The gifts of the Holy Spirit, as captured in the book of 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, are divine abilities given by the Holy Spirit to believers to build up the body of Christ and further God’s kingdom. These gifts, which include the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, the gift of faith, the gift of healing, the working of miracles, the gift of Prophecy, diverse kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues, and discernment of spirits, are not only meant to benefit the recipient but also to be used for the good of others. Activating these gifts is essential to a Christian’s spiritual growth and can bring great blessings and joy to both the individual and those around them. However, many individuals struggle to understand how to activate the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This article provides a brief overview of a biblical and practical understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and offers guidance for activating them in daily life. It covers the definition, types, and benefits of the gifts and provides steps for seeking and using them in daily life.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
The 9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:7-11 are further grouped into three categories by Bible scholars.
- Revelation Gifts (They Reveal Something): These gifts include words of wisdom, words of knowledge, and the discerning of spirits.
- Power Gifts (Do Something): Gifts of Faith, working of miracles, and Gifts of Healing.
- Utterance Gifts (Say Something)– These include Prophecy, diverse kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
Here is a brief overview of these gifts
- Word of Knowledge– This is a supernatural revelation by the Spirit of God concerning a people, place, or thing in the present or in the past. It is a revelation of certain facts in the mind of God concerning a people in the present or in the past.
- Word of Wisdom is a supernatural revelation of God’s plans and purposes concerning a people, a place, or a thing in the future. It often brings direction and answers to certain questions/puzzles in life.
- Discerning of spirits- it is the supernatural manifestation of the Spirit that enables the believer to see in the spirit realm. It includes the ability to see angels, Jesus, and human spirits.
- Gift of Faith– This is also known as special faith. It is the supernatural manifestation that enables a believer to receive a miracle. It is operating faith the way God does it.
- Working of miracles– This is the supernatural manifestation of the Spirit that results in the working of miracles. It results in doing things only God can do, producing miracles in the life of people.
- Gifts of Healing– Supernatural manifestation of the Spirit that result in restoration of people’s health and minds. It also involves the restoration of body parts.
- Prophecy- this is a divinely inspired utterance in a language known to the speaker for the purpose of exhortation, edification, and comfort I Cor. 14:3. The simple gift of Prophecy does not carry prediction and forth telling
- Diverse kinds of tongues– this is Prophecy in a language unknown to the speaker.
- Interpretation of tongues– This is a supernatural ability to interpret what is spoken in an unknown tongue.
How to Activate the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Pursuing a closer relationship with God
Having a close and personal relationship with God is the foundation for activating the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This can be achieved through prayer, reading and studying the Bible, attending church, and spending time in worship and meditation. As captured in John 15:5, Where God says He is the vine, and we are the branches, as long as we remain in Him, we will bear much fruit, but if we depart from Him, we can do nothing.
Therefore, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are activated in our lives to the degree to which we are connected to God. When it comes to activating the gifts of the Holy Spirit, spending time with God cannot be overemphasized. The more you spend time with God, the more manifestation of these gifts you will see in your life.
- Practicing spiritual disciplines
Practicing spiritual disciplines such as fasting, giving, and serving others can help individuals become more attuned to the Holy Spirit’s leading and develop a deeper understanding of His will. These disciplines can also help individuals to develop the fruit of the Spirit, such as love, joy, etc., which are essential for using the gifts effectively. (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Release your faith for the manifestation of the Spirit
Whatever is given must be received for your joy to be complete. In this kingdom, we receive by faith. Therefore, you activate these spiritual gifts in your life by faith.
- Using the gifts in daily life
Once you have developed a closer relationship with God, practiced spiritual disciplines, and sought guidance from the Holy Spirit, you can begin to use their gifts in daily life. This may involve using the gifts in a church setting, in the context of relationships with friends and family, or in the workplace. It is important to approach the use of the gifts with humility and a willingness to be led by the Holy Spirit and to remember that the gifts are given for the common good and to bring glory to God.
The book of 1 Peter 4:10 admonishes us to use the measure of gift we have received to serve others in our daily lives.
Overcoming obstacles to activating the gifts
- Fear of using the gifts incorrectly
It is natural to feel some apprehension about using spiritual gifts, especially if an individual is new to the concept. However, it is important to remember that the Holy Spirit gives the gifts and guides their use, so individuals should not be afraid to step out in faith and use the gifts as they are led. In the book of 1 Timothy 1:7, we see that fear does not emanate from God. He gave us the spirit of love, power, and sound mind, not the spirit of fear. Therefore, you must kick out every element of fear in your life.
- Feeling unworthy of the gifts
It is common for individuals to feel that they are not worthy of the gifts of the Holy Spirit or that they are not capable of using them effectively. However, it is important to remember that the gifts are not based on merit or worthiness but are given freely by God to those who believe in Him. You must realize that you’re not manifesting the gifts of the spirit because of your worthiness but because of God’s mercy and grace. He freely gives these gifts to believers as He wills. Your own is just to align with His will and receive the gifts. (2 Corinthians 3:5)
- Resistance from others
Individuals may also face resistance from others who do not understand or believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In these situations, it is important to remain steadfast in one’s faith and continue using the gifts as directed by the Holy Spirit. It is also helpful to have a supportive community of fellow believers who can encourage and pray for one another.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are a vital aspect of our relationship with God and can greatly enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. By activating these gifts, we can better serve and glorify God and experience the fullness of His love and power. We hope this article has provided a solid foundation for understanding the gifts of the Holy Spirit and activating them in your life.