What’s My Spiritual Gift?3
One of the more debilitating obstacles to life in the local church is the fact that people are obsessed with discovering their spiritual gift and frustrated that they have not as yet figured it out. So they do nothing. I want to recommend an approach to you today to overcome this. Stop gazing at your navel and step out and serve someone. Let your gift find you.
I’m not opposed to the use of spiritual gifts inventory tests. But I think both Scripture and common sense would have us take a far more practical, almost pragmatic, approach to discovering our spiritual gifts, an approach that is at its heart need-based. Let me explain what I mean.
The next time you’re in church or in a small group or just hanging out with other believers, pause momentarily and ask a few questions, such as: Is anyone physically hurt or suffering from chronic pain? If so, take your hands out of your pockets, lay them on your brother or sister, and pray for God’s healing power.
Is anyone you know distraught or discouraged? Are some finding life too frustrating to bear? If so, take them out for a cup of coffee and listen to their story. You don’t have to theologize about their predicament. They’re not looking for explanations. They just want someone who cares enough to spend a few minutes with them. Just listen to them. Then love them.
Is anyone struggling financially with few prospects to get them out of the hole? Do something courageous. Give them your last $100 and trust God to supply your need.
Is anyone confused about some verse of Scripture they just read in their devotional time? Perhaps you’re just as befuddled as they are. So sit down with your friend and put your heads (and hearts) together, make use of a concordance, a study Bible, perhaps a commentary, and pray for the Spirit to shed light on your thinking.
Is anyone struggling with sin (well, of course they are!)? Offer to pray for them. But before you do, sit quietly together and ask the Lord to guide your thoughts and speak words of wisdom to your soul. If you sense something, or a thought comes to mind, share it with them. It might be the key that opens the door to their heart and brings freedom from bondage.
Does the person you just prayed for report hearing voices in their head? Do they struggle with paralyzing shame, virtually bombarded on a daily basis by accusing thoughts and self-contempt? If so, speak the Word of God over them with authority. In the name of Christ, command any demonic spirits to leave and never to return. Pray for them to be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.
Is anyone overwhelmed by the clutter in their garage and that ever-increasing mountain of dirty laundry? Offer to spend Saturday with them, helping out, picking up, washing, drying, folding, and putting away clothes.
None of this sounds especially spectacular (well, maybe some of it does). So what am I getting at with these questions? Simply this. If we spent less time obsessed with some introspective search to identify our spiritual gift(s) and more time actually praying and giving and helping and teaching and serving and exhorting those around us, the likelihood greatly increases that we will walk headlong into our gifting without ever knowing what happened. God will more likely meet us with his gifts in the midst of trying to help his children than he ever would while we’re taking a spiritual gifts analysis test.
So, look for a need and meet it. Find a hurt and heal it. Be alert to the cry for help and answer it. Listen for the voice of God and speak it. Identify someone’s weakness and overcome it. Look for what’s missing and supply it. What you’ll find when you do is the power of God, the energizing, enabling, charismatic activity of the Holy Spirit that will equip you, perhaps only once, but possibly forever, to minister hope and encouragement to those in need. So, if you’re still wondering what your gift(s) might be, act first and ask later.