Do you ever think about whether you are using your spiritual gifts? I do. A lot. Oh my goodness…and if I bring this up one more time, my husband is probably going to scream!!
We hear so much these days about “working within our giftedness.” God created each of us in His Image; and the diversity we see in people demonstrates the infinite nature of God. We are all so different because He is so interesting!
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
With all the moving and resettling, plus changes with the kids’ schooling, I am in a season where it seems my spiritual gifts are lying dormant and quiet… I like to think that they are recharging, but at times, the silence is deafening. And so I wonder: How can God use me? Will He use me?? Am I even useful???
Spiritual Gifts: Old Testament
I think some churches emphasize the importance of unique spiritual gifts more than others. But whether your church talks about it or not, we can see, in several places in the Bible, that God gives spiritual gifts. We see many instances in the Old Testament where God’s Spirit imparts particular gifts to certain people for specific purposes:
- Bezel, the artisan: filled with the Spirit of God, and given “ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs…” to build the Tabernacle (Exodus 31:1-6, ESV).
- Jeremiah, the prophet: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5, ESV).
- Samuel, the prophet: “[Yahweh] was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground” (1 Samuel 3:19, ESV).
- Samson, the judge: “The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat” (Judges 14:5-6, ESV).
- David, the King: “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David” (1 Samuel 16:13, ESV).
Spiritual Gifts: New Testament
In the New Testament, we see that because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, all who believe on Him are given the Spirit — His Spirit does not simply visit some believers, but resides within all who call on His Name (Acts 4:31; Acts 11:15-18). God’s Spirit, works within all believers, through various gifts, for His glory:
- “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” The gifts are prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, generosity, leadership, and mercy. (Romans 12:6-8, ESV).
- “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” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, ESV).
- “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).
- “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16, ESV).
Faith is believing in what you cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). Are you like me? Right now, I just can’t see how God will use me in my new church and community. Sometimes I get discouraged, wondering if He has any plans for me at all. I have to cling, with faith, to His promises: I am a believer. I have been given gifts which are for the building up of the Body of Christ. My gifts matter and I am part of His plan.
If you are a believer, your gifts matter. And God plans to use them.
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:20-22).