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Your Divine Design - Warning: Beware of Spiritual Gift Abuse!, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 6, 2021 5:00 am

Your Divine Design - Warning: Beware of Spiritual Gift Abuse!, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 6, 2021 5:00 am

Spiritual gift abuse. You need to know what it is, you need to know how to spot it, and you need to know how to confront it. Chip wraps up this series by unpacking some specific how-tos.

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Spiritual gift abuse you need to know what it is you need to know how to spot it and you need to know how to confront in our last program. We covered the first five common abuses of spiritual gifts. Today I'll cover the final five most common abuses is good to get to grab a pen if you can and let's get started right. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge Chip Ingram trips are vital to this international discipleship program that I'm the past several programs we've been studying gifts and learning how to identify, develop maximum dimensions of personal satisfaction we got uniquely designed this program to wraps up his series with warning about how we can sometimes abuse spiritual okay let's George Belfour part two of his message warning.

Beware of spiritual gift abuse warning number five. Beware of any extreme position on spiritual gifts, i.e. they do not exist at all to a spirit filled Christian will have all the gifts I've heard both Ben and places where gifts don't exist. I'll tell you what you find gifts to find disunity and division of people arguing about them there are any gifts. All the gifts are gone after the first century of her people teach that and on the other hand, I felt your spirit filled and if you're really spirit filled whatever spirit filled means no one really knows. And I think the Bible has a pretty good definition, but depending on what group background that can mean you been to Mars and back or could mean that you really walk with the Lord in the spirit it on, but your spiritual. You have all the gifts and then usually they have some in the church is an example of brother Bob's got all the gifts go I can prophesy I can teach you, you can do it all anytime you feel as extremes, notice what it says in first Corinthians 12 verse one now about spiritual gifts, brother and I do not want you to be ignorant.

You need United have understanding everyone has one primary gift. We know that he will give you ministry gifts we understand are for the common good. When you know those 10 basic principles and guards against this kind of thing. Number seven warning light. Beware of using spiritual gifts in the energy of the flesh, to fulfill personal ego needs or impress other people.

This is another one that I don't think you grow out of.

Beware beware be on your guard.

Watch over your heart with all diligence, when you have a spiritual gift you can take a gift is like a tool God doesn't take away the tool you can be in the flesh, God will honor his word and he will honor the tool or the gift that is placed in your hand but I can use my gift and you can use your gift not in submission to the spirit. But in the energy of the flesh, and it produces not good things, and what I think this is one of those really got check times were you have to ask, and I have to ask is this about me using my gift to get attention. Affirmation strokes from people. Is this about impressing people and only just let me apply this down to where we live. If you happen to have visible gifts okay there's some gifts that are upfront gifts. It might be teaching might be exhortation might be prophecy might be leadership you find yourself where people are looking to you or you are speaking and you have a visible role.

The temptation is to begin to get a little carried away with yourself and really like the position in a what what does knowledge do puffs up, and pretty soon it's, like you like being an important person in the church you like it when the big discussions on the board, everyone looks to you and says hey what you think because you got the gift of discernment and you like to be the go to person and secretly want to be up in front of people and you know what the times when you're not teaching the class for where you don't really feel very motivated to go to church is you really going because unconsciously it's developed. It's about you and you gotta be on your guard and the opposite temptation of those with serving gifts. There are people with behind-the-scenes gifts.

I mean, people with serving gifts and administrative gifts, and by the way if you've ever been involved in ministry your your love for these people like skyrockets of peak people who don't know a lot or have been involved church as they think yeah do you need a point person who can teach and preach and you need leadership in the symmetrical where the rubber meets the road, someone does set up the chairs. Someone does type the things someone goes out and feed the homeless people.

Someone's back loving those kids and and and when you when there's a church where kids get love you thoroughly take care of. There's an outward focus, your feeding the poor latte what that's where the rubber meets the road. And often it's done with people with the gift of service exhortation administration, and here's what can happen.

It is those people pretty soon become like the martyrs of the church. Brother Fred what we do about 37 years at Richards but set ups.

