Thursday, March 30, 2006

Discovering your spiritual gifts

According to the Bible, God has equipped every believer with at least one spiritual gift as listed in Romans 12, First Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. Spiritual gifts are not natural talents but rather, they are special abilities given by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of service and ministry in the church. Through these gifts, each believer can play a part in the Body. But how do you discover what your spiritual gift is? Here are some helps:

EDUCATION: Take time to study. Read the above listed chapters among others. What is the definition of each gift listed? Which of these gifts are for today? Which are not?

EXPECTATION: Diligently ask God to reveal your spiritual gifts to you (Matthew 7:7). This is not a scavenger hunt meant to frustrate you. God wants you to discover, use and develop the gifts that He has purposefully given to you.

ELIMINATION: Once you have a thorough knowledge of what gifts are available today and once you have spent time praying for God to show you what gifts are yours, scratch off the list of gifts those that you know for sure that you don’t have. Be sure to leave any that you are not 100% sure of.

EXAMINATION: Determine what potential gifts you may have. There are several helps for you on this. The first is your own self-evaluation. You could also take one of the spiritual gifts tests that are readily available. Be careful here though. I have found that most of these tests include items that are not listed as Biblical spiritual gifts. I have also found that many times we answer these questions as we wish were true about ourselves rather than being honest about ourselves. I believe the best way to determine your potential gifts is by asking 2 or 3 others what gifts they see in your life. They must be strong, spirit-filled Christians who have a proper understanding of the gifts and who know you very well.

EXPERIMENTATION: Now take your list of potential gifts and try using them. As you do, look for 3 things. First, look for Desire…do you enjoy using the gift? Second, look for Ability…Are you capable of using the gift? Finally, look for Blessing…Did you see God bless your using the gift?

EVALUATION: Now do a final evaluation about each of your potential gifts by asking yourself the following questions…Is this potential gift a Biblical gift for today?; Can others see this gift evidenced in my life?; Do I have a desire to use this gift?; Do I have at least some ability in using this gift?; Have I seen God bless my using this gift?; Have I spent time in prayer about this gift resulting in an inner confidence that this is at least one of my spiritual gifts (Colossians 3:15)? If the answer is YES to all of these questions, you can be pretty sure that this is at least one of your spiritual gifts. If the answer to any of these questions is NO, you may need to continue experimenting and praying about that gift. If several answers are NO, it is probably not one of your spiritual gifts.

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