1 Corinthians 12:4-6
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
The biggest Hammer in God’s toolbox, the toughest screwdriver, Gods power drill: IS YOU!!
People is where God works the most. Virtually all of Gods focus is people. Each person has a different talent or gift, and God asks us to use those talents to serve him. Some people have multiple talents, others have just one- It doesn’t matter how you use them it just matters that you use them. You can see this illustrated somewhat with money in The Parable of Talents. Some can write (Which is why I write this whole Blog), Some with science, Some with music, Some can Heal, Prophesy, Preach, Evangelize, virtually any talent or gift can be used in service of the lord. As a fish tank hobbyist I have saying; “As for me and my tank, We will Serve the Lord”. The reason Is, in addition to writing I have a gift with fish, Each of my tanks are a Christian fish tank- Something very noticeable I can mix fish together that should never go together (too hard to explain for now). Maybe you are a cat person, Maybe you just post on Facebook, Perhaps you can cook. In any event there is always a way to serve God with your talents.
Part of being a power drill for God takes some Refining. While there are a number of talents and gifts that are God given, there are tools that God gives us. They are as follow in this Segment.
Identifying someone serving the Lord is somewhat trickier. The bible tells us to test the spirits: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1). The bible also tells us the criteria to test the Spirits:
- Acknowledges Jesus was from God
- Acknowledges Jesus Died on the cross and resurrected for our sins
- Praises the Holy Spirit
- Praises the Father, recognizes him as supreme creator
- Praises the Son
A Mormon for example will recognize the father and son but not the holy spirit. Which Is why Mormons are not considered a Christian religion. It’s not enough to believe in Jesus, or God- Even demons believe in God or Jesus. A person should know and praise Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and the Father is creator of all things. This is a simple checklist to be mindful of when talking to people about their beliefs. Not one of Christ will every stray off this list but an agent of Satan always will. It’s very good advice to look for a Statement of Faith on a website- Some get into practically the whole bible but it is a good starting point. Mostly however you are looking at a persons actions, they can say what they want, but if their actions conflict with this list in some way, then its clear to see they aren’t working on Gods side.
Twisting verses out of context is the quickest Que you are being deceived. Ever listen to a pastor give some kind of convoluted sermon and throw bible verses around willy nilly like:
“The lord is on my side says Psalm 118:6, so therefore I can have a slave (Leviticus 25:44) so I can beat them (Exodus 21:20)….
This pastor will never finish a verses sentence, as if hes using bible verses to make up his sentence. Psalm 118:6 says: “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” Then he will find someplace in the bible that says he can do something in this case slavery. Leviticus 25:44: “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you.” Then the pastor will toss in something random that in a convoluted way justifies his beating a slave: Exodus 21:20: “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged“. First of all the bible is very clear on slavery as a means to pay for debt. The bible spells it out perfectly not to mistreat slaves, and in most cases try to avoid having them. The bible even goes on to tell all slaves are free of all debts every 50 years in all the land, This is called the year of Jubilees. This was done So slaves in Israel never stay slaves forever. No, the bible on slavery is not at all the same as Blacks picking cotton- not even remotely the same concept as exploited labor. The person is taking the bible completely out of context to serve his own imagination. So how you read the bible in it’s context:
- Read and understand the whole sentence
- Sometimes 1 sentence isn’t enough, read the sentences before or after it- usually 2 or 3 gives a clear picture of the full idea presented.
- Look at who the person is talking to, examine the scene they are in. Are they talking to woman in Rome, are they in Babylon. Why would this person be saying this thing here?
- Match the same context elsewhere. There should always be a consistent theme with biblical ideas.
- Look at words definition. There are alot of words in the bible we dont use anymore like Talebearer, Begot, Alms, etc… One word can confuse a whole idea presented. a quick google search can always help.
