Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
Thoughts for Today:A few years ago I bought a standup paddle board. There for a while I was out every weekend paddling around Dana Point Harbor. Now, it pretty much hangs in my garage. Think about it, don't you own a lot of things that you never (or rarely) use? The same can be said of our faith. We might believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, in the truth of prophecy, and know the Holy Spirit wants to work in us personally and in our congregations collectively -- but are we allowing the Spirit to flow through us? Speaking metaphorically, we've got the paddle board, but is it collecting dust or being used regularly?
As we reach the end of Chapter Fourteen, Paul reminds us to "be eager to" use the gifts of the Spirit, but also to use them in a "fitting and orderly way". So there are two parts to these last verses. The first: "being eager" is the one that our Pentecostal brothers and sisters excel like no other. And the second, "fitting and orderly", we Baptists have down to near perfection (perhaps too much). What I believe the Lord intends is for all of us --Pentecostals, Baptists and everyone in between -- to allow prophecy, tongues, interpretation, healing, and words of knowledge and wisdom to flow through us and our churches in an impacting and moving, yet organized and harmonious manner.
Questions to Ponder:It seems as if churches choose an all or nothing course when it comes to gifts of the Spirit. But that is not what Paul instructs. Has Chapter 14 changed your perception of the use of Spiritual gifts in the church today? How so? Have you become more open to the influence of the Spirit's work in your brothers and sisters in Christ? What work is the Spirit doing in you and your church today?