Every year, I spend months preparing for gift-giving at Christmas. I usually create a Christmas Excel spreadsheet that lists the names of all who we will give a gift. I also include a budget for each person that hopefully coincides with our overall Christmas budget.
It's November, and I have not completed the spreadsheet and have not bought many gifts, but I have been thinking and learning a lot about spiritual gifts lately.
Much of what I am writing about in this post is the result of a conversation I had with my beloved niece, Andrea Carter-Blaho. Andrea has been speaking truth and encouragement into my life, since she was a very young girl. Our conversations have always been intimate, honest accounts of where we are, what God is doing in our lives, and where we sense He might be leading us day-by-day in our spiritual journey. Our conversations lasted almost 2 hours, which is normal for us.
It is my belief from what God's Word tells me, that spiritual gifts are from God, and since they are from God, there should be no ego involved. If it is a gift that puts us behind the scenes or out front, then that is by God's design. You and I are not responsible for designing or manipulating them for our own purpose.
I also believe it is our responsibility to know what spiritual gifts have been given to us, to cultivate and use them, while trusting where they came from and where they might take us. This may mean we are put in an upfront, supportive or behind the scenes role. It's all God's call.
As long as our hearts remain focused on serving God and helping others, once we know what our gifts are, we can settle on the truth that wherever we are using our gifts, that is what God has meant for us; in His time for whatever season He deems appropriate.
You and I had absolutely no part in the design of our spiritual gifts, and they will not be given to us until we are spiritually "born again" into God's family, His Kingdom, a part of His loving and redemptive plan. (John 3:3)
Once we are "born again" spiritually (not in the physical sense), it is important for us to know what gifts God has given us, and we must trust the gift-giver; He knows what He is doing. It's really very simple, but we often make it so difficult. All we have to do is open our heart and soul to God, accept Jesus as "the way, the truth and the life,"receive His gift of redemption and eternal life, and wait for the gift-giver to give us the spiritual gifts with our name(s) on them. Once we are saved, sealed and align ourselves with God, we must be careful not to set aside, hide or forget about our spiritual gifts, as we often do with earthly gifts we have been given.
Have you received the gift of salvation, redemption and eternal life through the death of Jesus who was born for that purpose? If so, then you have spiritual gifts. Do you know what your spiritual gifts are - there's a list of spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12:8-19 with comparable gifts discussed in Ephesians 4:7-13, Isaiah 11:2-3 and Romans 12:3-8.
Have you completed a spiritual gifts assessment to discover what are your spiritual gifts? You can find these assessments online or perhaps your home church has one you could use. I like to complete a spiritual gifts assessment about every 7-10 years, and it is always interesting to see how the prominence of each of my gifts may change a bit, depending on how I am growing and maturing in Christ.
How I hope with all of my heart that you are spiritually "born again." If you aren't, it's simple. Just ask Jesus to come into your heart and soul, to save and seal you, and to send the Holy Spirit to be your comfort and guide. Ask Jesus to forgive you. Tell Him you want to receive the gift of salvation and eternal life, and to fill you with His Holy Spirit that you may follow and walk with Him from now on.
This could be the day you are spiritually born again. "Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland," -Isaiah 43:18
If you are already a "new creature in Christ," saved, sealed and aligning yourself with God's expectations, will and purpose for your life, I hope you will look into taking a spiritual gifts assessment to become aware of how God has gifted you, and that you will use those gifts! Believe me, when I say you can trust the way-maker and the gift-giver.
With Faith, Hope and Love,
Angie "a mom like you"