How do you discover and nurture the spiritual gifts that God has endowed you with? Silas Tan shares some tips with us.
I believe that it is God’s desire that His children use spiritual gifts to edify the church, but we often dare not exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit by faith. I think we subconsciously suppress the work and gifts of the Holy Spirit due to a lack of understanding, pure neglect and sometimes fearful of making a fool out of ourselves. Such neglect is a loss to the church. Thus, it is important to do the following:
Relook what the Word of God teaches about spiritual gifts. There are many Biblical references concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12). There are many more gifts then speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues and the prophetic gifts. We need to study and understand the purposes behind the various gifts made available to Christ’s disciples in the church. When we understand God’s intention then we will be more inclined to exercise our gifts to help His people.
When we understand God’s intention then we will be more inclined to exercise our gifts to help His people.
I believe that all believers have been given spiritual gifts to serve the Lord in different capacities. It is our duty to discover our individual gifting, hone it, and develop it so that we can be used to bless the church. There are tests available out there to give us an indication of our potential gifts. Our spiritual leaders can also guide us along the way and give us the platform to use spiritual gifts in the most productive way. The church leadership plays an important role to fan our gifts, to encourage and give opportunities for people to exercise various spiritual gifts for the common good of the church.
Reignite the fire in us to exercise the gifts God has placed within us. We need to expect great things for God, and we achieve that through the power and the gifts of the Spirit. There must be a strong desire to seek the Lord first, then the gifts in order to fulfil God’s plan for the church. Many times, we do not receive because we have not asked. The Bible encourages us to seek spiritual gifts in order to equip and strengthen one another in the Body so that God may be glorified.
Realize that the church uses spiritual gifts to glorify and exalt God. It is not about us only but all about Him being glorified and praised which is of utmost importance. We edify and bless one another when we use spiritual gifts effectively. We need to have the attitude that God uses His gifts in us to minister to others for a very distinctive purpose, which is to equip and edify the church and for pre-believers to see God works amid His church.
The church leadership plays an important role to encourage and give space for the congregation to exercise their gifts on platforms such as in ministry, in the cell groups, etc. However, there must be some protocol or order in service to prevent confusion.
Learn to discern the still small voice of God speaking to us. The key is knowing the Shepherd of your soul and the peace of God that rules in your heart. Sometimes we worry about how others regard us or be afraid to make mistakes or simply confused. “Should I prophesy or not?” Your heart beats faster in excitement. “Should I pray for someone to receive healing?” Spiritual gifts are not intended for us to display our holiness or spiritual maturity. It is purely God’s grace to distribute a spiritual gift to one person in order to meet the need of another in the church. It is the believer’s duty to avail himself and it is all about Him and nobody else.
Exercising spiritual gifts requires faith from us. We must ask God earnestly for a spiritual gift, then take a step of faith to exercise it. Perhaps we can take a leaf from the story of Peter who walked on water. He could because he took the step of faith to get out of the boat when he saw Jesus approaching. The other disciples thought they saw a ghost and cuddled in fear at a corner of the boat. Exercising your spiritual gifts requires that first step of faith. Start by getting out of the boat!
About Silas Tan
Silas Tan is the Executive Director of Teen Challenge, an alumni of ACTS College and has been serving in his church board for the last 30 years. He was corporate executive for many years before he joined Teen Challenge. He came to know Christ in his youth and has been attending the same church till now. Together with his wife Siew Leng and two children, they have been worshiping and serving as a family in various ministries in Shekinah Assembly of God for many years.