Everywhere the disciples preached, healed the sick, cast out demons and worked miracles, multitudes turned to Christ. You can read about some of these accounts in Acts 5:12-16; 8:6; 9:34,35; 9:40-42; 14:8-18; 28:8,9.
The Working of Miracles is the enabling of the Holy Spirit, giving the believer the ability to work a miracle, in contrast to God working miracles in the life of a believer. Thus many who have never received the gift of working miracles have often experienced astounding miracles that God has wrought on their behalf.
A. Miracles of deliverance, such as Peter’s in Acts 5:17-20 and again in Acts 12:1-10. Also Paul and Silas in Acts 16:15-30.
B. Miracles of transportation (Acts 8:39). “The Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more.”
These, and many other instances, are miracles performed by God in the lives of believers, sometimes even without the cooperation of the believer. These are not, therefore, instances where the gift of Working of Miracles was operating. In contrast now are three where this gift was in operation:
- Acts 19:11: “And God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul.”
- Acts 9:36-40: Peter raised Dorcas from the dead.
- Acts 20:9-12: Paul restored Eutychus to life.
Practical Operation Of The Gift
The operation of the Gift of Miracles requires:
A. The anointing of the Holy Spirit to create special confidence and authority.
B. A spoken word of faith and authority. Elijah said that the God who answered by fire should be Israel’s Lord. The fire that came down was an example of the Working of Miracles.
C. A bold act of faith, stepping out in obedience to the Spirit’s leading.
Editor’s Note on 1 Corinthians 12:31 a:
At the very end of the passage, Paul gives a key exhortation to approaching the gifts in a balanced and correct manner. The text reads: “But earnestly desire the best gifts.”
The phrase used here seems to contradict Paul’s earlier statements about the gifts using the analogy of the body (vs. 12-27). In those verses, he forcefully states that no single part of the body is more important than any other part. As each part of the human body plays its part properly, the whole body functions quite well.
The same is true of all the gifts. No one gift should be over-emphasized, over-used, or over-valued in a local church.
Why, then, would Paul seem to imply that there were “best gifts” to be desired?
The Right Gift For The Right Time
A good way to interpret the sentence in 1 Corinthians 12:31 a is: “But covet earnestly the most best gift [fitted for] the right [appropriate) moment of ministry.”
In other words, our desire should not be to simply want God to give us a certain gift to use over and over. Rather, our earnest desire should be simply that God would use us, giving us the correct gift for that particular moment of ministry need!
Prophetic words are wonderful and inspiring; but if someone needs a miraculous healing in his body, a prophecy will not help him! This is a simple illustration, yet it shows how we need multiple gifts for multiple needs. It also demonstrates that we should be open to HOWEVER God wants to use us.