The bulletins are major know how you do it every Saturday morning you cooked that reckless you never make in the primitive you cooked up breakfast for everybody and you know sister so-and-so and I mean in these people get to where you know what yeah they love to serve, but there behind-the-scenes and they learn to live on the strokes and the need to be needed and they played this really funky thing in their mind like if you step back and look at their schedule there. There Monday night Wednesday morning Thursday night Friday. The fact is, it's not that they're just such a great servant although that's there gifts. They also don't have any boundaries.

They can't say no, their desperate need for affirmation because of other issues in their life. Every time the doors are open, they are there, and often it's not because they love God so much and are using their gifts, their satisfying ego needs because it's a lot easier than facing the hard stuff at home and dealing with the marriage and being a parent is not a coward and stepping up and doing what they're supposed to do and some very clear areas of got called into because it's a lot better to be the miracle work at the church. Every church has these I had.

We had one lady I said you know what, I can't, you're here, more than any staff member. She was and that she make stuff happen on it. It is a it's a it's an integrity check to the pastor. Just think it meant some of these people get so much done to send them home to get the priorities right is kind of tough. But what you know it's the right thing to do and I think we all struggle with that anytime you have to do something and you find yourself ego needs and I think that's a warning light.

You need to say wait a second here. Notice what it says in first printing 13 sandwich between chapter 12. This is how to use the gifts and began then chapter 14 eagerly desire spiritual gifts, 12 says don't be ignorant about them. 14 says really desire and focus right in between his first Corinthians 13 and it says if I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, there's a spiritual gift, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have faith so that I can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing if I give all my possessions to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, literally be a martyr but have not love, I gain nothing. I have nothing I gain nothing.

If I have this gift of tongues. If I have this gift of prophecy. If I have this gift of faith. If I have this gift of martyrdom and be willing you can do what such a passage, say you can do all those things and I can do all those things, not about love, which is what focusing on other people giving other people what they need the most when they deserve it the least as your gift to God. I can do my gifts that way or can really be a subtle way to set Chip Ingram up to get Chip Ingram the strokes and the ego needs and unresolved issues in his life take care of and so it's a warning light. Be on your guard beware a number eight beware of confusing spiritual gifts with spiritual fruit, as the evidence of spiritual growth and maturity in some circles the development and impact on the use of your gifts becomes kind of a test for spiritual maturity but gifts remember are a means, not an in other words, when you have these gifts when God is using you. God is using you God for using my land, God is using you. That's wonderful, that's great, God is using you in some circles.

What that become that's the goal God using you God using you is you that is not the goal gifts or what their paintbrush there a means.

The goal is that you are becoming more and more like Christ. Spiritual fruit is about spiritual maturity. Christ likeness spiritual gifts are about the means God uses in your life to help others become more like Christ.

Let's look at a couple passages. Ephesians 413 until we all reach to the unity in the faith in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

The goal is maturity or notice. Galatians 522 and 23 but the fruit of the spirit towards what is it the gods after the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. In fact, Jesus.

John 15 my just got a John 15 eight by this is my father glorified, that you have many gifts and are very impressive. They got unescorted. By this is my father glorified. What that you bear much fruit will what is fruit. Fruit is always twofold. Number one.

It's the life of Christ reproduced in your life. The goal of gifts is not your great your use didst develop were impressed.

The goal of the gifts. Is it because of how you are living. You are becoming more and more like Jesus and God is using you for the right reason in the right ways with the right motives to exercise a supernatural ability in the sphere.

He's called you to.

As an intricate interdependent part of the body and as you do that with an attitude of love and dependency.

