A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

August 6, 2018

The Word of God: The Light Switch Just Came On!

     Have you ever read over a familiar group of verses, thinking you knew and understood their meaning and significance -- only to read them one more time and it was like the Holy Spirit suddenly flooded your mind with a bright light and you didn't just see the surface of the words, but now you could see the depth and width and height of the Word? And you suddenly understood how we, as the Church and the Body of Christ, have had trouble seeing and embracing the scope of what the Word is trying to reveal.
     That's what happened as I read 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12. If you've been in the Word for awhile, then you know that this has become a very difficult and contentious chapter for the family of God. It's the chapter [along with Chapter 14] that has caused quite a lot of division and questions among various Christian denominations in the current theological climate we find ourselves. The chapter concerns Spiritual Gifts, and Believers want to debate this subject from whatever doctrinal viewpoint has been established by church leadership.
     But since the Holy Spirit has shown me that I can trust the Word itself for understanding, I do not want to shortchange God by always adopting the "acceptable" interpretation. I will also admit that it has been difficult to turn off the indoctrination voice in my mind and try to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He teaches my spirit and reveals the depths of God's Word. That is why I return to this chapter over and over. And just yesterday, the Spirit turned on another light switch!
     It is actually a very simple message given in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, which gives us a complete picture of how God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus work with us to expand the kingdom of God on earth. But as usual, our conscious mind (our brain working with our soul) takes dominance over our subconscious mind (the mind of our spirit), and we get stuck on verse 4 about the distribution of the spiritual gifts and never see God's whole agenda. [NOTE: if the concept that your spirit has a mind and can work independently of your body/soul mind is new, I will discuss how that keeps us from operating in full cooperation with God in the next post].
     For now, let's just realize that getting preoccupied with which spiritual gift(s) we have. or how we are to operate out of them, can keep us from walking in the full revelation of how God manifests His kingdom in the earthly realm.
     So, let's take a look at the full context of 1 Corinthians 12:4-6. And we're going to exegete them from the Passion Translation because I believe it explains the interface and connection between the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Father in using His people to influence the earth. Here is what those verses say:
It is the same Holy Spirit who continues to distribute many different varieties of gifts.
The Lord Yahweh is one, and He is the one who apportions to believers different varieties of ministries.
The same God distributes different kinds of miracles that accomplish different results through each believer’s gift and ministry as He energizes and activates them.
     First, it is very important to recognize that these verses establish that the Holy Spirit, Jesus (referred to as Lord Yahweh), and God are One; they are three distinct "personalities", if you will, of the One True God. I think the Book of John, establishes this quite well .... In John 10:30, Jesus says quite clearly,  I and the Father are One.  Then, He goes on in Chapter 14 to elaborate: To know Me is to know My Father (verse 6), --- and I will ask the Father and He will give you another Savior, the Holy Spirit of Truth, who will be to you a friend just like me—and He will never leave you. The world won’t receive Him because they can’t see Him or know Him. But you will know Him intimately, because He will make His home in you and will live inside you.... So when that day comes, you will know that I am living in the Father and that you are one with me, for I will be living in you (verses 16-20).
     Now, let's go back and look at 1 Corinthians 12, and see how simply God lays out His plan to work through us to expand His Kingdom on earth. Verse 4 says that God, as the Holy Spirit, distributes the many different varieties of spiritual gifts (which are the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, the gifts of faith, healing, power to work miracles, prophecy, discernment, speaking different kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues). 
     Then verse 5 says that Jesus, as Lord Yahweh (God) allocates certain ministries to certain people [by His grace] and those ministries are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Then verse 6 says that this same God (the same as Holy Spirit and Jesus) distributes different kinds of miracles [or empowerment] that accomplish different results [the results He wants] through our gifts and ministries, as He energizes and activates them. And how does He do that? By the same Holy Spirit that Jesus says lives in us and is Him.
     Isn't that a most excellent picture of both a symbiotic and beautiful relationship? The Holy Spirit; Jesus, our Savior; and God our Heavenly Father interact in a mutually beneficial relationship that both benefits Them and us! And it couldn't be laid out any plainer or simpler.... The Holy Spirit gives the spiritual gifts; Jesus assigns ministries; and then God equips those gifts and ministries with His power [miracles] to accomplish His will.
     Yet, what do we do? We try to make it more difficult than it was designed to be. We argue over whether speaking in tongues is Scriptural for our age or not. We fight among ourselves over the calling of a fellow Christian because his ministry doesn't look like ours. We don't even believe God does miracles anymore because we don't see them. And why is that? Either because we don't believe God can empower us, or we believe in our own power more. 
     But all of this antagonism and conflict serve only to distract us from what Scripture clearly says. God shows us how He has planned for the Church to walk in His power and authority to take back dominion of the earth. But the Church only moves forward in expanding God's Kingdom when we align ourselves with Him and His agenda. Why don't we let God enable us to become fully equipped [as He has shown us in these three important verses] as we operate in our gifts and ministries by the wise use of His power? It's time we get out of His way and the Church gets over itself. It delights the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit to give us these gifts; to see us use the power of Heaven to take back dominion of the earth. Until we fully commit to represent Them on the earth, follow Their agenda, and serve God in our assignments with joy and cooperation, I'm afraid our efforts to build up the Church will continue to fall short. Pray for Spirit-led understanding and obedience!

Proverbs 19:21     "A person may have many ideas concerning God’s plan for his life, but only the designs of His purpose will succeed in the end".

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