Spiritual Gifts (Part 1)
We hear this word used all the time in Church. I grew up in the Church and it does not phase me. But I wonder what someone who didn’t grow up in The Church thinks when they hear “Spiritual Gifts”.
It takes me back to my younger years (ok yesterday) where I ran around the house waving my hand like a young Jedi trying to play mind control games. I still do that while driving at red lights. Is this what those Christians are talking about?
So what is a spiritual gift? Is it these supernatural powers that God bestows on his children so they can save the world? Or do I already posses them and are those crazy Christians just being hyper spiritual?
Here’s how I would like you to think about it. I know analogies always fall short, but for the sake of trying to explain, let me try one.
In the movie Braveheart, William Wallace finally meets his Uncle after his father is killed on the battle field. He looks at his uncle’s sword and you can see the rage in his eyes as he plots his revenge against the English. His uncle looks at him and says, “First learn to use this, then you can use this.” He points towards his head at first and then to the sword.
God has given us gifts that are natural. These are things that God gives us, that we are naturally good at. They are “Gifts”. Each one of us has them. We were born with them. When we talk about “Spiritual Gifts” we must not forget that the greatest gift given to us, is the gift of Salvation.
Once we understand that we are now sons and daughters of the most powerful God, we submit to God our lives. Not only our lives, but our God given talents. These are Natural gifts. The first thing we must do as we submit our lives to Jesus is give him the gifts that we already posses.
If you can sing, then sing for the Lord. If you like to paint, then paint for the Lord. If you can build, then build for the Lord. If you enjoy working with your hands, then work diligently for the Lord. Each and everyone of us has God given abilities that others don’t posses. Learning to take the things that God has already given to us and using them to further God’s Kingdom, brings glory to God. It blesses God’s Church and brings Glory to God as we submit our lives to God.
Last Week we learned that Paul describes 3 things about ALL gifts:
They are from God
They are to further the Gospel
They are to be used to edify the Church
*For reference see Romans Chapters 12 and 13
I believe that God wants us to use our Natural Gifts first. This makes us realize what we already have been given and how we can bless others. As we grow in our relationship with him, God may reveal other gifts that we didn’t even know we possessed. And then there are gifts that are directly given by God in which he empowers us to do miraculous things. We will talk about these gifts next time.
But for now, as Williams Wallace’s uncle put it. “First learn to use the God given gifts first, and then God will give us other gifts/tools that will strengthen not only our spiritual walk, but glorify and edify God’s Church.”
“A spiritual gift that has no purpose, or the wrong purpose, soon becomes a weapon of division.”