182. Administer of gifts.
The Spirit who is the 'Lord of the harvest', is the one who administers our calling and giftings. He sends workers to the fields and equips them with the right tools to facilitate the harvest. Therefore, the Holy Spirit said to the Church at Antioch, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." (Acts 13:2) The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, sailed to Cyprus. Once on the island, the Spirit enabled them to operate in the gifts of the Spirit (13:9-12) because they were obedient to the call of God. There are gifts in us which will be stirred up only when we obey the call of God. Infact, all who have been called to salvation have received gifts because 'when he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men'. ( Ephesians 4:8) God has received us into his Kingdom by giving us the gifts of faith (Ephesians 2:8) and grace (Ephesians 4:7). But there are other gifts of the Spirit in us by the laying on of hands which we might not be aware of. Therefore Paul exhorted Timothy saying, "Do not neglect your gift, which is in you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you." ( 1 Timothy 4:14). He reminded Timothy, "to fan to flame the gift of God which is in him through the laying on of his hands." ( 2 Timothy 1:6) Paul admonished the Church not to be ignorant of this truth about gifts for he wrote to the Church in Corinth: 'Now about spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant' and then he goes on to describe the nine gifts of the Spirit. ( 1 Corinthians 12:8-10) 'We have different gifts according to the grace given us.' (Romans 12:6-8) Obviously, he was not talking about talents that are inherent (existing as a permanent or characteristic attribute) in us by birth but was talking about the gifts that are acquired by virtue of rebirth. Our talents and skills are of no significance in the Kingdom unless we are consecrated and anointed like David who played the harp skillfully. (1 Samuel 16:13-23)
Paul was 'called to be an Apostle' (Romans 1:1) by Jesus and 'grace was given as he apportioned it' because 'it was he who gave some to be Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers...' (Ephesians 4:7,11) However, it is the Spirit who manages those who have been appointed to service and he determines the place and the pattern of work to be done. It was the Spirit who sent Peter among the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles and was at work in both ministries. 'For God who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an Apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an Apostle to the Gentiles. James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognised the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the Jews.' (Galatians 2:7-10) Let's therefore stop exalting one ministry over the other for it is the Lord who has assigned to each one their task. 'So then, no more boasting about men!' ( 1 Corinthians 3:21) 'Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.' ( 1 Corinthians 4:6) There are no stereotypes in the kingdom but where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty and creativity. 'There are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each the manifestation of the Spirit is given for common good ... All these are the work of one and the same Spirit and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.' ( 1 Corinthians 12:4-7,11) Since 'God's gifts and his call are irrevocable (not able to be changed, reversed)- Romans 11:29, we can still find them lying dormant in our lives, inspite of having ignored the call and neglected the gifts. We can still live up to it, if we will obey the call of God and let the Spirit stir up the gifts within us. Amen.