Pursuing Love and Spiritual Gifts

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus replied to a lawyer who tried to tempt him, saying, “How do you read the Law?”

Luke 10:26

He said unto him, What is written IN the law? how readest thou?

How we read the Word of God matters to Him. Many times people approach God and His word with a narrow mind and a narrow outlook. Their minds are set to see things only in a certain pre-conceived way. They read the Scriptures, but fail to see everything that is written there. Only with a free mind, which ready to obey God, will you see the whole truth in the Word of God.

1 Corinthians 14:1 

(KJV) Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

(AMP) EAGERLY PURSUE and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).

As you see above, 1 Corinthians 14:1 commands us to not just eagerly pursue after the Love of God, but also to earnestly desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate in your life. Yes, the Love of God is important. God is Love. His Love never fails and it abides forever. However, our minds must be free enough to accept the latter part of that verse which asks us to earnestly covet and desire after Spiritual gifts. As Disciples of Christ, we have to be a Love person, but also a Spiritual Gifts person as well. Not just a one sided approach, but we must have both.

1 Corinthians 12:31

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

The word “covet” usually conveys a negative emotion or desire. But this is the actual word used in the Bible regarding the desire of Spiritual Gifts. The Love of God is the fruit of your born-again spirit, and it is poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit the moment we get born-again. But the gifts are of the Holy Spirit. We need to seek after both.

John 15:5

I AM the vine, you are the branches. He who abides IN Me, and I IN him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Jesus said, He is the True Vine and we are the branches. The fruits grow on the branches. Our born-again spirit is as the branch connected to the True Vine and bears the fruit of Love. The fruits are developed from our spirit and we enjoy the benefits of it. They keep us at peace during times of turmoil, when everyone else is in disturbed. They help us to rejoice when others are complaining.

However, the Gifts of the Spirit manifest for others to benefit and not ourselves. It operates as the Holy Spirit wills in the person who begins to start noticing others and their needs – those cast down faces with heavy burdens on the sides of the road, in the alleys and by-ways. It operates in those who look at these people and say, “Lord I need to reach these people. I need the equipment to reach them”.

Jesus compared the fruits to a well springing from within us and the Gifts of the Spirit to rivers flowing from within us.

In John 4, He was speaking to a Samaritan woman near Jacob’s well. He was thirsty and tired, and His disciples had gone to get food and this woman had come to collect water. Eventually, Jesus used the whole water and well situation to minister to her. Similarly, we can use any topic to minister to the people around us.

John 4:5-15

5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”

8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?

12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,

14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

As seen above, in verse 14, Jesus is talking about a well and not rivers. If your well is clean and good, it is great for you and your family. You and your household can live on that well. That is how salvation is. If you believe on the Lord Jesus, You and your household shall be saved. That is a promise. Salvation covers you and your household. Jesus deals with whole households. The Greek word for SALVATION means Healed, Protected Preserved & Delivered. Jesus paid for you and your whole household to be healed, preserved, protected and delivered.

John 7:37-39

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.”

39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing IN Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Now as you see, by chapter 7, Jesus cries out saying, “You already have a well. But if you are still thirsty, come to Me and drink.” Remember, this is after you got your well and it ensures you and your family are taken care of. How can anyone still be thirsty? That is because he has begun to look beyond his own family and his personal needs. He is looking at his neighbours, at the roads, at other towns, cities, villages and nations. That which is affecting them has now started to affect him. He starts to feel their burdens, their pains, their hunger and their thirst. That is when he cries out to God and says, “Lord, I’m still thirsty. I need more because people are waiting for me; lives are depending on me.” This is a thirsty man. In spite of his own well, he still wants more, not for himself but for others.

It is for this kind of person Jesus said, “Out of his belly will flow rivers of living water”. The rivers are for the nations – for others. So keep yourselves thirsty, because the people are waiting for you. Thank God for the Love of God which is on the inside of you, shed abroad by the Holy Spirit the second we were born again. If that Love is real, you will notice them. You are their answer and you will intensely desire after and covet after Spiritual Gifts.

Verse 38 says, anyone who believes on Him will have the rivers of living water flowing from them. It did not say, Pastors or Evangelists or Full time ministers only. Jesus is talking to every believer. Every single believer is supposed to have access to rivers flowing out of them. It is based on an intense desire, which continues to disturb them again and again. They cannot rest as they are still thirsty and say, “Lord I want more. Nations are waiting on me. This well is not enough.”

