How Do You Regard the Spirit of God?

If we regard the Spirit of God as the sole fountain of truth, we shall neither reject the truth itself, nor despise it wherever it shall appear, unless we wish to dishonor the Spirit of God.  For by holding the gifts of the Spirit in such slight esteem, we condemn and reproach the Spirit himself.

John Calvin

as quoted by Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page142-143

What You Should be Doing for God…

So here are a few thoughts to help you get started in what you should be doing for God:

  1. Start with the needs right in front of you.
  2. Carefully evaluate how your vocational talents can be leveraged for God’s Kingdom
  3. Ask what your local church is doing that you can be involved in.
  4. Consider whether there is some area of passion or interest growing in you.
  5. Listen to what other believers say about your giftedness.
  6. Be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 216-217

The Answer Is Not to Get Busier, More Radical or Learn More

Thus, if you are not where you should be spiritually, the answer is not simply to get busier for Jesus.  It is not just to get more radical in your devotion to God.  It is not only to seek greater spiritual gifts or even to learn more about the Bible.  It is to make your home in God’s love given to you as a gift in Christ.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 18

It’s Not Our Choice to Make

Sixth, the Holy Spirit has His own desires and will.  In I Corinthians we read that the gifts of the Spirit are “empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills” (I Corinthians 12:11).  This is an important reminder of who is in control.  Just as we don’t get to choose which gifts we are given, so also we don’t get to choose what God intends for us or for the church.

– Chan, Francis; Forgotten God: Reversing the Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit; David C. Cook Publishers; Colorado Springs, CO; copyright 2009; p. 73

The Church’s Primary Task

The Great Commission is not a theme float for mission in a long parade of cultural triumphs.  It is the marching orders of the Lord for his church.  The Lord of the harvest calls us to call to him to thrust forth laborers into His harvest.  He must send but he moves us to pray and leads us to go.  The Church’s primary task is to make disciples.  To this task the gifts of the Spirit are directed.

– Edmund Clowney, The Church: Countours in Christian Theology, copyright 1988, page 67

Spiritual Gifts Detached from Spiritual Fruit

The Lord has fashioned his church as an organic body.  The gifts he grants are not given for their own sake; their presence does not support pride, or their absence justify envy.  When the gifts are in any way detached from the fruit of the Spirit in the service of love, they become distracting noise, attracting attention but accomplishing nothing (I Corinthian 13)

– Edmund Clowney, The Church: Contours in Christian Theology, copyright 1988, page 240-241

God is not a God of Disorder

God is not a God of disorder, but of peace (I Corinthians 14:33).  In worship, all things are to be done in a fitting and orderly way (I Corinthians 14:40).  Paul instructs us in the Lord’s command (I Corinthians 14:37) precisely with regard to the use of Spiritual gifts.  Good order will mean that the unbelieving visitor will not say that you are out of your mind, but, being himself convinced of sin, will fall down – yes, he may indeed fall down – and say, ‘God is really among you!’

– Edmund Clowney, The Church: Contours in Christian Theology, copyright 1988, page 253-254

Proof of God’s Will in the Life of a Christian and Use of Gifts

The Christian proves God’s will in daily life by using natural and spiritual gifts to God’s praise.  Christian nurture aids God’s servants in seizing opportunities to discover what their gifts are, and where to use them.  While over-directness has moved some Christian churches towards the cults, other churches have erred by indifference, or have supposed that Christian nurture applies only to spiritual gifts, or to serving at church suppers.  Too often the church offers counselling only to those whose lives or marriages are already shipwrecked.  Parents receive little or no assistance in the vocational guidance of their children.  Educational and career choices are made under the direction of secular guidance counselors who are unaware of the Christian origin of the very term ‘vocation.’

– Edmund Clowney, The Church: Contours in Christian Theology, copyright 1988, page 146