Extracts From Correspondence: Exercise of Gifts

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
There is a point in your letter I would just touch upon, and that is respecting the exercise of gifts. When the object in going to the Lord’s table, and to meetings for worship, or for prayer, is to “exercise gift,” it is plain that the true character of such meetings is not understood. I do not go to exercise gift, but to break bread, to worship, to meet him who has said, “Wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them;” and “do this in remembrance of Me.” The very expression shows a wrong thought in the mind, giving one the idea of a performance, which it too frequently resembles. This was the case with the Corinthians. “They came behind in no gift;” but instead of using them in subjection to the Holy Ghost, to the glory of God and the edification of His children, they were exercising them (i.e., glorifying themselves by them). I do not know anything more sorrowful or dishonoring to the Lord, or that has brought more sorrow amongst gathered saints than this. Real subjection to the Holy Ghost, with a sense of the Lord’s presence, would at once put a stop to the thought of “exercising gifts.” A sense of His presence at once displaces all thoughts of self. It is indeed most grievous, when we go to wait upon the Lord and to enjoy His presence, to find some forward self-sufficient one making himself the center of the meeting, occupying the time, filling the minds of his brethren with painful thoughts about himself, instead of happy thoughts about Christ, thus marring communion, interrupting worship, and hindering blessing in every way. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” —a liberty in which the Spirit leads (and not the energy which is of the flesh); then the Lord alone will be exalted, for no flesh shall glory in his presence. Then God is everything and man nothing. May the one object of all our hearts be, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever! Amen.