Passion to Practice

Many times our Spiritual Gifts are more of a passion, a desire, a spiritual yearning that needs to be developed into action. How is that done? How do we go from passion to practice of a Spiritual Gift?

In I Corinthians 12:1-7 Paul writes:

 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant… There are different kinds of gifts but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of workings, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now each of the manifestations of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Paul says that He doesn’t want us to be ignorant about spiritual gifts so he uses three descriptive words that when put together, help us better understand what a spiritual gift is. First Paul wrote, “There are different kinds of gifts”. The word “gifts” imply that what God is giving us is given to us freely, just like a Birthday or Christmas gift. I believe this comes in the form of a passion or spiritual sense that God is initiating something in and through us. It is from God.

The second phrase that Paul used for clarification was “There are different kinds of service”. The word “service” implies that the gifts or those abilities or passions that were freely given to us by God, are to be used as a form of serving God. The word service is the same word that is used for ministry. Paul is implying that God has given you and I spiritual gifts that equip us for ministry. So here we see that the gift needs to go from a passion from God to a action.
The final phrase that Paul uses is “There are different kinds of workings.” The word “workings”  is an exciting word. It is only used twice in the Bible, both times in this chapter. This word means the “effect or result” of the energy or the power of God.  This is the final part of the puzzle. Not only is the passion from (a gift) God (spiritual), the working out of the Spiritual Gift is an effect of God!
When we put all three phrases together we see that a spiritual gift is:

An ability or prompting of the Holy Spirit, given to us freely, and is energized and empowered by God for His service.

Peter shares how each of us is to go from a passion to a practice of using our gifts and ministering to each other. In I Peter 4:11 he writes:

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

But if the gift is from God and not a “natural” gift, how do we obtain the use of it? The secret is in the word “received.” It is His gift, He must give it. It is always that way. You feel a burden to teach the word of God in a way that will move people to action. God will give you the ability to study, prepare and lead your mind through the maze of thoughts into a coherent message. You are in a situation and know that something is not clear. You sense the gift of discernment and through focus and concentration, you hear the “clear message” that God is trying to give you. The answer seems clear. The gift of Faith might take bold prayer and action. You will battle fear and doubt but the way seems sure and you become confident in what God has led you to believe. You see a person in physical need and God nudges you to pray for them. You know it is His will to heal and you pray in faith believing inviting God to manifest Himself in the supernatural.

In all the cases above you went from a Spiritual sensitivity to an awareness of what you should do to the actual stepping out in obedience to what you have been asked to do. So what are some steps that you can take in order to use the Spiritual Gift that God has given to you?

Check out your passions

Go to our definitions of the Spiritual Gifts in our book, Wired For Ministry and rate yourself on your passion toward each Spiritual Gift. When you do start to learn all you can about that Gift. Start to dialog with God about the gift and how He wants you to use it.

Start to Grow In Your Experience of the Gifts

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.” 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.

This is the best way to find out what spiritual inclinations God has really given you. God has put us in a system where “time” and “growth” are natural everyday truths about our reality. We will begin to see that the passion He has given us, that quickening in our heart to act out in a certain way, is just the beginning of our walking in our Spiritual Gifts. We must grow in the gift. He must teach us and allow us to improve as we go along. We will move from passion to practice.

How about you? Has God shown you what your Spiritual Gifts are? How is it going in the actual outworking of your gifts? Feel free to comment to this post and let’s begin a dialog about going from passion to practice of our Spiritual Gifts.

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Do you want to know more about your Spiritual Gifts? CLICK HERE for the FREE Spiritual Gifts Survey. To learn how you were wired for ministry CLICK HERE to preview the book, Wired For Ministry

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How Conscious Are You of Your Spiritual Gifts?

It is easy to find myself at the end of the day and never once think about my Spiritual Gifts.  I mean, was I even trying to walk in the Spirit? It’s easy to let the spiritual side of you sit on the back burner. Time flies by. Personally, I spend a lot of time on the phone. And then there are meetings. Half my life seems like it is putting out fires -(Hmm . . . Maybe that has something to do with my Spiritual Gift?)

Hold it. Could there be some truth to the above parentheses? Perhaps Spiritual Gifts aren’t something I “make time” for, like extracurricular activities? Maybe I just live them.

Think about it, if you are passionate about what you are doing, if you feel like you are conscious of God working through you or that He is part of the picture, if you feel like you are in a natural flow or are in the zone, maybe you are using one of the Spiritual Gifts in you?

THe answer to this is to be more aware of being spiritual and conscious of God in all that I do. I need to be more focused about using (or better yet, “being”) the “gifts” He has given me, even at work. The Lord knows we need to release His gifts into the world that we work, live and play in. Spiritual Gifts are not just for church.

Anyways, how about you? Were you aware of any Spiritual Gifts in your life today? If not, there is tomorrow. I am going to talk to God about tomorrow. I am going to ask Him to make me conscious of the gifts He has given me.

 

What Spiritual Gift Do I Have?

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 Survey (go to www.empowerministry.org/gifts) 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.

  1. 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” for 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 hometown 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 are 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 into 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.

