1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:1-7
I remember one of the first times I took a spiritual gifts test. Now, I like these tests, they are helpful, but just like tests our children take in school, they don’t reflect the whole child. Some children are not good test-takers, and their full potential is not realized in the test.
As people, we sometimes don’t really want to do the searching, seeking, or the work to find the answers we are looking to find. We want other people to tell us who we are, what we should be doing, or take a test to see what we should become in life or what spiritual gift we have been given.
In verse one, Paul is saying that he did not want the Corinthians to be left unaware of spiritual gifts. He did not want them to be ignorant or to not understand them the way God intended them.
Since Paul wrote this here and God had this in the Bible, I believe that God’s heart is for us not to be ignorant and not left misunderstanding spiritual gifts. Like everything else God has created for good, the enemy will twist and mess with us believers and the church.
My Life Application Study Bible says: “The spiritual gifts given to each person by the Holy Spirit are special abilities that are to be used to minister to the needs of the body of believers. This chapter is not an exhaustive list of the spiritual gifts. There are many gifts, people have different gifts, some people have more than one gift, and one gift is not superior to another. All spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit, and their purpose is to build up the body of Christ. Instead of building up and unifying the Corinthian church, the issue of spiritual gifts was splitting it. Spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries because some people thought they were more “spiritual” than others because of their gifts. This was a terrible misuse of spiritual gifts because their purpose is always to help the church function more effectively, not to divide it. We can be divisive if we insist on using our gift our own way without being sensitive to others. We must never use our gifts as a means of manipulating others or serving our own self interest.”
Spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit! Therefore, when God moves through us through His Holy Spirit, we need to remember He is working through us, and it is not our own doing. This truth can keep us humble There is not boasting in us, there is only boasting in Him, who He is, and the work He is doing.
The purpose of our gifts is to build up the body of Christ and bring unity. In the Corinthian church, they had become a source of division because some thought they were more “spiritual” because of the type of gift they were given. The motives of the heart were self-seeking.
After coming out of our study on 1 Corinthians 13 and learning about God’s love, I am convicted to look at my own heart as I serve with the gifts God has given me. When we are functioning in our spiritual gifts, our heart motive should always be love. God’s love is not self-seeking, and it thinks of others. God’s love brings unity and not division. It builds up, not tear down.
Unity comes from God, Disunity and division comes from the enemy.
There are times when my gifts can bring me out into the open more. There are times when God asks me to step back and help someone else have the courage to step into their gifting. I don’t know what brings more joy to my heart.
There is nothing like having God show you where someone else is gifted and being able to love and encourage that person to grow and walk in that gift God has given them. You are blessed, they are blessed, the church is blessed, and God is glorified and honored.
I am thankful for those who have walked alongside me to help me grow in my walk with Jesus and in the gifting God has put in me. I am thankful for those who encourage me to keep moving forward in those gifts when I feel defeated or like I am not making any difference.
Learning How God has created us and learning how He has gifted us is a process. Don’t be afraid to take different opportunities to serve in ministries to learn where God has you. It is better to try and learn it isn’t where you should be than to stay ineffective. That is what the enemy wants. It is not failure; learning something isn’t the right place for you.
As we seek God and ask Him to show us who He has created us to be and how He has gifted us, He will be faithful to make it clear. He will put those around you who get to know you, encourage you, and affirm those giftings in you.
Sometimes we are so busy trying to figure things out ourselves; we don’t make room for God to speak to us and show us anything.
As I have been working on writing the message God has for me to share, my biggest struggle has been with myself. I want to sit down and just have all the words flow out on the page and it hasn’t been that way. This has been years in the making and He is still working out it all. I am finally learning to enjoy the process and to allow myself to write raw and messy. It can be the same with this spiritual gifts journey.
I encourage you to keep studying and learning with me as we dig into the different gifts and enjoy the process of learning how God has created you, both the weaknesses and the strengths. Let it be ok that the process is raw and messy sometimes, knowing God is bringing you to a place where He will use you to share the message of who He is and use you in a way that builds up and brings unity to the body of Christ.
It truly is a beautiful and exciting thing to see.
There was a point in my life where almost everyone around me figured my life wouldn’t amount to much. To see where God has healed and restored me to a place where He can use me the way He does is humbling and miraculous. He wants to do that for you.
You are created uniquely and beautifully by our Heavenly Father. You are special, and you are needed in the body of Christ, no matter what your strengths and gifting look like. May you know that truth today!