Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

No single test can fully verify “everything” there is to know about your spiritual gifts. Rather, the goal of this blog is to stimulate your thinking and make you more aware of God working in your life. Our  Spiritual Gifts tests (go to www.layministry.com) will bring preferences and inclinations into your consciousness, perhaps even help clarify some of your thinking, but in order to really discern your Spiritual gifts  you will need to spend more time thinking about , praying over and using the gifts. Experience will be one of the most valuable indicators as to what Spiritual gifts you have. We are complex beings and God has given us wonderful passions and abilities. Surely it is worth some time to better understand how God has intended us to best serve Him. Here are three ways you can expand your knowledge about your own personal spiritual gifts.

1. Spend time in prayer
 You will learn more about your spiritual gifts as you spend time with God in prayer asking Him to show you your gifts. After you finish this chapter, go somewhere alone to be with God. Review your choices and ask God to give you insight.  Talk to Him about the gifts. Express any doubt, fear or frustrations you may have as a result of this chapter. Ask God for clarity and confirmation.

2. Investigate
 Investigation is key to knowing and using your spiritual gifts. Like many other things in life, the more you learn the more you find out how little you really know. Remember, these are “gifts” because they were given to us. They are not talents or abilities as we think when we say someone is a gifted athlete. This is a misnomer. Sure, there some of the gifts involve skills, talents and abilities but many of the spiritual gifts are a spiritual urge, leaning, passion or unction.
 Consider mercy. It is not a talent or ability, but rather a feeling or an urge that drives you to action. Even healing, which sounds like it is our own innate talent, is not our ability to “heal” someone. God does the healing! Instead, the gift of healing is the passion and faith a person brings to prayer when someone is sick. The urge is so strong they must pray for healing! The person with the gift of healing prays for healing because it is burning deep inside of them to do so.  God must do the healing. They have been given the spiritual “passion” of healing. Healing is not automatic, it is  under the leadership of God. For example, Paul had the gift of healing yet in I Timothy 5:23 he tells Timothy to take wine for the healing of his stomach. I imagine Paul prayed for Timothy but God did not heal him. Paul was deeply concerned for Epaphroditus and I believe he prayed for him earnestly, yet we see that God did not heal him as recorded in Philippians 2:25-27. In II Timothy 4:20 we see that Paul left Trophimus sick at Melitas. The gift of healing was not automatic but strictly under the providence of God.  As we examine scriptures further, in Matthew 13:58 we see that even Jesus could not heal in His home town because of the people’s unbelief.
 The supernatural gifts are all about the passion God puts in our hearts and the will of God in the circumstance. A person with the gift of mercy will not be moved in every circumstance they come across. Rather they learn to discern the urging of the Holy Spirit and be merciful in situations that God leads them in. For this reason when you examine the definitions of the Spiritual gifts you be asked to  rate yourself two ways. First you will rate your inward passion. Is it high, medium or low? Then you be asked to rate your experience of the gift. Is it high, medium or low? 
 This type of investigation will allow you to be your own guidance counselor. You will be able to look at the results of the survey and draw some conclusions. Then you can ask others, who you trust and know you well, to give you insight to your giftedness. Finally you can study other books and take other tests. All of this will help you learn more about you and the gifts that God has given you. 

3. Do ministry and see what happens
 There is nothing that can substitute for good old experience. Paul told Timothy to “stir up or exercise the gifts that he had.” Another way to say that is, “Get out there, try them out.” This is the best way to find out what spiritual inclinations God has really given you. Get involved in ministry and see where your passions are. If you begin to think your gift is “helps”, go and be more deliberate. Go and help some people. If “mercy”, work somewhere you can be merciful. If it is “faith”, meet with the Pastor and start to trust God for great things at the church. If “healing”, start praying earnestly for sick people. As you get more involved in ministry where you think you may have a gift, you will soon find out if this gift is indeed a deep passion from God. If it is, experience will help fuel the fire. You will feel alive, as if you found what God really wants you to do. And you have. As you continue to minister, God will help you learn about, modify and grow in your spiritual gifts.

