Before I say too much about spiritual gifts, I want to give you some personal context; my viewpoint is beginning to be reshaped. As I’m getting older the theological arguments that once intimidated me are beginning to fade. In the suffering and joy of parenting and pastoring, I am changing. I have more moments where I long for simplicity rather than complexed explanations. I do appreciate the clarity of truth. But the clearer my theology becomes, the more I appreciate the simplicity of mystery. I can confidently say, “I don’t really know how God works.” And outbursts like, “God! really?” are a part of my life.
I once thought that in order to function in my spiritual gift, I had to know what it is. Because wise people said it, and because it seems to make perfect human sense, I spent time worrying about what my gift was. As if once I crack the code, I’ll know what to do. The odd thing is, I’ve been a believer for over 40 years and pastor for almost half of that and I’m not really sure I know what my gift is. Yet, I think the Lord is using me more today than ever before. Not because I’ve got the “gift code” figured out, but because God is great and I need him.
Friends, this season of life for me is not a reflection of futility, but of faith. I spend less time trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do and more time fighting to trust the Lord. To be transparent, as I see God more clearly, I also see people and feel the effects of sin more clearly as well. I need faith. I need Him. By grace, I trust God more today than I did 10 years ago and I love better too. Maybe he is developing in all of us, the gift of faith.
I’m not sure what my gift is. I’m ok with you not knowing what your gift is. But I want to encourage you to move forward in your day by faith and love the people around you.
“God can be trusted to work his will in ways both ordinary and extraordinary, and he does not leave it to us to decide which is which. Let’s not, in other words, be timid where the Spirit has made us courageous. He is gifting us for the powerful work of making Jesus look big in the church and in the world.”
For more on the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, I recommend Supernatural Power for Everyday People by Jared Wilson
- Jeff Pierce