RSS

Spiritual Gifts — Contagious

18 Nov

gift-boxesWhen they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. It came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”  [1 Samuel 10:10-11]

{Have a look at this chapter (1 Samuel 10), and see this story from verse 1 to verse 12.]

Don Merritt has just completed a terrific series of posts on “Spiritual Gifts”, and I recommend it to all of you Gentle Readers. [The series starts with the post of October 30, titled “Now What?“. Get the whole series in one bite by going to The Life Project and pulling the listing of keyword tag “spiritual gifts“. It is WELL worth the effort, trust me.].

I didn’t comment on his posts for a number of reasons, the foremost of which was that they were so well done there really wasn’t much I felt moved to add. His material was so comprehensive and well organized that I didn’t want to distract anyone (or him) by injecting my sort of “out of the box” commentary. But I did have a number of those thoughts go by, along with flashbacks of the ancient times when these emerged in my own walk.

Between that and some questions that have come up from time to time on the topics of Discernment and hearing the Holy Spirit, there are a few pebbles that I’ve wanted to toss into our pond of spiritual growth and exploration here as their own posts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The question is often asked… “How can I enhance my spiritual growth?”

The answer is often given… “Find and attend a church or place of worship that grows you, where the Holy Spirit seems to be present among the people.”

Such advice is often looked upon as being “marketing”, or “toeing the party line”. But it is far more than that. The other day, I mentioned that to “gather as church” is an effect, a fruit, of an intimate encounter with God… it is not generally a cause. “Piety”… a deep and sincere love for the Divine, on His own terms, not ours, can be nearly palpable, tangible, with certain places or people.

Have you ever walked into a church, or a chapel or old mission, or maybe a cloister… and just wanted to sit there and enjoy the experience? I don’t want to sound “flamingly mystical” or anything, but… I have become convinced over time that people of love, investing themselves into the Word(s) of God, with faith repetitively in a place… seem to leave a residue behind.

Which comes to my point… that “faith”, “love”, “encouragement”, and “giftedness”… all seem to have a major element of “contagion” to them. Investing time, care, focus and love into Truth of God seems to draw that truth forward into our immediate experience. More simply put, Love is a force that has real world effects when applied.

Back in the days when I was a young omniscient minister, I was part of a band of brethren that ministered according to our gifts in the community. I noticed at the time, the strange phenomenon that when I was “functioning in and with the group”, the strength of my gift was much greater, much more precise, much clearer, than when I was alone or working alone. Upon further reflection later in life, I realized that my own development of those gifts… even their emergence to identifiability… had occurred when I was both under the tutelage of a master spiritual director AND was comfortably nestled among a group of brethren determined to grow in our relationship with God, and serving the community.

When I did see this in my middle age, I was struck with that passage from 1 Samuel. I have observed this before, many times. When a collective of faithful (whether a church, a ministry, whatever) are determined, dedicated, and mutually accountable to grow in Christ… and when led by a teacher of wisdom and experience… then spiritual giftedness, grace, and growth of relationship with God… seem to “effervesce” or bubble up like popcorn bursting forth.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bottom Line: Grace, love, and emergence of spiritual gifts are “contagious”, and best nurtured in an environment that includes the energetic encouragement of fellow family members, with the guidance and care of an experienced master mentor.

What do ya’ll think? What have you seen, heard, experienced around any of this?
Grace to thee — The Little Monk

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Spiritual Gifts — Contagious

  1. paulfg

    November 19, 2014 at 2:37 AM

    “When a collective of faithful (whether a church, a ministry, whatever) are determined, dedicated, and mutually accountable to grow in Christ… and when led by a teacher of wisdom and experience… then spiritual giftedness, grace, and growth of relationship with God… seem to “effervesce” or bubble up like popcorn bursting forth.”

    LM – resonating like a thousand buzzing bees buzzing in bee like ways!

    Yep. I can add a note of agreement here. And at the risk of diverting your message a thought in the arena of how and where. That whilst the traditional big doors and space of “church” might be the expected place for this to happen – it is not exclusive.

    That places like this church of blogs is another arena wherein growth in Christ effervesces. Or in housegroups. Or at the pub over a meal and drinks. The list is endless. Small gatherings of fellowship. Yet all requiring relationship of trust and love. For it seems to me that – just like little raindrops gathering on a window pane – a small stream tumbling in the high mountains – when these little pockets of love and relationship join together? The result is a powerful river, deep and unstoppable, every flowing, every changing and part of something even greater – the sea, the moisture in the air, the very stuff of creation.

    Unconnected? One drop. Always potential, rarely fulfilled. Connected? Wow!! Relationship needs connection.

    Loved this post! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Little Monk

      December 12, 2014 at 7:56 AM

      I could not agree more. In fact, as to the “environment”… here is where the “where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in their midst”… applies. It has nothing to do with environment or organization. It simply has to do with “Who we see sitting at the head of this table”.

      Grace — LM

      Like

       
  2. trishamugo

    December 12, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    I have to agree with you. In my church’s vernacular we would call this a “greater anointing,” when the Holy Spirit is somehow enhancing your gifts in certain settings. Maybe a situation or the group is acting like a faith catalyst. I think you could surely find more examples of this. Maybe Elijah’s entourage of prophets?

    I hate to admit, but I like to fly solo in almost everything. I hate asking for help and I’m so stubbornly independent. The Lord is opening my eyes to my own stupidity here. “A cord of three strands isn’t easily broken.” Not even the most gifted of all is complete on his/her own. If we’re in Christ, we’re a part of a body. I think there is power that comes from being unified. Power in agreement.

    This got me thinking about the two elders who skipped Moses’ meeting in Numbers 11:16-30. Even though these two neglected to go, the Holy Spirit rested on them and they prophesied right there in the camp. The other 68 elders were in the Tent of Meeting having a Holy Ghost party, but Eldad and Medad received this GIFT without seeking it. I love that the gifts of the spirit are gifts and they are not earned. I think this explains why some really flaky Christians can still function in gifts of the Spirit.

    Like

     

I love comments, Gentle Reader!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: