As we’ve been talking about the gifts of the spirit, it reminds me of the man who bought an old VW camper. It was supposed to be blue and white, but the paint was oxidized and there were several gray primer blemishes. The engine wasn’t much good either, so he replaced it with a Corvair engine.
On the flats, that old camper rolled along the highway just like the other VWs. But the difference became pretty clear when he got into the hills. That camper roared up the steeps like they weren’t even there. As he was going up a particularly grueling mountain pass, other VWs were crawling up in low gear, but he passed them like they were parked.
Twenty-five miles up the pass a man in another car caught up, waved him over to the side, and asked, “What in the world do you have in that thing?” Well he proudly opened the rear hood and revealed a 6-cylinder air-cooled engine where one expected to find a small 4-cylinder motor. That Corvair must have added 50 HP to that bus and he got quite a kick out of showing it to that awestruck motorist.
The Holy Spirit is like that Corvair engine in that old VW camper
The Holy Spirit does not desire to make us look good. But what he does for us in life is pretty incredible as he manifests himself through us in the gifts. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
Many Christians will say, “The gift of service is clearly not my gift. Ministering to people is just something I don’t do or will do or can do.” The problem with that is every one of us is commanded to have faith and every one of us is also called to serve. Even though it may not seem very supernatural, it’s just as unlikely as a VW bus racing up the hills.
In Mark 10 and Luke 22 the disciples are coming in and wondering, “How do I get to be the top guy?” and Jesus gives them a real neat lesson on leadership. He said something like this, “You want to lead, fine, you’ll have leadership. But the way you’ll lead is to learn how to serve. And I came not to be ministered to, but to minister and to be a servant, to give my life.” That’s what service is all about. That’s what leadership is all about, it’s about being a servant.
We Aren’t Off the Hook!
So, to say, “I don’t have the gift of service” doesn’t let us off the hook as far as ministry goes. We’ve always thought that the gift of service was that someone was content to work behind the scenes, and that’s wonderful, and we’ll pat them on the back.
Sometimes people who have that temperament don’t like to get up in front of people, but do have a heart to serve and help, and when they surrender their hearts to God and surrender their abilities, God does indeed manifest through them consistently the ministry of help and encouragement.
By the way, it literally simply means this, “To take the burden off of someone and carry it yourself.” They minister that manifestation of the spirit through them to people just when they need it.
Do You Recognize When You Receive the Gift of Help?
You receive the gift of help when at one time you had a burden lifted off of you. Someone manifested that demonstration of the spirit through them to you and you got help just when you needed it so you could continue to be built up and serve the kingdom. I’m not so sure that comes to people who aren’t involved in building the kingdom.
There are some people in our churches that I consistently see this manifestation flow through. Their spirits, lives and everything they have are submitted to the spirit of God, and the spirit of God consistently ministers through them with a ministry that clears the way for other ministries.
In Acts 6 when they appointed deacons who would clear tables so that the apostles could just spend time in the word – one of the things they did was to clear the way – a helping ministry to clear the way. Is that part of God’s calling on your life?