John 7:39

But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The Holy Spirit had not yet been given when Jesus spoke this in verse 39. He was still on the earth when He spoke this. He had the Holy Spirit without measure. The Holy Spirit would be given to all mankind only after His death, burial, resurrection, ascension and sitting at the right hand of God the Father in the heavenly places. The Holy Ghost was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. Jesus had not yet gone into heaven and received His glorified body. He had not yet gone back and done that new work.

Today, He has a glorified body. That which you can touch and feel. He can eat, and at the same time, he can pass through walls even when the doors are shut.

John 20:19-20

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

John 20:26

And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!”

Only after He had this glorified body, was He able to send the rivers. Now we are 2000 years after this incident.

Act 10:44-47

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell UPON all those who heard the word.

45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered,

47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

In Acts 10, Peter is in the house of Cornelius, a Roman citizen and a soldier. He was a good man who loved the Jews, and scripture testifies that he prayed always and gave alms. Peter began to preach the Gospel. The people who had gathered there believed in Jesus, and by verse 44, while Peter was still speaking, the Holy Ghost fell on all of them. The Jewish brethren that came with Peter were surprised that these Gentiles also received Jesus and they also received the Holy Spirit. How did they know that? For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

Speaking in unknown tongues is an indicator that the rivers of living waters are flowing. The blessing of speaking in tongues is for you to be able to release rivers. It is an indicator that the Holy Spirit is ready to use them at a different level. A different level of freedom.

Then while the others were wondering, Peter said, “Why should we stop them from getting water baptized now?” Peter did not want to be a hindrance in these people moving forward in their new found salvation. These people were baptized in the Holy Ghost and then got water baptised. So, this is an indicator that Water Baptism is not a requirement to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in other tongues is the doorway into the Spiritual Gifts. So first, you are saved and then you are filled with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit comes upon you and you start speaking in other tongues, and now the door is open for you to receive the Spiritual Gifts and you start entering in.

Acts 8:14-17

14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

16 (For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.)

17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Philip had gone to Samaria and preached the Gospel there. Then the Apostles sent Peter and John there so they might receive the Holy Spirit. The people received the Gospel and were saved by Philip’s preaching. But, they had not received the Holy Spirit upon them – implying they have not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. They were only water baptised in the Name of Jesus.

If you are a believer, you can be thirsty again. You can see the need of the people and do what Jesus did. No one could preach or teach better than Jesus did. He was the best. But, at the age of 30, he got water baptised. But He was a very thirsty man and He wanted more. So the heavens opened and the Holy Ghost came upon Him like a dove. So in Acts 10 in Cornelieus’ house in verse 38, Peter says,

Act 10:38

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus had to be anointed. Everyone knows that Jesus is the Son of God. He was perfect and holy. But till that day, He was not yet anointed. He had to wait until God said; I am now ready to anoint You. That is when He was 30 and the Holy Ghost came upon him like as unto a dove, gently. It was only after this that He started doing miracles.

So like Jesus, without the Holy Spirit upon you, you won’t be able to operate in miracles and be a blessing to others. You can receive healing and financial blessings for yourselves, because you have the well. Every believer can receive that. But in order to bless others and be a blessing to nations, you need the rivers. That is why you need to receive the Holy Ghost UPON and only then the rivers will begin to flow as tongues.

The more you look around and see those faces and consider the nations, you realize you are still thirsty, in spite of having everything through your well. So you continue speaking and speaking for hours. Then you go out there to those people, share the truth with them and ay hands on them and command in the Name of Jesus. And if you are still not happy and still thirsty, go to the Father again and demand some more. Pray in tongues some more.

This is what drove Paul. He said in 1Corinthians 14:18 that he spoke in tongues more than the whole church put together.

1 Corinthians 14:18

I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

I once preached a message titled, “What was Paul’s extreme habit?”

If you go and ask Paul what is the most extreme thing that he did, He will say he spoke in tongues like crazy, more than everyone else in the church put together. Think about it. How confident must he be to make such a statement, and be sure he is not lying? He was very sure. That means, if he was not preaching, teaching, sleeping, eating, drinking or not using his mouth for something else, he was praying in tongues. He was a thirsty man. He was always going some place or the other.

I believe we have a thirsty church. You need the rivers to affect the nations. And the rivers are in your innermost being.

John 7:38-39

38 He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.

39 But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).

It says, from your innermost being. This refers to something on the inside. That’s the inner man, who is the real man. Your thirst, hunger and desire comes from that that spiritual born-again person who is the new creature. He knows that he is just like Jesus and he is supposed to do just as Jesus did. When Jesus rose from the dead, he multiplied himself all over the world through this new creation. However, they could not really be operating like Him until they receive His spirit upon them with power.