CLICK HERE to download your  FREE copy of our Spritual Gifts Test and Workbook.

I have a lot of people from all over the world write and ask, “How do I use my Spiritual Gifts?” For example here is an email for someone in England. “I have gift of prophecy,wisdom and singing. I need help in  how to develop these giftings. I was just told that I have these gifts. How do I activate and test myself that really I flow in these gifts. Please reply.”

MY RESPONSE:

Thanks for your comment. There are two types of “gifts” and it can get confusing. One type of gift is what most people think of when they use gifts. It is a talent or ability. Singing for example would be a “gift” God gave you. The way you can develop that would be to increase in your practice, skill, and performance. Then you could ask God to give you opportunities to serve and use your gift to the best of your ability. Chances are it will be a life long gift that you can use. Teaching, hospitality and encouraging are some of the gifts like this.

However there seems to be a second type of Spiritual Gift. It is also “led” by God but in this case it is also fully empowered by God. For example, healing, prophecy, God given knowledge, miracles. These are “gifts” (given by God) that we have no way of doing by ourself. It seems that God gives these types of manifestations when He desires. However, that doesn’t mean we do not have any responsibility with these gifts. You ask, “How do I activate or flow in these gifts?”

If I would have to pick a few things it would be: Learn, be available and try. First be a learner. Study, pray, seek God for wisdom. Find others that are doing the gift. Intern with someone. Be a student and seek God’s guidance and instruction. Second, be available. God uses these gifts for His purposes. He will direct your path. It is all about Him and His love for mankind. Go where He is working and He will show you what to do. Third, try. I could say, “Just Do it!” but often the “doing” doesn’t happen. You are still using your gift when God asks you to pray for healing and the person doesn’t get healed! God is the healer and His ways are beyond our understanding. But I do know this, it seems that most things in life are a process. God is committed to process and seeing these gifts grow and be used is a process. We are called to be obedient to His leading. He will act according to His will. And you know what? Things will begin to happen. Elisha watched and tutored under Elijah, Timothy under Paul, the disciples under Jesus. I really believe that we will know more and more and see more and more happen as we do more and more.

Finally, I would add, fall in love with God’s Holy Spirit. Pray, seek His guidance. Allow Him to guide you. The Holy Spirit is that part of the Triune God that Jesus gave us in order to reach the world and do the work He began. After all these are Spirit-ual gifts.

I hope this helps. Look for our new book coming out later this fall on How To Use Your Spiritual Gifts. If interested contact me at ron@calvaryop.org.

God bless you in your service for Him.

Ron Ovitt

How Can I Know What Spiritual Gifts Are Mine?

No single test can fully verify “everything” there is to know about your spiritual gifts. Rather, the goal of this blog is to stimulate your thinking and make you more aware of God working in your life. Our  Spiritual Gifts tests (go to www.layministry.com) will bring preferences and inclinations into your consciousness, perhaps even help clarify some of your thinking, but in order to really discern your Spiritual gifts  you will need to spend more time thinking about , praying over and using the gifts. Experience will be one of the most valuable indicators as to what Spiritual gifts you have. We are complex beings and God has given us wonderful passions and abilities. Surely it is worth some time to better understand how God has intended us to best serve Him. Here are three ways you can expand your knowledge about your own personal spiritual gifts.

1. Spend time in prayer
 You will learn more about your spiritual gifts as you spend time with God in prayer asking Him to show you your gifts. After you finish this chapter, go somewhere alone to be with God. Review your choices and ask God to give you insight.  Talk to Him about the gifts. Express any doubt, fear or frustrations you may have as a result of this chapter. Ask God for clarity and confirmation.

