Thursday, July 30, 2015

Spirit Savvy Network … Spiritual Gifts, Spiritual Synergy

by Dale Shumaker

8. Spiritual Gifts, Spiritual Synergy, Love Dominates

Their distinction is the love they have for each other. And they have a great power that comes from them. 
"You will do even greater things," a projection by Jesus. If this is true, and I believe Jesus meant what He said, how can this be possible? As we review Jesus' whole life we see many astounding things. And He says we will do even Greater things.

"I tell you the truth, believe in me and you will do the works I have been doing, and even beyond this, you will do greater things than these. Because I am going to The Father on your behalf and I will sent you special gifts through the Holy Spirit."
This is my paraphrase of what Jesus said. (see John 14)

As you track Jesus' life you see this progression to bring this to happening through the Disciples and Followers of His Way... after He ascended to Heaven.

In a short version, here is a progression of Jesus' life to now.
Jesus made all things we see today (see Colossians 1). He came to earth as a human being by Divine inception, not by a man.  During His young years He studied at the Synagogue and hung around the Rabbi's listening to the teachings of Moses' law. To launch His work on earth, Jesus went to John the Baptist to be Baptized in water, and the Holy Spirit came on Him. It's important to observe this, and its timing. The Baptist said, "I baptize by water, but Jesus will Baptize you in the Holy Spirit." (see Mark 1)

Right after being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. There the Spirit, and strength of the Spirit in Him was seasoned, or cured(as a meat is cured so to be resistant to decay). Everything of this life was offered Him by Satan, if He would give up His Mission of God and worship Satan.

He did miracle after miracle and put His team together so they could advance His Mission after He physically left the earth.
He turned water into wine, told a woman all about her life without knowing her, convinces a religious leader the need to be born in the Spirit (or being born again as we say today), healed a man's son who was very ill, a blind man was healed, and a crippled person restored to walk, demons were cast out of hapless people who had them controlling their bodies, and He brought a person who was dead for 4 days back to life.

His disciples were everyday people from all parts and vocations of the culture. When in trouble, Jesus walked on top of water to get to them to keep them from drowning during a ferocious storm. When thousands gathered to hear Him, He fed them all with only a few fish and loaves of bread. Three of His disciples witnessed a meeting he had with Moses and Elijah who appeared to Him in angelic form one night.

As jealousy raged among other religious leaders, Jesus had to often flee from being killed. He was murdered by being whipped to shreds and nailed to a cross to die. His biggest miracle was coming back to life, meeting again with His Disciples. He told them to wait for the Holy Spirit to come on them. They did.

And then the greatest miracle of all happened. Jesus sent the same Spirit, which was on Him while on earth, to His followers waiting for it in a room together. When the Spirit came over them they went out into the marketplace with unusual power in all their acts. Gifts from the Holy Spirit were given to them. The work of greater things began.

Did it end there? I don't think so. It was the beginning of even greater things for those who followed Jesus, and gave their lives to the mission of God's Spirit for them, their Magnificent Mission.

Magnificent lifestyle was in a progression... to grow and grow, more and more. Today, what we saw the Holy Spirit do through Jesus, then His Disciples, is intended for greater things today. Jesus started the practice of sending His Disciples out in pairs. The Disciples/Apostles continued this practice to go in pairs, 2's, 3's, 4's. Living the 2 or 3 Agreement Principle, which is a core principle, a nucleus from which everything flows and builds. When together as One the Spirit showed Himself in many miraculous ways... for building the Kingdom of God with exceptional help from the Spirit.

These gifts are not there just for showing off, as some whom the Apostles met wanted to use them. The Gifts are for strategic opportunities when needed to advance the purposes of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth as in Heaven.

Gifts of the Spirit, solely from God and not man's abilities, well, even beyond man's abilities, are recorded in 1 Corinthians and Romans. In the Acts of the Apostles you see the variety, and relativity of the Holy Spirit's Gifts. The Gifts of the Spirit were relative to the need, conditions of the moment.  

The Supernatural Gifts as explained by Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 12...

Spiritual Gifts are given to us so we can help each other.  One person by the Spirit gives wise advice; another the Spirit gives special knowledge, without knowing it before. Someone else, the Spirit gives Supernatural faith, to another person the Spirit gives the gift to heal. To someone else the Spirit gives the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy, see things to come, exhort others. He gives someone else the ability to discern a person's motives and tell if it is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person can speak in unknown languages, while someone else has the ability to interpret what was said. It is only the Spirit of God who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides on who gets what gifts, and the crucial time to use them.

In Romans 12, it says we are given gifts for doing certain things well, such as to prophesy (know outcomes without knowing it before hand), totally and wholeheartedly trust God in all matters, to serve, teach, encourage, to give, manage people well, and be kind. In all we do, we should love others genuinely, work hard and serve the Lord with sincere enthusiasm.

