In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul speaks on “spiritual things” or, as most Bible translations have it, “spiritual gifts.” He doesn’t want the Jesus community in Corinth to be unaware of them, but instead, he wants them to know that these gifts are available, useful, and serve a kingdom purpose. The spiritual things—wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues—are manifestations of the Spirit. In other words, they are ways in which the Spirit of God makes His presence known. Each gift is a tangible expression of God’s presence among His people, serving to edify, encourage, and comfort the church.

The gifts of wisdom and knowledge allow believers to understand and apply insight and truths only revealed through supernatural means. Faith empowers us to trust God for the impossible. Healing and miracles demonstrate God’s power to restore and intervene in the natural order. The gift of prophecy, which Paul emphasizes as most desirable, provides messages that strengthen, encourage, and comfort the church directly from the heart of God. Discerning of spirits enables believers to distinguish between spiritual forces in operation, both demonic and angelic. The gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues facilitate communication with God and the edification of the church when interpreted.

Paul urges believers to eagerly desire these gifts, especially prophecy. In 1 Corinthians 14:1, he writes, “Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy” (CSB). Prophecy is highlighted because it directly builds up the church, offering guidance, correction, and hope. It brings God’s perspective into situations, revealing His heart and plans.

In a world of uncertainty and challenges, the prophetic brings the listener God’s clarity and direction. When a prophetic word is shared, it reminds the church that God is actively involved in their lives, speaking into their circumstances. This gift reminds us of God’s immediate presence and care.

However, the pursuit of these gifts should always be rooted in love and the desire to serve others. They are not for personal gain or to boast about, but for the benefit of the entire body of Christ. As we eagerly seek these gifts, let us do so with a heart that longs to see God’s will accomplished and His people strengthened, always remembering that love and service are the true markers of a believer.

“Christians do not realize that we are supernatural men. Born of God, children of the Most High, filled with the Holy Spirit, we have been lifted into the realm of the supernatural, and we walk by the Spirit of God.” John G. Lake

The gifts of the Spirit are not merely for personal edification but for demonstrating God’s dominion and power in the world. When we operate in the gifts, we manifest and make known God’s kingdom here on earth. This is why they are to be desired.

Time to check-in. What is your desire level for the gifts? Are you someone who once had great passion and zeal for spiritual things in your life but lately finds that the fire has grown cold? Maybe you’ve never had the gifts stirred in your life; you’re open but have yet to experience them. Perhaps you’ve shied away from them, seeing or hearing things that caused more questions and confusion than encouragement. Or you could find yourself somewhere in between.

Wherever you are, as a follower of Jesus, we cannot deny that God’s Word calls us to lean in. To not be unaware and to eagerly desire spiritual gifts. Take some time to be honest about where you are. Ask the Holy Spirit to move your heart towards His presence and manifestation in your life. Ask God for the boldness to seek His manifestation through these gifts so that you can know Him personally and make His presence known to those around you.

Miss any of the Holy Spirit series? Catch up here…