And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
The man of God shared the testimony of the woman’s healing. Because of a car accident and surgery, she had over two pounds of metal in her body holding her skeleton together. He prayed for her, and she went home and went to bed. The next morning the 2+ pounds of surgical steel were lying in her bed. She took the steel to the doctor and he confirmed that it was the steel he put in her. The man of God showed photos of the steel. He said he had over forty picture albums of similar healing incidents. Glory!
I know several others with extraordinary healing and miracle ministries. One brother in Uganda has raised eight or nine people from the dead, and this began, I believe, after he heard someone preach on speaking in tongues an hour daily and commanded his whole church to do it daily for a year. Jesus!
Another brother in Alaska has shown me dozens of testimony videos he did with his phone of people he and his family had met on the street, had talked to and ministered healing prayer. Then him and I hit the streets together and – bam! – it was happening again. We almost shut down a whole Mexican restaurant as the owner brought out all of his staff to get healed. Phenomenal stuff!
Another brother in Washington and I swapped healing stories for hours one night, and I think his were actually more extraordinary than mine! And then of course I met the guy who claims over three hundred resurrections in southern Mexico… then there’s Carl, and Hamilton and Helena, and Tammie, and Michael and Collins and Samuel, and my friend Dea! In this, and every other category, starting with RM, and with friends unnamed, God surrounds me with people who are better than me…
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
How do you explain this? We are talking about ministries here. Each gift can even be a ministry. For instance, all of us can work miracles, but some even have a ministry as a miracle worker. Every born again one can operate all nine of the gifts of the Spirit. But because of your faith, your enthusiasm and how your heart is drawn in a certain way – we always talk about the river of God. Do you realize that rivers run downhill? They aren’t pushed, they are drawn, and this is how Holy Spirit works in you – you may have one or more of the gifts that you truly excel in. Seek to excel to the edifying of the body. In verse twenty-eight and twenty nine, these are actually where the individual gifts have become ministries in themselves. Do you understand?
But earnestly desire the best gifts…
When you put together a team, you determine which ministries are needed in that team, and you recruit ministries. You don’t recruit personalities. The personalities will mesh if the love of God is in the team. I’ve been on teams where the Spirit of God was so meshing us that we were flowing and ministering as one, literally aligning our ministries without one word being spoken. This happens when the love of God is in the mix.
…And yet I show you a more excellent way. 1 Cor 12:31
Now here is a warning from the Master…
For whoever has [the wisdom to use that which is given him], to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have [the wisdom to use that which is given him], even what he has will be taken away from him. Matt 13:12-13 NKJV
The old phrase goes, use it or lose it. You can have a great ministry today and five years from now all you have become is a distant memory. This explains countless lives. The Lord says that ministry will be taken away from you if you don’t have the wisdom to use it properly. Recently I found myself advising two different anointed couples about taking days off weekly, and three weeks of vacation every year, just like ancient Israel did. If you don’t, eventually you will be so tired that you just don’t care anymore, and your ministry will be finished. It can be that simple…no scandal, no dramatic failing… just you get so tired that you stop paying the price, and your ministry is over. If I have the wisdom to use my ministry properly, it will grow, and I will have abundance. If not, I will lose everything. Seek the wisdom to use your ministry properly!
This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work (his innermost heart’s desire is a beautiful act) 1 Tim 3:1-2 NKJV
When it comes to extraordinary gifts and ministries, not enough is said about desire. Apparently the man of God I wrote about in the first paragraph had a terrible accident as a child from which God healed him through the faith of his parents. This led to a great, burning desire to help others who are injured or hurting (like the lady with the steel) which led to his healing ministry. John G Lake grew up in a family filled with sickness and death which drove him to minister healing to thousands. As a child I knew I loved Jesus and dedicated myself to serve Him. When I went full time into the ministry it was this passion to serve God and His people, to be the sent one and teacher I was called to be that sustained us though all the trials. God gives us the desires of our hearts. Your innermost heart’s desire is a beautiful act!
…which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? Heb 2:3-4 NKJV
The nine gifts are meant to be the tools that enable you to fulfill the work that God has given you, whether its in the marketplace, or within your family, or to the body of Christ in whatever role you find yourself filling. You may find that you excel in one or more of those ‘tools’ even to the point of having a ministry. Our board members Don and Patty have extraordinary, authoritative gifts in wisdom and administration respectively, gifts that I don’t necessarily have (DON’T ask me to balance a checkbook!). Remember in team members you recruit the ministries that are needed, not personalities, and the love of God will knit hearts together. My gifts are in being a ‘sent one’ and a teacher and operating in the gift of faith. I’m a vision guy who sees visions that come to pass!
And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. Mark 16:20 NKJV
Your life will blaze a trail for others to follow if you will give yourself fully to the calling the Lord has given you. In whatever category of life you find yourself, extraordinary gifts will manifest themselves in you as you as you carry out His will with joy and love. Do it in wisdom and mercy and it will prosper and grow. The world will see extraordinary gifts that point them to Jesus, and you will have a lot of fun! Love you!
Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business…