Luke 1:35 -And the angel answered and said to her, “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. NKJV
I know this isn’t traditional Christmas blogging, but I’m not traditional! Christmas is special, but it is nothing without the reality of who Jesus the Christ is today!
The emblems of Christmas, all represent baby Jesus, but when I celebrate my birthday, or when you celebrate your birthday, we don’t go and find baby pictures and focus on the day we were born! The one thing that I do want to point out in regards to His birth is that “the power of the Highest” overshadowed Mary to bring about His birth! That very same power was evident in His life and ministry and is available to every believer today!
I’ve been meditating on this title, “Power Gifts” for a few days now. I’m excited to share what the Holy Spirit has been sharing with me. First, let’s check out a few of those scriptures that talk about the power associated with Him:
- Matthew 9:8- the people marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
- Mark 5:30- The woman with the issue of blood touched Him, and He perceived power had left Him
- Luke 8:46- the multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all!
- John 10:18- He had the power to lay down His life and to pick it up again!
These scriptures just reference the truth of the power, but when you take a shallow look at His life, reading about all of the miracles that followed Him, you get a real solid picture of the truth, He walked in power!
The beautiful truth about Jesus is that He was not stingy with that power. As a matter of fact, when He called the twelve disciples, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and disease (Matthew 10:1). When He returned to heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to earth, and again, He gave us access to power.
Acts 1:8 – But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; …” NKJV
In 1 Corinthians 12, the power gifts are mentioned: faith, gifts of healings, and the working of miracles (vv. 9-10). They are taken from the list of gifts that are also referred to as the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. These “charisma” gifts are gifts bestowed upon mankind because of the grace of God. In this chapter in Corinthians, we learn that He gives them as He desires, but everyone is given at least one of them.
The doctrine of cessation states that while God can still perform miracles, He no longer uses individuals to do so. I don’t agree with this view for a couple of reasons: there is no scriptural proof that these gifts have ceased, and yet scripture does state that He has given them to us! Also, I have read many wonderful testimonies over the years of these gifts operating in the lives of individuals. But let me just say this, if I had never seen one single miracle performed in my life, I would still believe that He is the same today, that He was yesterday, and will be forevermore. Therefore, I really believe that the doctrine of cessation came from people who never saw a miracle, and this is how they explained that they had a relationship with God, yet had not experienced Him!
If you don’t have electricity, and you have never experienced it, does that nullify the fact that I use it all day everyday? If you have never seen a great marriage, and have not experienced it, does that nullify the truth that I have a great marriage? No, and again I say no! A lack of experience with something doesn’t become a validation for if it is real. It just says that you haven’t experienced it! I’m just saying!
Each of these manifestations of the Holy Spirit can happen in an individual’s life without another person being involved. However, the Holy Spirit has chosen to use people, to manifest His power through, and so that’s where I stand! With the word! Can it be abused? Yes! But the internet is abused, and yet I still use it. Doctors abuse their positions, teachers abuse their positions, even parents abuse their positions, but we don’t avoid these people in life or declare all of them as being rotten; because we understand that the abusers don’t represent the whole! So those who abuse the gifts of the Holy Spirit don’t get to represent those who do not!
The gift of faith! Operating in faith, does not equate to having the gift of faith. The gift of faith turns the invisible into the visible; the intangible to the tangible, the impossible into the possible, on a regular basis! I think of Smith Wigglesworth when I think of this gift. Actually, all of the power gifts were evident in his life. Here’s a testimony I will never forget:
A man came to one of Wigglesworth’s meeting and he had no feet. Wigglesworth didn’t pray for him, didn’t lay hands on him, but said that the man should go buy a pair of shoes. He went to the store, bought some shoes, and as he placed his limb in it, his feet grew! You don’t believe it? Not my issue to make you believe it! I’m just sharing! That’s how I understand the gift to operate. It’s like God speaking into your situation and it can be no other way but as it is said.
Gifts of healings. I probably heard this somewhere and I’m just repeating it: All divine healings are miracles, but not all miracles are healings! All of these gifts are controversial. It takes faith to operate in them and faith to be a recipient of them. In other words, had the man with no feet not believed Smith Wigglesworth, and had not gone to get shoes, would he have gotten feet? Probably not! Does that make Wigglesworth a false prophet? Not at all.
Matthew 13:58- Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief!
If unbelief hindered Jesus, it will most certainly hinder us!
Back to gifts of healings. This gift needs no explanation. People understand that this gifts of healings means that people who operate in this gift, get people healed on a regular basis. John Lake operated masterfully in this gift. Even the newspapers in Spokane, Washington wrote about the healings that took place in his healing schools. You’ll just have to look him up to hear some amazing testimonies of healings!
This gifts of healings is plural for a reason. It is believed that no one individual has the power over all sickness and diseases, so the Spirit gave gifts of healings, instead of the gift of healing. It is taught that one person can have the gift to heal cancer, and another person can have the gift to heal diabetes, and so forth and so on. My belief on that take isn’t solidified!
Lastly, the gift of miracles. These miracles are not limited to healings, but include all types of miracles. I like Heidi Baker for this category. As I have followed their ministry over the years, I hear of the dead being raised, food being multiplied, blind eyes seeing. All three of these individuals truly can be accredited with operating in all of these power gifts. Sometimes they operate simultaneously. Heidi spoke of a time when she had only enough food to feed her immediate family, but she had an orphanage of children who were hungry. They prayed over the food and began to serve it, and didn’t run out of food. That’s miraculous! Do they eat like that at every meal? No! Iris Ministries relies on donations like all other ministries. But they have seen God step in when man wasn’t available.
These power gifts were given to the Church as an extension of the work and ministry of Jesus, through His Spirit. I’m not interested in looking for that which is phony, but I am hungry for that which is God! He did it before, He’s doing it now, and He will continue to do it until He comes back to get us. Faith accesses the power of God! It always has and it always will. This holiday season, let’s begin to open our heart to the power gifts He has made available to us! Wonderful Jesus!