Receiving Charismatic Gifts
Prepare your spreadsheets because it's very complicated.
Ok, that's a joke. Actually, it's pretty simple. A person receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit by asking God for them in faith, like a child. (But that's what can make it hard!)
Stirring the Chocolate
They can first appear when praying alone, but more commonly manifest when praying with others who experience the gifts. They are given to build Christianity. (I Cor14) The early church practice was placing hands on the recipient, as an expression of unity, which continues today.
Jesus referred to this as being "baptized in the Holy Spirit" (fire vs. water). For example, when the Apostle Paul came to Ephesus (Acts 19) he found that some had been baptized only in water, so he placed his hands on them to release gifts of tongues and prophecy.
Many understand this to mean the renewing of abilities already present, like the stirring up of settled chocolate syrup at the bottom of a glass of milk.
- Opening Presents. Do not wait to feel worthy, for no one is. They're gifts.
- A Relationship. It's not a one-time event; rather, like intimate encounters between spouses: there's a first time and many others that strengthen the bond.
- Love Enchancers. The gifts are means to the Giver, not vice versa. "If I speak in tongues, or have the gift of prophecy or knowledge to fathom the deepest mysteries of God, and yet do not have love, then I am nothing." (I Cor. 13)
- Everyone's Gifted. Avoid saying "these gifts are fine for some folks if that's their thing". Actually, this is the greatest hindrance to receiving. Rather, the Apostle says, "Make love your goal and eagerly desire the greater gifts, especially the gift of prophecy...so the church is built." (I Cor. 14)
My First Experience
In October of 1988 I received the gift of tongueswhich is powerful. The greatest advice I can give is to be hungry. It took me months to get there.
- 1988 July: I heard others at a prayer meeting and said to myself: "I absolutely do not want that!" ("If God tries to give it to me, I'll just shut it down.")
- 1988 August: I said "OK, I'm open to it, if God wants me to have it I'll take it." I still didn't get it.
- 1988 September: I finally said "OK, Lord, I want it." And I still didn't get it!
- 1988 October: I didn't receive until I was really hungry for it. Following a retreat I was talking to God out loud in bed, thanking Him for a great weekend and then words that weren't mine started to come quite naturally. I had tried this before, but knew I was just mimicking; you know the real thing when it comes!
So, don't just be open, be hungry. Say "Lord, I want all you're offering." The Gospels are filled with examples of those who received big, because they had bold initiative.
Then leave the rest up to Jesus. A little nervous-ness is normal, which may indicate a healthy fear. But God is a gentleman. Many people have direct experiences, some are more gradual. The important point is simply to pursue God and let Him love you. We can respond at any time!
Position yourself to receive the supernatural overflow of divine blessing. Too often My people underestimate My ability and even more, My desire to bless My people.
Find yourself in the places where I have called youin prayer, in praise, in worship, in obedience to My loving will for your life. And there you will see the blessings of My promise, covered in My never-ending agape love I have for each of you.
Be fertile ground to My gifts I'm longing to place in you. Do not allow any earthly thing to stand in the way of us for nothing compares to the joy we have when we're connected in the freedom of a true love.