When do they show up? When in your Magnificent Mission, while living in faith, the power of faith through God is with you; renewing the mind to be the Mind of Christ is developed through using the Scriptures to transform your mind; as you enter the Presence of God you get His Spiritual Intelligence, His strategies for each matter you face, the work you do; then as you connect with others doing the same thing...  all these combine, bond, causing Spiritual synergy to kick in. Gifts Activate. Greater works show up.

Do This.
Before talking about Spiritual Gifts, there are several tools which are helpful to discover your natural abilities and strengths.

Go Put Your Strengths to Work and the Truth about You, by Marcus Buckingham, reveal insights for ways to discover your strengths or gifts. Now Discover Your Strengths, by Donald Clifton and Buckingham, discloses four areas to look at in your life that may lead you to see your strengths. They include:

1. Top of the mind reaction to things. When something happens what's the first thing that comes to mind to do? Note the pattern this may have. Your first impression on what to do is a sign of a strength.
2. Another is your yearnings. What draws your attention and you have a constant interest in? Note what seems to have a compelling effect on your attention. Another sign of a strength area.
3. Quick learning is a third area they suggest you look for. What comes easy and fast for you that you notice you learn faster and easier than others? Many times we overlook what seems to be easy for us. In many cases it's a sign of a gift we have. So it seems natural for us. Another strength signal.
4. Lastly is satisfaction. What gives you the greatest satisfaction when you do it? Satisfaction and sense of fulfillment are other gift signals.

Buckingham in The Truth About You makes a point to go a week and note on an index card what makes you feel strong. Take a week and pay attention to how you feel when doing something, and write down what you are doing when you "feel strong." This is a strength indicator.

Share these with your agreement partner. Ask your agreement partner to tell you what they see in you in the above areas. Our strengths seem natural or normal to us, but others may see more clearly how we stand out in a crowd, the distinctive qualities of who we are.

When you pray together, the Gifts of the Spirit come to the surface during and right after we pray. It can be an insight to the future (prophetic), a feeling about a person (discernment), an idea on what to do that may be novel (a revelation), a strong sense of faith that someone will get provision or be healed of an illness (gift of faith).  Take the risk and share what comes to mind to others. It may be what they need right then. Your agreement partner is someone to encourage you to take these steps of boldness. When we have someone to encourage us, we tend to follow through.

What Spiritual gifts, as listed above, do you see your 2 or 3 Agreement partners have, that it functions through them frequently?

When coming together or talking together (i.e., like on the phone) is a good time to express these. As we do, and believe in the other person, they grow. As we come together it is like in the upper room when the Spirit come over each other. (see Acts 2) Giving ourselves freedom among each other, they will grow and be happening on a regular basis.

The main point is to exercise it, use it, do it as it comes on you, and have an accepting person to reinforce it happening through you.

People have told me that I am prophetic. I see things to come and what to do now to prepare for it. Also, faith and encouragement seem to be gifts of the Spirit I see in operation in my life. Other Gifts I have seen expressed through me are having vision, seeing what God has in store for others, and inspiring others to do it. It takes some risk-taking, but with a friendly person we can "exercise" it so it grows.

Once I had knowledge of someone's situation without knowing anything about them. Some call this a gift of knowledge. It doesn't happen frequently, but on one occasion it took some risk on my part to tell the person what came to mind. Without being aware, it reinforced a direction on a major decision they were about to make. It turned out to be very timely, having a tremendous impact on what followed.

Use your Agreement partner as your sounding board. You will help each other grow in this area where there is openness, room for error, and learning and growing.

This week tell your Agreement partner one area of the Spiritual Gifts you yearn for. And one gift you see working through you. Encourage each other in this area. And keep this part more between you and your agreement partner, only those close to you and in agreement in Spirit.

Consider this.
What's remarkable about God's Spirit with you, and living as part of all you do is how the Spiritual Gifts give insight to things that only God knows. And He will tell us what we need to know as we live to complete His Magnificent Mission in us. Gifts from God's Spiritual realm are seen many times when 2 or 3 in Agreement are discussing or praying together about a matter. As in the Old Testament, when God told His people exactly what to do to win battles or how to handle a person, His Spirit living in and among His Believers does the same today.

Here's a few examples of the Gifts of the Spirit, listed in 1 Corinthians 12, and what they may do today. You may think of other ways His Spirit works. It's my view what God can and will do through us is unlimited. He provides Spiritual intervention and insights as needed for a particular situation.

Wise Advice
This is a thought, idea that has great depths in wisdom in that it solves a problem both short-term and long-term, relationships are built up and each person saves face. It many times gives a mutually acceptable solution when two people are in dispute over something. The level of wisdom is seen as beyond what a natural mind would come up with.

