Friday, October 29, 2021

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional: The Spirit of Giving


I woke up this morning thinking about my online ladies gathering last night. We talked about experiencing God's power through the gifts of the Spirit. All of the sudden I felt like the Holy Spirit downloaded this thought. Mind you, I haven't even set foot on the floor yet. It was like it all came together.
We, the Church, are becoming desperate to see a move of God. We have this expectation of what we think it should look like. A large gathering of people, bowing, weeping, repenting, a mighty wind that keeps us from standing up. I know that God can do that, if He chooses. We see this happening is countries where people understand the supernatural and find themselves truly hungry for God. Personally, I don't think we are hungry here in the western world. Why? Because as a follower of Jesus, we're already filled up with what we need. Maybe we're a little too stuffed that we may even need a spiritual Alka-Seltzer.
Yesterday, I was reading Romans 15. This morning is when the Holy Spirit helped me understand something. Romans 15:5-7, 13 says this, "May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. 
13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
The move of God we are so desiring is really hidden within us! That's right, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:7 that we have this treasure (the Holy Spirit) in jars of clay (us). This means that we daily should be producing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galaians 5:16-26). Instead of living by our fleshly nature, we live in "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control." This is opposite of the way our natural responses manifest. This one is for us personally.
Then we've been given gifts of the Spirit to give away. First Corinthians 12:7 says, "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other." These gifts are wise advice, special knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation. (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) Verse 11 says, "It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have."
I realized this morning that God has given us the authority to activate this move that we so desire. It's by producing daily the fruit of the Spirit and corporately giving away our gifts of the Spirit to each other. When we surrender ourselves to this, the body of Christ should be saturating every corner of the earth! There is nothing He can't do when we obey these truths that He's given us. 
As I close, years ago when I was a children's pastor, I used fruit to explain the fruit of the Spirit. I used the different fruits as an illustration to the kids and that when we eat it, there is a filling that happens and when we eat them, they make us healthy: LOVE: grapes, enough to go around. JOY: watermelon, it's sweet to eat, even if you have to spit the seeds out. PEACE: banana, it fills you up. PATIENCE: orange, because you have to take time to peel it. KINDNESS: peach, because it's soft and juicy. GOODNESS: strawberry, it may be small, but it's filled with good things. FAITHFULNESS: apple, because they're always in season. GENTLENESS: kiwi, they're kind for prickly and soft so you have to be careful. SELF-CONTROL: pineapple, it's crown and outside is prickly and because you have to cut it with a knife, take your time. 

One last thought. It was fruit on a tree that Satan used to deceive the woman in the garden. God wants to restore the environment of Eden through us by His Spirit, through His fruit and gifts! We CAN experience God's power daily. If we want to see God's Spirit move, it begins with us living fruit-filled lives and giving away the gifts He's given us! In the powerful name of Jesus! AMEN!

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