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Spiritual Gifts for Spiritual Warfare
You have Weapons to Defeat Satan
by Tom Brown

Satan lives in the supernatural, so you need the supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit to live as God wants you to live—overcoming sin! Don’t be alarmed by the enemy’s wiles. No matter what Satan has been bombarding you with, there is a greater Spirit within you.

Satan is “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2). Yet the Holy Spirit is the new Ruler for the Christian soul, and He is the greater Spirit within us that overcomes Satan by working in those who are obedient to Christ. You need to know of all the weapons God has given you to overcome Satan. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4 asv). The first pronoun “he” is not a reference to Christ or God the Father; here, John is referring to the Holy Spirit. Many believers know a lot about Christ and their Creator, but they give little thought to the Holy Spirit. This is why so many are defeated.

The Holy Spirit helps you so that you—His child—can live supernaturally. God does not want you to live a natural, normal life. He wants you to live above normal, above the natural.

And this is possible through the Holy Spirit. According to 1 Corinthians chapter 12, the Holy Spirit imparts nine special, supernatural gifts in your life. These gifts are your weapons of warfare.

Ignorance of the Gifts

"Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant" (1 Corinthians 12:1).

There was a time in my life when I was completely ignorant of the gifts of the Spirit and, therefore, did not have them in my life. I was saved, I loved the Lord, and I read the Bible, but there were still no gifts in my life. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance keeps you from enjoying all God’s gifts. Furthermore, ignoring the Spirit will also keep you from experiencing His gifts. Blatant disregard for His gifts will surely keep you from walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and will give Satan power over your life.

First, let’s look at why some people are ignorant of the gifts.

Those Who Are Uninformed

You cannot believe in something you have not heard about. “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14). Just as people cannot believe in Jesus if they have not heard of Him, so, Christians cannot believe in the gifts of the Spirit if they have not heard of them.

Those Who Are Misinformed

Some companies prefer to hire people right out of college to avoid having to “unteach” bad habits they may have learned at previous jobs. It is harder to unlearn than it is to learn.

Worse than being uninformed is being misinformed, for you are less likely to accept correction than you are to learn something for the first time. When you learn something first, it becomes part of your belief system.

Let me be honest with you: It is possible that if you know little about the gifts of the Spirit, you may have learned some wrong things. For example, some people are misinformed about the meaning of the gifts. They are taught that spiritual gifts are natural talents rather than supernatural abilities.

For example, the gift of healing is quite simple to understand. However, if you are prone to discount miracles, then you may understand this gift differently than what Paul intended. Some Christians have actually taught that the gift of healing is merely the skill of a doctor. I appreciate doctors but Paul did not have them in mind when he mentioned the gift of healing. He was thinking more along the lines of the supernatural gift of healing that Jesus exhibited in His life.

Some Christians misinterpret speaking in tongues, teaching that it is the ability to speak in foreign languages. While learning foreign languages is commendable, Paul did not have them in mind when he wrote about speaking in tongues. He was thinking of unknown tongues that “no one understands” (1 Corinthians 14:2).

It is important to understand how the Bible interprets spiritual gifts; and remember, the gifts of the Spirit are given only to those with the Spirit. Doctors or foreign language specialists are indeed gifted, but they do not have the spiritual gifts by virtue of their skills alone. These gifts are only given to born-again, Spirit-filled believers

Ignoring the Gifts

Ignoring the gifts is a big problem in some charismatic and Pentecostal churches. If any church should be operating in the gifts of the Spirit, it should be these types of churches. They know the gifts and understand how they work, but some churches ignore them anyway. Ignoring the gifts does not mean a person disbelieves them; it just means that he or she is not paying them any attention or, at least, any special attention or consideration.

I have seen this occur in many places. I hear great sermons, inspiring messages, and even faith-filled prayers, but the gifts of the Spirit are ignored. The leader and congregation of these churches give no attention to the gifts. It is not a priority in their faith walk.

Some people ignore the gifts on purpose, because they do not want to be jeered and teased. People in Jesus’ day jeered and criticized Him. They accused Him of casting out demons by the prince of demons. (See Matthew 12:22–32.) If you are sensitive to criticism, you will be nervous, perhaps even embarrassed, to use the gifts of the Spirit.

Pastor Jeff wrote to me, and said, “We need you to come to Florida because we are tired of being a seeker-sensitive church. We want to be a Spirit-sensitive church.” He realized that they were catering to the world rather than honoring the Holy Spirit.

I was preaching in Canada when a man came up to me, and said, “You have what I am looking for. I used to attend a Pentecostal church but left it to go to a seeker-sensitive church. I love the gifts, but my Pentecostal church was not leading many people to Christ, and the seeker-sensitive church was. I now realize, through your ministry, we can have them both.”

I believe it is possible to be sensitive to both the culture and philosophies around me as well as to the Holy Spirit, first and foremost. This is what Paul had in mind when we wrote,

So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” (1 Corinthians 14:23–25)

Paul was sensitive to the church’s abuse and ignorance of the gifts. He did not want the church to scare away unbelievers or uninformed people, so he warned them not to abuse the gift of tongues by using it without interpretation. Notice that Paul did not conclude that it would be best not to have any gifts; rather he stated that prophecy, when used properly, could convict people: “He will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’” The gifts can touch non-believers and liberate them from Satan's power.

When non-believers hear that God is healing people in my church, they are quick to attend the meetings. Divine healing is a great tool to reach non-believers, plus it breaks Satan's bondage of sickness in their lives.

To date, I have had four television producers approach me about the possibility of hosting my own reality TV show. Were they interested in me simply because I give inspiring sermons? No. It is because the gifts of the Spirit operate in my life. Television producers know that the public is interested in miraculous powers and deliverance from evil spirits. People seek evidence of a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.

Finally, some people ignore the gifts, not out of embarrassment or fear, but out of blind neglect. They may not mean to ignore the gifts, but they get into a rut, becoming complacent, lazy, and apathetic. We all are prone to fall into a rut or routine. If we are not careful, we can become bored in our walk with God, and even in our church services. When a person is in a rut, his walk is predictable. Be open to the move of the Holy Spirit. Be open to healing and deliverance. Be open to the gift of prophecy. Let the Spirit do what He wants to do.

One of my elders, Rey, told me that a young man came forward to pray for his uncle, who was dying. Rey began to pray, “God shows me that your uncle is not going to die. No matter what happens, believe that God will do a miracle.”

The man took Elder Rey at his word. It looked bleak. His uncle got worse, and his whole family said their good-byes. But this young man said to them all, “I have prayed for our uncle, and an elder at my church had a word from God that he would live.”

The family believed and laid their relative in God’s hands, asking for a miracle. Sure enough, the uncle made a speedy recovery and was healed. The healed man came to our church to celebrate his life, and he looked great.

Apostle Guillermo Maldonado is being used right now to stir the church to move in the supernatural. He is helping churches to get out of their ruts. Like him, I encourage my members to be attentive to the Holy Spirit, not to ignore Him but to let Him work in and through them. The devil is not afraid of stagnant Christians; he is afraid of Christians moving in the gifts of the Spirit. Only when you pay attention to the Spirit will you see God work in your life and the devil leave your life.

End of the sample of the book, Spiritual Gifts for Spiritual Warfare

 

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