Spiritual Gifts for
You have Weapons to Defeat
by Tom Brown
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
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
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.
spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant" (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.
look at why some people are ignorant of the gifts.
Those Who Are
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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,
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!”
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.
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
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.
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
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.”
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.
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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