Links Daily Devotional

Spirit-Driven, Part 4

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:7, NIV)

We closed yesterday’s study with this question: How is the Spirit leading you?

In some ways, you may think this is a difficult question to answer. And if we talking about identifying the Spirit’s unique call for this friend or that one, you’re probably right. God may make a powerful impression on them that you would never have guessed.

But of this we can be certain: God will call you according to his preparation in you.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote of the Holy Spirit’s manifest (visible) gifts placed in each follower of Jesus. Some will be wise, some knowledgeable; some will demonstrate exceptional faith, others prophecy; some will discern among spirits, while others will teach, or pastor, or lead. According to some traditions of the faith, some still may work miracles, heal, speak in tongues, or interpret tongues. There are evangelists and missionaries and servants and generous givers, merciful ones, hospitable ones, encouraging ones. (You will find these lists in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4.)

God has built gifts into you—yes, you! By his Spirit, he is equipping you to do what he has in mind for you. This is important, because it allows you to recognize his call. If you are a teacher, for instance, and someone asks you to take the lead in a Bible study, you can confidently enjoy this blending of gifting and calling.

In fact, confidence is a tremendous by-product of recognizing God’s calling on your life. In the same way that a golfer swings more aggressively when he or she is certain of where and how to hit the ball, Spirit-led followers of Christ can act boldly when they see a clear path ahead.

More than that, God wants you to act boldly because he has given you these gifts of the Spirit for the sake of his body—“for the common good.” He wants men and women to step up as we are led, for his design includes us. Though he can, he does not choose to do everything himself. He fortifies and guides all his people in ministering to one another, just as he did with the elders in Ephesus who were shepherding the people for their growth in Christ.

We are, above all other purposes, led by the Spirit to serve, train, and bless one another. That’s a leading we have seen in others. It is one we want also to recognize in ourselves.

Jeff Hopper

August 2, 2012

Copyright 2012 Links Players International

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