This is based on one simple truth that Jesus revealed in Mark 16,

Mark 16:17-18

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Every believer should speak with new tongues in the Name of Jesus.

I am a Malayali African. The first day I spoke with tongues, my lecturer ministered the Baptism of the Holy Ghost to me. He read a few scriptures to me and said, “When I lay hands on you, just start speaking. Do not speak any English, Nigerian, or Indian Languages. Don’t say Hallelujah or Thank you Jesus. Just speak something that you never spoke before.” Immediately, using my lightning fast brain, I said, “That means nonsense. You want me to speak nonsense?” Because it makes no sense. He also laughed and said, “Yes, something like that.”

Because the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:2,

1 Corinthians 14:2

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

It says, no man understands. So do not try to explain it with your human understanding. Your spirit is speaking to God with words inspired by the Holy Spirit. He understands. The birds praise Him and sing unto Him. He understands that. He understands everything.

Then I saw one more scripture that makes it even more audacious.

1 Corinthians 1:18

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

It is foolishness. What we preach about is foolishness to those who are perishing. But for us who are saved, it is the power of God. For your mind, it is foolish, but for God, it is power. When you begin to speak in tongues, you jump from a place of feeling to faith. For the first time in your life, you are telling your head to shut up, and you are praying with your spirit.

Your head does not like it. He says, “Are you telling me to shut up? All your life, I controlled you. Now you tell me to shut up? No. You are talking nonsense. All gibberish”.

That is when you have to fight those voices of reasoning from your head and step out beyond all that. You tell your head that you are speaking from your innermost being. Not from my mind, but from my innermost being.

So when my lecturer asked me, I said OK. Then he laid his hands on my head. I just took that leap of faith, opened my mouth and started speaking. It sounded gibberish. But my lecturer said, “That’s right. Go for it Brother Mike.”. And so I just continued and haven not stopped till today. The words have changed, but I’m still speaking. And the Holy Spirit says, “Go on, keep on going on.. a little more, little more.” And I say, “OK, Let’s go some more.”

I had to keep doing it. You keep doing it, let the words keep coming until your head is so far away. That is when you stop and say, “I believe it’s from God. Correct me if it’s wrong, but I believe it’s from God.” After the service, you come back home and your head asks you, “What were you doing there, with all that nonsense?” You reply saying, “I was just thirsty. This is how it is and that’s how it’s going to be.”

I was once invited to preach in a church where they expect you to produce something supernatural all the time. They were not willing to sit down and listen to your message fully. They expect you to produce something out of your hat. So I was praying in tongues continuously, listening to my favourite worship song – they that wait on the Lord. I said unto the Lord, “Lord I’m ready. Give me some stuff.” Then I took a pen and a paper and started writing in faith. I remember that I wrote about a person wearing a striped shirt and that he had a back problem. I wrote about 10 other things as well.

The next day, I went to that church and started speaking my message. When the people started getting bored, I said, “There’s a person here, wearing a striped shirt and you have a back problem.” The person stood up. I prayed for him and he was healed instantly.

So it’s like a little bit of advertisement in between the message. This gets their attention – a small break in the whole thing, because not everyone can listen to the message like that. You need some action in-between.

So that day I understood that this is how it is supposed to be, and I wanted more. Before that, I had seen dumb people speaking, cancer healed, and people coming out of comatose state by the touch of a handkerchief. But there is more and if you are thirsty, you will go for it.

How will you go? Enter through the door. What is the door? Speaking in tongues. And you will start seeing, hearing and dreaming things and they will start manifesting. You just have to step out by faith. Because all these things are from your spirit – the innermost being. From that person who leaves your body when you die. He is not air. He is your spirit.

Paul said in Philippians 1 about his desire to leave the body and go.

Philippians 1:21

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:24-26

24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

He said for him, to live in the flesh is more needful for others. That means, it is for somebody else’s benefit that you continue to stay in this body. If I live in the body, it is for the furtherance and joy of your faith. You staying in your body is purely for somebody else. Not for you. That is why Paul said he was confident that he would remain. So he could strengthen others.

The best way to guarantee that you can stay here is to make a deal with God. Tell him, “If I have breath, if my heart is beating, I will preach, I will teach, I will lay hands, I will serve you.” Then God will say, “Yes, one more person has just enlisted in the army.” And you just do it. That is the reason. Remember, the well is for you, but the rivers is for others.

