A spiritual gift: a grace Granted and demonstrated
One of the aspects that gnaw at many people, myself included at a certain time, is that many of them judge a man’s results by the power that God manifests through him. While it is true that God’s power shines brightly through humble vessels, one should not lose sight of the fact that obtaining these gifts is without cost; the gifts of the Spirit are granted and distributed by simple grace for the fulfillment of our calling and service in our ministries.
Truly, our Father God, even before we were in our mothers’ wombs, had already called us to fulfill a specific mission on Earth. That is why He had prepared, for the successful accomplishment of this mission, spiritual gifts.
The word of the Lord came to me in these words: ‘Before I formed you in the womb of your mother, I knew you, and before you came out of her womb, I had consecrated you; I had appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’ Jeremiah 1:4-5
But when it pleased the One who had set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by His grace to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I immediately did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me. Galatians 1:15-17
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
Just as He does not repent of His calling, He also does not repent of His gifts, for they accompany our calling. However, is the manifestation of gifts an assurance of being in God’s will? Why spiritual gifts?
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:7
Spiritual gifts are granted by the Holy Spirit, and no one acquires them through their own strength or maturity. Spiritual gifts are a manifestation of the Spirit and not a manifestation of human abilities. They are divine supernatural abilities to help us fulfill our mission on Earth, akin to the equipment an army provides to its soldiers for a specific mission. In an army, no soldier equips themselves for a state mission (1 Corinthians 9:7).
The state cannot equip the ground army in the same way as it would equip the air force or the navy because the equipment depends on the nature of the mission. Still, it is the same state that equips. In our case, the Holy Spirit is the governor of the kingdom of heaven, representing heavenly affairs on Earth, responsible for equipping the sons of God who have chosen to fulfill their mission on Earth. This is what the Apostle Paul explained to the Corinthians:
For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another, the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, the ability to distinguish between spirits; to another, various kinds of tongues; to another, the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:9-11
The gifts come from the Spirit for a purpose, the edification of the Body of Christ and support for the fulfillment of our mission. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews confirmed this truth by saying:
God also bore witness by signs, wonders, and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will. Hebrews 2:4
The gifts are granted by grace, and their use requires seeking God’s help.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us… Romans 12:6
Spiritual gifts were not given to us for our personal comfort. They were given to us to be of use to the Church, and this is grace.
So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12
I know a brother to whom, one day, during a prayerful moment when the atmosphere was filled with the presence of God, a new gift of the Holy Spirit had just been granted. Upon hearing this word, he rejoiced in knowing that God would manifest a new grace through him. In that atmosphere, a voice spoke in his heart: ‘You will give an account to God for every gift you have received.’
God, through this message, reminded him that He does everything for a purpose (Proverbs 16:4) and that instead of rejoicing, he should go and seek the purpose for which the Lord had granted him this grace, for one day, he would give an account of this gift to God. When we receive a gift, we must ask the Father for the reason behind the gift, to make good use of it, as it is certainly related to our calling. We must do this to prevent spiritual gifts from causing our downfall by using them outside of God’s will.
Have you noticed how many people have lost their sense of reason because of spiritual gifts? Not that spiritual gifts are bad, far from it, or that God made a mistake in giving them. The mistake comes from those who receive the gift because they rush to use it instead of returning to God to understand why they received it and how to make good use of it.
Indeed, by nature, man lacks the ability to manage a spiritual gift without God’s help, otherwise, their heart will be filled with pride. Thus, we need to return to the presence of God to implore His help for the proper management of the gift. Are spiritual gifts proof of divine approval in our lives?
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:29
Here are some good questions to consider:
- Does God truly look at the gifts He gives us?
- Will they be before Him an expression of our success on Earth?
- Will they be a source of joy for Him when we stand before Him?
- Is it that the more the gifts are manifested, the more pleasing we are to Him?
- Is living in Christ solely about manifesting the gifts of the Spirit?
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’ So, everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:22-24
For the Lord, there is much more important than manifesting spiritual gifts. The writings contained in the Gospel of Matthew attest that some will be rejected by the Lord on the last day, even though they performed great miracles and exercised spiritual gifts. Every time I read this passage, and despite operating in spiritual gifts, I am increasingly aware that the Lord expects much more from each of us than the manifestation of spiritual gifts.
This text is an excerpt from the book “What God Desires to See in Us vol1” written by Marc SAKALA.”