There are people whose lives, little by little by little become more and more like Jesus and they rub up next to you and they start loving their mate in a different way and they rub up next to you and pretty soon they rearrange their priorities and how they spend their money because of your gift of exultation leadership because they rub up next to you, they begin to say no to certain things and they realize that you know something I need to deal with some issues in my home. I need to have a plan for my kids and Connie I need to deal with some of the wounds of my past and because of times of sharing their hard in your wisdom and discernment and expectation pretty soon, they become more and more and more whole and then a different person shows up to the singles group a different person shows up to work a different person shows up to see its fruit. Any time there's an emphasis on the gifts as an end in themselves a little red warning light should go off warning number nine beware that apparent manifestations of the spirit can be counterfeited by human schemes and demonic forces. Beware of in this is a big one. This happens not only overseas, but this happens here, beware anytime something is supernatural. That's amazing. I was at this meeting is you can't believe that I checked they didn't have in your phone and he did know this and he did know that and this person ever met in this lease. It was really true.

I can't believe how did you know that chip you can't believe this is an amazing meeting and okay you went and amazingly God may be choosing to do miraculous things. There may be manifestations of the spirit of God and doing things that are very unusually wow wow wow or it could be something supernatural or perceived supernatural is happening and there's a group of people that are being deceived.

Don't necessarily assume because there are quote manifestations of the spirit, or apparent miracles or even real miracles. As far as you can tell that it is always necessarily work of God. Listen to the very words of Jesus. Get your Bible turn to Matthew chapter 7 Matthew chapter 7 Mrs. this is toward the end of his greatest sermon and he gives this warning. Verse 22 many of you will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, I notice the gifts did we not prophesy in your name, your spiritual gift and in your name drive out demons that we probably have some gifts going there and perform many miracles and because yeah then I will tell them plainly. I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers. Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who builds his house upon the rock and I just would say. Just because something is supernatural or perceived supernatural were told what test the spirits examine the fruit examine the character examine the lifestyle examine what the group what the person what happens afterwards examine okay there's these manifestations. It sure was exciting. It sure perceived to me that if supernatural.

I think God is really in this okay now is it biblical are the goals biblical do the people have character, and if so, you say, while I think I just got in on the manifestation of God working in a supernatural way that is highly unusual, but if you find out that a great percentage of the income is going to the leader.

If you find out that there is immorality behind the scenes. If you find out that people are being manipulated in the orphanage that they're supporting actually is pictures that is shot in Southern California right across the border than what you say to yourself, you know what I don't understand how those things happened in that room and they sure seem supernatural, but this is not a ministry from God about why it's not new. The apostle Paul second printing you might jot this down 11 and verses 13 through 15 in his day.

He said everything that appears supernatural to the binder thinking that's necessarily from God.

He talks about false prophets and certain printings. 11 he says, for such men are false prophets, deceitful workers masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light is not surprising then that the servants masquerade as servants of righteousness there and will be there actions what their actions deserve and what he saying is you know there are some times where guess what supernatural apparent manifestations need to be tested what's first on site test the spirits examine. Is it true is it not the final warning here is beware of viewing the discovery, development and deployment of your spiritual gift is either an optional exercise or interesting but not serious responsibility of giving you two passages. Ephesians 47 and second Corinthians 5 1910. Here's here's my observation body of Christ by large and my confession is for many years. Even as a pastor. All spiritual gifts.

That's really cool. I guess there's as long long salad bar maybe 25 or 30 some spiritual gifts, and you know something I'm eating a good meal, meat, potatoes, you not want to be a disciple. I want to grow you want to love my wife want to be a good dad and I'll find my place in the church and there's a salad bar. It's mostly desserts. You know little bit salad you can live without salad you can without desserts.

That is not salad in the dessert bar and if I have a little extra time some day some wife.

I think I'll go to the spiritual in a dessert bar or the salad bar and say you know maybe you had this that's kind interesting. I don't know. Bob got that when I think it's cool guy, you know.

And then maybe it's this one and I don't know and you know maybe I get on my plate and I so well is probably one of these five or six or seven or eight or nine or 10 or 11 depending on who I'm talking to know if you on that day and you set on the table that's that's the attitude toward spiritual gifts Ephesians 4, 7 to 10 is a very interesting passage about the work of Christ, and it talks about him dying going to lower parts of the earth and proclaiming victory over sin victory over Satan and victory over death and the evidence of that victory proclaimed is and he gave gifts to men.

