How important are spiritual gifts?
‘For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift, to strengthen and establish you; that is, that we may be mutually encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.’ – Romans 1:11,12 AMP.
Apostle Paul, the father of many churches in the early days of Christianity, is usually fond of writing to the [local] churches he planted. He does this for two primary reasons: Firstly, to encourage them in the way of growth and continuity in the faith of Jesus; secondly, to teach them the deep spiritual things of God through his letters. But there’s a mystery hidden to Paul which he never foresaw, and that is the fact that his letters were going to travel down many generations, and that the Holy Spirit was going to breathe upon his (Paul’s) words so they could carry and impart the power of heaven as if it was Father God Himself that spoke them.
In his letter to the believers in Rome (and to us down the ages), he writes and expresses his desire to see them so he could impart some spiritual gift to them. Both for Paul and the believers he writes to, this is an absolute shift from whatever religion they practiced before they came to Christ. It evidences the fact there is something different about Christ, and it is that He is quite lavish with His spiritual gifts and desires for us to have them much like a parent wants their child to have beautiful toys.
The reason for spiritual gifts
However, spiritual gifts are not toys. Of course, Christ could be quite humorous, but He plays no games. How could He play games when His creation is in a deep mess and desperately needs rescue? How could spiritual gifts be toys-for-fun when the devil is out there destroying peoples lives through various vices? The Lord’s gifts are weapons of war to destroy or undo the devil’s evil works in the lives of men. The gifts He gives us are divine instruments to make our lives and that of other people better, purer, and more beautiful.
Below are some purposes of spiritual gifts in our lives:
- They strengthen us. ‘For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift, to strengthen… you.’ – Romans 1:11 AMP.
Spiritual gifts are part of God’s way to equip us with supernatural strength, which we need to survive and thrive in this present world. God wants us to be strong so that we don’t fall prey to the lies, deceptions and attacks of the devil and his minions; and also that we can withstand the pressures of the world system targeted against the Christian faith. There are many kinds of gift with the Lord, but whichever one we receive from His hand, it helps us become more immune to the vanities and lusts that rule the souls of people in the world.
‘I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfil His purpose… I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength…] – Philippians 4:13 AMP.
When you are a strong Christian, the devil will be unable to harm you in any way; and he will be unable to attack your walk with God except you give him the chance – through prayerlessness and disobedience to God’s word. The same way a well-equipped soldier has what it takes to destroy or disarm his enemy easily, that’s the same way a strong Christian disarms the enemy easily – through the use of spiritual gifts.
- They help in our establishment in the faith. ‘For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift, to… establish you.’ – Romans 1:11 AMP
The world in which we live is like a large field with many pits – both muddy and waterless pits – all trying to sink our feet [at various points of our lives] in the vanities of the worldly system and it’s anti-Christ culture. It is a place where there is constant clash between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, and so there is an urgent need that we walk in the supernatural equipping of the Lord helping us to be firmly established in the faith.
‘But of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her,” And the Most High Himself will establish her.’ – Psalm 87:5 AMP.
When you’re established, you will easily walk over the pits, traps, and plans of the enemy to make you compromise your faith. You will also be enabled to lift up others from whatever pits or snares the devil has got them trapped in, making it possible for them to begin [or continue] their journey of faith. It is necessary that we seek to receive the spiritual gifts Christ offers, because it will give us the assurance we need that we are citizens of God’s kingdom!
- They aid us in serving God’s kingdom and His interests.
‘For the kingdom of God is not based on talk but on power.’ – 1 Corinthians 4:20 AMP.
I’m yet to see a person who will serve in the government of or in his place of work with his own personal resources or finances. If you are going to serve in the government of your nation, you have to depend on their resources in order to accomplish your assigned tasks and responsibilities. When God sees our sincere and earnest desires, coupled with our diligent effort to serve His heavenly kingdom and His interests, He makes His spiritual gifts and kingdom’s resources available to us.
‘Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world [nor does it have its origins in this world]. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would be fighting [hard] to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this world.’ – John 18:36 AMP.
If anyone ever told you that God needs your resources for His kingdom purpose, they only told you a half truth. God’s kingdom is self-sufficient and self-reliant, so your natural strength, natural talents and physical possessions are not worthy in themselves to serve God’s kingdom, and this is why He makes His gifts available to those who seek Him with all their hearts.
- They provide comfort for those in trouble. ‘That is, that we may be mutually encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.’ – Romans 1:12 AMP.
The gifts of God are for our healing, joy, security, restoration, and fruitfulness, they are designed to make peoples lives better and not worse. There are a whole lot of spiritual gifts listed in the book of 1 Corinthians 12, God has deliberately designed this gifts such that they will be able to address the needs and troubles that His people face on earth every day.
Meeting the Custodian of God’s gifts – the Holy Spirit.
‘But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit [the spiritual illumination and the enabling of the Holy Spirit] for the common good.’ – 1 Corinthians 12:7 AMP.
Paul expressed his desire to impart spiritual gifts to God’s people, but we do not have access to Paul’s gifts today – as he is already with the Lord in heaven. However, we do have unhindered access to the One who is the Custodian of the spiritual gifts – the Person of the Holy Spirit. He distributes heaven’s gifts to all God’s children according to God’s plan, giving to everyone what is needed for his destiny and the fulfilment of the purpose of God he was designed to fulfill.
‘All these things [the gifts, the achievements, the abilities, the empowering] are brought about by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, distributing to each one individually just as He chooses.’ – 1 Corinthians 12:11 AMP.
Have you met the Holy Spirit? Are you already walking in the spiritual gifts He has for you as an individual? Have you learnt to recognize or discern His communications? Do you yield to Him when He tries to move you in His direction? I really wish all your answers were yes, but I do hope that you know He is always available whenever we acknowledge our need of Him. He is never too busy to attend to us, we are the ones who are too busy and distracted to seek Him!
He waits for you to seek Him and have a consistent and faithful fellowship with Him, and in return He would lavish His beautiful gifts on you. He is greater than Paul and is able to give you the spiritual gifts that you desire when you pray, using you as His vessel to touch other people’s lives.
I encourage you to make up your mind today, and determine to create time for Him so you can enjoy His bountiful goodness!