“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. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by the means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and still to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.” -1 Corinthians 12:4-11
How can we argue with such plainly laid out instruction from the Lord? I am not here to advocate for one spiritual gift or another, I am here to advocate for God’s word. This topic really gets me upset in my Spirit because I see so much disunity in the church that could be solved by reading and asking God for understanding of this one passage instead of ignoring it.
Paul goes on from this passage to talk about how we as the body of Christ, are one body with many parts. Each part has its different purpose, but all are purposeful in building up the kingdom of God. Why then, do we expect every Christian to model the exact same gifts and passions as we do? It says, God gives them out just as he pleases, and it lists off some kinds of gifts that exist. I have been to many different kinds of churches in my lifetime. Some I have felt more comfortable in than others, but I don’t discredit what the others are doing to advance the kingdom of God because of where my passions and giftings lie.
Naturally, we want to be in a place where people are like minded and have the same vision as we do. We need to realize that the people with the Spirit of God’s main vision should be to build up the kingdom of God, in order to bring others to him, not to conform everyone to our churches way of doing things. If every church put it’s sights on prophecy only, where would the other parts of the body be? If we were to rid our churches of healing and miracles, we would be ridding the body of Christ of an entire limb. The body performs best when all the parts are together and working in unison for a common goal. Why would we want to cut off an entire part because it isn’t the way we do things? Why are we so quick to discredit another church because they operate differently than we do? God wants unity within his body of believers, not dissension.
Not to say there isn’t falseness within the church. That is why we are instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 to “… not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” We are to not quench the Spirit in whichever “gift” it may be moving in. We are to check everything in prayer and in the word of God. We are to keep the good and discard the evil. We need to make sure that we are checking with God before we avoid it. Not our own personal comforts and ideas of how things should be. We limit God to say that what he made you passionate about and comfortable with is what everyone should be pursuing. There are many ways that He moves, that we cannot understand. It is detrimental to the body of Christ to have our own human ideas and logic get in the way of how God wants to move.
We should be pursuing God above all else. Period. Not the latest prophetic word, not good theological reading and ideas, not miraculous signs and wonders, not healings, not tongues, not wisdom and knowledge. When we seek Him first, we will know what it from Him and what isn’t. When we dive into His word with the heart of pursuing Him instead of one idea, then we can receive revelation from God (not our own biases) about His word. We need to be so careful about judging others with what they are doing, and by doing so quenching the Holy Spirit’s work in the church. I have heard a saying that disunity in the church is one of the biggest causes of Atheism. And I would agree with this. Yes, an atheist’s heart is hardened toward God, but we aid in the process by not allowing God to work in all the ways that he chooses to do. Instead of being so quick to judge a fellow brother or sister in Christ, we need to seek God for the way that He wants to move.
This is so incredibly important! Pray and ask God about this, I urge you. Read 1 Corinthians chapter 12-14. Don’t just take my word, go to God directly. Please. It is time for unity within the body of Christ. We need to stand together to build the kingdom of God.