The spoils the evidence. It's it's a picture of a general who wins a great army and there's all this plunder and he brings you know the enemy often and in the ancient days they would come in chains often either stripped to the waist or naked, and they would parade them back to the hometown and the general evicting Victor general, usually on a white horse would come in behind them would be all the spoils and the camels and the donkeys in the jewelry and the gold and the silver and he would take that and give it to his officers take that give it to the people and they were taken give gifts to all the people of the city and it was the evidence that they were the bad guys and we are the good guys they were stronger than us or they thought they were. And we won the battle and this gift that you have is a reminder that we are winners and every time you say to yourself to discover my spiritual gift, you're saying I'm gonna value the sacrifice and the victory of Christ and remind myself that I am a Victor today present tense over sin and its power over death and over the enemy's power and when I did when I develop my gift. I'm saying God, thank you for this gift that you gave me. It is a stewardship I'm going to development of nine to deploy it, and it's not optional, and is not semi-serious and not to do.

Someday someone is not a salad bar, it belongs on the plate with the meat and that the pages in the diet of my life. I am to seriously discover who you made me to be because you died and rose from the dead in your victory you decided the way to earmark that for me with my spiritual gift is not an optional little interesting thing to do. It's important. That's the positive reason the negative reason incentive rankings five verses nine and 10 in the apostle Paul says so we make it our goal to please him.

Christ, whether we are at home in the body or away from it, for we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ. The bema seat that each one may receive what is due him for things done in the body, whether good or bad, and the bema seat of the judgment seat of Christ is not about a person judgment of heaven or hell that that's accomplished at the cross. The moment I received Jesus as my Savior. My sins are forgiven, my sins are judged.

I now get the imputed righteousness of Christ. I have a brand-new relationship with him and I live out as a steward out of gratitude all that is done for me as a believer then I will stand before the judgment seat of Christ or my works done as a believer and I will either have rewards or loss, either gold, silver, precious stones or with haste double for strength. Insert I'm gonna stand he's gonna say Ingram what did you do with the time the money the spiritual gifts and the opportunity I gave you you were my workmanship.

I created you in Christ Jesus for good works that I preordained before the foundations of the earth, and to do those good works. I put you in this family. I give you these spiritual gifts I give you this opportunity this much time this much money and I want to know what did you do with the investment in you and I about you that sobering mean on a good day. It scares me to death. I want to do what I want be a good steward gonna be a great steward.

I want to discover my gift to develop my gifts.

Member gifts are like muscles you know you may have it what what are you doing exercise is how you develop learning, training, education, exercise, rubbing up against people that have your gift getting around people that have the opposite set of gifts so they can help mature you in and around you out good areas as are 10 warnings that for me.

I want to keep on the spiritual dashboard of the spiritual car that I'm driving so that when one those lights go off, I'm can at least stop the car look under the hood and say hey and I'm not sure what's going on here, but may be spiritual gift abuse because one of the reasons people don't teach on spiritual gifts. I mean it.

It can cause a lot of the vision and there so many extremes.

As a pastor you think I don't teach on this because you know in the group. You know the minute mini start teaching on it. There's people over here. There's people over here and in people back there that had a bad experience, but I think because of that we neglected one of the greatest teachings in the church and were to be stewards called to account know what your action plan. Okay honey I mean, we spent some great time together and I mean if it's us over what your action plan is just to be where okay we got to the session.

While I now understand little bit more about spiritual gifts.

I've thought about in what's gonna take you from where you are right here to if not if you have discovered it you discovered. If you pretty well discovered it you start developing your starting to develop it you really deploy it if you've already discovered and developed. It how you do deploy it to the max in the body of Christ. Can I give you a very quick action plan that I think summarizes sort of. This is how to go about it. Number one. Get your pen out you needed someone to fill these in your spiritual gift action plan one, write the word commit to discover, develop, and deploy your spiritual gift in the local body meet and when I say commit what I mean is God before you.

This is Lordship want you to bow your head and just like member the day.

Some of you they got married or some of you that signed on a made a commitment tell God Lord I'm afraid I don't know.

