Wednesday, May 18, 2022

How To Know Your Spiritual Gifts

Try Gifts On For Size

How can I know what my spiritual gift is?

How do you know you dont have the gift of teaching, for example, unless you try it? The same could be said of each of the gifts. Spiritual gifts can surprise you because they are by nature God working through you.

For example, Ive said before that I get very nervous when I am going to be in front of a group of my peers. I get nervous enough that people around me notice. Just before I speak, sing, or teach in public, I cant sit still. I dont like to talk to anyone because I am trying to give myself a pep-talk. I am visibly nervous.

But, a funny thing happens when I step out and begin to teach. The Holy Spirit takes over. I have prepared, prayed, and practiced, but when I actually speak, its like none of that matters. I have a peace that passes understanding . This only happens when I am teaching from the Bible.

As you try different spiritual gifts, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I enjoy this?
  • What is difficult about this?
  • Do I find this easier than I expected?
  • Would I want to do this again?
  • I recommend trying something at least 2-3 times. You need to know for sure that the first time was not just a fluke.

    Emotional Reactions To Mundane Situations

    Zolotarevs/Shutterstock

    Especially common in empathetic people, this is an especially valuable sign you have a spiritual gift.

    If you are spending time with someone and feel an emotional response that isnt tied to the conversation or experience youre having, it can be a sign to dig deeper.

    Using our intuition in this way can help us to deepen a connection with someone.

    Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

    When it comes to signs you have a spiritual gift, this is my personal favorite.

    Have you ever been doing nothing and suddenly felt a shiver of happiness or a little thrill of excitement for no reason?

    Children experience this a lotas adults, we tend to put it down to excess energy or too much sugar.

    When youre connecting with your spirit, though, you may want to consider what many already accept: that these bubbles of pure joy that go through us are actually a sign from our spirit that were approaching a time of bliss and peace on our journey.

    And dont we all need a little more bliss in their life?

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    How Do We Figure Out What Gifts We Have

    The first step is to discover our gifts through evaluation.

    One way is to take an assessment or survey, such as any number of spiritual gifts tests or even a strengths-finder type assessment that many workplaces give out.

    However, these kinds of tests are short-sighted in that they will only tell us what our capabilities already are based on our experiences.

    For example, a gifts test may illuminate someone’s musical, communication, or leadership abilities while ignoring their yet-to-be-discovered culinary, administration, or carpentry skills.

    Another way we can try to identify our abilities is to take some time to do some self-evaluation or even ask others to evaluate us. However, while this approach might be effective in many ways, it tends to be more subjective and not always based on reality.

    For example, our own ears or our friends ears may tell us that we can sing well while an objective piano may demonstrate that we are off-key.

    Both of these approaches are good and helpful, but to make up for their downfalls, someone wanting to find out what their gifts and abilities are should also simply start doing something.

    It is very often the case that trying to learn and do something new with openness, willingness, and honesty will quickly show someone whether or not they have the capability or at least the propensity for it.

    Similarly, the late D.L. Moody is quoted as famously saying: “The world has yet to see what God can do with fully consecrated to him.

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    Consider What Others Say About You

    Sometimes our spiritual gift clues are revealed in the observation of others.

    It is probable that someone has thanked you for something youve done for them that you didnt really consider a big deal. This is especially true given our current climate.

    So many individuals find themselves in tremendous need. How have you extended a helping hand during this time? Prayer? Encouragement? Service? What was the response of the people you served?

    Your small efforts to serve the body may have had a tremendous impact. The response to your acts of kindness is a tangible pathway to knowing what your spiritual gifts are. If someone is thanking or requesting you assist them with administration, teaching, or prayer it may be an indication that these are your spiritual gifts. Serving others during our present crisis just may help you discover an unknown spiritual gift.

    Continually Using Our Gifts

    Faith Bits: Do You Know Your Spiritual Gifts?

    When we work to further develop our capabilities, not only do we find out just how gifted we really are in that area, but we also become more “useful in ministry and “ready for every good work .

    A Christian’s work ethic should be stronger and aspirations higher than the world’s because we are ultimately serving the “King of the universe, and we know that our life has eternal significance .

    The world is watching us to see if what we say we believe motivates us to live all-out for God . This is why Paul said to “…fan into flame our gifts , because while God gave us our gifts and abilities, how well we apply ourselves, how hard we work, how much we strive to learn, and how much we “master our capabilities is our responsibility.

