Saturday, April 25, 2015

Teach us to pray part 60: word of wisdom

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 NASB)

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:7-12 NASB)

If you are just joining us, we are nearly two months in to a study of Jesus' teaching on prayer. Since He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit when we ask, we are stopping for a bit to consider exactly what the Holy Spirit in us involves. 

In yesterday's post, we saw that every disciple has some manifestation of the Holy Spirit, given for the common good of the body of Christ. There is no cause for pride, as everyone has something and it is all from God, not something we can study or work to obtain. 

Let's look again at a list of those manifestations of the Spirit (ways the Spirit is at work through us). They are: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues. 

Today we will consider the word of wisdom. The word translated as "wisdom" is sophia and indicates (in this case) human knowledge and understanding in spiritual things. Macarthur's explanation is so clear they it bears quoting. According to his commentary, the manifestation of the word of wisdom is "the ability to understand God's Word and His will and to skillfully apply that understanding to life."  What is utterly astounding to me is that God wants us to understand His Word and His ways so much that He has provided for us to comprehend His truth. It is not too difficult for us. He has given that understanding to us directly in such a way that those who have the word of wisdom can apply it to their own lives in ways we can see and explain it directly to us in a way that we can understand. 

The ones through whom the Holy Spirit has manifested the word of wisdom will understand Scripture and the things of God in such a way that their lives will clearly reflect truth. They will live what they say they believe. This gift is not just words alone, but a gift for application of truth in their own lives. 

Do you find Scripture hard to understand? Look for a teacher that can explain the truth in such a simple way that you can easily understand. Look for the manifestation of the Spirit in the word of wisdom. 

If this is not the manifestation of the Spirit that you have received, don't fret. We will get to the rest over the next few days. For now, let us pray that God will grant us understanding of His ways, whether it comes to us directly or through another. Even more important, let us resolve to live the truth we know.