Friday, June 29, 2012

Stirring Up The Holy Spirit

Stirring Up the Spirit
Even if a person is saved, sanctified and receives the Holy Spirit, if they want to see Him move supernaturally in their life they must call on Him and seek after Him for the manifestation of His presence.

Take into consideration, the young disciple in the bible named Timothy. In the beginning of Acts 16, the Apostle Paul meets Timothy and takes him to help spread the gospel in different cities. Now, although Timothy already received and was filled with the Spirit, Paul told Him to still seek after and call on Him when necessary. Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:
“I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Based on the way this scripture is phrased, we see here that the gift from God Paul was referring to was the Holy Spirit. (We can also use Acts 19:6 to understand that Paul was referring to the Holy Spirit because in this account the scripture says, “Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them.”)

Even though Timothy already had the Holy Spirit, Paul was telling him to “stir” the Holy Spirit up. The Spirit was already present inside of Timothy, but Paul was telling him to not let the Spirit lay dormant. He was telling Him to stir up the Spirit, because if he did the Spirit would manifest his “power, love and sound mind”.

Spirit of Power
Paul further explains the power of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians while telling of the Spirits gifts. (Disclaimer: a lot of times when we see people operating in the gifts I am about to mention we say "Pastor Bob has the gift of prophesy. It is important to understand that is not the case. The correct way to put is "Pastor Bob has the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit has the gift of prophecy)

The 9 gifts of the Spirit, or the Holy Spirit's gifts are mentioned in chapter 12:7-11 of 1 Corinthians when Paul says to the church at Corinth,
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Here Paul lists nine supernatural gifts of the Spirit and says when these gifts are worked through men; this is how the Spirit manifests Himself. That is why, even though Timothy already had the Holy Spirit, Paul was telling him to stir Him up. It is one thing to have the Holy Spirit with you, but it is another thing to have the Spirit manifest Himself through you. Paul was telling Timothy to stir up a manifestation of the Spirit that was already inside of him.

When the Spirit of God manifests Himself through His gifts there is no disputing whether it was the strength of man or the Spirit of God at work. Take Ezekiel, for example. Throughout the book of Ezekiel the Holy Spirit manifested the gift of prophesy to the people through him. We know there is no way in the natural that man can tell the future. However, the gifts of the Spirit are all super-natural. This allows for there to be no confusion on whether the Holy Spirit is truly present; hence the term “manifestation of the Spirit” used by Paul when describing the gifts. We know there are certain things men simply just cannot do! So when we see these supernatural things, like the gift of prophesy, being worked through men we know it is actually the Holy Spirit at work.

Another example of the supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit through His gifts is seen in the story of Samson.  There is a story where Samson broke out of the ropes he was tied up in because the Spirit of God weakened the ropes' solidity. Judges 15:14 states:
Then the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands.
In this account, we see the supernatural gift, working of miracles at work. Samson could not have charred the ropes on His own because he was tied up. We know the Spirit of God was at work because there was no one who could have weakened the ropes for Samson. As the scripture states, the ropes only weakened when the Spirit of the Lord manifested Himself through His gift of the working of miracles.

The gifts of the Spirit are all supernatural. (This even includes the seemingly natural ones. Which will further be explained in the next post in this Holy Ghost blog series.) These nine gifts can be broken down into three categories; gifts that supernaturally reveal facts that don't necessarily need to be spoken, gifts that are spoken by the Holy Spirit, and gifts that empower impossible change:

Revelation Gifts: Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Discerning of Spirits
Spoken Gifts: Prophesy, Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues
Gifts that Change: Faith, Gifts of Healings, Working of Miracles 

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