- Don’t be afraid of the Greek and Hebrew texts. Codex Sinaiticus or even the Tanakh/Torah can give some interesting insights. one word in Hebrew and Greek can have as many as 20+ meanings (hence the many new translations of the bible). You would be amazed how much the bible actually describes when you look up an original word in Google translate. I point to an example in 2 Timothy 3:16. The word ‘inspiration’- the Greeks used a specific word for inspiration (pneustos or πνευϲτοϲ) that also means: Breathe, Feeling, Spirit, essence, smell, texture… Essentially describing the Bible as a fine wine or an experience. I think it goes to show how poetic our father really is.
- Sometimes you may have to read the whole book to understand one verse. Its very rare, but does happen. the point is if you don’t understand it, try to understand it.
- If it sounds convoluted, or implies Symbolism or Figurative speech it is probably a lie.
A person can make the Bible say anything by twisting verses out of context or implying symbolism. They can do the same with ‘Cinderella’ by Brothers Grimm. The context and very literal interpretation is often not as convoluted as some portray. I talk about Symbolism because I remember someone telling me the ‘Fruit of the tree of knowledge’ was a symbol for sex. I point this out because it’s inconsistent with the whole bible. The act of sex is not shunned in the bible as this person was convinced of. The sin Eve did was an act against Gods one and only rule. If the fruit was a symbol for anything it would simply be disobedience. Remember Satan loves symbols, particularly the word “Figurative” partly because he can make the bible mean anything this way-Studying Scripture is one of the best tools God gives us if done properly. It’s essential for a firm foundation in our faith and understanding.
Short stories that have a meaning can have a huge impact on the way people think about God or concepts in the bible. Jesus tells us Some people understand parables better in Matthew 13:10-12. It is a way to explain concepts in a kind of short story setting. Think about stories like Cinderella or snow white, The message of those stories are engraved on your mind forever. We could say the same for more modern shows like Veggie Tales, which actually has its bases as christian parables. The point of parables is to give understanding to things in a short but memorable way, and engrave it into a persons mind forever. One of the things Christ was always careful about was always giving the meaning of his parable when he was done. This was to give transparency on his metaphors so everyone understood it perfectly clear. I kinda like the following parable and what the guy has to say in the following video to give a good example:
God Speaks to us:
God has many ways to speak to us, the bible even tells us how to hear him.
- Prayer. The power of Prayer is absolutely incredible. Imagine being able to get God on the telephone and talk to him about anything. you can ask him anything. AND he always listens.
- Dreams. The bible always tells us dreams can have meaning from God. I had a dream once myself after a prayer. I asked God to show me the end times, what should I do, How will i be involved. He sent me a dream that night I think essentially told me I have nothing to worry about, I will have to add it to my blog some day to give a good example of this
- A voice in youre head. The bible tells us to keep the mind quite and listen for Gods voice. Indeed he speaks to us all the time, guides us and tells us what to say and what not to do. You can actually have a whole conversation with God in your head, but this comes with a warning. Demons can do this also, which is the reason I started this series with Know your Enemy and Know your God. Don’t be afraid to test the voice in the back of your head with questions like Did jesus die for my sins, is he exalted in heaven. A good part of this really requires a strong knowledge of things God tells you and things an agent of Satan will tell you. The way you know the voice in your head is not your own imagination is simple, it will not sound like your normal voice in your head. this might sound a bit schizophrenic, but it actually has a biblical bases. (Romans 8:26–27) (John 10:4) I particularly encourage this and think you can learn more about this by Clicking Here
- A complex series of Events. The bible is very clear on the fact we dont wrestle with flesh and blood but principalities and powers. God will often shut a door he doesnt want you to go into, indeed this is your red flag to not keep pushing for something that just isn’t going to happen. I can’t even begin to summarize this with just any one story. God will always lead you and one of the ways he speaks to us is giving us a random series of events to put us on his path.
From here on in Gods toolbox we come to the Gifts of the Holy spirit, Which I’m afraid will have to be the next segment of this series. However, I feel I covered alot of ground here So lets move on to the next segment Part 3 Gifts of the Holy Spirit.