The question arises – If you have health, wealth, properties etc., why do you still have to speak in tongues. IF you are simply satisfied with that, then clearly, you are not thirsty. You have everything and you are full. A thirsty person would say, “Lord I have all the cars and properties, but I am still thirsty.” Moreover, he is not going to go and murder someone just for thrills. His thirst would make him desire to go and heal someone and bless him or her and to light up a whole family.

There are some people with so much money that they play games with people. They do not know what to do with all the money they possess that they become destructive. However, for us, after we have believed and received, we still remain thirsty. You start saying, “All those people on the road, I want to go and lay hands on them.”

During our conference in Gadag, we laid hands on at least a 1000 people and prayed for them. They came one by one and told us their whole story before we could pray for them.

What would make you do such things? It is simply the thirst to see the rivers flowing and reaching those people. Otherwise, who cares about anyone? However, when the Holy Ghost gets a hold of you, and once you taste and see the goodness of God, you will say, “I cannot eat alone. I must feed the multitudes”. Then you will preach and teach them and lay hands on them until it comes out of their ears and nostrils. Until they say, “Pastor, please don’t tell me anything more, let me go. Let me go and lay my hands on someone else.” They shall go and lay hands on the sick in the mighty Name of Jesus and the sick shall recover.

If you study your Bible a little deeper, you will see that some of the words that were used, where it says He healed them, the word is “therapeauo” like therapeutic, which means continued therapy. The people would come and say that the symptoms did not go fully and He would say, “Take some more.”

Ephesians 5:18-20

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be (being constantly) filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

The Bible tells us that you can continue to release the rivers of life constantly and if people are thirsty, they will drink from it. The thirstier they are, the more they drink and eventually they get drunk. It is scriptural to get drunk on the right kind of spirit – Pure Holy Ghost drink in Jesus Name.

It takes a curiosity to know what is there in the Spirit, for a person to be filled to the point that they are drunk constantly. They need to know more. What is there in the Name of Jesus? What is there when I enter that door? It is this kind of thirst that gets you there.

Jesus was always high. He just came down from the mountain after much prayer. He looked at the water and said, “Big deal” and he just walked. His disciples saw Him walking on water and shouted saying, “It is a spirit!” He said, “Don’t be afraid, it’s me. I am just strolling in the spirit.”

Peter saw and understood something and immediately said, “Lord, if it is you, bid me to come”. Jesus simply said,” Come”. So Peter took the step and walked on water just like Jesus. Then, instead of looking at Jesus, he looked here and there and saw the waves and the wind boisterous and he began to sink. He cried out, “Lord Jesus save me”. And immediately the Lord picked him up and asked why he doubted. In other words, “Why did you look here and there? Look at me, and listen to what I say. Focus and keep going. At the end you will find out that you walked on water. Blind eyes opened.”

How does it happen? Remember, the old person died, the new born-again person is just like Jesus. Keep the rivers flowing, and you keep going and be like Jesus. How? Keep speaking in tongues. You continue speaking in tongues till the song comes.

In the natural, when you get high on alcohol or dope, you start singing and you become bold. You may go to the middle of the highway and say, “this is my Father’s property”. That is the kind of boldness in the Spirit that you get when you step out and raise the dead, after getting high in the Spirit. You pick them up from the hospital bed, you break the crutches, you slap the person and say, “Walk in Jesus Name”. That is proof that you are high – fully gone in the Holy Spirit.

Once you taste and enjoy it, you will want to do some more. You will start to enjoy a certain freedom. You will be singing in your heart, while you are driving. There will be a fresh love for the life of God. As you continue like this, you continue to get drunk in the Spirit and start to enjoy it and get addicted to it.

I believe that from this month, there is going to be a new level of addiction, that whenever the people of God gather, they will just start drinking and their houses will be a place of great spiritual drinking. They will then start to feel it in the natural, as if rain fell on them. The problems that were disturbing them so much are not there anymore. Those things got washed away by the floods of the Holy Ghost.

As I close, I want to encourage you to continue speaking in tongues. I have been speaking in this heavenly language since 1990. That is where the door for the rivers is. If you want more of the Spirit, simply speak some more. Sing some more. Your days will be consumed. You will find out suddenly that the days are going so quickly. You will want to lay hands on people.

Make a deal with God. Tell him you are available for Him to use. “Any breath I have, any life I have, I am available for you. Help me to teach, preach and lay hands in Jesus Name. I am going to get so full. Any chance I have, I will go Lord, anywhere. I am Yours.”

Make this commitment. Do it quietly or publicly. However, once you say it, He will require it. God needs us. Our country is so huge. They need more. They need the rivers and the floods. And you are appointed for it.

You are Blessed!!!

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