NOT BY POWER, OR BY MIGHT…

I CORINTHIANS 12:11: “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” NLT
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OBSERVATION: The church could take some notes from the world of politics. Years ago a phrase was penned – “It’s the economy, stupid!” This phrase was used to remind everyone that it was the economy that usually swings elections. As the economy goes the electorate follows.

Unfortunately, many times the church is slow to take notes and also to remember the exhortations of Scripture. To borrow from the phrase above, and without intending to be disrespectful, may I say,

IT’S THE SPIRIT, …!

When did we begin believing that we could be the church without the Spirit? Why do we rely on our talents, tools, and methods more than on the sovereign move of the Spirit? Are the gifts of the Spirit just part of our toolbox, or are they the very means through which the Lord accomplished His will on earth?

Paul reminds the Corinthians believers,

  • “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:”. I Corinthians‬ ‭12:4-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Paul speaks of three things – spiritual gifts, ministries, and activities (in the Greek, energema, or workings). The Holy Spirit distributes the gifts, Jesus determines the sphere of ministry, and the Father determines the breadth (or power) of ministry. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are actively involved in the administration and ministry of the church and all of this is coordinated by the Holy Spirit!

  • “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When you step back and consider this it is humbling. Our calling is to present our lives to God and be willing for Him to use us as He desires. We are to be surrendered to the direction of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to distribute His gifts among us as He sees fit and for the benefit of others. When did it ever start being about me?

Isn’t this the essence of the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray?

  • “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew‬ ‭6:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The administration of spiritual gifts can only happen in the context of true worship. True worship is not found in a style of music or outward expression. True worship is the surrender of the human heart to the will of God. It is when we begin to seek first the Kingdom of God above all else that we position ourselves for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the release of spiritual gifts in the church.

Revival is never about an event. You cannot plan revival. You can only position your heart for it. Revival comes when we empty ourselves and allow Him to fill us to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. As we become surrendered vessels, the Holy Spirit is free to fill us with the spiritual gifts we need for the moment to make lasting and profound impacts upon the hearts and lives of those we serve.

Think about this. The early church did not have a sound system. They did not have huge digital screens and dazzling multi-media presentations. There were no worship bands or special effects. The apostles did not worry about style and presentation. And, yet – they turned their world upside down! How did they do this? They did it by the power of the Holy Spirit!

What would happen if our churches stopped trying to compete with Hollywood and starting moving in the power and leading of the Holy Spirit? What if we focused more on substance than style, power than performance, and anointing than attraction? What if we surrendered anew to the Lord Jesus Christ and allowed the Spirit to lead and guide us in the administration and orchestration of the church?

PERHAPS – WE WOULD SEE A REVIVAL IN OUR LAND!

Lord, forgive me for the many times I have relied on what I can do and not what Your Spirit desires to do through me. May I humble myself this morning and become a willing and surrendered vessel. May I celebrate Your working in others and be willing to be used in the way that You desire. Jesus – be Lord of my life and Lord of the Church!

  • “So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel (and the church): ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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