    We may never be the best at something but we can work to be our best!

    There is an old adage that says, Pray as though everything depended on God work as though everything depended on you.

    Whether that is right or not, we absolutely should do everything we can to hone our skills, better our abilities, and increase our knowledge to become more effective.

    The Old Testament contains many wise proverbs about hard work and diligence. In the New Testament, Paul says to “work heartily , to “aspire to… work , and to “not grow weary of doing good… and to not “give up .

    He taught Timothy that only the “hard-working farmer will get to enjoy his crops .

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    A Final Note: Serve Outside Your Gifting

    You might not be gifted a certain way, but it doesnt mean you dont serve in that way. Serving, giving, and encouraging are listed as gifts, but nobody should say:

    • I have the gift of exhortation, but I dont have the gift of service. So Ill exhort people, but dont expect me to serve!
    • I have the gift of ministry, but I dont have the gift of giving. So Ill minister to people, but dont expect me to give!
    • I have the gift of leadership, but I dont have the gift of encouragement. So Ill lead, but dont expect me to encourage!

    The reason we cant say these things is there are places in Scripture commanding all believers to be merciful and serve.

    • In the Sermon on the Mount, in Luke 6:36, Jesus told His disciples, Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
    • Ephesians 4:11-12 says pastors and teachers are supposed to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. So all saints should see themselves in ministry!
    • Evangelists are listed as one of the other offices, as opposed to a spiritual gift. Just because people dont see themselves as evangelists doesnt mean they shouldnt share the Gospel. This is a call given to every believer: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit .

    Discussion Questions for the Comments Section:

  • How did you learn your spiritual gift?
  • Have you found using your spiritual gifts enjoyable and comfortable?
  • What Fills You With Delight

    If the pastor asks you to teach a Sunday School class and your heart leaps for joy at the opportunity, you probably have the gift of teaching. If you quietly and excitedly give to missionaries and charities, you probably have the gift of giving.

    If you enjoy visiting the sick or taking a meal to a family in need, you may have the gift of service or exhortation. If you love organizing the annual missions conference, you likely have the gift of administration.

    Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

    God equips each of us with distinct motivational desires so that our service to him springs from an inexhaustible well of delight. In this way we find ourselves looking forward with excitement to what he has called us to do.

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    Every Part Needs The Other Parts

    Again, Paul reminds us that the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” If that were true, you could see the food but couldn’t get it to your mouth. An eye without a hand would be a disadvantage. No, the eye and hand need each other.

    Even those parts that seem less important are necessary for the health of the body . For example, although the thyroid gland is small and unseen, if it gets sick, the whole body gets sick. You can’t say to anyone in your group “We don’t need you.” God has made it clear that everyone who is part of the church has a useful function-even if you can’t see that clearly. They may be a thyroid gland, and you are looking for an arm.

    Let Love Be Your Guide

    How to Know Your Spiritual Gift (4/5)

    You must ensure love governs the use of your gift. Just read 1 Corinthians 12-14, and notice that in chapter 13, the whole focus on love, is to teach us that it must rule in the use of our gift. If you are seeking your own benefit, or insisting on your own way in using your gift, it’s not love . If you’re not being patient, it’s not love , and so on! Read the list , and check yourself!

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    Sing Shout Clap & Make A Joyful Noise

    Frequently in the psalms, we see the use of music and singing to praise and worship the Lord. In various places we are encouraged to sing, shout, clap, and make a joyful noise. This can be part of our private worship, as well as, our corporate worship.

    Try introducing music into your daily devotional time and make the time of corporate worship a priority starting this Sunday. Listen to the words of the songs. What biblical truths are being celebrated? What attributes of God can you meditate on through the songs?

    I do want to add that music is not the only way we worship. In fact, everything we do is an act of worship: how we treat our spouse, what kind of employer or employees we are, how we speak to our children and others, how we dress, everything is an act of worship. We are either glorifying God or glorifying someone or something else, often ourselves.