  1. 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, the 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 take our FREE online Spiritual Gifts Survey

To learn more read our book Wired For Ministry

 

Insured

TODAY’S VERSE
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
Jude 1:24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We insure ourselves in so many ways. We buy insurance for our cars and homes. We buy medical insurance, dental insurance and disability insurance. But perhaps the greatest insurance of all was paid for by Jesus Christ. He knew the risks. Sin happens. Yet He loved us so much that He did everything needed to make sure we are covered, so no matter what, He will bring us, with great joy, into God’s glorious presence without a single fault! No wonder Paul says, “All glory to God!” That should be the response of our heart too. So today, Praise Him for saving you and for insuring your place in Heaven for all eternity.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for the sacrifice of Your dear Son, my Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You that You will keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into Your glorious presence without a single fault.
AMEN

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Faith And Love

TODAY’S VERSE

What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
Galatians 5:6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It was hard enough trying to win people to Christ who had no idea of a monotheistic God. But to have to fight his fellow Christians over keeping the law was a real burden to Paul. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul told the Christians that Christ had set them free, not the law, and he encouraged them to live by the Spirit. He then stated what was real important; that is to have a faith that expresses itself in love. What a beautiful synopsis of our Christian life. Faith in Christ that results in Him loving others through us is our top priority. Today, ask God to increase your faith in ways that express your love to others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the death and resurrection of Christ. Please help me increase my faith and live a life that is an expression of Your love.
AMEN

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You can get this Daily Devotional sent to your e-mail as “Moment In the Word”. CLICK HERE to have this Daily E-votional sent to your e-mail

Do You Know What Your Spiritual Gifts Are?
Now You Can. CLICK HERE to Get your FREE Spiritual GIfts Test and Workbook

Do you want to know how to be a Child of God? CLICK HERE to find out how

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We are doing a new devotional ministry you may be interested in. We already do MOMENT IN THE WORD a daily devotional.
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Come Boldly

Alive

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When asked, a group of people who suffered with addictions, gave the answer to what they “felt” just before they gave into the craving of their addiction. What was the trigger, what was the deep painful impulse that was driving them? Some of the answers were, “worthlessness, lost, disconnection, lack of existence, invisible, bad, evil, void, abandoned, alone, powerless, wrong, not breathing, non being, humiliated, ashamed and unloved.” Then the same group was asked to visualize taking the drug and verbalize what the drug did for them. What was the promise, what was the relief? They wrote:
“self discovery, focus for my life, meaning, surrender, will, acceptance by group, feeling of being alive, freedom, acceptance of desire, living in the moment.” Now here is the catch. Although the desire for positive meaning is real, the lie is that drugs are the solution. It is like the song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” It is God that gives the “breath of life.” Jesus provides real meaning. The healing power of God and Christian fellowship is the answer to our deepest pain! God has created us for life. We are not supposed to go around feeling like a non-being. Instead Paul prays that we would have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Christ’s love for us is. It is in experiencing God’s love for us that we are made complete with all the “fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Today, let the love of Christ breathe life deep into your soul and make you alive.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to live, really live. Help me find true meaning and purpose in Your love for me. Fill me with Your life-giving breath. Fill me with Your Spirit and make me more alive today than I have ever been.
AMEN

______________________________________

CLICK HERE to send this to a friend

You can get this Daily Devotional sent to your e-mail as “Moment In the Word”. CLICK HERE to have this Daily E-votional sent to your e-mail

Do You Know What Your Spiritual Gifts Are?
Now You Can. CLICK HERE to Get your FREE Spiritual GIfts Test and Workbook

Do you want to know how to be a Child of God? CLICK HERE to find out how

Join us on TWITTER for our NEW DAILY PERSONALIZED BIBLE AFFIRMATION

We are doing a new devotional ministry you may be interested in. We already do MOMENT IN THE WORD a daily devotional.
Now we are going on Twitter featuring a daily Personalized Bible Affirmation taken from our own Personalized Bible Paraphrase. Each day you will find the verses inspirational and written in a way that helps you personally pray them. Go to twitter and follow us @ronovitt

Go With Your Spiritual Strengths

Paul shares with us that each of us has a Spiritual Gift. Peter shares that we should stir up the gifts that we have. And yet we don’t spend much time trying to find out what they are or how to use them. There is a good example in the secular world. It is “Go With Your Strengths.” I love the concept. We are so bent on trying to be good at things that we are mediocre in that we don’t take advantage of what we are really good at. We suffer, the companies we work for suffer. Nobody wins. It’s like telling a dog that runs fast that it needs to improve on it’s swimming and telling a duck that is good at swimming that it needs better grades in running. What good does it do? How much better to let the dog become a great runner and the duck a great swimmer.

We are the same. We have so many talents and yet we are busy working in areas we are okay in, never functioning in our best capacity. How much more in the Spiritual arena of life. Why? Because in the world we at least know what we are good at. Most of us don’t have a clue what Spiritual Gifts we have. And when we do, we don’t know how to use them or get better at them.

Today take a look at the gifts on the side bar. Check them out. Go ahead and download our book and take our tests. And then start finding out ways to use your gifts. Isn’t time we start using our Spiritual Strengths that God has given us?

Spiritual Gifts Test, Workbook and Other Helpful Articles On Spiritual Gifts