Not too long ago I had a conversation with two friends of mine on our way to a rehearsal for a gospel play. The topic of spiritual gifts surfaced and God’s calling for your life. My friend said to me “So Tony what is your gift from God?” I responded “I think its singing. I have always loved to sing; ever since I can remember I always had a tune in my head.” I even proceeded to tell a quick story of joining my church choir shortly after graduating college some years ago. It was Sunday morning service. After watching the choir sing songs of Zion and something came over me and told me to ask the choir director how to become a part of the choir; and that’s precisely what I did. I was told when and where to come audition, what to expect, and how serious of a commitment I had to make to join this ministry. When I came back to tell my mother about my new found joy she was pleasantly surprised and rejoicing inside. I could see it in her eyes she was elated her baby boy found a small but important piece of the man God called him to be.
Each and every gift one has is administered by the Holy Spirit. He decides which gifts each believer should have and we are responsible to use and sharpen our gifts, but not to take credit for what God has freely given us. (1 Peter 4:10) says” Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” God has given gifts to each of us for the purpose of honoring him in this world. God has gifted you to do something in a way nobody else can. By tapping into your unique abilities and using them to promote His kingdom, you’re fulfilling his will in the truest sense. If you know what your gifts are look for opportunities to serve and if you don’t know ask God to show you. As you begin to recognize your special area of service, use your gifts to strengthen and encourage others (Ephesians 4:11, 12).
Now that you know you have a spiritual gift from God, how do you tap into and stir up the gift within you? I am not sure if there is a blueprint for assessing what your spiritual gifts God has blessed you with. Whether its natural human ability, a God given talent, inherited trait, something learned, etc the key is to discover our abilities (spiritual gifts and talents) and learn to use them to love, worship, and serve God. God is certainly pleased when we use a learned ability to serve him as he is when we use a Spiritual Gift to serve him. We must never use our gifts as a means of manipulating others or serving our own self interest; undiscovered, undeveloped, or mis-used gifts dishonor God. Gifts used without love do not accomplish God’s intended purposes. Love makes our actions and gifts useful and is the one gift available to everyone (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Our work for God is important; when you magnify your creator with your strengths your days will grow suddenly sweet. Paul says “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1). Our gifts are meant for one purpose and one purpose only. Living a life worthy of our calling are how these gifts we are blessed with should be used to build up the body of Christ. God invests in us and he expects his return. When we use them as he directs to help others they will see Jesus in us and praise him for the help they have received. “Let your shine before men, that they may see you good deeds and praise your father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV). So, be like the great New England preacher Jonathan Edwards, who lived by two resolutions:
First: “All men should live for the glory of God.”
Second: “Whether others do or not, I will.”