If there is one thing that is lacking in the Church today it is the gifts of the Spirit and because of this lack, people are beginning to desire them to be prevalent in their lives.
The New Testament is a document filled with stories full of the power of God. The early Christians were people of the Spirit of God, and as a result, they saw many people brought into the Kingdom.
Nowadays, that power is lacking and the main reason is people don’t know how to receive nor activate the gifts of the Spirit in their lives.
In this article, we will be covering simple and actionable steps to receive the Holy Spirit’s gifts. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Judging by the fact that you found this article I’m assuming that everyone reading this is already born again. If you aren’t born again and you’d liked to be, I encourage you to check out this article on the Gospel.
Now that we addressed that we can move on.
The first step to receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to first receive the Spirit Himself.
In the same way we can’t receive the manifestation of light without a lightbulb, so also we can’t receive the manifestation of God’s power without receiving God.
When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive all of His gifts as well because His gifts are simply manifestations of His Person.
“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).
So, receiving the Spirit of God is the first step, and we do this by receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
This power that He is referring to is the same power the apostle Paul is referring to in 1 Corinthians 12. The gifts of the Spirit described in 1 Corinthians 12 are simply names for the functions and manifestations of Holy Spirit.
When we receive the Spirit of God by being filled with Him, then we also receive the ability to walk in power as Jesus did.
The good news is receiving the Spirit of God is simple. It is just as simple as receiving salvation or anything else from God. You can learn how to receive Holy Spirit in another article I wrote called Baptism in the Holy Spirit (In-Depth Study). Enjoy!
Step 2: Develop a personal and intimate relationship with God
Once a believer receives the baptism in the Holy Spirit and is endued with power, then the next step is to develop a personal relationship with God.
The apostle Peter made it clear that we grow in God’s power (and everything else God gives us) when he wrote,
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:2-3).
As you can see from this verse, Peter is telling us that God’s divine power gives us everything that is in the category of life and godliness and that we can only access this power through knowing God. That is a powerful truth!
So, the more we get to know God the more we will be able to walk in His power.
The apostle Paul also mentioned this same truth in his letter to the Ephesians.
“making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Ephesians 1:16-19).
Paul’s prayer is that we will receive revelation through an intimate relationship with God, which will in turn allow us to have our eyes open to the power of God that is available to us.
He also briefly mentions this same truth in another place when he prays that “the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Philemon v.6).
So in summary, we grow in God’s power through developing an intimate relationship with Him and by growing in the knowledge of what He has given us through His death, burial, and resurrection.
If you want to know more about this topic I have many articles that have covered it extensively. Here is just a few: How to Start Knowing God (Step by Step) and How to Spend an Hour in Prayer (8 Helpful Tips).
Step 3: Hunger for the Gifts of the Spirit and walk in love
This step is an add-on to the one before it because they both address the ability to access God’s power. This step differs, however, by specifically pursuing the gifts of the Spirit so they will manifest in our lives.
The apostle Paul makes it clear that we are to hunger for the gifts of the Spirit.
“But earnestly desire the best gifts…Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts…Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:31, 14:1&39).
As you can see, three times in two chapters the apostle Paul commands us to desire earnestly the spiritual gifts. No doubt, desiring the gifts of the Spirit is a huge factor in deciding the measure that they will manifest in our life.
Another factor, and probably even a larger one, is our ability to walk in love.
In the same way that Paul tells us to desire the spiritual gifts he also tells us to walk in love. He calls it the “more excellent way.”
“But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:31).
After he writes this he goes onto to explain that without love it is pointless to walk in the gifts of the Spirit. That if we “have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). And then he continues by explaining what love is all about and the character traits that it possesses.
There are two correct ways to look at this passage that I can tell:
First, this is a reminder and a caution in our pursuit of spiritual gifts and the importance of love. That it is important to always remember that the goal of everything we do should be motivated and surrounded by love.
Second, it can also be understood as a way to have the gifts flow in your life more frequently. Because the context of the passage is for us to desire spiritual gifts so they manifest in our lives.
So, when Paul says, “here’s a more excellent way” it’s as if he is implying that walking in love is an even better way to have the gifts flow through you than just simply desiring them.
A simple way to begin to walk in love and desire the best gifts is by simply spending time with the God of love. We can do this by spending time in prayer, fasting, and the reading of His word. (Related article: How to Walk in Love According to the Bible).
In other words, get to know God! Knowing Him personally is the door to the supernatural world and everything else that God has for us in this life and the one to come.
Nothing will ever compare in value to your ability to know God. So the more we develop a relationship with Him the more we will desire the gifts of His Spirit that He has made available to us and the more we will be equipped to walk in love to those around us.
Step 4: Take action by faith
This step is the final step to the process of receiving the gifts of the Spirit, but also the most important.
If we neglect to take action then we are no different than a construction worker who filled up his toolbelt just to sit on the couch.
The Holy Spirit’s gifts are tools for the job. They aren’t medals for the super Christian. They are meant to be used in service for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.
Taking action is also a way that we increase the manifestations of God’s power. For everything in God’s kingdom is increased by use. Jesus explained this with the parable of the talents.
In this parable, Jesus told a story of a master who went away on a journey but before he did, he gave talents to his servants. One servant got four talents, another two, and another only one. He did this according to the ability demonstrated by the servants.
When the master returned, he inquired of the servants about what they did with the money that he gave them. Some servants multiplied what they received by using the money to make more money, while one servant buried the talent that was given to him and was punished because of it. (Matthew 25:14-30)
We should learn from this parable and increase what we have been given by being good stewards. A good steward takes action with the gifts God gives so that others may benefit.
A simple way to begin to take action by faith is by simply stepping out in churches, stores, markets, beaches, and workplaces. Everywhere that there are people, begin to talk with them and pray for them.
Take, for example, the gifs of healings. A simple way to begin to see this gift manifest in your life is by going to a store, like Walmart or Target, and asking people if they have any pain or sickness in their bodies. A lot of the time people will answer you honestly.
If they say yes, ask them if you can pray for them to get better. A lot of the time people will let you. And when they do, pray for about five to ten seconds in faith. When you are done, ask if their pain is gone or if the sickness is gone. You will be surprised by what happens.
Don’t be quick to say that you don’t have a certain gift. Remember: the gifts of the Spirit manifest to those that earnestly desire them. Someone who is quick to say that they don’t have a gift is not someone who has earnestly desired it.
Besides the gifts of the Spirit are for every Christian because they are manifestations of a Person, not pleasant boxes with bows given to a select few.
The only requirement to receiving these gifts is by learning to activate them through intimacy with God and taking risks by faith.