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5 Ways the Holy Spirit is at Work »« How to Know God

What Are Your Spiritual Gifts?

I wonder what gifts of the Spirit have you used in the past. It could be that they were just for that moment. But perhaps it’s time to be using them again.

Today I want to start a series of posts all connected in some way with the Holy Spirit. Hopefully these will encourage you to think more about the Spirit and seek a greater experience of the Spirit.

What are the spiritual gifts?

To start with there is the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit himself is a gift given to us from God. But there are also particular abilities, empowerings and roles that are gifts of the Spirit. There are a number of lists of these in the New Testament that overlap to some extent.

In my series on the Nine Gifts of the Spirit have already looked at one of the lists in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10:Gifts
• wisdom
• knowledge
• faith
• healing
• miracles
• discernment
• tongues
• interpretation

These are manifestations of the Spirit. In that blog series I have mentioned how I would understand each one of these working. But this is not the only list.

Romans

Natural abilities and supernatural endowment are combined in Romans 12:6-10 that lists prophecy alongside:
• serving
• teaching
• encouraging
• giving generously
• leadership
• showing mercy

The List in Ephesians

Ephesians 4:11 lists the five fold ministries, which appear to be more like offices with the people themselves being the gift to the church:
• apostles
• prophets
• evangelists
• pastors
• teachers

However someone may have a gift of evangelism though not have a leadership office of evangelist – perhaps it is right to see them as an evangelist in a lesser sense. Perhaps we can all be endued to some extent with these gifts for example some people may tend to be more prophetic than others or some more pastoral.

The other Corinthian lists

But the distinction between roles and manifestations is blurred by the way they are mixed in other lists back in 1 Corinthians such as 12:29-31 that lists:
• apostles
• prophets
• miracles
• healing
• helps
• administration
• tongues
• interpretation

and again in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 list:
• tongues
• prophecy
• faith
• giving generously
• hardship (or martyrdom)

These lists do not appear to be exhaustive. Other gifts are implied in the context of 1 Corinthians 7:7 indicate gifts of celibacy and marriage. Perhaps you can think of others – either in the Bible or in your own experience.

Context

The gifts are all in the context of love (1 Corinthians 13), the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12).

In which gifts have you been used by God?

Here are a few questions to ask. Again, the list is by no means exhaustive but it might give you one or two clues to the gifts that you have experienced.

• Have you led any teams in the church, at work or elsewhere? Could you have experienced the gift of leadership?

• You may have had insights into understanding the Bible. Could you have experienced the gift of knowledge? See my definition here.

• Have you ever felt you’ve understood some of what someone has said when they’ve spoken in tongues but never spoken out?

• Do you have the knack of getting people to work together by putting them in touch with each other? Could that be your gift of administration?

• Perhaps there have been times you have been prompted to give way beyond what you would naturally be able to afford and you’ve found God supplied.

Look over the other gifts to see where you might have been used in that way even if you didn’t call it that and it wasn’t that spectacular.

What are the barriers to moving in them again?

Imagine doing these some of these exploits for God again. Perhaps you could even grow in your ability to do them beyond what you did before. What is stopping you?

• Perhaps you feel you don’t have the time to do these now. You’ve got so busy with your job or with your family or other commitments. Could it be time to give more time to these again?

• Perhaps you’ve not had the opportunity to use these gifts recently. Could it be time to take some initiative and make the opportunity?

• Have you got out of practice? It might take a bit of confidence building on your part to do it. But surely God is worth that.

I wonder what gifts come to mind that you could begin to move in again. I also wonder what ways you could use them to serve God not only around other Christians but in mission too. Whatever they are why not give them a go! What do you think?

Related posts

The Nine Gifts of the Spirit
What Does Charismatic Mean?
Baptised in the Spirit

July 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm
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