God has given each of us a spiritual gift. At salvation, we were equipped with an ability which He intends for us to use within His kingdom (Romans 12:6-8). Since God has done such a spectacular work in our lives, it stands to reason that we should be familiar with our gifts, and we should be busy using them for the glory of God. The problem with many believers lies in the fact that they don’t know how to discover their gifts. They trudge through their spiritual journey, unaware of how God desires to use them. Consider three questions you can ask yourself in order to identify your spiritual gift.
What do you want to do?
When it comes to your church, what gets you excited? I can remember my initial promptings to teach. Within my own heart, I had a burning desire to share what God was showing me through my devotional readings. I didn’t understand it at the time, but God’s Spirit was giving me a passion in the area of my giftedness. When you were born-again, a portion of God’s nature was deposited into your soul (John 3:3). As you live a life surrendered to the Spirit’s leadership, it will give you the desires God desires for you. The Bible says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires” (Psalm 37:4). The verse doesn’t mean that God fulfills selfish desires; it means that God will give you the desires that He wants you to have. This truth can be applied to spiritual gifts. When we walk with the Lord, He gives us passions concerning certain areas of service. This is why Paul said that a God-called pastor “aspires to be” a pastor. If you want to identify your spiritual gift, walk with the Lord and pay attention to the passions He gives you.
What are you good at?
If God gifts us to do something, we will inevitably be good at that thing. I can’t imagine a gifted teacher being unable to teach. In Scripture, the coming of the Spirit’s power is depicted as being something that is accompanied by manifestations of might, power, and strength (Judges 14:6; 1 Samuel 10:6; Acts 1:8; and Revelation 1:10). When Paul described the qualifications of a pastor, he said that one must be “able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2). No matter how passionate you may be for a certain area of ministry, you should be hesitant to serve if you do not have some sort of ability in that area. Not all gifted teachers will be the best teachers ever, but they will demonstrate a degree of effectiveness. The same can be said for those who possess one of the other six spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8.
What do others think?
While we are ultimately led by the Lord, the input of other believers should be important in our lives (Matthew 18:15-16 and 22:39; Acts 6:5; and 1 Timothy 2:2). When Paul wrote to Timothy, he made mention of the way in which others had noticed the young man’s giftedness to teach (1 Timothy 1:18 and 4:14). When you are spiritually gifted to serve the Lord, others will take note of your abilities and be blessed by them. You might even receive constructive comments, words of affirmation, and encouragement. Be sensitive to these, and realize that the Lord may be showing you what He has called you to do.
Dr. Patrick Latham