I'm not sure, but I'm telling you if you'll show me my gifts so help me I'll do whatever it takes to learn.

Make a commitment and I'll talk to you about what that commitments can look like second praise seriously seeking divine guidance. Don't you think God wants to show you Jesus say ask, seek, not what what does anyone opening this is it like you know okay you know what was trying as hard as possible. Let's move this gift erratic and can help the Lord loves you he died he gave you gift. Pray but you know if you pray one day and you pray next month. You must not really want me to put it on your list right on the card. Lord, I'm asking today you said seek I'm seeking you sit ask him asking if you said not come knocking.

Will you show me make it real and you can you can just do it like this. Gradually you can have it just bank. I don't care but I am going to seek your face. I made a commitment some to pray every day that you discover, deploy and develop my gift third is study to gift passages in God's word and the corresponding handouts I think will help you.

This isn't just some mystical thing get your nose in the word and I wonder in. I'm not sure that Ingram guy on this one gift get out a commentary you dig in and say what are these gifts, how do they really work is not what I think.

It's not what your pastor thinks I hope we can help you, but you get your nose in the Scripture and say I want to discover what your word says about gifts. I've narrowed it down here and as you get into the Scriptures reveal it to you. Number four get quality counsel quality counsel find people who really know you people that are spiritually mature and people will tell you the truth, by the way, that's a rare combination. They really find people that really know you love you enough to hurt your feelings. Look no you do not have the gift of mercy. Okay what you mean I don't have the gift of mercy. Trust me on this yet don't have the gift of they know you there mature enough tell you the truth number five test the waters and I just put for six straight weeks menu. Maybe it's better for three or four months. Many get a job and just just go to some ministry in your local church that you think you might be gifted for and just say I like to sign up for three months and about and write it out at the end of three months undone all renegotiate and re-sign up they don't get like on yes I like to discover the gift of teaching third grade class and you like 11 years later someone comes back and says so you think you got it or not right.

We all been there and we have a little meeting to say is it a fit or not a fit and if it's not you step back and you want no guilt, no manipulate will whose good third-graders. If you leave and the answer is someone with the gift of teaching.

I don't have okay test the waters number six.

Examine the fulfillment factor may not. This is not the easy factor when you're in your gifts member. The old chariots of fire movie member, you know member. The guy was real fast. In the end up being a missionary and I love that line in the movie and a bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump on him seen that movie to rent a bump bump bump bump bump and he goes, I feel God's pleasure when I what do you do in the body of Christ we feel God's pleasure, not just it's fun that you feel God's pleasure is intimidated as I was at the conference at Moody. When I got to talk about the character of God in my gifts to a group of people and actually the fact that they went out on the airways and went around the world made it more intimidating. On the one hand, but for me and my guess it was like there's more skin in the game and I feel God's pleasure and asked me do I want to proclaim God's truth about walking with God and repenting and being God's church to 10 people 10,000 or 10 million 10,000,002 God made me to be on what his word to get to so many people in relevant ways for their lives change doesn't mean it's easy. I was scared to death, but there's a fulfillment factor in the final one here is recognize God's evident blessing when you are in your gifts. It doesn't mean that you know things in a change overnight. But God will use your life, people come up and say things you like. While I can't believe what's happening to my son was kind of a so-so youth group and I don't know what it is about you, but just your interaction. He wants to come, but not for the youth pastor just to get to talk to you and I can't figure out what's happening around here.

But you know we can use to care about people that you know I was one of those people on the sidelines in your invitation and when you put your arm around me. When you believed in me when no one else would.

You can see God, life.

You are his workmanship. You are special. He's created you in Christ Jesus. He has wonderful works for you to walk in and those works are can be highly determined by the super natural endowments given to you by Jesus, activated by the Holy Spirit in alignment with God's word so that the glory of God and the preeminence of Christ is exalted when that happens it's a beautiful thing not only for the church for a watching world that really wonders whether all Mexicans.

Just a reminder this message beware of spiritual gift abuse is from his series your divine design.

