Receiving the gifts of the Spirit and having them operate in our life is something that every Christian eventually desires.
Christians long to see the presence and power of God the same way as the early church did in the book of Acts. I believe the gifts are for every Christian because this is exactly what the word of God says.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).
According to the Bible standard, our churches and streets should be filled with believers who are walking out these gifts. The apostles would see it as unusual if they saw a church with as little power as we do. However, it is possible to have these gifts manifest in our life the same way that they did in the early church, and it is possible to have our churches filled with them again. (Related article: Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit still for today?)
In this article, we are going to be covering when we are to receive the gifts, how we can have the gifts operate in our life, and what we can do to see them everywhere that we go. Let’s get started.
When do we receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
We receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit the moment we receive the Person of Holy Spirit. We cannot receive His gifts without first receiving the Holy Spirit because His gifts are nothing more than the manifestations of who the Spirit is.
So, put simply, we receive the Spirit of God first then we receive the gifts of God.
It is similar to someone giving you a swiss army knife. When you receive the swiss army knife, you receive all of the manifestations of that knife. Such as the scissors, the toothpick, the spoon, the knife blade, the tweezers, the nail file, etc.
It is the same with the things of God. When we receive the Spirit of God it is at that moment that we receive the gifts of God as well.
So now you may ask, “how do I receive the Spirit of God?”
Great question. It’s simple.
First, you must be born again. Meaning you have put your faith in Christ, repented of your sin, and have been baptized in water for the burying of your old life.
Second, you must simply ask God to baptize you in His Holy Spirit. The baptism in the Holy Spirit that is recorded in Acts chapters 1, 2, 8, 10, and 19 are referred to as “receiving the Holy Spirit” by the writer of Acts.
Jesus made it clear that receiving the Holy Spirit is as simple as asking in faith.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13).
I have an entire article that is devoted to this one topic. It will be able to answer this question of receiving the Holy Spirit much more thoroughly. If you wish to read it you can by clicking on the title here: Baptism in the Holy Spirit (In-Depth Study)
How do we receive/activate the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
In the above section, we addressed when we receive the gifts of the Spirit. However, there is much more to it than just that, we also need to address how we can receive the gifts of the Spirit.
You see, when we receive the Holy Spirit we also receive His gifts, as mentioned in the above section. All of His gifts become available to us. But there is a difference between having them available and actually seeing them manifest in our life.
Because contrary to some beliefs, when one receives the gifts of the Spirit they are not automatic. We still need to grow and learn how to have them activated in our lives.
So, how do we go about receiving/activating the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
In short, we can receive/activate the Gifts of the Holy Spirit by taking four simple steps:
Step 1: Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. As mentioned before, this step is when the believer receives the gifts of the Spirit. I won’t explain this step too in-depth because I already briefly mentioned this in the above section and gave a great resource for anyone that is interested in receiving the Holy Spirit to go and check out.
Step 2: Develop a personal and intimate relationship with God. Always remember that receiving the Spirit of God is not only receiving the power of God, but it is also, and more importantly, about receiving a Person. And when we receive this beautiful Person His life and power manifest through us as we walk with Him. Which is when His gifts manifest through us. (Related article: Dwelling in the Secret Place: What it is and How to do it).
Step 3: Earnestly desire the gifts of the Spirit and walk in love. The Bible tells us to “earnestly desire the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31). The apostle said this three times in two different chapters. Obviously, he wanted us to pursue the gifts and no doubt the degree to which we pursue them is the degree that we will see them evident in our life.
Another truth that the Apostle Paul reminded us of is that without love everything that we do is pointless (1 Corinthians 13:1-4). Love being evident in our life is infinitely greater than the gifts being evident in our life. As Paul said, love is the “more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31).
It’s important to remember that God is love and the more we walk in love the more that we will walk in Him (1 John 4:16), so if we want to be conduits of His power then we must also be conduits of His character. (Related article: How to Walk in Love According to the Bible).
Step 4: Take action by faith. The last step is the simplest one, but often the hardest. Everything in life requires some form of action and seeing the gifts of the Spirit activated is no exception.
We can’t expect to have God give us His gifts and then we do nothing with them. The gifts were given to us so that we can go and fulfill the great commission, which is to “make disciples of all nations” (Mattew 28:18-20). If we neglect this then we are missing the whole reason we have been given the gifts to begin with.
The next section will explain how to do this in much more detail. Also, all of these steps are covered in much more detail in another article I wrote called 4 Simple Steps to Receive/Activate the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Check it out if you wish to know more about the subject.
How to use the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in everyday life
The most important part of receiving the gifts of the Spirit is to see them manifest in everyday life.
We are meant to be conduits of God’s power everywhere we go. Whether that be at the mall, Walmart, a restaurant, the workplace, or with the church. People need Jesus and everyone who has received the Spirit of God has Him living on the inside of them. Thus we are all called to evangelize and minister with His ability and gifts.
We have already covered in the above sections when and how to receive the gifts, but we have not yet covered what this will actually look like in real life.
I think for many Christians we have rarely seen someone who is consistently walking in the gifts of the Spirit on a daily basis as the early church did. I am certainly not the exception. However, this does not mean that we are not able, nor called to do so.
How we can use the gifts in everyday life is by simply using them everywhere we go.
This is what Jesus did. It’s what the apostles did. It’s what the entire early church did. And its what we should do as well.
When we go out shopping or to grab some coffee we should be aware of the people around us. Everyone has a need, and everyone needs Jesus. It is our privilege to be sure that they have at least the opportunity to meet Him.
Some simple ways to do this is by finding people who have a physical issue with their body and asking them if you can pray for them. If they let you, just take 5 seconds to pray for them to be healed in Jesus name, believing that God will heal them.
After you pray, ask them to check their bodies. A lot of the time they will be healed.
If for some reason they are not healed, don’t fret. Just ask them politely if you can pray again. Most likely they will say yes. Do this maybe 2-3 times, each time asking the individual to check their bodies. Sometimes the person will be healed after your first prayer, other times maybe the third.
Remember that in the scriptures God promised healing and He told us that if we have faith people will be healed (Mark 16:15-18, Matt. 17:20-21, Luke 10:9). As long as we keep pressing into God and having faith we will see the promise pass.
This is a very practical explanation of how we can let the gifts flow through us in our everyday life.
So I encourage you to preach the Gospel everywhere you go. Walk in love. Pray for the sick. Ask God to reveal things to you so that you are able to hear His voice. The more that you and I do this the more we will see the Gifts operate in our life.