“Getting in Touch with God’s Plan”
Since the beginning of time, people have been searching for meaning and purpose. Exploring “what is the meaning of life” is innate in humans and that is exactly what God wants us to do. It often starts in early childhood when we demonstrate skills, traits, qualities and giftings that prompt parents or others in our lives to point us in a particular direction toward a career or hobby. None of this is random or accidental. Our Creator knows precisely how He desires to equip us, and He creates us accordingly.
As followers of Jesus, we should seek His wisdom in discerning what He has given us to use specifically for His glory and His purposes rather than our own. Scripture is rich in the ways God defines spiritual gifts and how our Heavenly Father desires we use them:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
1 Peter 4:10
Distinguishing of Spirits
The Interpretation of Tongues
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
The key distinction between talents and genuine spiritual giftings lies in how closely our use of such gifts are aligned to God’s calling and if our gifts are actually used to glorify Him. Super-talented people are generally easy to recognize, especially in sports, entertainment, academia and the sciences. These talents are often genetically granted among believers and non-believers but are not necessarily acknowledged as coming from Him or used for His purposes. Gifts appear to flow naturally out of some people with an effortlessness that is inspiring. We all know people who display mercy or service toward other people on a scale that is so high you can’t miss it. However, we must remember that mercy or service, along with other gifts also characterize many non-believers.
Excellent tools are available for personal assessment of genuine spiritual gifts. These range from straightforward written questionnaires to comprehensive online evaluations. Friendship Church is currently utilizing an online spiritual gifts assessment that shows promise. The written assessment that is a part of every Alpha course has been a popular and useful spiritual gifts indicator and has encouraged thousands of people to begin a journey that allows them to pursue God’s bigger plan for their lives with focus and confidence.
Don’t let busyness, cultural distraction or even spiritual warfare get in the way of the time that should be spent with God. He has a unique purpose intended for your life, and He created you to be in alignment with Him. God has blessed you with spiritual gifts and desires for you to embrace and use them.
I encourage you to take that first step.
- Be intentional in seeking out and using one of the many available spiritual gifts assessment tools. Friendship attendees who are interested in taking the free assessment can request access by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ask people who you trust, “Do you see these characteristics in me?” From time to time, we all need validation and encouragement, and the candid feedback of other people can make a big difference in our willingness to take decisive steps in becoming who God wants us to become for His glory.
- Step boldly and try something new that seems to fit the newfound understanding you have of how God has designed you. Don’t be discouraged if your first foray into a new area of service isn’t exactly what you believed it would be. Take another step if needed.
There is great joy in serving a God who created us for His purposes and desires eternal fellowship with us!