HOW DOES SPIRIUTAL GIFTS WORK, AND HOW DO I KNOW WHAT MY GIFT IS, AND HOW DO I USE THEM RIGHT?
Charles e. Whisnant, July 14, 2010 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12
There can be no authentically effective service, authentically reciprocated (give back in return, feel something mutually) service that is service in which we are blessed, unless we have first offered ourselves as a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1-2 must come before we know our spiritual gift or the effect of our gift.
If you tell me you've given yourself wholly to God and I see no effective ministry, then I don't believe what you tell me.
On the other hand, if you tell me you're serving the Lord but I see no total commitment to Him, I don't believe that either.
There are a lot of people who would want to make themselves, along with everybody else, believe that they have made a whole life commitment to Christ but when you look at their life you don't see any fleshing out of that commitment, you don't see any ministry, any meaningful ministry, any God-blessed ministry. You don't see them driven with a excitement to serve, but rather they appear to be driven with a passion to make a fuss of their own needs and desires.
On the other hand, you find people who are very, very busy, but when you get behind the scenes you find them very uncommitted to the realities of spiritual dedication.
- Now would you notice that nobody is left out of this. Verse 3, "I say through the grace given to me to everyone...to everyone." And then you notice in verse 4, "As we have many members in one body and all members have not the same function, so we being many are one body in Christ and everyone members one of another."
If we do nothing else but eliminate that illusion that you can be committed to Christ with no basic ministry, with no basic service, with no passion for using the gift God's given you, then we've done service to all of us.
- You will never know your gift. People always say, "Well, how can you know your gift?" I get asked that question a lot. How do you know your gift? You will never know your gift and you will never really know its potential until you have lived out Romans 1 and 2.
Because if you're not at the point of total dedication, whatever you're doing in terms of function and whatever you're doing in terms of service is not revealing to you the full definition or potention of your gift. You understand that? Because you're not operating at the level of total commitment.
- They estimate that maximally people are using the maximum amount of their brain are functioning at about eleven percent of their brain capacity.
- That means there's another 89 percent that isn't even being used.
But in a spiritual dimension the same thing is true. You have many Christians who are trying to define their gift while only having about an 11 percent performance capacity to translate, to figure out what it is. And if the truth were known, if they ever came to Romans 12:1 and 2 and lived out that life, they would probably totally redefine their gift because they would begin to see it in its fullness.
Our usefulness now depends on three things.
- proper attitude,
- proper relationship,
- proper service.
- We have to have the right attitude,
- the right communication between God and you or relationships,
- and the right service to be best or greatest possible useful to God.
Now what is the proper attitude?
- What is the attitude in the heart of one who is totally given over to God?
- It's an attitude of humility.. This is introduced in verse 3.
"For I say through the grace given unto me to every man that is among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think but to think soberly as according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
- "to every man that is among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think but to think with sober thinking."
We are warned not to over-estimate, to think proudly. And this is the sin of exaggeration
Five categories: Wrong attitudes towards the gifts:
- Using a important gift boastfully.
- Decrease in value the value in false humility.
- Counterfeiting an important gift.
- Failing to use an not immediately obvious gift out of jealousy.
- The attitude of failing to use your gift at all...just turning it off.
Now, how can you rightly recognize your gift?
- Number one, no gift should ever be...what?...sought after.. They are sovereignty given by God.
- Secondly, if the Lord has given these gifts and dealt them out to every one of us, then no gift should be unused, right
You say, "Well, Charles, how do I know my gift?.
- Number one, present yourself a living sacrifice. Okay?
- Number two, know you're gifted.
- Number three, pray for wisdom, James 4.
- Number four, seek nothing.
- Number five, examine your heart's desires. What do you desire to do?
- Number six, , seek confirmation. Don't force the issue. If everybody keeps telling you that's not your gift, believe them...believe them.
- Number seven look for the blessing of God.
- Number eight, serve with your whole heart...serve with your whole heart because you're never going to know the fullness of your gift unless you're totally abandoned to its use. And
- Number nine, when you think you begin to see what it is, go for it. In other words, cultivate the gift as it begins to be obvious to you.