Pursuing the Giver
I've been pondering about spiritual gifts and what it looks like to be a supernatural person lately. In the pursuit of that I've had to go back to my foundations and tackle the issue from the ground up. Let me go back to the basics to try and explain my train of thought.
Christianity isn't just another religion. It was never designed to be only a spiritual belief structure or a way of thinking about spirituality. It was forged by Jesus as primarily a relationship structure, reconciling humanity to God, forgiving us our sins, and welcoming us into the family of God. This is why you don't read Jesus saying things like "you should believe this concept", but you do read things from Him saying, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28) and "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger" (John 6:35). Jesus always invited people to come to Him in relationship, to accept Him, not an intellectual belief about Him.
As such, once we accept Jesus we're then invited to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is where the Holy Spirit, who is God Himself, comes and lives inside of us… talking with us, experiencing life with us, and manifesting the works of God through us. Once again, this is a partnership, a relationship, in which the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts (manifestations of His power) to help us fulfill God's purposes in and through us.
We're told in Scripture to "pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts" (1 Cor. 14:1). In other words, these distinct, supernatural displays of power that clearly weren't from your own strength or ability are to be pursued, to be sought after. How do you do that? How do you pursue something that is given to you as a gift? How do you go after something that doesn't come from you?
The answer is that you pursue to the giver of the gift. You have to pursue the person in relationship. The only way that we can pursue spiritual gifts is to pursue relationship with the Holy Spirit. You see, relationships need to be cultivated. Deep relationships need to be constantly nurtured and intentionally built into.
When people divorce and break up the closest relationship they have had, a common answer for why is that "they just drifted apart". Relationship was finally broken because, after a certain point, it was never pursued, cultivated, or nurtured. I have a deep, satisfying relationship with my wife because both of us make a conscious choice to sacrificially pursue the other person day in and day out. If I stopped doing that, eventually my marriage would die.
The point is that often when people come to Jesus they experience the relationship and there's a burst of energy poured into it… but that soon tapers off. People experience God in a fiery start, but then wonder why He feels distant and absent. After a time, we see no supernatural work being done in or through us and we start to wonder if we've ever even been given a spiritual gift. This is because we haven't pursued the giver of gift… we haven't cultivated the all-important relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Are you feeling dry today? Are you feeling out of touch with God and like you don't see any difference that God is making in your life? Are you earnestly seeking for more spiritual gifts so that you can fulfill the purpose of God in your life? Pursue a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit. Pursue Him who gives the gift to you and see how much you come alive in the relationship. Taste and see how good God is and how much you'll be filled to overflowing with all of the good things in life. Spend time with Him, talk with Him, love Him, and you'll probably be surprised at the gifts that start being given to you.