In my previous letter, I introduced the marvellous gifts of the Holy Spirit. I know that many of you may already be quite familiar with these gifts and how they operate; on the other hand, there are those of you who have never before been taught concerning them. Either way, I didn’t want to push them aside, but rather briefly talk about them because they are such powerful and important tools the Holy Spirit has given us. They really do help us live out our Christian faith victoriously and effectively; in fact, the Lord has placed so much importance on these gifts, emphasising that every child of God should be actively operating in them continuously, until He returns.
Which leads me to say this: in taking in what I teach, you will probably recognise that you have been operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, without even realising it. Undoubtedly this will be very encouraging to you and even awaken a desire to pay closer attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your everyday life. In fact, what I want to achieve in this series, is to stir a deeper hunger for you to become more aware of and sensitive to the Person of the Holy Spirit Who is living inside you, and is ready and eager to be a more tangible presence in your life.
Remember the Word teaches us to earnestly pursue love and desire spiritual gifts. Allow me to share a quick personal testimony of something that has happened to me recently, as I’ve been studying these gifts. One afternoon I was watching a teaching on the gift of a word of knowledge by Dr. Matthew Stevenson. What impressed me about his message was how he practically operated in the gift while he taught. He made a statement that all gifts must be tested, and one way to do that is to see if that gift points back to Jesus. In other words, after ministering the gift, Jesus is worshipped, glorified and celebrated far above the person operating in the gift. This is exactly what I experienced when I watched Him minister. I was so moved by how the people He ministered to were significantly blessed and encouraged by the word of knowledge Dr. Stevenson gave them. It really was a manifestation of God’s attention to the details in their lives. I was in tears watching their response when, through the word of knowledge, they felt intimately connected with God in their personal situation. They realised that God really cares about them and that He sees them.
So many people feel as though they are overlooked, unseen or ignored. They feel that their lives are insignificant compared to others and don’t even expect the Lord to put His finger on them, so to speak, and read their mail to them. While watching this teaching and the effectiveness of this gift in operation I was so overwhelmed by the goodness and kindness of God and the tender love and compassion He has for us. When I saw the impact it had on their lives I felt such a deep hunger to operate in this gift stir on the inside of me.
Later that evening, while I was sitting with my family around the dinner table, I began to tell them about what I had seen and, right there and then, I felt this flow of joy just begin to rise and bubble up in me; and I burst out laughing! With that laughter came such a joyful refreshing, like medicine to my soul, and I just went with it; I laughed so hard that the tears just flowed; and as I was laughing, I felt something unlock inside me and instead of laughing I began sobbing. I actually managed to leave the table and ran outside to get fresh air and let the Holy Spirit do in me what I knew needed to be done, even though I didn’t understand exactly what it was.
The sense of peace and love I felt was very powerful and I know the Holy Spirit was ministering to me and significantly touching my life. What He began to do in my heart while I was watching that teaching video, He was continuing to do when I started speaking about it to my family.
My desire to operate effectively in this particular gift, because of the effect it has on people’s lives, has been awakened. Later on, I watched a teaching on this gift by Sean Boltz and he reminded me of how the desire for us to operate in the gifts of the Spirit to see people connect with the tangible love of God is in fact a desire He placed on our hearts in the first place. What a joy to know the desires of our hearts reflect the desires of His heart!
It’s no secret that the gift of a word of knowledge is the gift we are discussing today. Essentially, it’s a fragment of knowledge that is divinely revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. This is knowledge that involves facts and details that we would not naturally know about a particular person’s life. Rick Renner explains the purpose of this gift is to illuminate to the person that God is indeed aware and knowledgeable of the facts and details of their personal lives and situations. In doing this it opens up their hearts to receive and understand the care of God for them. We see this gift operate through Jesus when He met with the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4. At first the woman seems a little put off by Jesus, almost having an attitude of annoyance, especially since He was a Jew and she a Samaritan. Their discussion of where each culture chose to worship certainly revealed a harboured prejudice in her. But as soon as Jesus began to reveal the personal details of her life, those walls of prejudice collapsed and her heart was opened wide to see and receive Him for the Saviour He was! In the desperate desert of her life, this woman found – in one word of knowledge – the source of Living Water that would change her forever. She was so touched that she became the first evangelist to her village!
Now, in his teaching on the gift of a word of knowledge, Pastor Neal Reyes points out that this gift is not identified as someone who is knowledgeable in all things or broad areas of life. It is a supernatural revelation about a current or past situation that we could not have known by our own reasoning or understanding, without God revealing it to us. He shared a beautiful testimony of how this gift significantly touched a lady’s life that was in their home cell. This lady had gone through a rather traumatic and painful divorce and, even though she loved and served the Lord, she just couldn’t feel whole or able to be free in the area of her emotions. The Lord revealed to Pastor Reyes that in the past this lady had an abortion and had never dealt with the pain and guilt it brought her. One evening he and his wife spoke to her about it in private, and when she heard the deep secret of her heart being revealed in such compassion and unconditional love, she was able to fully open her heart and release the shame and pain she had been harbouring for so long. She was able to embrace God’s forgiveness and even forgive herself, and the healing that began in her life brought her to a place where she was reconciled to her ex-husband and today they are serving the Lord together.
When we see the gift of a word of knowledge in operation, we see people have a first-hand encounter with the unconditional love of God. This is such a powerful gift to reach unbelievers too. When they encounter a God Who knows the secret details of their lives, and is not angry with them but wants to see them free and whole, a holy fear and reverence comes over them because He has proved His undeniable reality to them. What a privilege to work with the Holy Spirit, having ‘inside information’ to draw the lost to His saving grace.
I hope your heart has been stirred and a deep desire to operate in this gift has awakened in you, just as it has in me. Firstly, we need to recognise that this gift is from the Holy Spirit and He lives in us, meaning it’s something we already possess! Then we must understand that the desire we feel to operate in it, is His desire for us too. So pray that He would specifically begin to activate this gift inside you, and open the eyes and ears of your spirit to see and hear the secret things of His heart concerning others to you, so you can be a vessel to encourage and connect them to Him.
Let’s live each day extra sensitive to His voice, expecting Him to activate this wonderful gift of a word of knowledge in us.