“Pursue love and earnestly desire spiritual gifts.” 1Corinthians 14:1
Part of God’s increased Presence among us is the manifestation of spiritual gifts. God wants us to love people so much that we want more for them than what is humanly possible. He wants us to desire what only He can do for them.
In 2013, I was on a team that went to Belize and was in charge of a “Healing Service” we had announced. Before the service, a group of us were praying and earnestly desiring spiritual gifts. The only way it would actually be a healing service was if God did something beyond our preaching and praying. Only Jesus heals!
As we were worshiping, I had a dim picture in my mind’s eye of a woman holding an infant on her hip accompanied by a feeling of compassion. I asked for more, and somehow instantly knew two facts about this woman: she was a mom, but old enough to be a grandma, and she had a horrible back problem that made every day miserable.
At the end of the service I asked whoever this was to come forward, and it turned out to be our missionary, Linda. Her and her husband, Ron, had grandchildren but also had an infant they had adopted. Linda’s back was so bad she was afraid to sit down because she didn’t know when she’d be able to get up again. When we laid hands on her, Jesus instantly healed her so she gave testimony to the group. (She was still healed the rest of the week and three months later when she came to our mission’s conference!)
Then I asked our team if God was showing them anything. One of our leaders said he saw someone’s right arm in an x-ray and there was a crack in the bone. A young man named John came up and was instantly healed by the power of God. I found out his story from his mom a few days later when we were taking a bus to a region-wide prayer event.
John was 24 and had fallen away from God and the church. His mom kept begging him to come back to church, so he made a deal with her – “You stop nagging me and I will go back one time.” John had an ongoing problem with his right arm, so this was the service she chose.
I was stunned by her story of his healing and told her I’d love to talk to John himself about it. She said that would be easy because he was on the bus heading to the prayer meeting! God hadn’t just healed his arm; He had restored John’s faith.