2. Investigate
 Investigation is key to knowing and using your spiritual gifts. Like many other things in life, the more you learn the more you find out how little you really know. Remember, these are “gifts” because they were given to us. They are not talents or abilities as we think when we say someone is a gifted athlete. This is a misnomer. Sure, there some of the gifts involve skills, talents and abilities but many of the spiritual gifts are a spiritual urge, leaning, passion or unction.
 Consider mercy. It is not a talent or ability, but rather a feeling or an urge that drives you to action. Even healing, which sounds like it is our own innate talent, is not our ability to “heal” someone. God does the healing! Instead, the gift of healing is the passion and faith a person brings to prayer when someone is sick. The urge is so strong they must pray for healing! The person with the gift of healing prays for healing because it is burning deep inside of them to do so.  God must do the healing. They have been given the spiritual “passion” of healing. Healing is not automatic, it is  under the leadership of God. For example, Paul had the gift of healing yet in I Timothy 5:23 he tells Timothy to take wine for the healing of his stomach. I imagine Paul prayed for Timothy but God did not heal him. Paul was deeply concerned for Epaphroditus and I believe he prayed for him earnestly, yet we see that God did not heal him as recorded in Philippians 2:25-27. In II Timothy 4:20 we see that Paul left Trophimus sick at Melitas. The gift of healing was not automatic but strictly under the providence of God.  As we examine scriptures further, in Matthew 13:58 we see that even Jesus could not heal in His home town because of the people’s unbelief.
 The supernatural gifts are all about the passion God puts in our hearts and the will of God in the circumstance. A person with the gift of mercy will not be moved in every circumstance they come across. Rather they learn to discern the urging of the Holy Spirit and be merciful in situations that God leads them in. For this reason when you examine the definitions of the Spiritual gifts you be asked to  rate yourself two ways. First you will rate your inward passion. Is it high, medium or low? Then you be asked to rate your experience of the gift. Is it high, medium or low? 
 This type of investigation will allow you to be your own guidance counselor. You will be able to look at the results of the survey and draw some conclusions. Then you can ask others, who you trust and know you well, to give you insight to your giftedness. Finally you can study other books and take other tests. All of this will help you learn more about you and the gifts that God has given you. 

3. Do ministry and see what happens
 There is nothing that can substitute for good old experience. Paul told Timothy to “stir up or exercise the gifts that he had.” Another way to say that is, “Get out there, try them out.” This is the best way to find out what spiritual inclinations God has really given you. Get involved in ministry and see where your passions are. If you begin to think your gift is “helps”, go and be more deliberate. Go and help some people. If “mercy”, work somewhere you can be merciful. If it is “faith”, meet with the Pastor and start to trust God for great things at the church. If “healing”, start praying earnestly for sick people. As you get more involved in ministry where you think you may have a gift, you will soon find out if this gift is indeed a deep passion from God. If it is, experience will help fuel the fire. You will feel alive, as if you found what God really wants you to do. And you have. As you continue to minister, God will help you learn about, modify and grow in your spiritual gifts.

CLICK HERE to download your  FREE copy of our Spritual Gifts Test and Workbook.

Light Your Corner of the World

TODAY’S VERSE
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love synergy. That is the result of different entities working together to create a bigger response than they could by themselves. Have you ever been to a “candle light sing”, when at the end of the service one candle is lit and one by one each candle in the auditorium sends forth its illumination? What a beautiful site. How amazing that one little candle can be part of such brightness. This is the effect Jesus had in mind when He said that we were the “light of the world”. He was leaving this world and with the power of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives we would each shine our own light. Together we would become the light of the world. Dallas Willard in his book “Hearing God” writes, “Those who receive the grace of God’s saving companionship in His word are by that very fact also fitted to show humankind how to live.  Collectively the ‘called out’ people of God, the church is empowered to stand up for wandering humanity to see. When faced with starvation, crime, economic disasters and difficulties, disease, loneliness, alienation and war, the church should be, because it alone could be, the certified authority on how to live to which the world looks for answers.” We are called to be the light where we are. Today, come to Him, bring Him your candle; let Him light it for you and then light up your corner of the world. I’ll light mine. If everyone reading this devotional would let Christ light their light, someone is bound to be effected. There are people all around us dying to come out of the darkness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, speak to me, ignite my heart and then help me shine that light today. Help me share the light that I have with those hurting in utter darkness so they too can live in the light of your love and glory.
AMEN