A View on Spiritual Gifts

Consider the pilot of an F-15 fighter jet. He is in command of an advanced weapons system. It contains missiles, guns, radar, jamming, communications systems, and many other features. Now, suppose that pilot is scrambled in his jet and receives a command to fire a missile at a target. Consider what should happen: the pilot receives the order, the pilot locks onto the target, the pilot fires the missile.

Now, consider what happens in the case of Christians. We’ve been given a fantastic array of spiritual gifts to help us in a war against Satan. Despite this, we have the idea that we have only one tiny feature available to us. We’ll refuse to acknowledge God’s instructions because “we don’t have the gift of prophecy/knowledge.” That’s like the pilot refusing to acknowledge an order because “his F-15 doesn’t have a radio.” We’ll refuse to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and lies, because “we don’t have the gift of discernment.” That’s like the pilot claiming he doesn’t have targeting system or “friend or foe” identification systems. In the same way, we’ll claim we don’t have the gift of faith, healing, service, mercy, etc. That’s like a pilot claiming he has no guns or missiles.

We are not the crew of a B-52 bomber, where one person does communications, and another drops the bombs, and another flies the plane. It would be nice if that were so, but the reality is that only works when we’re in a group of believers.

When you aren’t in church, or a small group, or a Bible study, things change. When you’re at work, you may not have the luxury of offering to call Bob to come pray for a co-worker. You are needed when your co-worker is suffering. When someone is trying to con you out of your money, or get you to go someplace you shouldn’t, you may not be able to call those in your church who “have the gift of prophecy/discernment.”

Don’t get me wrong, you will have different gifts that you are more or less comfortable using, but that doesn’t mean God cannot, in His sovereign wisdom, grant you another gift or NOT grant you a gift at any given time. If a bad accident happens, any you are the only Christian in the area who believes in miraculous healing, you’re on deck! You never prayed for healing before? No problem, it’s God’s power, not yours.

By the same token, perhaps you’re used to relying on the gift of discernment to know what to do. Suddenly, you have no clue. Perhaps you don’t need discernment, but simple maturity, or mercy, or a servant heart at this time. Discernment isn’t always necessary. You don’t have to “discern” whether or not stealing is OK, for example.

Take the time to get to know what God wants you to do. Get to know how God may seek to use you for His glory. If you let God guide you, you may find out that your F-15 is the experimental model with stealth mode. Let Him guide you. It’s His gifts, through you, to others. Let yourself be used.

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