Special Knowledge
With this gift the person just “knows” or gleans information, through Supernatural awareness. In some cases, through the Spirit, we get specific information we need at that time or that is strategically helpful. Or we have a word of encouragement for a person that has details that only God could possibly know.
God may show us how He is gifting a person. When we share this to a person, it may be the encouragement they need to step out into pursing it.

Some have great faith. Without tangible evidence, they just believe. Without the least bit of doubt, they absolutely know it will happen. We have power over nature's events with pure faith. Many in a new business venture, or mission endeavor have great faith. It may seem like there is no way possible, in the natural, something can be done. They may believe beyond what is unimaginable. With their great faith, you see great things begin to happen because of their faith.

A person is healed Supernaturally through other’s prayers and faith. Be open again to unlikely sources who many have this gift. Jesus touched people and told them to walk, or go home and your child is well. We, in 2 or 3 agreement, in Spirit, can pray and believe Divine healing takes place. God's Spirit can heal what is naturally impossible to be healed.

Performing Miracles
Miracles can be the common activity by groups united, One in Jesus' Spirit and following the pattern of lifestyle Jesus taught. In most Magnificent Missions we run into walls that we can't break through.  The need for miracles in getting the job done are a frequent occurrence. We can expect miracles when we face a mountain, unresolvable conflicts, circumstances out of our control. With 2 or 3 agreeing in what we ask, we can expect Jesus' Spirit to intervene.

Knowing the Difference between a True Spirit and a False spirit.
To have an accurate sense if someone is telling the truth or making up something. When dealing with others within and outside of a business, the Spirit of discernment is a tremendous asset. Deception and misleading intentions are common in the world. With a Spirit of discerning the motives and honesty of a person, we determine which it is through the Spirit. Jesus showed this gift often. The Scriptures say He knew the motives of men, and could tell when they were trying to cleverly trick Him.

Predictive Intelligence
A person gets a clear picture on what will happen and literally can predict, foretell future events. Sometimes called a prophetic gift, some are especially gifted in this way...  they hear from The Spirit on what will happen. They have a keen connection to the Spirit of God that goes through everything and knows everything in the whole universe. It takes a lot of integrity for this Gift. A person has to be proven to be a very trustworthy person, humble, not self-centered, also having exceptional wisdom.

Gifts are for a designated purpose. They are not like a toy to show off. Some may misuse or abuse them for self-centered reasons. Jesus was asked to demonstrate a miracle by a ruler of His day. He did not perform miracles as theatrical entertainment, but for a specific need, and purpose at the time. It should be considered a sacred privilege for us in the process of accomplishing our Magnificent Mission.

Another benefit of Spiritual gifts is in the daily activities of the marketplace. We can function within the Spirit that enhances our practical role. Do you see the potential parallels to what we do today?

Also look at the characteristics of Ephesians 4 and how they are a parallel to the marketplace today… the biz leader who trains and disciples others is like a pastor, the entrepreneur is naturally prophetically gifted. Those with sales skills are natural evangelists, and managers function as teachers.

They serve to build up and develop those working together in their Magnificent Mission. Someone with a natural gift in a role above may also have a complementing Spiritual Gift there as well.

Scripting the Movie.
The New Living Translation Study Bible has interesting theme notes within its chapters. In 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, they present three themes:  The Holy Spirit's Work, The Church as a Dynamic Body, and Loving Others.

Here's what they said about being a Dynamic Body.
"Paul viewed the Church (all the Believers in Christ) as a living Body of Christ comprised of believers. Paul made no formal distinction between professional clergy and laity, with the ministry being done by the clergy. The Community had leaders but every Believer had a ministry (mission) in building up the body. When early Believers gathered together, usually in someone's home, everyone brought something from God to share with the others."

They went on to say that Paul said God gave Special Spiritual Gifts for each person for a purpose of fulfilling God's mission through them. Guided by the Spirit, every Believer used their gift to help build up other Believers, for the benefit of all. Paul wanted everyone to be sensitive to the Power of the Spirit in all they did. When coming together everyone is important with an active role to play. Believers must listen to God speaking to them and be prepared to speak what The Spirit is saying to them, in all occasions, in all their relationships. Every Believer is a crucial part of the body of Believers, to be actively involved in everyone's Spiritual development.

To pick up from the last episode in Scripting the Movie, Chris and James, Tom and Alex, and Lisa and Mica began meeting for Spiritual intelligence gathering and empowering, or Magnificent Mission advancing through the Spirit.

Now we have three 2 or 3 Agreement cells meeting as a core, expanding the Spiritual network through their communities and others. Chris and James were connecting to quite a few from their work in their pest control business (Magnificent Mission) they were providing to apartments. Some of their 2 or 3 Agreement cells joined them too. One of the apartment owners had an activities room. He gave them free access to use it as much as they wanted. (The apartment owner also had a 2 or 3 Agreement cell around him.)

