There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:4
I don’t know how many times I have heard of people in “church” taking diagnostic tests, etc., trying to figure out what they liked, what others felt they were gifted at, or whatever. There have been volumes of books written on activating “spiritual gifts”. I myself went through the process at least a couple of times that I can remember.
One of those times everyone in the church was given forms so that they could vote on everyone else. Not a bad idea in some ways; it allowed people to be anonymous and the recipient could have confidence in an honest evaluation regarding how other people viewed them.
In those processes, several would hope that their specific analysis would reveal that they were an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher which were thought to be the “greater” gifts.
In other words, if you didn’t have one of those “gifts”, then you were on the “”B team”.
While the concept of these “tests” / evaluations may or may not be worthy, I can’t even begin to guess how many dear saints have left these kinds of experiences feeling disappointed, discouraged and frustrated. I saw it several times.
“Gifts” are “Manifestations”
Before we go any farther I would like to address this word “gift”. The word gift in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word Charisma. This is from where the term “charismatic” comes from. It is my view that in 1 Cor. 12 the Greek word “Charisma” would be better translated “manifestations”.
“Now concerning spiritual “manifestations”, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”
1 Corinthians 12:1
The verse above (1 Cor. 12:4) very clearly indicates that there is a diversity of “manifestations”.
There are varieties of manifestations, but the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:4
1 Cor. 12:4-7 goes on to list 3 different “categories” of manifestations. While verse 4 reveals that they all come from the same Spirit, verse 12 emphasizes that all of the listed manifestations belong to the SAME body! In other words, it’s one for all and all for one… none are “greater” than the others; they are just different. We all know what it is like to have a sliver or sore joint; sometimes “little” things like this somehow affect everything you do. Every part of the body is connected to every other.
Spiritual manifestations don’t always appear spiritual
Did you know that being “cheerful” is a manifestation (Rom. 12:8) of the Spirit of God? The book of Exodus shows us that sewing, woodworking, and metallurgy can all be “spiritual manifestations” as well. However, because some manifestations receive greater emphasis, those kinds of manifestations receive more attention and notoriety.
For example, manifestations such as healing and miracles are more revered than helping and hospitality. This ought not to be so. While Apostle Paul does instruct us all to pursue the manifestation of prophecy, hospitality can be what makes it possible for someone with the Spirit of prophecy to even be present. Again Apostle Paul tries to keep us properly centered on these issues in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14.
The motivation for manifestations matters
Having said all that, please allow me to share another perspective. After several years of ministry, it is my experience that most people with spiritual manifestations that are not as “out front” as others tend to be more likely to be content working quietly behind the scenes. Working quietly and diligently behind the scenes is good, even admirable if done for the right reasons. Without those kinds of faithful people, the bigger things of God just wouldn’t get accomplished.
However, I have found that in many cases, the usual reasons for quietly working behind the scenes often has something more to do with someone being unwilling to be involved with anything that requires working with others or something that can be easily scrutinized.
If you care about your relationship with God and availing yourself to Him, you should always be willing and even eager to embrace more of what He might have for you.
Check your heart
In a Kingdom, the one thing that matters most is that the King is exalted. Drawing again from Apostle Paul, this is why He says that no matter what you do, do it as unto Yeshua. When a person manifests the Holy Spirit the primary purpose is for the Glory of God.
It goes something like this: God gives someone a specific interest and/or ability. Perhaps someone may have a sort of supernatural ability to repair automobiles. That person then can use that ability to work out of a single car garage in their back yard for the sole purpose of repairing vehicles while making money. Or, they could use their abilities to make money while offering some of their services for free to other ministries or those who need a helping hand. I actually know a dear man who is a mechanic that does that very thing. I also know someone with a computer business who is similar. Maybe what you do isn’t particularly supernatural; maybe your just willing. I know of a web designer and a construction worker like that. Others may cook, sew or be able to bless financially. Willing hearts are a true testimony to a loving God.
Are you gifted at fishing? If so it’s probably not the best use of your “knack” for fishing to use it as an excuse to get away by yourself every weekend. On the other hand, if you use you use it to take others out to enjoy God’s creation, talk to them about Jesus / Yeshua, and then bring back your catch and give it away to the needy then you may be on the right track.
Manifestations of the Spirit of God are circular
We all have interests that are actually manifestations of God’s Spirit imparted to us for the purpose of better serving Him and others.
The Scriptures are clear; no Spiritual gift or manifestation is better than another: They are just different parts of the same body. They are all equal in the sight of God and all are given to satisfy the greatest commandment; loving God and loving each other.
By His Spirit, God puts it on a heart, the manifestation goes forth and blesses people and then back to God whereby He is then blessed.
What is your “Spiritual Gift”?
It’s really not that difficult. What do you like to do? What do you want to do? What do you seem to “have a knack for”? What do other people confirm are your strengths? These are the kinds of things you can consider to determine what God has in store for your life. God puts a desire on our heart, gives us the ability to walk it out and the opportunity for us to bless others with it.
However, don’t get too secure in it because He could change it altogether or it could develop into something that appears to be very different than the way it began.
What I am trying to say is; focus more on Yeshua than manifestations and in the end, you won’t go wrong.
The greatest manifestation in the Kingdom of God is love. God extends His love to us and then propels us to love Him back. It is the love of God then that also motivates us to love others. One way that love is demonstrated is through the manifestation of the Spirit of God in a manner that is a blessing to those in need.
This is one area that the satan really pursues. Often times he will work very hard at preventing God’s people from walking out their calling in genuine love. he accomplishes that in many ways.
You have GREAT value in the Kingdom of God: He created you that way. God has GREAT things in store for you that He would like you to accomplish. You have a destiny waiting for you.
Today and every day live your life with Kingdom purpose. Follow the Spirit of the living God to where He wants to take you. It is farther, greater and more exciting than you could ever imagine. Your contribution is critical to the body of Christ and a blessing to the Kingdom of God. That is part of the reason you were created; just remember, do all for the glory of God.
Confession: Father God, I commit myself to You: All that I have, all that I am and all that I will be. In Yeshua’s name, today I declare that I dedicate all of the resources that God has given me back to Him, to be used by Him, to bless others, for His glory.
Prayer: Father God thank you that You live in me. Please help me to release myself wholly to you so that I can utilize what You have given me so that, I can bless others and, You can be glorified.
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