“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.” (I Corinthians 12:1)

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How interesting that the apostle Paul wrote to first-generation believers in Christ Jesus that they might know the way in which God gifts His adopted children with supernatural abilities and now—multiple generations later—many of us still don’t seem to get it.

Despite years of life, study, and exposure, I have unanswered questions on the subject of spiritual gifts: areas in which a dogmatic approach on my part would be not only arrogant, but likely error infused.

Yet we can know the immense joy of navigating life within our spiritual gifting—whether in seasons of ease or difficulty.

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If you’ve ever played a racket sport such as tennis, you’ve probably experienced the pleasure of hitting the ball just right a few times. Like when your opponent’s fast-moving ball is met by the forward stroke of your racket in the area in which maximum rebound and power is activated: the sweet spot. Your return shot feels great, sounds solid, and decisively flies to where it should go.

To an incomparably greater degree, believers who know their spiritual gifting experience a deeper awe of God when they become strategic in exercising it. They learn to live life recognizing, pursuing, and giving priority to opportunities for engagement in which God’s Holy Spirit supernaturally ministers to others through them.

The apostle Paul continued in his communication to believers:

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. (I Corinthians 12:4-11)

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Our purpose, here, is to encourage you. If you’ve entrusted yourself to Jesus Christ, you have been given everything needed to have intimacy with God and watch His Spirit work much like rocket fuel—through you—to serve and equip others for His good purposes.

You, friend, have a God-given sweet spot.

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The age-old enemy of Christ hopes the Lord’s followers will be confused about, indifferent to, or afraid of employing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Divisions within church communities over spiritual gifts are sadly common and a vast array of materials, teachings, and interpretations about them (both good and bad) exist.

Is it any wonder?

The last thing Satan wants to see is Jesus’ followers consistently loving, serving, and helping each other through the supernatural gifting and power of the Almighty. Just imagine how people would be impacted for the things of God if all believers in Christ Jesus conscientiously gave themselves over to love and serve through His inexhaustible resources!

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The good news is that Christ followers, through God’s grace, are fully able to operate in their God-given sweet spots. If you belong to Jesus and haven’t yet discovered the area or areas in which you have been supernaturally equipped to serve His people, you may want to consider:

  1. Reading and studying God’s Word. Acknowledge His distribution of one or more spiritual gifts to you and consider I Corinthians 12:4-6; Romans 12:4-8; I Cor. 12:26-31a; Ephesians 4:11-16; I Cor. 1:4-8; I Peter 4:10-11; I Cor. 14:1-5; and I Cor. 13:1-3.
  2. Asking Him to make clear what your gifting is while remembering James 1:5 and John 15:7.
  3. Reflecting on times when you could tell God was working through you. What were you doing, with what type of people, and where? How were they helped in their walk with Christ Jesus? Can you identify any overlapping patterns or themes? These may be indicators of what your spiritual gifting is.
  4. Asking yourself about the ways in which you find yourself drawn to help other believers or those who have no idea who Jesus really is and why they need to know Him. The answers may also point to how God has chosen to gift and use you.
  5. Recognizing that knowing what your spiritual gifting/sweet spot is opens the door to living life more clearly, intentionally, and awe-inspiring with God and others.

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A cautionary word:

We can become obsessed with overly focusing, studying, wondering, or talking about spiritual gifts. Any time someone appears more consumed with the subject of spiritual gifts than the Giver of them, we should be concerned.

If we have any obsession, dear friend, it should be over the person of Jesus Christ. And the more we grow to love and know Him, the more things will fall into place—including the inexplicable mystery of working in unity with God in our God-given sweet spots.

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The discovery and use of one’s spiritual gifts is not a “life hack”. It isn’t a key to happiness. In fact, some of the most exhausting and heartbreaking scenarios I’ve found myself in have been within the context of serving others through God’s gifts of encouragement and exhortation. Yet every time, I found God’s Spirit was right there, moving.

While God has a way of assuring us when we’re faithfully serving as His conduits, we should not be surprised to receive praise—or pushback. Many believers who exercise their spiritual gifts land in jail, suffer persecution, and/or forfeit their lives (as did the apostle Paul).

Yet knowing the amazement of “What just happened?!” when God’s power works through us like rocket fuel causes us to realize there’s nothing more we’d rather be doing.

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A personal side note: God continues to astound me. While putting the finishing touches on this blog, I was in a remote area where about the only sounds to be heard for long stretches of time are chirping birds and the occasional “baaa” of lambs. (We’re talking “peacefully quiet” on steroids.) I was wondering whether I should be using the term rocket fuel in reference to the way the Holy Spirit’s power seems to work. And what sound—at that very moment—came roaring through the tranquil setting, seemingly out of nowhere?

Two fighter jets on a military exercise.

Low to the ground.

Running on full afterburner, flames and all.

Screaming with power.

Needless to say, I thought of rocket fuel.  While it can’t precisely compare to the power of the Holy Spirit, God made clear His approval of the analogy and—once again—I’m in awe at the ways in which He delights to partner with mortals!

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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