Hmmm… some more challenging verses, that I have heard but didn’t want to take to heart, and realize how real they are and that they are meant for me! When we think of speaking in tongues or prophesy we think crazy… honestly most people think – I wont ever do that…- and when we think healing we either think that doesn’t happen anymore, or I just cant do it – be used for it. But the truth is God calls us to risk looking stupid… to not care what the world thinks of us, because we are His! His possession.
“the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession- to the praise of his glory.” – Eph. 1:14
He says –
“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs WILL accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” – Jesus speaking! – Mark 16:15
When I read this I hear “Go!” and “Do!”. He doesn’t call us to live by the standards of this world –
“I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2Cor. 10:2-6
– or to comfort and complacency… as I sit here worrying about gaining weight during the holidays there are those starving because they haven’t eaten in weeks… dieing in other countries and we are oblivious! He calls us to be truly, fully His and not care what people think. It is scary but He desires to heal! And He needs us to have the courage in Him, the confidence in our Father that we will lay hands on and pray in His mighty name that He will heal the sick, the hurting, because we know that he can, that he wants to, that he is faithful and good, believing that He will do it! To be willing to be so close to Him that you “utter mysteries” directly to Him that others will not understand, but He is the most important to you so why would it matter?
“After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” – Mark 16:19
“For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort…. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy.” – 1Cor. 14:2 - 5
This shows that God does want us to all seek His spiritual gifts for us! Here it sounds like we can all prophesy and speak in tongues, but just before this passage in chapter 12 verses 7 through 11 Paul talks about how the Spirit gives us all different gifts such as wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophesy, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. It then says –
“All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
Before in verse 4 he said – “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”
This makes me think that He does want all of them in all of us… plus the verse in Mark 16 saying that these signs WILL accompany those who believe…
The Spirit it talks about is so well described in 1Cor. 2:11 – “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the spirit of God.” Just like we have a spirit deep inside us, the Holy Spirit is God’s spirit, and He lives inside of us sharing the thoughts of God with us if we listen.
So…. God who is higher than us, wiser, stronger, and more real and valuable than the world, wants us to not worry about the ways of the world, and be willing to do these signs of Him! Even if it is scary, and looked at as crazy…
Our father says –
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” 1Cor. 1:25
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9
“What is highly valued among men is detestable in Gods sight.” – Luke 16:15
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matt 6:21
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matt. 6:33