If you bill Lister to Living on the Edge for any length of time you know that our mission is to help Christians really live like Christians in this series, your divine design helps you take one of the most important steps on your spiritual journey toward that goal. Knowing your spiritual gift gives you increased confidence and a true sense of direction.

Many of found it doing this series with a small group is been fun and encouraging either as a family devotional or sitting around with a few friends over coffee.

The insights in this series will get you on the road to a life of greater purpose and satisfaction to help you do that the small group video teaching is currently discounted. We want to help you get off to a great start this new year to check out the small group video and see a sample of the study guide. Visit us online at or tap special offers on the app. For more information just give us a call a 8883336003 that's AAA 333-6003. I hope you'll take advantage of this great offer today.

I'll be right back in just a minute but I want to take just a second to talk to you about one of the most important things in your life you know everyone's talking about the changes that need to happen in the world. The changes that need to happen in the church and it gets down to how can you make a difference. I mean how can you an ordinary regular person where you live in your town in your situation really make a difference and if you are honest. God wants you to make a difference and it doesn't have to be a big splash and needs to be the way he wired you and you realize that no one in the entire world is made like you and that God has deposited a gift or a set of spiritual gifts in you. They give you a spiritual power and a desire not to do what you ought to do or feel like someone tells you what to do, but there is a joy that happens when you function out your spiritual gift you know I've been a pastor for a lot of years now and I think so many Christians that are doing ministry out of duty or trying hard to be a good person and then I met Christians that have learned. This is what God made me to do. They don't need to be motivated.

There's a joy in their heart. There's there's something where they tell me it doesn't even feel like I'm working. This is what I was made to do you know maybe the best thing you could do in 2021 is to find two or three friends or maybe even do it as a family and say you know something let's stop complaining about the world. Let's make a difference.

Step one were going to discover our spiritual gift, but I can tell you is if you go through your divine design.

This small group study, you will learn what your gift is and how to put into practice.

Let's go for one of the best ways to deepen your understanding of spiritual gifts is together a few friends or your family and go through this series together as a small group whether you use online streaming or the DVDs chip gives an introduction to each session he does the teaching and then will get you started. As you talk it through. There's a study guide that will help you dig deeper with great insights and questions to keep the conversation going right now for limited time, the video resources for your divine design are discounted all that to say were doing everything we know to help you discover, develop, and deploy your spiritual gift, to take advantage of the current discounts go to or tap special offers on the chipping roadmap for more details. Just give us a call at triple late.

333-6003. Without your strip with his application. As we close today's program and finish up the series. I went pretty quickly through that spiritual gift action plan. So let me go over it again with the goal of you actually discovering your spiritual gift and then deploying it number one commit to discover, deploy and develop your gift number two. Pray, ask God he wants to show you number three study God's word and the handouts get clear on what each gift is what they mean. Number four get quality counsel fine people will tell you the truth about where and how they see God's gifts working in action in your life. Number five test the waters. 6 to 8 weeks just jump in somehow, someway to put your potential gift into practice. Number six.

Examine the fulfillment vector when you function in your gifts you'll sense God's approval and you'll say wow I love to do this. Number seven recognize God's evident blessing when your spiritual gift is at work. Something happens in the lives of others.

There encourage lifted up the transformed the comforted. There's so much more. I wish we could go into but let me encourage you to get the message notes.

In fact, this is a small group video series that we've had so many people go through and the lights have come on, find a couple friends or do. It is a family go to this series, God's purpose will be fulfilled when you discover this is what he gave you to do what he made you and called you to do and all I can tell you is when you're doing what God made you to do. It's a source of great joy for you and great impact for the kingdom of God in the lives of others. Now let's discover and deploy our spiritual gifts. Thanks for the reminder about the video chip watching the sessions on spiritual gifts has been one of the most effective ways for people to get dialed in on what their gift is and then get it into action.

So whether you use the study guides with online streaming or the DVDs take advantage of the current discounts you'll find everything you're looking or tap special offers on the chipping roadmap for more details. Just give us a call at triple late.

333-6003 lets it for today.

Until next time, this is Dave saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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