Learning to Flow in the Gifts

Posted in: Gifts of the Holy Spirit, 0698
By Dr. Larry Ollison

For every mature saint of God who walks deeply in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, there was an early time when they were learning to take their first spiritual steps. Sometimes these first steps can seem awkward and cause them to feel self-conscious.

I remember the first time I prayed in public at Spring Valley Baptist Church in Raytown, Missouri. I was twelve years old and although my prayer only consisted of a few lines, I was shaking inside all morning. But like everything else, we can mature in the things of God so that moving in the Holy Spirit will be as natural as breathing.

Learning to flow in the gifts of the Spirit could be likened to learning to ride a bicycle. I remember my daughter getting a bicycle for Christmas when she was a very young child. She wanted to ride it, oh so badly. It took a few weeks of practice with training wheels and with me instructing, and she took a few falls. Although she was a little wobbly at first, the time came when we took off the training wheels and she began to ride confidently on her own.

In the same way you will never learn to ride a bike without training and a few falls, it may take a while to learn to flow in the gifts of the Spirit. Mature Christians should understand this and not be critical but helpful. We would not criticize a toddler for not being able to run like a teenager; likewise, we should never criticize spiritual toddlers.

Flowing in the Spirit requires not only desire, but training and practice to move past the fear of failure or embarrassment of falling. While correction may need to be done, it should always be bathed with love and never be critical or sarcastic.

As a young child praying at church, had I allowed the fear of getting in front of people to stop me, I would have never learned to pray in public which would have definitely hindered my call in the ministry!

For everything in life there is a first time followed by training. The Holy Spirit is the teacher who reveals the Word of God. Experience is not the teacher, but through practice we gain experience. With revelation by the Holy Spirit and experience, we develop the skill and ability that’s required to be mature in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Many times while I am ministering, I don’t know exactly what is going to happen or what gift is going to be in operation, but the Holy Spirit will tell me a step to take.

For example, a few weeks ago a gentleman was sitting in the congregation and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to bring him up on the platform and pray for him. So I took that step. I brought him up to pray for him.

As he walked up the steps, the word of knowledge started coming up inside of me. I knew a few words of what I was to say, but I didn’t know all of what I was supposed to say until I started saying it. As I was speaking, I was thinking, “This guy has a real problem. How is he going to solve it?”

The word of wisdom was getting ready to come up, but it hadn’t started yet. God will take you a step at a time, but you must step out first in obedience. No matter how insignificant it may seem, we must be led by the Spirit. Sometimes the smallest of actions can yield the greatest results. Let Him guide you step by step.

Devotion 0698