    Things To Keep In Mind Before Taking A Spiritual Gifts Test:

    Kathy Howard goes on in her article:

    1. Spiritual gifts test can encourage us to put our purposes in place of Gods purposes.

    Since spiritual gifts tests tend to reveal our own strengths and talents, we may use the assessment to find ways to serve that can be undertaken in our own power. We may hesitate to step out in ways that require the Spirits power, thus missing out on Gods greater purpose. Serving in our own strength brings us credit. Serving in Gods strength brings Him glory and honor.

    2. Spiritual gifts tests can limit the Holy Spirit.

    Even when the test does reveal a true spiritual gift, we may find ourselves only serving in ways that use that specific gift. We may forget that as a believer we have the entire person and power of the Holy Spirit residing within us. Yet we may hear Gods call but reject it because thats not in our area of gifting. With the Holy Spirit, God can do anything through our life He chooses to do.

    3. Spiritual gifts tests can become an excuse.

    Its a big temptation to follow something concrete and human like a test rather than depending on the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit. If we arent careful, believers can easily fall into the trap of making spiritual gifts all about us instead of all about the Giver. We ask, What can I do for God? How can I use my gifts and talents? When instead, we should be asking, How does God want to use the gifts He gave me?

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    Are Spiritual Gifts The Best Sign Of Spirituality

    No! Christ-like maturity is primarily indicated by the manifestation of the Fruit of the Spirit, not by the presence of spiritual gifts .

    God may choose to shine forth in a spiritually immature baby Christian. However, that does not make the baby spiritual. A spiritual child may say excitedly, “I got the gift of tongues last night and now Im spiritual!”

    But, Jesus said: “For by their fruit you shall know them” .

    Satan can imitate and counterfeit spiritual gifts, but he is baffled in trying to imitate the Fruit of the Spirit.

    How Do I Uncover My Spiritual Gifts

    How to Know and Use Your Spiritual Gifts

    I love this question! Discovering and utilizing your spiritual gifts is one of the most exciting adventures a person can have with God. The Bible says spiritual gifts are abilities God bestows on every believer for the common good of the body of Christ. They’re a large part of the answer to the question, “What should I do with the life God gave me?”

    Passages like 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and 1 Peter 4 go into specific detail about what these gifts are and how they should be used. It’s clear every spiritual gift is a reflection of God’s nature that you carry within you. And because your spiritual gift reflects God’s design and direction for your life, you’ll find great passion, joy, and satisfaction in expressing it. Your spiritual gift also will be a place of deep spiritual formation in your life, as God uses it both to powerfully connect you to him and to expose areas of your soul that need his forgiveness and redemption.

    So here’s a process to start:

    Pay attention. Notice the things that energize you and seem to come naturally. Remember the quote from the movie Chariots of Fire when Eric Liddell explained to his sister why he was postponing his return to the mission field in order to race in the Olympics? “Because when I run, I feel the pleasure of God.”

    As you try different things, you’ll eventually find yourself engaged in something during which time flies and you find a deep sense of connection to God. Pick that road to continue your adventure.

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    Pray And Ask God To Reveal Your Spiritual Gifts

    Now more than ever, we should exercise our privilege of talking to our heavenly Father. We need to do this on behalf of ourselves and others. It is in this place of prayer that God often communicates how He wants to use us in the world. This is because God is the creator of all things, including you and I. We are reminded of this truth in Psalms 139: For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mothers womb.

    God knows us better than anyone. We were His idea created for His intended purpose. Through our relationship with Him, he gives us much-needed direction for our lives.

    If we are uncertain of our spiritual gifts we need only ask God to reveal them to us. He will not withhold this information because He has distributed spiritual gifts to every person for the edification of the global church. When we know what our gifts are and how God wants us to use them, it benefits the entire body of Christ.

    As we are petitioning God on behalf of our world we have a unique opportunity to ask God how He wants to use us as His hands and feet in the earth. He may reveal to us what our gifts are immediately, we may come to understand them over time, or after a season of trial and error. No matter how God chooses to shed light on our individual spiritual gifts we can have confidence in knowing that God will show us in due time.

    Learn The Spiritual Gifts In Scripture

    There are two primary passages listing the gifts:

    Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith if service, in our serving the one who teaches, in his teaching the one who exhorts, in his exhortation the one who contributes, in generosity the one who leads, with zeal the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

    Romans 12:6-8

    Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

    1 Corinthians 12:4-11

    Unless you have familiarity with the spiritual gifts, youll never know what gifts you might have. As you read the passages, consider which gifts you might have.

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