They got together a couple times a week. Not all made the same meeting each week but most made one or the other. One of the former tenants of one of the apartments, who is now working with Chris and James, brings his guitar. He has written songs He says come to him late at night while reading the Scriptures. Jimmie, as his friends call him (and a good friend of James), is also a fan of some of the old hymns. When Jimmie arrives he just starts playing a song. There is not much talking at first as most come in, say Hi to each other, and usually open their Bibles and begin reading quietly to themselves. As Jimmie plays, several may sing along, others reading, and others, just sit there quietly. When Jimmie had to miss a meeting, Mica always had praise and worship music on her smartphone. She plugged it into some small speakers, playing it softly in the background.

It seems Chris is one of the first to have a thought, and after a while is usually the first to speak. He shares something he has been reading, and what it was meaning to him. A few others jumped in and added to what he said, or share a special Biblical verse speaking to their hearts at that time.

Alex was always getting ideas, and he many times had a unique insight to something he found in the Bible and how God could use it in their lives. They nicknamed Alex, the Revelator, as he was constantly getting revelations. Along side Alex, Lisa had a knack to see things before they happened. She many times cautioned the group about some event and how she was seeing it turn out. She had a gift of seeing what God was planning to do in someone's life. It was amazing. It was encouraging to a person, and frequently it actually happened.

If someone came in sick, they prayed for them. Some said they were healed while everyone was singing, or when someone was sharing a thought from the Scriptures. When someone presented a business problem, they would take time to pray for each other and share ideas Inspired by the Spirit. Many ideas, actions by the group solved the problem. Spiritual intervention come to the aid to achieving certain goals, and needs of each person. Miracles were a common occurrence in the meetings and in their life activities. Unique business strategies surfaced continually, and people went out feeling an extra sense of assurance that God was with them that day.

All in all, every aspect of each Magnificent Mission continued to go forward, expand, and more and more power was evident behind it. They genuinely were seeing all needs, in all ways, were being met, plus greater opportunities for expanding the work of the Spirit came knocking at their doors.

Soon, other small quaint gatherings formed. They were springing up all over town. The unique thing about it was no one person was orchestrating it, organizing or coordinating this expansion. They just seemed to start, continue... and then there was another one. They seemed to know about each other... connecting through social media, media sites, phone, text. A newsletter appeared out of nowhere telling where people were and the revelations, inspired business innovations coming out of various gatherings. It was in print and online. New, fresh strategies for advancing their Magnificent Missions were flowing around. But still no real identity, organization name, person in charge emerged. Not like the business world that focuses on branding and marketing, something was running this and no one knew actually who. It functioned organized but without a leader or specific leaders. When hearing someone talking about the group (or groups), they merely referred to hooking into a Spiritual connection network.

The Spirit Savvy way continued to advance strongly through their communities and into others cities and parts of the country... simply by someone knowing someone and telling them.

They were living out 1 Corinthians 14, and were seeing the prophecy of Peter being fulfilled... His Spirit was being poured out into all vocations, cultures of people (Acts 2).

The Moral of the Story: When people come together in harmony and live in Spirit with each other (2 or 3 in agreement), they naturally connect with others doing the same thing. When these relationships are cultivated to a covenant love relationship, living in God's love and through His Spirit, an intelligence forms. Although, not consciously strategic, there is a Spiritual Intelligence guiding them. This Intelligence, Guiding Agency, is more sophisticated than anything man-made. And out of it, Abilities emerge above normal capabilities. We call these Spiritual Gifts. When the Agreement Cells connect and keep springing up, this connection forms a Spirit Savvy Network. People live in fulfilling their God-called mission in a realm beyond human explanation and great feats of Spirit are in constant progress.

Jesus said He will be with us always, and send the Helper, the Holy Spirit which He had, to provide us Superior help with Superior intricate power, Superior love for others. Together as One, we become the essence of who Jesus was on earth. All things are indeed possible.

Live your Magnificent Mission, grow faith in Jesus living in you, renew the mind to be Spiritually driven, acquire Spiritual Intelligence, form a 2 or 3 Agreement Cell, cultivate your relationship to be a covenant relationship, connect to other 2 or 3 Agreement Cells, exceptional Spiritual Gifts will come to assist you, and you will fulfill your Magnificent Mission. In addition to that, you will live a life that exudes abundance and love for each other... a truly joyful existence always.

The Apostle Paul summed it up when he said, “be truly happy by ‘agreeing’ wholeheartedly with each other, loving each another, and working together being one mind in purpose.” (Philippians 2) It’s the power center for Living Your Magnificent Mission.
In John 21, Jesus concluded with the directive to "feed My Sheep." In Acts 1, he concluded with "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere... in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus said He would come again. Be ready and always be about His work... His Magnificent Mission for you.