When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all. (Acts 19:1-7)
Impartation is an interesting concept within Christian circles. The Greek word for "impartation" is "metadidomi," which means "to give over, (i.e. share: give, impart") (Strong's); or "to give a share of" (Young's). When we lay hands on someone and impart we are giving them something. It isn’t that we have this power of our own. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit that resides inside of us and by faith when we pray for others his spirit and his gifts enter into them also.
I remember the first time I heard this term I was actually ministering in Seoul, South Korea. I had been invited to teach at a School of the Supernatural for ten days. The people that attended these courses were radical for the Lord and on fire for him. They had a great desire for more of God, and at the end of each service, they would run to the altar for prayer. So many of them started to run toward me; and it seemed that the only word in English they knew was “impartation.” I had no idea what they meant at the time. This was just over ten years ago. I learned quickly that they wanted me to lay hands on them to impart whatever gift God would give to them through my life.
Paul said to his spiritual son Timothy, “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all (1 Timothy 4:14-15).”
In a dream recently I was standing before a young man who was very zealous for the Lord and he was a leader of many others but he had not yet entered into the gift of prophecy. I asked him if he would like impartation because I did not have enough time to fully teach him about the gift. I told him that prophecy is laid out in 1 Corinthians 14:3 which says, “But he that prophesies speaks unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”
He had a funny response and said, “Have you been to my church in town?” I said, “I have only been in your town for a short time.” I wasn’t sure that he wanted the gift because he didn’t understand the idea of impartation.
When Peter and John laid hands on the believers in Samaria, they were imparting the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-25). Holy Spirit came upon them much like he did on the disciples in the upper room (Acts 2). Simon the Sorcerer saw the Apostles lay hands on the people, and saw the Holy Spirit’s power was released on them. He offered to buy this power. This is a common witchcraft practice. There is a monetary market for the buy and sale of enchantments and curses, even to this day.
What is interesting about this story is how an unbeliever could see that something was happening in people’s lives when and after two ordinary men laid hands on them. My prayer is that the church will open its eyes to see the mysteries that await those (who by faith) believe that God can use them in such a way. Wherever we go in Jesus’ name, we should be praying and asking the Holy Spirit to impart his gifting into other believers. We can teach people for a week about the gift of prophecy, or we can lay hands on a person and it is imparted to them immediately.
The Lord can impart his gifts into your life any way he wishes. I pray that your heart is open to how he is moving. I pray that you will not allow religion and its ideas stop you from entering into the deepest place with the Holy Spirit. Religion would try to qualify you. It would have you pay for the course or the credential before you could be used for the gospel sake; But with God, he qualifies you, because of what Jesus did on the cross. I began to operate in the prophetic long before I understood what prophecy was all about.
I remember the first time I prophesied in a church. It was messy. I couldn’t help myself. I jumped up from the seat that I was sitting in and ran to the altar of the church during ministry time. Without the permission of the pastor of that church, I began to see things over the people’s lives. I knew things about them that I shouldn’t have known. I knew who the prayer warriors were, who the worshippers were, who the future leaders were, and I could discern those who were operating from false motivations. This terrified me. I wasn’t qualified to be used by God but I could see and hear nevertheless.
I believe that there has to be an order in the church, and so did the apostle Paul. I believe we must honour leaders and the people when we operate in our giftings. We must not push ourselves upon people, but that doesn’t mean we won’t do so as we are learning to operate more effectively.
I pray for you today. First, I pray that you will receive impartation upon your life for everything that God wants you to do. Second, I pray that you also will become like Peter and Paul, and have the faith to believe that you also could lay hands on others; and they too would be imparted gifts of the Holy Spirit.