4 Ways to Discover Your Spiritual Gifts in a Crisis

4 Ways to Discover Your Spiritual Gifts in a Crisis

“I don’t even know what my spiritual gifts are,” a woman in my Bible study group said. She wanted to know her gifts so that she might use them effectively. A few of the women in the study expressed a similar sentiment and some offered a few practical suggestions.

This conversation, however, occurred several weeks before the global crisis our world presently finds itself in. This was before church closures and cyber worship began. This was during the time when you could take a spiritual gifts class and begin to explore various service opportunities in order to find your spiritual gift sweet spot. 

But now our world has changed and we find ourselves smack dab in the midst of a crisis. How is one supposed to serve in this social distancing climate? How are we supposed to identify our spiritual gifts and be the church if we cannot physically go near people? 

Naturally, people respond differently in a crisis than they do at any other time in their lives. A crisis often reveals aspects of who we are that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Here are 4 ways you can discover your spiritual gifts during a crisis.

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  • <strong>1. Pray and Ask God to Reveal Your Spiritual Gifts</strong>

    1. Pray and Ask God to Reveal Your Spiritual Gifts

    Now more than ever, we should exercise our privilege of talking to our heavenly Father. We need to do this on behalf of ourselves and others. It is in this place of prayer that God often communicates how He wants to use us in the world. This is because God is the creator of all things, including you and I. We are reminded of this truth in Psalms 139: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

    God knows us better than anyone. We were His idea created for His intended purpose. Through our relationship with Him, he gives us much-needed direction for our lives.

    If we are uncertain of our spiritual gifts we need only ask God to reveal them to us. He will not withhold this information because He has distributed spiritual gifts to every person for the edification of the global church. When we know what our gifts are and how God wants us to use them, it benefits the entire body of Christ.

    As we are petitioning God on behalf of our world we have a unique opportunity to ask God how He wants to use us as His hands and feet in the earth. He may reveal to us what our gifts are immediately, we may come to understand them over time, or after a season of trial and error. No matter how God chooses to shed light on our individual spiritual gifts we can have confidence in knowing that God will show us in due time.

    We see several examples of God revealing spiritual gifts through prayer in the Bible. As men and women faced the crisis of their day, God revealed to them, with great specificity, what he wanted them to do. Moses and Esther were called to use the spiritual gift of leadership. Daniel was called to use the spiritual gift of faith. Ruth was called to use the spiritual gift of help. Paul was called to use the spiritual gift of exhortation. All throughout the pages of Scripture we are reminded of men and women God gave spiritual gifts to in order that they might do great works for the glory of God. He is extending the invitation to us today. As we examine the current crisis our world is facing, we have an opportunity to ask God how He wants to use us.

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  • <strong>2. Pay Attention to What Comes Naturally</strong>&nbsp;

    2. Pay Attention to What Comes Naturally 

    When it comes to the origin of our spiritual gifts, the apostle Paul informs the Corinthian church that they come from the Spirit of God and are distributed to everyone for the common good. This confirms the reality that everyone has a spiritual gift whether they know what it is or not. The challenge becomes identifying what the gift or gifts are.

    In 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, Paul helps us with this mystery by identifying a few of the gifts people can posses. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” 

    One or more of these is likely to come naturally. Without effort, an individual may exhibit a spiritual gift and not know it. Likewise, in a crisis, one or more of these may be our immediate response.

    Are you prone to think deeply and offer wisdom in the midst of difficult circumstances? Are you able to exercise extreme faith in what appears to be impossible odds? Maybe you have a desire to heal the sick. The answer to these questions may point directly to your spiritual gifts. If we are going to identify and use our spiritual gifts during a crisis, we need to pay attention to our natural proclivities.

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  • <strong>3. Consider What Others Say about You</strong>

    3. Consider What Others Say about You

    Sometimes our spiritual gift clues are revealed in the observation of others.

    It is probable that someone has thanked you for something you’ve done for them that you didn’t really consider a big deal. This is especially true given our current climate.

    So many individuals find themselves in tremendous need. How have you extended a helping hand during this time? Prayer? Encouragement? Service? What was the response of the people you served?

    Your small efforts to serve the body may have had a tremendous impact. The response to your acts of kindness is a tangible pathway to knowing what your spiritual gifts are. If someone is thanking or requesting you assist them with administration, teaching, or prayer it may be an indication that these are your spiritual gifts. Serving others during our present crisis just may help you discover an unknown spiritual gift.

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  • <strong>4. Consider Your Opportunities to Act Boldly</strong>

    4. Consider Your Opportunities to Act Boldly

    All throughout the Bible, we see the apostles taking bold risks for Jesus Christ in the midst of a crisis. In Acts chapter 2, Peter used the gift of exhortation to address a crowd on the day of Pentecost and three thousand people were saved. In Acts chapter 3 Peter and John exercised the gift of healing by healing a lame beggar. In Acts 3:7 Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” In Acts chapter 7, Stephen stood full of faith before the Sanhedrin and delivered a speech that would lead to his death by stoning. His gift of faith never wavered even in the face of losing his life. In Acts chapter 18 we see the spiritual gift of hospitality in Priscilla and Aquila. We could go on recounting the examples of spiritual gifts on display by men and women in the Bible. These accounts are examples for us.

    They are powerful demonstrations of individuals willing to act boldly in difficult times for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Given our present circumstances, what bold actions are you motivated to take? You may have a desire to pray for others privately and publicly. You may sense an urgency to raise money for a particular cause. You may even feel the leading of the Holy Spirit to start an online Bible study. Whatever the Holy Spirit is prompting you to do may be an indication of what your spiritual gift is and how God wants you to use it.

    No one wants to experience a crisis, but they are inevitable. The Bible reminds us that God often uses a crisis to display His power in the earth. As we discover our spiritual gifts God may choose to display this power through us in our present crisis.

    Kia Stephens is a wife and homeschooling mom of two who is passionate about encouraging the hearts of women. For this reason, she created The Father Swap Blog to help women exchange their father-wounds for the love of God the Father. Kia is also the founder of Entrusted Women, which she created to equip Christian women communicators of color. Kia's writing has been featured on Ann Voskamp's blog, Christianity Today, iBelieve.com, Beloved Women, Crosswalk and Incourage. When she is not writing or serving women, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends. You can connect with Kia at www.kiastephens.com.

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