S24P16 – The work of the Spirit: far-reaching

1 Cor. 12:6-7

And there are ways of working, but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Have you ever had to make an important decision that affected various people with various interests? Anyone who has held a public office has been in that position. Some of us have walked through more mild experiences in student government or labor-related organizations. When these decisions must be made, there are factors to be balanced to determine what is the best decision for everyone. Likely, whatever decision is made will be seen as being more favorable to some and less favorable to others. It is challenging to arrive at a result that appears to all parties to be a win. Someone will feel the sting of having lost. But God, through his Holy Spirit, produces work in us that is indeed a win for everyone. He manifests only that which serves the common good.

When God works through us by way of the manifestation of spiritual gifts, it can be very easy to focus on how He is changing us and building us as we walk out these gifts. What may commonly go unnoticed is the fact that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in us exists to serve a greater good beyond just our individual spiritual benefit. This is a far-reaching work that has no limit to its impact. We must accept that no move of God is bad for humankind. Even in times of righteous judgment that seem like harsh punishment, everything He does is good and perfect and just. His interactions with humankind are for the benefit of all humankind. His doing a great work in me can be great for you, too. When God’s Holy Spirit manifests in us it is because He has a plan to impact his creation, and that impact may be much greater than we expect. Perhaps we should change our expectation.

Although we each are living a great story written by our Father in heaven, our individual stories are merely chapters in a much greater work that He is doing in humankind. We cannot forget our connection as we are all created in his image. When He sent Jesus, God was doing this for the common good. This was not for a select few; He wants us all. That is why the work of his Holy Spirit in us goes well beyond our individual vessels to touch a much wider sampling of people. Everyone can benefit by what He does in just one of us. Father, teach us to remember that the work you do through only one is still for the benefit of all, and help us find opportunities to use the manifestation of your Holy Spirit to reach others for your kingdom.