First of all, we all have spiritual gifts:
· To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
We are commanded to use these gifts:
· As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)
But how do we discover our gifts? I think that there are several ways. Most importantly, we must commit ourselves fully to God. As we commit ourselves to Him in obedience – and this includes meditating on His Word day and night (Psalm 1) - He will begin to make things clear to us:
· Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
When our Lord is #1 in our lives, He grants us discernment and wisdom through His Word. When He is not #1, we inevitably harden our heart against His pleadings, and when we do this, we also harden our hearts against His illumination and wisdom.
Here is another way that we can discern His calling. If we are performing labors for the Lord that are drudgerous, these are probably not our giftings. Instead, God wants us to be cheerful in our service to Him and therefore gives us gifts that are pleasing:
· Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)
These verses suggest that God will give us gifts that we can perform cheerfully. If instead God gives us gifts that are displeasing, we will not be able to persist long in them. Instead, God gifts us in a way so that we can joyfully persist and perfect our gift.
Others can also help direct us in discovering our gifting. We are to seek godly counsel. Their counsel should be able to direct us to discover and use our gifts.
Most importantly, we need not worry about discovering our gifts. Why not? Because our Lord has a blessed plan for our lives:
· For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
We need not worry. The doors He opens for us, no one can close
· “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.” (Revelation 3:7)
We need to remember that God is in charge. He has even ordained the number of hairs we have on our heads, as Jesus had explained to His agitated Apostles:
· And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:28-30)
Our God cares even about the little things in our lives. How much more our using the gifts He has given us for the edifying of His Church!
Therefore, we need not worry about discovering and using His gifts. We should be concerned about only one thing – that He is #1 in our lives:
· Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [or even ‘What are my gifts?’] For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)
When our Lord is #1, everything that we need will be given to us!