To many people- believers even- spiritual gifts are a mystery. Paul starts off in 1 Cor. 12:1 by saying that concerning spiritual gifts, he does NOT want you to be ignorant. But in spite of that instruction, people choose to be satisfied with their ignorance on how spiritual gifts operate, instead of investing their resources into developing what God clearly has available for them!
Now, there are quite a few good resources out there that detail the ways the 9 gifts of the Spirit operate. But knowledge OF the gifts does not necessarily lead to operation IN the gifts! (Even though that knowledge is VERY important.) What I have found, is that there is a ‘gap’ of sorts before operating in the gifts, and that gap is in the process of stirring up your spirit first- so that the gifts you know about, CAN readily operate!
Paul told his ‘trainee’- Timothy in 2 Tim. 1:6 to ‘stir up the gift of God which WAS IN him.’ This stirring up was not God’s responsibility, it was not Paul’s responsibility, it was not the receiver’s (or the person who had the need) responsibility- it was Timothy’s responsibility. Wow. So this means, that once God gives a gift, it resides. It does not go back to God or merely dissipate into the atmosphere. It simply goes dormant until the next time the vessel (mm hmm… you) activates it.
That is the question I have had, and many others have had as well! So, one of my quests has been to understand how gifts get stirred up, and recognize these catalysts, so this process is as understandable as possible, especially within the context of our relationship with God and relating to others.
I think a lot of ministers (who operate in gifts) have done people a disservice by merely teaching on the gifts, and operating in them, without telling the ‘behind the scenes’ catalysts of how this first came to pass in their life, leaving people to wonder and guess about this part of their gift’s operation. And because it comes so easy for them they make one of two errors: 1) They are special, and they just assume no one else can do what they do… or 2) They assume they are NOTHING special, and because it comes so easy for them, they don’t understand why anyone cannot do the same thing like they can! They are actually confused why it doesn’t come so easily for others like it does for them! Unfortunately they just don’t pay attention to, or gloss over the process by which gifts are stirred up.
For this reason, for those of you that believe that operating in the gifts can be a struggle for you- you are actually blessed indeed. This is because you will be more methodical, diligent, and count both the gifts and the process as valuable. I have found this produces a better quality of gift-operating individual. Just as long as they don’t bring their fears, doubts and past disappointments into the process. This is important. Paul says in 1 Cor 14 to EAGERLY desire spiritual gifts- you can’t have an attitude of eagerly desiring at the same time harboring fears, doubts and past disappointments. Something has to give, and you must make the choice about what you want. You want the gifts? or do you want the past fears, failures and disappointments?
Once you make up your mind concerning what you really want, this message I ministered on recently will be a valuable next step. In this message, I discuss 4 Keys for recognizing and stirring up the gifts the God has put inside your spiritual DNA.
- Developing Focus and Alertness in your relationship with God
- Creating a Culture that pulls gifts out of people
- Lose Self-Consciousness- Step out on the Water
Now in this part 1 of the message, I really concentrate on the first two keys, and hopefully in the near future I will be able to finish up this message with Keys 3 and 4. But I do know that many people talked to me after I ministered on this, how this message really helped them discern some things that God was doing on the inside of them. Sometimes God has been working on the inside of you for a long period of time, but you just haven’t recognized the significance of what God was doing, and what you need to do in order to take things to the next level with Him. I really believe this message will go a long ways to give you some next steps.