‘I’m not gifted in that area’ is an apology that I have used often, especially when it comes to things like hospitality or evangelism.
And this can be a very good thing!
In the church environment particularly, it is vital that we serve where we are gifted and passionate and called.
‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’ (1 Peter 4:10)
But—what about in my relationships and my everyday life? Does ‘I’m not gifted in that area’ work as a reason to not speak to someone about Jesus, or not to pray for a family member who is sick, or not to provide hospitality when it is needed?
Don’t be Intimidated by Others’ Spiritual Gifts
We will never truly be fulfilled until we step into the fullness of life that we are designed for—and be comfortable with our own unique expression of spirituality.
I have an old Toyota Camry, which is a vehicle that serves my family and me well. If I am driving and alongside me a hot, turbo-charged Ferrari pulls up, I don’t say, “What is the point of me being on the road? My car is not as powerful as that one.”
My car may be ordinary, it may not go as fast, but it is the only one that will taxi my children around, carry my family’s groceries and get me to work.
In the same way, we must not allow the fact that we do not have a spiritual gift of prayer, prophecy, healing and so on, intimidate us, or stop us living the supernatural life that is our rightful inheritance as Christians.
You and I will connect with people in our everyday life that the pastors and gifted people in our church will not, and occasions for prayer will arise when there is no one present but the Lord and us.
Where is the evangelist when the opportunity arises for you to discuss your faith with a neighbour, or work colleague, or lead your child or grandchild in a salvation prayer?
Where is the prophet when you or someone near you is struggling in your daily life, and needs direction or breakthrough, and could benefit from an encouraging word from God?
A Spiritual Gift, or a Characteristic of Christian Living?
It is vital that we grasp the difference between what a spiritual gift is, versus what is a basic characteristic that we should be exhibiting as followers of Jesus.
For the most part, spiritual gifts are turbo-charged, Holy Spirit-boosted versions of attributes that should be present in the life of every Christian believer.
- Every Christian is a witness and can share the Good News about Jesus (Col 4:5-6). However, a person with a gift of evangelism will see more people make commitments to Jesus through his or her ministry than the average Christian.
- Every Christian can pray (1 Thess 5:17, Eph 6:18). In fact, prayer is foundational to our relationship with God. Some Christians will pray more, and experience more miraculous results, because they have a gift of prayer or intercession
- All Christians can prophesy (Acts 2:17-18)—i.e., hear God’s voice for themselves and others. Some people can prophesy more powerfully, with greater accuracy and at a higher level, because they have a spiritual gift of prophecy
The same is also true of other areas such as healing (James 5:16), helps (Mark 10:43-45), giving (Rom 12:13) and hospitality (1 Peter 4:9).
This is why, in Ephesians 4, Paul describes the 5-fold (‘Ascension’) ministries—not as exclusive ministers in their area of giftedness—but as those whose primary calling is ‘to equip God’s people for works of service.’ (Eph 4:11-12)
The Basis for Supernatural Christian Living is Not a Spiritual Gift
It is true that some people do have a higher degree of giftedness than others in prayer, healing, prophecy, and so on.
But having a gift is not the basis for you being able to share with someone about Jesus, or pray, or receive a message from the Father for yourself or someone else.
Your ability to hear God’s voice is your right as a son or daughter in His Kingdom.
The source of your authority is the Name of Jesus Christ. What He has accomplished on the cross, and the authority that He has given to you as His committed follower, is the basis of your prayer power.
Further—and this is amazing—you and I have the same Holy Spirit indwelling and anointing us, who empowered Jesus to go about His life and ministry in the Gospels.
I have come to realise that there is NO ONE more qualified than you and I
- to hear from God
- to offer a prayer
- to have a Divine appointment
- to be involved in leading someone to Jesus
wherever we are in our everyday world.
Some Questions to Consider:
- What spiritual gifts am I aware that I do NOT have?
- Have I used the absence of a spiritual gift as a reason to not expect that God could use me to help love and lead people to Jesus, or to pray, or to believe God for miracles in my everyday life?
Father, I want to be fully alive—to be all you have called and designed me to be.
Help me to be comfortable with my own unique, down-to-earth expression of spirituality and to not be intimidated by the spiritual gifts and strengths of others.
Thank You that Your Spirit anoints and empowers me to be a supernatural Christian in my everyday world—to live a life for which Jesus is the only explanation, and to love and lead people to you.
In Jesus’ Name
© Helen Calder 2010 Enliven Publishing
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family