What about Manifestations?
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.
—1 Corinthians 12:7
Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
We must never transgress because of liberty. What I mean is this: it would be wrong for me to take opportunities just because the Spirit of the Lord is upon me. But it would be perfectly justifiable if I clearly allow the Spirit of the Lord to have His liberty with me. However, we are not to behave inappropriately in our liberty, for the flesh is more extravagant than the Spirit.
The Spirit’s extravagances are always for edification, strengthening character, and bringing us all more into conformity with the life of Christ. But fleshly extravagances always mar these things and bring the saints into a place of trial for the moment. As the Spirit of the Lord takes further hold of a person, we may get liberty in it, but we are tried through the manifestations of it.
I believe we have come to a liberty of the Spirit that is so pure it will never bring a frown of distraction over another person’s mind. I have seen many people who were in the power of the Spirit, but they exhibited a manifestation that was not foundational or even helpful. I have seen people under the mighty power of the Holy Spirit who have waved their hands wildly and moved on the floor and gone on in such a state that no one could say the body was not under the power. However, there was more natural power than spiritual power there, and the natural condition of the person, along with the spiritual condition, caused the manifestation. Though we know the Spirit of the Lord was there, the manifestation was not something that would elevate or please the people or grant them a desire for more of that. It wasn’t an edification of the Spirit.
If there are any here who have those manifestations, I want to help you. I don’t want to hurt you. It is good that you should have the Spirit upon you; people need to be filled with the Spirit. But you never have a right to say you couldn’t help doing this, that, or the other manifestation.
No manifestation of the body ever glorifies the Lord except the tongue. If you seek to be free in the operation of the Spirit through the mouth, then the tongue, which may be under a kind of subconscious control by the Spirit, brings out the glory of the Lord, and that will always bring edification, consolation, and comfort.
No other manifestation will do this. Still, I believe that it is necessary to have all these other manifestations when someone is filled with the Spirit for the first time. When the Spirit is there, the flesh must find some way out, and so, through past experience, we allow all these things at the beginning. But I believe the Holy Spirit brings a sound condition of mind, and the first thing must pass away so that the divine position may remain.
And so there are various manifestations, including kicking and waving, that take place at the incoming of the Holy Spirit, when the flesh and the Spirit are in conflict. One must decrease and die, and the other must increase and multiply. Consequently, when you come to understand this, you are in a place of sound judgment and know that now the Holy Spirit has come to take you on with God.
When the Holy Spirit is allowed full reign over the operation of human life, He always works out of divine wisdom. And when He gets perfect control of a life, the divine source flows through so that all the people may receive edification in the Spirit. If you act foolishly after you have had wisdom taught you, nobody will give you much leeway.
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak” (Rom. 15:1 KJV). Some who come to church services know nothing about the power of the Holy Spirit. They get saved and are quickened, and after the Spirit comes upon them, you will see all these manifestations. In love and grace, you should bear with them as newborn babes in the Spirit and rejoice with them because that is only a beginning to an end. The Lord wouldn’t want us to be anything but “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10) to help everyone around us.
Thought for today: Liberty is beautiful when we never use it to satisfy ourselves but use it in the Lord.
Excerpted from Smith Wigglesworth Devotional by Smith Wigglesworth, © 1999 by Whitaker House. Published by Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA. Used with permission. All rights reserved. www.whitakerhouse.com.
Smith Wigglesworth Devotional: 365 Day Devotional
By Whitaker House
Smith Wigglesworth was a man who took God at his word, and God used his faith as a model for others. Explore these daily truths from Scripture and the writings of the Apostle of Faith, and you’ll quench your spiritual thirst, conquer defeating fears, be an effective soul winner, and see impossibilities turn into realities. 558 pages.