Do you ever wish you could write a letter to God and ask Him that question? Wouldn’t it be great to get an e-mail from heaven.com with a very specific and direct answer from God that said, “This is what I made you to do... and this is the place and the people that I want you to do it with..."
Of all the things that I have wrestled with in my life, this one has been the biggest. As a young Christian, I was just trying to figure out how to get to know God and how to live this new life in Christ. Later, I wanted God to use my life – I wanted to bear fruit, to make a difference in the lives of others in a way that would enhance God’s reputation and let people see who He really is and what He is really like.
I'd never heard of spiritual gifts, let alone know what mine was. I also had no idea that my spiritual gifts were one of God's primary ways of communicating to me what He wanted me to do. It only makes sense as I look back now – He supernaturally empowers us so that we are equipped to do what He has called us to do.
Though I don’t have time to get into how God calls us and how to actually discover your spiritual gifts in this blog post (we have free resources available to help you do this at LivingontheEdge.org), let me share with you why it’s so crucial to discover, develop, and deploy your spiritual gifts. If you really figure out how God has wired you and how He has gifted you, it just may change the course of your life and ministry from this point on for greater joy and impact in your life:
1. Your spiritual gift becomes the basis for making major priority decisions.
If you understand how God has supernaturally gifted you, it will begin to dictate where and how you spend your time. Countless sincere believers find themselves saying yes to every request made by others (often out of guilt) because they feel it’s “the Christian thing to do”. God does not want you to be involved in everything. He wants you to be willing to do whatever He calls you to do with a servant’s heart, but He wants the majority of your time and energy focused on developing and deploying your spiritual gifts to fulfill your Ephesians 2:10 “mission.”
Knowing your primary spiritual gift can take your focus from a spiritual flashlight to a spiritual laser beam.
In my early years as a pastor, I was unclear what my primary spiritual gift was, although I knew it had something to do with communicating. So I spent all my energy doing everything for everyone. My insecurities led me to attempt to fulfill everyone’s expectations. I did not have a sober self-assessment and it resulted in exhaustion, guilt, and ineffective ministry.
As I discovered that my primary spiritual gift centered on the communication and proclamation of God’s Word, I began to make very important priority decisions about what to do with my time. I began to block off two to three hours every morning and a complete day each week for sermon preparation. My priorities changed because I understood my primary spiritual gift; it gave me the ability and the power to say “no” to some other very good things and released me from the guilt and expectations I felt from others.
2. Your spiritual gift is an affirmation of God’s love for you.
We give gifts to people because we love them. We give them gifts at Christmas, birthdays, and some to people just because we feel like it. Gifts are evidence that someone matters to you and you want them to have something of value.
And gifts aren’t earned—they’re free. God has deposited within you a supernatural ability that He wants you to use. This gift will bring great joy to you and produce great fruit (a gift) in the lives of others. Each time you use your spiritual gift, God wants you to be reminded of how much He loves you.
3. A proper understanding of your spiritual gift keeps the work of Christ central in your heart and mind.
Ephesians 4:7-10 describes the victory of Christ over sin, death, and the devil. In quoting Psalm 68 in that passage, it is the picture of a victorious king or general sharing the spoils after returning home from battle. When you discover and deploy your spiritual gift it is to be a reminder of what Christ has accomplished for… victory over sin, death, and the devil.
Left to ourselves, we can make ministry about us, our group, our success, our growth. Spiritual gifts, properly understood, remind us that they are a gift from God that celebrate the finished work of Christ and that apart from Him, we can do nothing
If you wonder what your primary spiritual gift is and what God’s calling is on your life, then I invite you to join us on an incredible journey this March as we have designed our broadcasts and our resources at LivingontheEdge.org to help you answer these two questions:
1. What is my primary spiritual gift?
2. What is God’s calling on my life?
To start this journey today, just visit LivingontheEdge.org and click on “Free Resources.” All the video and audio messages are geared to help you discover what God has made you to do.
Be sure to let me know how your discovery process goes. I’d love to hear how God is speaking to you and revealing how He’s gifted and wired you for His fame and your joy.
Keep Pressin’ Ahead-