What on earth am I here for?
Many believers struggle with this unanswered question. Unfortunately, too many believe that their purpose is tied to their career. When the truth is, your purpose can be found in your spiritual gift(s).
God has endowed every believer with at least one spiritual gift, and it is the job of the believer to seek and activate that gift to benefit the body of Christ
There are four categories of spiritual gifts: Influence, Insight, Serving, and Strengthening.
In the last few weeks we have taken a closer look at the Influence, Insight, and Service gifts. Today we are going to dive into the Strengthening gifts.
Strengthening gifts are given to build up the body of Christ. They include:
- Encouragement (Romans 12:8)
Those with the gift of encouragement—also referred to as the gift of exhortation—have a supernatural ability to pull someone out of discouragement and fill them with the courage to take action or endure.
It doesn’t just refer to those with a cheerleader personality who always try to have something positive to say, although, God can certainly use these people.
Those with the gift of encouragement are genuine and deep, not shallow and superficial. Phrases like “You can do it” and “Atta boy, Timmy” is not what comes out of an encourager’s mouth. Rather they have the right motivation at the right time to speak to that one who is lacking courage and lift them up.
- Healing (1 Corinthians 12:9, 30. 1 Corinthians 12:7)
Those with the gift of healing are used by God to heal others through a Spirit-empowered grace. People with this gift understand that it is not them who has the healing power, but that it is God using them to impart HIS healing (physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually) to another.
- Mercy (Romans 12:8)
Those with the gift of mercy have supernatural, God-given compassion for others. Yes, we are all called to have mercy on others, but those with the gift of mercy have a stirring deep within them that drives them to action.
Don’t confuse the gift of mercy with the gift of pity. Where pity looks upon someone and feels bad, mercy takes action. People with the gift of mercy don’t just SAY they want to do something, they actually DO something to help.
- Prophecy (1 Cor 12:10, 29)
The gift of prophecy is given to deliver a message from God to others. These messages can be correcting but are not condemning and serve to build the believer to greater levels of faith.
This gift is not to be confused with the office of a prophet. All prophets have the gift of prophecy, but not all those with the gift of prophecy are prophets.
- Evangelism (Eph 4:11)
Have you ever met someone who could talk to anyone, anywhere about Jesus? They have no fears, no reservations, and it seems like they almost ‘create’ the opportunity to introduce Jesus.
While we are all called to spread the gospel, there are some that have a supernatural ability to spread the gospel everywhere they go. These people often have a heart for missions and outreach, whether one on one or in large groups.
- Faith (1 Cor 12:9)
The gift of faith is the ability to stir faith in others. It’s not just having faith for yourself, although obviously that’s important. The gifts of God are for others so the gift of faith is the supernatural ability to speak life into others and help them develop the faith they need to move forward and trust God for their situation or circumstance.
- Miracles (1 Cori 12:10)
The gift of miracles is the ability and spirit-empowered grace to perform miracles under the sovereignty of God.
God’s miracles are still in operation today and He often uses His yielded vessels who are gifted by the Holy Spirit to bring miraculous change to a person’s life and body.
- Tongues (1 Cor 12:10)
The gift of tongues is the ability to speak aloud the oracles of God. This is not to be confused with the ability to speak in tongues, which is a private prayer language.
Your ability to speak in tongues does not constitute the supernatural gift of tongues – although don’t misunderstand me, the ability to speak in tongues is only by way of the Holy spirit–but that is meant for your private time with God. We are not called to bring that language into public forum without someone who is able to interpret. Otherwise, could you image the chaos it would cause if everyone just got up and started to speak in tongues in church?
Many of these gifts can be faked, but that doesn’t mean that there is a true gift in operation.
Many in the body of Christ will pick a gift that they find appealing and attempt to manufacture it. I’ve sadly seen this too often:
- Someone who wants to be seen as helpful and nice will try to operate in the gift of service, but wonder why they are getting resentful.
- Someone who wants the prestige of a leadership position will operate in a title they were never given by God and wonder why doors aren’t opening.
- Someone wanting to be seen as highly connected with God may pretend to have a word from Him when in reality they just tried to read their body language or worse, their personal information (yes, I’ve seen it before).
The gifts of God are irrevocable, but Satan will always try to counterfeit a gift.
To prevent this make this your hearts cry: “Lord, spend my life for your glory.”
Your gifts, while not always easy, will have a flow and a grace to them. I operate strongly in three gifts: teaching, wisdom, and faith.
There are other gifts that will come and go, like prophesy and healing, but when the grace is lifted, so is the power.
When I am operating in these gifts, I could work all day with a supernatural grace but the minute I step into another gift I’m not graced for, I’m drained.
So there you have it my friend: a guide to the plethora of gifts that God has bestowed upon each of us to fulfill His purpose on this earth.
The question that remains is: How do I discover mine?
There are a few questions that you can ask yourself to discover your gift(s) and yes, you have one.
As you review each of these gifts, ask:
- Do I already operate in this gifting?
- Do I have a desire for this gift? (This is often a sign of a dormant gift)
- What can I do TODAY to step out in a gift? (God will often not open a door until we turn the knob.)
Let me know in the comments which gift God has imparted to you and how you are starting to walk in it.
Curious about your own God-given purpose with our
Uncover Your God-Given Purpose Guide