Abundant Life -- Aimee Bacik

Charismatic Gifts

I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

One of the five main charisms that define The Word of God is that of being charismatic – open to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and actively seeking all that the Spirit has for us.  Jesus promised that he came that we might have life, and have it to the full.  This means that we cannot keep the “charismatic” part of our life with him confined to our Sunday prayer meetings or other times that involve charismatic worship. 

We are called to live lives that are characterized by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us.  As Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.”  (I Corinthians 4:20)  How do we live the life of the Spirit on a daily basis?  How do we live a life of power?

Pray for God’s direction - then listen!  I have always tried to pray about what God wants me to do and listen for his voice leading me.  He has spoken to me clearly in many ways throughout my life.  It was through his guidance that I was able to make major decisions in my life, such as deciding where to go to college, where to go to law school, and whether to join the community. 

While I seldom forget to pray about the big choices that I make in my life, I find that it is sometimes easy to forget that God wants to be involved in the small choices, as well.  The evangelist Benny Hinn wrote that he began each day by saying, “Good morning, Holy Spirit!”  This was his way of inviting the Holy Spirit to guide him and lead him throughout the day. 

While not all of us might feel led to say those exact words each morning, we should begin each day by giving it over to the Lord and inviting him to be in control of what we do and say.  Not only do we need to begin each day this way, but we should also continually ask the Holy Spirit for guidance as we go about caring for our families, interacting with our co-workers, doing our daily work, or even simply being with our friends or family. 

We have heard many prophecies over the past few months about the divine appointments that the Lord has for us.  However, many times we are too busy and too distracted by our daily lives to notice ways in which the Lord might be presenting us with divine appointments.  Just by taking a few minutes every hour or so to come before the Lord and ask for the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can become more sensitive to his leading, and allow him to work through us.  I think that we will be amazed by the ways the Lord wants to work through us, even in the small, day-to- day details of our lives.

Expect God’s graceIf you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13)  This was probably one of the first scripture verses that I can remember memorizing as a child.  It is one of the verses that is included in the Life and the Spirit Seminars that The Word of God has given over the years to many thousands of people. 

How many of us really believe this passage?  I do not mean just know that it is true, I mean believe it with all your heart, and be willing to stake your life on it?  Do we really believe that God is just waiting to pour his Holy Spirit down on us?  Do we live each day expecting the power of the Spirit to be manifest in our lives?  I know that I do not always find it easy to believe this.  Yet, Paul tells us that the Lord is “able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine by the power at work within us.”  (Ephesians 3:20) 

I believe that the Lord wants to do powerful things in and through us.  If we come before him in faith, asking for his Holy Spirit, he will hear and answer our prayer.  Jesus wants to give us the Holy Spirit more than we want to receive him.  If we come before him with open hearts, we will be filled.  Paul tells us to “strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.”  (I Corinthians 12:31)  He would not have urged us to strive after spiritual gifts if the Lord did not want us to have more gifts.  I believe that we have only just begun to see the gifts that the Lord has for us.  There is much more that he wants to give us.

Broad view of  “gifts of the Holy Spirit”  The Lord does not just have one gift for us, he has many gifts for us.  Often, however, we do not have a broad enough idea of the gifts that the Lord wants to give us.  There are many places in the Bible where gifts of the Spirit are listed.  For example, Isaiah 11:2-3 lists wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, and fear of the Lord.  In Romans 12:6-8 Paul lists prophecy, ministering, teaching, exhortation, generosity and acts of mercy.   In 1 Corinthians 12:28-30, Paul also lists apostles, mighty deeds, administration, healing, assistance, tongues and interpreting tongues. 

Do we limit God by our definitions of what are gifts of the Spirit?   When I was in college, I spent a great deal of time doing administrative work for University Christian Outreach.   Although I was good at the work, I did not especially like it.  Once I realized that it was a gift of the Spirit, my attitude towards doing the work totally changed.  I was able to view my work in an entirely different light.  Rather than being something that I was just good at doing, I began to view the administrative work as an opportunity to exercise a gift from God. 

I believe that the Lord has given us many of the gifts listed above, as well as many other gifts that I have not listed.  If we ask God to open up our eyes to the gifts that he has already given us, and to the many gifts he wants to give us, I believe that we will see many amazing ways in which the Lord wants to use us.

Share the life of the Spirit.  God did not give us gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we could hold onto them for ourselves.  He gave us the gifts so that we could build up the body of Christ.   As Paul says, “he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ….”  (Ephesians 4:11-12)  Not only are we called to share our gifts with one another, but we are called to reach out to those around us and share the good news. 

We have been given the amazing gift of abundant life in the Spirit.  We have not been given this gift because we are worthy, but we have been given this gift because we are amazingly loved by God.  This is a truth that the world is dying to know.  God is calling us to reach out and tell those around us of the good news of his love, and of the gift of his Holy Spirit.  Soon, we will have an opportunity to act on this call.  In May, The Word of God will be sponsoring and running a Life in the Spirit Seminar.  Is there someone who the Lord wants you to invite to come?  Is this something that the Lord would like you to attend so that you can be refreshed in the Spirit?

Intimacy and Mission.  In the last few months we have heard many prophesies about intimacy with God, and reaching out to evangelize those around us.  Both of these things are impossible to do without an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds.  I think the question that the Lord is asking us right now is, “How foolish are you willing to be?”  Are we willing to look foolish in the eyes of the world in order to show others what it means to live life abundantly?  Are we willing to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through us in mighty ways, in ways that we have never imagined?  If we are, I believe that we will see the power of the Lord in ways that we have never seen before