18. September 2012 · Comments Off on Selbyville, DE Praise Report – The Gift of Faith · Categories: Bible Teaching, Testimonies
Susan and I had two wonderful meetings in Selbyville, Delaware last week. Thank you for your prayers and support! We will be back in Delaware this Sunday. Again, we ask for your prayers.

The meetings were wonderful … the people received this ministry with love and appreciation. We thank God for His fruitfulness. There were many healings and moves of the Holy Spirit. The prophetic ministry was in operation on occasion. One example of note, I was able to speak into a young man’s life about the call of God upon him and encourage him in following God’s direction.

As I mentioned, several people were healed of various conditions, but one I especially want to mention involved the operation of the gift of faith as mentioned in I Corinthians twelve. A lady came forward who could not completely lift her right arm. I suppose she could only lift it as high as her elbow being even with her shoulder. I reached out to take her hand to pray for her, but when I did, the anointing of the Holy Ghost came upon me and I found myself quickly lifting her arm fully extended over her head. It felt to me as if an unseen hand had taken my hand to lift hers up. I didn’t intend to do that, but as I touched her, the gift of faith came into operation and I knew God had healed her completely and we could act on that manifestation. As I said, it felt to me like someone actually lifted my hand up while holding hers. Praise God!

The Gift of Faith

The gift of faith is often misunderstood. It’s one of the nine gifts, or to be more correct, manifestations of the Holy Spirit as taught in I Corinthians chapter twelve. It is not the same as a believer’s faith in God which comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). All of God’s children have faith in God. You can’t be saved without faith. The Bible teaches that you’re saved by grace through faith, and that is a gift of God. But the gift of faith, or special faith, is different. It’s a manifestation of the Holy Spirit which operates as the Spirit wills when the Holy Ghost is in operation in ministry. Seven of the gifts of the Spirit operated in Jesus’ ministry. According to John 3:34, Jesus had the Spirit without measure. He had all of the anointing, but He was under the old covenant. You don’t find tongues and the interpretation of tongues until after the Day of Pentecost. Jesus said in John sixteen, that if He did not go away, the Comforter would not come. He was referring to the indwelling Holy Spirit and the operation of the Holy Spirit in the Church. In the Old Testament, you can see demonstrations of the seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ ministry, you can see these manifestations as well. In John 5:19, Jesus explained that He could not do things of this nature on His own. He depended on the operation of the Holy Spirit. We, too, cannot operate the manifestations of the Holy Spirit on our own. They operate as the Spirit wills. This includes special faith, or the gift of faith.

In general, faith is released by words and/or actions. This is also true of the gift of faith. One very good example of this manifestation of the Spirit can be found in Acts chapter three. In verse six, Peter said what he had he could give, and he took the lame man by the hand and lifted him up in the Name of Jesus. I’ve heard preachers say that they wished they had that kind of faith, and that we should all grow in faith so we could do that, too. But Peter didn’t do that with Peter’s faith. If he had, he could have done it the day before. Jesus no doubt passed by that very man Himself, and Jesus didn’t pick him up. These operations are by the Spirit and as the Spirit wills. This was not Peter’s faith, it was a gift of faith – special faith from God for that specific moment of ministry. Peter even said in verse sixteen that it was the Name of Jesus and something else, faith in the Name. But again, it wasn’t Peter’s faith or he could have done it yesterday. And also, notice who did the acting. It was Peter who took him by the hand and lifted him up. Faith is released by words and/or actions. Peter is the one who acted here, but not by his own faith in God. It was special faith by the Spirit of God for that moment of ministry. Peter was aware of it. He had his eyes fastened on the man. He knew he had something from God. Something was stirring in him that didn’t stir the other days Peter had walked by this man. But it was stirring in him now. He knew he had something from God that very moment he hadn’t had before. He knew he could give what he had to the man. He knew he could act on this special faith. Peter took him by the hand and lifted him up. It might also be important to note that the man was agreeable. He was looking to Peter to receive something. He was not resisting. But clearly, it was Peter who acted and responded to the operation of the gift of faith.

Contrast this healing in Acts chapter three with the one in John chapter five. There Jesus spoke to a man who also was lame. He told him to take up his bed and walk. The man didn’t know it was Jesus. It wasn’t the man’s faith at all. The man was healed by an operation of the Spirit of God. Jesus didn’t heal him simply because He wanted to single him out. There was a multitude of sick people there and Jesus only healed one. Again, He explained in verse nineteen that it was by the Spirit of God. He couldn’t do anything of this nature on His own or of Himself. In Philippians 2:7, we’re taught that Jesus laid aside His power and privileges associated with being the Son of God, equal with God, and one with God. He came to earth as a man anointed by God. He had all of the anointing available in that dispensation, but He still completely depended on the operation of the Spirit when ministering to others. In John five, this healing wasn’t based on the man’s faith having heard the preaching or teaching of Jesus. Again, he didn’t even know it was Jesus. This was an operation of the Spirit through Jesus. You might ask, what gift of the Spirit operated through Jesus here? Was it also a gift of faith? No. Jesus didn’t act. Jesus didn’t pick him up. Yes, Jesus spoke to him and faith is involved in virtually all aspects of ministry, but here, it is a gift of healing. The healing occurred first and then the man got up and walked. The healing occurred first and then the action. In Acts chapter three, the action occurred first, and then the healing. In John five, Jesus had a manifestation of a gift of healing. In Acts three, we see Peter bring healing to a man by the gift of faith.

Tony McCanless


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