We do not choose indifference—we drift towards it. (Heb 2:1) And as we do, it robs us of our hunger for God and our motivaton to serve Him.
It also robs other people of receiving a life-changing blessing from God through us.
Some signs that apathy may be blocking growth in your gift of prophecy or other spiritual gift are:
- You believe that you have gone as far as you can go in the development of your gift
- You are comfortable with where you are, and not motivated to move forward in your ministry
- You can remember a time when you were excited about your spiritual gift, but you’ve lost the passion
- There is always a ready—and plausible—excuse as to why you should not step out and use your gift
There is one crucial ingredient that we must have, in order to overcome indifference and push forward in our spiritual gifts.
That ingredient is desire.
This also holds true for all spiritual gifts. This includes prophecy, as well as other revelatory gifts such as discernment, intercession and word of knowledge.
The Apostle Paul said,
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. (1 Cor 14:1)
Here are three kinds of desire that are vital to growth in our gifts:
1. Desire for God
In any relationship, when we love someone, we want to spend time with him or her—and it is the same in our relationship with God.
To crave spiritual gifts without the greatest desire being for God Himself is like marrying someone for his or her money.
In Acts 8, Simon the sorcerer offered money to the apostles so that he could have the same power that they did. Peter rebuked him strongly for the wickedness in his heart.
Our love for God leads us to want to be close to Him, and out of that hunger for intimacy comes the longing also to hear what He is saying—to know His heart and priorities.
And right there is the place where we receive revelation.
Our prophetic ministry will not have depth, impact and anointing unless we foster intimacy with God.
If you feel that you have lost that sharp edge of hunger for God and His Presence, now is the time to return to that place. (Rev 2:4-5)
2. Love for People and Desire to help them.
The Apostle Paul made it clear in his lengthy discussion about spiritual gifts, that love is the vital prerequisite to the use of the gifts. (1 Cor 13)
Jesus said the whole law is summed up by the commands to love God and to love our neighbour. (Luke 10:27-28)
Loving people leads us to desire to help them and build Jesus’ church.
I encourage you to stop and do a check on how you are going in this area.
- Is your motivation to prophesy, or utilise your gift based on a genuine desire to help people and lead them closer to Jesus?
- How are you going in your desire to build the church—what about your own church? I’ve learned that my passion for my own local church is often a barometer or how I am going in this area.
Of course, sometimes discouragement or hurt can get in the way of this—and I will discuss that in another post.
3. Desire for the Spiritual Gift Itself
In 1 Cor 14, we are told to ‘Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.’
This desire keeps us moving forward, not only to develop the gift, but also to use it to minister to others.
I have often heard it said that we should desire the Giver, not the gifts (and have sometimes said it myself!) But the Bible clearly says we should desire the gifts.
We should desire the Giver and His gifts.
I am challenged to have the desire that Elisha did, that caused him to pursue Elijah for his mantle. (2 Kings 2)
That mantle was the outward representation of Elijah’s prophetic ministry and office of the prophet.
We have all seen people who have an unhealthy focus on spiritual gifts or prophecy. Being concerned about this is a good sign.
We need to be alert to the wrong kinds of desire. To check our motives, we can ask questions like: 
- Am I comparing myself to someone else and wanting an ability that they have?
- Am I willing to wait, if this is not the right time to step out?
- Am I willing to submit this longing for a gift or ministry to leaders in the church—and hold back if they do not see God has called me to this area?
- Is this about loving people—or feeling fulfilled myself?
- Does reaching for this gift free me to be more of who God has created me to be?
- Is it clear—to others and to me—that it is God’s glory and His church that I want to bring attention to and not myself?
Don’t Separate the Gifts and the Giver
We think of a gift in the human sense, that we give a gift that is separate to us.
However, the gifts God gives us are the expression of His Holy Spirit living on the inside of us. We cannot separate the two.
When we cease desiring the gift, we have not only forgotten the value of the gift itself, we have lost sight of the treasure that is the unique expression of the Holy Spirit impacting others through us.
In valuing our spiritual gift, we are valuing the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:7)
When we long for the manifestation of a gift with a God-breathed desire—a desire that is birthed in communion with Him—we are longing for God Himself.
Keys to Reawakening Desire
Some things we can do are:
- Pray and ask God to stir a hunger up in you, so that you are not satisfied with anything less than God being first in your life
- Specifically repent of apathy. Invite the Holy Spirit to move and breathe His life into your heart and gift
- Stir up the desire by reminding yourself of the benefits of the use of your spiritual gift in helping people and bringing them closer to God
Was there an event you can look back on that caused you to stop desiring the gift? We will be looking at this in another post.
Do you have any experiences or questions to share on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
 Wayne Grudem defines a spiritual gift as ‘any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church.’ (GRUDEM, W. Systematic Theology. 1994. Nottingham: Inter-Varsity. p1016)
For examples of spiritual gifts see the following scriptures:
1 Cor 12:4-11, Rom 12:6-8
 From my e-book, ‘Grow Your Prophetic And Prayer Gifts.’
© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog
On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church