God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. I Peter 4:10-11 (NLT)
As a young believer, the mere thought of having a gift from God was hard for me to understand. I felt very small in a large world of spiritual giants.
What gift could I possibly have with my limited skills? Could I make a significant impact within the body of Christ?
In search of the answers, I discovered that God was the Giver of both natural talent and spiritual gifts.
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His gifts enabled me to do “common” things with great spiritual effectiveness such as helping with children’s church or administrating office tasks.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 NIV
Perhaps you are a creative wizard in the kitchen who loves to cook elegant but healthy meals. While you may think that cooking isn’t a gift, know that not everyone is capable of cooking exactly like you. That makes it unique to you.
And remember, the great part about your gift is that it bears your distinctive touch.
Would it interest you to offer your cooking talent to do large, catered affairs such as weddings and birthday parties for members of your church?
Or maybe you could start a home delivery service to bring meals once a week to the sick and shut-in members of your community.
Perhaps you write, paint, dance, or possess some other artistic ability. Such creative gifts have a prominent place in building the Kingdom.
There is a definite need within the body for your talent, no matter small.
In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. I Corinthians 12:22-23a NLT
Your charge is simply to connect with God and follow His urging as to how to use your gift to bless others.
Your gift can also be a technical one such as accounting, blogging, or financial management. Again, it is up to you to collaborate with the Father to discover places to exercise your ability.
No matter the size or scope, never overlook your creative or technical talents! Instead, find out where there is a distinct need for your skill and use it to bring glory to God.
God also grants spiritual gifts. These are the “uncommon” things you can’t do while operating in your own personal strength. These are gifts such as discerning spirits or offering a word of wisdom or prophecy.
To my surprise, the Lord had indeed specifically called “little-old-me”. He then equipped me with Holy Spirit which empowered me to share what I had with others.
Likewise, God gave you at least one spiritual gift so that you too can help others within the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:7). Not to mention using your creative and technical abilities.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Romans 12:6 NLT
Then, He placed His Spirit within you. This gives you both power and authority to exercise your gifts.
In either case, you are to “work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Colossians 3:23)
Your primary responsibility is to use your gift to its maximum capacity to serve others and to glorify God. (Romans 12:7)
Don’t ignore or neglect your gift since its main purpose is to build and mature the entire body of Christ. It is not just for you and it should not be used in a vacuum. (I Timothy 4:14; Ephesians 4:13)
If you let a gift go unused, you are not acting as a good steward. You dishonor God’s will and cheat the church out of a blessing. (Matthew 25:29)
Consider these factors: In what areas do you get unusually fast or good results? What do others have to say about your abilities? In what areas do you feel most strongly compelled to work? What is a burning passion for you?
You can also use online spiritual gift tests to help you clarify what your spiritual gift is.
Understand that you may have more than one, but there will probably be one particular gift that is stronger and more prominent than the others.
Once you have prayerfully determined your primary gift, take the steps to effectively nurture and maximize it by following these principles.
- Educate yourself. Learn what the Bible says about your gift. Focus on passages that describe the nature of your gift and that prescribe how it should be used. (2 Timothy 3:16)
- Pray constantly. Foster your growth by remaining in contact with the Father. Stay connected to the Source. He is the only one who is able to provide for you. (I Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6)
- Trust Holy Spirit. Focus on submission, prayer and Bible study. Always execute a gift of the Holy Spirit with the Holy Spirit’s presence. (I Corinthians 12:4; John 14:26; I Peter 4:11)
- Glorify God. Whenever you use your gift, direct all attention toward God and not your personal abilities or skills. (I Corinthians 19:31; Matthew 5:16)
- Let love rule. Be motivated by compassion for God and for His people so that your gift will be effective and powerful. (I Corinthians 13:2; I Peter 4:8)
- Be a spiritual philanthropist. Forsake self-promotion and focus on the needs and best interests of the body of Christ. (Philippians 2:4)
- Seek wisdom, direction, and sound counsel. Learn how to execute your gift properly. Ask the Father, search His Word, and consult trusted advisors. (Proverbs 11:14; James 3:17)
- Focus on fruit. Nurture personal characteristics such as patience, kindness, meekness, humility and generosity. (Colossians 1:10)
- Remain humble. Be open to God’s correction and instruction so that others will see God in you and glorify Him. (Ephesians 4:2)
- Pace yourself. Be patient and allow time to become mature in your gift. (Proverbs 18:16; I Peter 5:6)
- Be firm. Focus your efforts on serving in places God approves of. (Matthew 7:6)
- Live well. Let your lifestyle be an example to other believers so that they will see God working in and through you. (I Timothy 4:16; Titus 2:7; Philippians 1:11)
- Link up. Connect with others in the body to help maximize the function of each spiritual gift. (Ephesians 4:16)
- Build Your Faith. Spiritual disciplines such as fasting, prayer and hearing the word are building blocks to the faith needed to become stable and mature. (Ephesians 4:13)
Once you have discovered your gift, take a few moments to meditate on and journal the following:
- What gift (or gifts) have you identified for yourself?
- What passage of scripture can you find to best describe how to use your gift?
- What can you do to strengthen your spiritual walk and your confidence in using your gift?
- Who can you consult to assist you in using your gift effectively?
- What areas of your life need more polish in order to make your gift more powerful?
- In what practical ways can you begin to use this gift today to help someone in the body?
Dear God, thank you for being the one, Supreme God and Creator. It is because of Your kindness that we have spiritual gifts to help us all to mature in You. Grant me the knowledge and understanding of the gifts you have graciously given me. Teach me, by Your Holy Spirit, how to use what You have given me for Your glory.
Impress upon my heart the proper timing to execute the tasks that You have laid out for me to complete. Fill me afresh with Your Spirit. Cultivate Your fruit in my life and help me to show love to everyone I encounter. I invite you into my life as King and Lord so that You will always be glorified in all I do. Help me to walk upright and in obedience to You so that my lifestyle is pleasing to You.
Let me be effective and gracious as I serve Your people with what You have trusted me with. Please help me to decrease and to submit to You in all things. In Jesus Name.
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Paulina Stevenson is a Minister, Bible Teacher, Life Coach, and Blogger. She specializes in spiritual development and healing from Toxic Relationships. You can find her at Kingdom Women Arise.