This week we welcome Jen, host of MercyTalk and Outreach Ambassador. Jen shares about the gifts God has for each of us and how we can identify them. Thank you, Jen, for the wisdom you bring to the topic!
Whether or not we are aware of it, we all have spiritual gifts that God has placed within us. The gifts that He has put inside of us are meant to empower and position us to do the things that Jesus has purposed for us to do with our lives. The first step to experiencing the spiritual gifts that God has placed within you as a son or daughter is to take some time to identify what your gifts are! We find spiritual gifts addressed specifically in four major areas of Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12-14; Romans 12; Ephesians 4; and 1 Peter 4.
In 1 Corinthians 1: 4-11 the Word states: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same LORD. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” I love this Scripture for the fact that it outlines some of the different spiritual gifts that God gives to His children, but it also reminds us throughout that they are gifts given to us BY THE SPIRIT and that this is done for each of us as He desires. I would encourage you to take some time to look up the other Scripture references on the gifts that God gives His children as you are identifying what gifts you carry.
After reading Scripture and seeing what the Word has to say about the different gifts, there are some other ways to begin to identify the gifts that you carry. I always like to ask people some of the following questions:
- When you see other people operating from their gifts – what do you find yourself getting excited about? Are there certain gifts that you can see yourself operating from when you recognize others doing so?
- What makes you angry?
- What are you passionate about?
Often some of these emotional cues can give us an idea of what we are called to do and the gifts that are within us. If you experience excitement and passion when you see someone speaking from a stage, leading a Bible study or serving children or the homeless, pay attention to those cues. If you get burning mad over injustice for orphans and widows or other areas, God may very well have placed a call on your life to create change or to serve those that you have a desire to protect.
Another way to identify your spiritual gifts is to take some time to recognize the attacks that you have experienced throughout your lifetime. The enemy is aware of the gifts and callings upon our lives and attempts to bring attack and assignment against those gifts. 1 Peter 5:8 – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” For example: if you have a gift of joy, you may have experienced attack that has come in the form of grief, loss, depression or hopelessness. If you carry the ability to operate from other gifts of the Spirit – such as prophesy – you may have experienced situations where the gifts were not presented in a positive, balanced or healthy way in order to cause you to believe that the gifts of the Spirit are weird or unsafe. The truth is that when we operate within our gifts from a pure and healthy place, we are a serious risk to the enemy’s camp – and that is a wonderful thing!
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One final way to identify your spiritual gifts is to take a Spiritual Gifts Inventory. There are a variety of them available online – for adults and for children – that ask you questions to assess the strengths and gifts within you. This type of inventory coupled with Scripture, assessing your passions and dreams, identifying the assignments of the enemy and seeking the Lord for His direction, will position you to identify the gifts that God has placed within you.
Ultimately our gifts are given to serve and love God and others. 1 Peter 4:10 states: “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” So, take some time to identify the good gifts that God has placed within you, and then, get busy putting them to work for Him and for His kids!