God’s gifts are many and varied, spread all over creation with His lavish hand. In this post, I am going to focus a bit on spiritual gifts.
Often we Christians have this complex about spiritual gifts. Salvation, we say, is truly a good gift of God given to people who don’t deserve it. But spiritual gifts–we look askance at people who say they have this or that gift. Or if they say they want a certain gift. Aren’t they bragging and thinking about themselves too much?
Have you ever heard someone bragging about his salvation too much? The possibility strikes me as very strange. God is obviously the one who saves, not people.
In the same way, if you have a spiritual gift, it comes from God, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. He gave it to you because He loves you and wants you to use it.
Beyond that, did you know that it’s ok to desire a gift that you do not have? In fact, the Bible says you should!
But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
(1 Corinthians 12:31 ESV)
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
(1 Corinthians 14:1 ESV)
Sometimes it seems to me that we are fatalistic about our spiritual gifts. “Oh, I don’t have that gift, even though I wish I would, so I’ll just do with what I have.” We don’t try very hard at all to develop our gifts, because we think it’s completely out of our hands anyway and besides, it would be proud to focus on gifts too much.
What if we used the same fatalistic approach toward salvation? “Oh, I wish I could be saved, but since I don’t have that gift, I’ll have to get along the best I can.”
I think we are born with a special spiritual gift that is enlarged when we receive the Holy Spirit. We have different roles in God’s church, of course. But that does not mean that we are stuck with only one gift for every situation we encounter.
How many spiritual gifts do you not have, because you never asked?
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
(Matthew 7:7 ESV)
God is a good Father, and He likes to give good gifts!
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
(Matthew 7:11 ESV)
Do you yearn to hear God’s voice, to live in the power of the Holy Spirit? Is there a spiritual gift you look at with deep longing, not because it would make you appear special, but because your heart is drawn to that gift?
Just ask Him!
He does give good gifts, doesn’t He?
15 thoughts on “Does God Give Good Gifts?”
Excellent article. You bring out some really good points here. Is this the first installment of a series on spiritual gifts? Hoping so! 🙂
Hmmm, well, I’ll have to ask God about that! 🙂 Thanks for the affirmation!
Yes, yes, and yes.
“And how much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:13. Start by asking for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, then ask for His gifts.
It is life transforming, breath-takingly wonderful.
It is amazing, isn’t it?!
We fear using our gifts because we might come across as proud. But a gift is simply that- a gift! Not of ourselves! A gift is a gift is a gift is a gift! Thanks for the article.
Yes, if we know in our hearts that our gifts are from God, we won’t be proud! Thanks for commenting!
I’ll add my encouragement to you to write more on this subject. What are spiritual gifts, how do they look, how & where do we get them (seems kind of obvious, but not sure that we know…)? I can’t figure out why so many people seem to think that a woman who has a control issue and likes to talk, must have the gift of prophecy! Don’t get me started, but I am wondering what you think the gift of prophecy looks like?
You ask a lot of good questions! I think the gift of prophecy is the ability to hear God’s voice, and a primary role of a prophet is to help others learn to hear Him too. It has nothing to do with having an abrasive personality–the most prophetic people I know are also among the most loving and gentle people that I know.
Hmmm, that’s the amazingest definition of a prophet I’ve heard of… reminds me of the Biblical prophets and their nature and callings…but isn’t the typical line something about them being the folks that “see things black and white”? Where did that label come from?
Some prophets probably do fall into the category of “seeing things in black and white.” After all, the Bible says many different kinds of people will prophesy in the last days. (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17) But I think we often mistake for prophets people who simply have a strong personality and modernist worldview.
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You know, I think too often we confuse personality and spiritual gifts. The earlier comments about prophets allude to this. And I’ve seen tests and explanations of how certain spiritual gifts will look or act. Um, that’s not in the Bible….?
I don’t know that I had ever really thought about asking for spiritual gifts. Thanks for that insight!
Several years ago I badly wanted the gift of discerning spirits. (1 Cor. 12:10) The desire ached deep in my heart, so I asked an elderly gentleman who was the most discerning person I knew to pray for me. He prayed for me to receive the gift, and after that I began hearing God in ways I had not before.
It’s so humbling to receive these gifts from God and to know that He wants us to have them!
God bless, and thanks for commenting! I’d be interested in hearing what you think spiritual gifts look like. 🙂
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