“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 (ESV)
During this period of fasting and prayer you may have a list of things you are praying about and believing in God for. Or perhaps after ‘Stretch your Imagination’ on day 14 you have been imagining yourself achieving big goals or realising visions that God has given you in the past.
One of the things that should be on our list of things to desire and seek God for is spiritual gifts. In this scripture Paul writes that we should ‘pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts’. This speaks to the motivation of the gifts, being love, as well as the fervency in which this should be sought after.
When it comes to physical gifts, typically the older we get the more apathetic we tend to get about receiving gifts. There might be one or two people that we expect gifts from but outside of that any other gifts we get is a bonus. So we’re indifferent. Unfortunately, even as believers we often bring this indifference for gifts into our relationship with God. So for us to get into the frame of mind of earnestly seeking gifts, let us cast our minds back to a time when receiving good presents really exhilarated us.
Think back to when you were a child and how important it was for you to receive gifts at special occasions. How valued and excited it made you feel when you actually got what you had been asking for. How eager you were to try them out when you opened your gifts and see what you could do with them. Now think about where that desire first came from. Perhaps it was the new Play station that everyone craved or the new trainers that were in fashion at the time. The desire comes from collective experience and expectation. Perhaps you knew someone who had the new Play station and they were talking about their experience, that would have spurred you on to desire it even more. No wonder then Paul talks to the whole church, encouraging us to desire spiritual gifts for the furtherance of the church.
As members of the body of Christ we should not be intimidated by the idea of operating in spiritual gifts. Let us grow in our collective excitement about the gifts and pray earnestly that God will give us these gifts so that we can walk in power and build up the church in love. If you’re stuck with what gift to ask for first, Paul calls out prophecy! Why not start there. And remember, the gifts are for the building up of the church, so while we are praying for God to give them, also seek opportunities to share them!
Further Study: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 1 Peter 4:10-11, Romans 12:6-8