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got character?       

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“It is important that in any kind of ministry…we always insist on character before gift.”

Graham Cooke

            There was a season in my life over ten years ago when I attended several Christian conferences along with revivals in Pensacola, Florida and Argentina, in hopes of receiving a great touch of the Holy Spirit and growth in spiritual gifts.  Today I still want God to anoint me to speak prophetically, to physically and emotionally heal those who hurt and to have the gift of faith which moves mountains, but not at the expense of godly character.

            If I can’t have both spiritual gifting and godly character, then give me godliness any day over spiritual gifts.  Don’t get me wrong, spiritual gifts are wonderful.  I love to see God move in His power and might.  But not without godliness at the helm.

            Character is the foundation, the stabilizing force, while spiritual gifts are the structure which demonstrate God’s power.  Godliness is the substance which supports or carries the gifts of the Spirit.  Godly character is the character of God in us; it’s who God is, while manifestations of the Spirit are what Jesus did.  Christ-likeness is the cake, while gifting is the icing on the cake.

            God shares  what He cares about in I Samuel 16:7.  “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”  God is more concerned about what’s inside of us, our character, than the outward appearance of our gifts.

            I remember in high school ha