What are spiritual gifts? They are just what the name implies-gifts given to each believer by God’s Holy Spirit working through people in unique ways to accomplish his purposes. They are not trained abilities nor natural talents. I have never had a writing class, but God has given me a gift that has been used all over the world in the lives of people, sometimes in very specific ways. Gifts are permanent as stated in Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
The New Testament lists these gifts in several passages:
I C0rinthians 12:4-11 mentions wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues.
Ephesians 4:11 lists apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
Romans 12: 6-8 adds service, exhortation, giving, leadership, and mercy.
(There is some question about some of these gifts being in use today.)
In the Old Testament Joseph and Daniel had the gift of interpreting dreams.
You can learn more about these by taking spiritual gift inventories. Through your gift God can use your life in astounding ways and make you more effective in ministry. I Peter 4:10 says, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
There is a fascinating story in Exodus 35:30-35 and 36:1-4 about God giving people special abilities for a specific ministry. “Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, ‘See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel…and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship, to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work. He has also put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab…He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of design…to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary…Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person in whom the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it.'”
Perhaps God has something for you to do that requires an untrained ability. Possibly you have an untapped spiritual gift. Is there some ministry that you have a “burning desire” to do, but have no idea how to go about it? What might that be? Like those in the Exodus account, the Holy Spirit will equip you through a gift given by his grace for the work of a specific ministry.