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Why would the Lord give you a gift and then hide it from you? Prayer and reading your Bible will help you understand your gift(s) more clearly. There are also many commentaries available which can explain it way more eloquently than I can here. You gift will be made manifest when the Lord sees you are matured in your faith to use it correctly. Remember that faith is God's gift also, and its Jesus' faith that works through you. You don't have to try to use your willpower to have more faith. As Jesus lives His life through you, your faith and gift(s) will become clear to you..
When a person repents and believes in Jesus Christ as Lord they become born again as in John 3. This means that the third member of the Trinity comes to live inside the heart of the believer-- the Holy Spirit. Then the Holy Spirit begins the work of sanctification of the believer, growing the person to live and love more and more like Jesus as the believer "walks" with Him. The indwelling Holy Spirit that Jesus promised to those who believe gives each person one or several gifts to be used to function as a part of the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. The word Trinity does not appear in the Bible, but the Trinity was present from the very beginning. Genesis 1:2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. In Ezekiel 36:25-27 God promises to put "my Spirit" into the heart of the believer. This is the promise of being born again given in the Old Testament before Jesus comes to explain being born again in John 3. Then when Jesus came to the disciples after coming back to life from the dead, He told them in John 20: 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit". So the spiritual gifts the born again believer receives are given by the indwelling Holy Spirit. These gifts enable the believer to walk by the Spirit to obey the Great Commission given by Jesus to go and make disciples (other believers), baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey His commands. The way a Christ follower does this is by using the gift/gifts that they have been given to grow the members of the Christ's kingdom here on earth until He returns. Ephesians 4:11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. So knowing and using what gift God has given you is important as you serve the Lord Jesus as part of His body. As you grow in experience of using your gift/gifts, you will probably receive other gifts to use and mature. As you grow in maturity, you will also be able to see the gifts that other Christ followers have. I have been sitting in a small group meeting new people and easily discerned that this one had the gift of knowledge, this one the gift of compassion/mercy, this one the gift of evangelism, this one the gift of prophecy and this one the gift of teaching. It is amazing to see how the Holy Spirit works to bring people together to worship and serve Jesus with the different gifts to build up the body, the church. His plan is perfect just as He is perfect. Besides using several spiritual gift surveys/questionaires that are on the web, you can get help from members of your church who are experienced. You can talk to a pastor, deacon, elder or teacher who can help you identify your gifts. This is a responsibility of the believer because the Bible teaches that you must be a good servant who uses his/her gifts well. In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus teaches how a servant must use the gift they have been given.
Spiritual Gifts? I know that we are born with gifts such as some folks have lovely singing voices, but for me, I've not discovered what my gift might be, but it isn't singing. I don't believe we have spiritual gifts today nor do I believe that the Bible teaches that we do. I’m talking about the supernatural gifts of healing and such. One reason is that these gifts served their purposes which was to prove that Christ was the Messiah. Only Apostles could impart this gift of supernatural power. It was imparted through the laying on of the Apostle’s hands. There were nine such gifts. See I Corinthians 12:8-12. In Acts 8:14-19 we find an example of this type of gift of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. This is an example of the apostles laying hands on people and imparting the power of the Holy Spirit on to them. Realizing the possible gain from such, Simon wanted to buy the power. But of course he couldn’t. We need to emphasize the fact that nobody, other than the apostles, had this power of imparting these gifts. Logic would be that when the Apostles all died, those disciples that these gifts were given to by the Apostles all died, the supernatural gifts of healings, raising the dead, prophesying, etc were done, but we still have the power of prayer. See James 5:16. I've seen miracles through prayer.
Through my personal journey in discovering my spiritual gift the Lord revealed a couple things to me. One's gift is not something you have to make happen, or make a conscience effort to manifest, it's a gift, it will already be manifest in you. The gift can come and go depending on the state of a person's heart. If you're filled with pride or boasting, among other sins, the Spirit will not manifest the gift until humility and repentance enter the heart. And lastly, if your heart is in the right place you may not even recognize your gift, you will be just doing as you feel compelled to do by the Spirit. It will come so naturally to you, as the joy of the Lord flows through when you have submitted to complete obidience. It's not something you have to think about. The other day I felt compelled (not the best word) to just sit and read scriptures at the table and spoke to my wife not even realizing I was prophesizing to her, I wasnt trying, didnt even know I was doing it. The main idea here is that we just are obedient to the Lord, obedient to the Spirit, and listening to the Spirit within us. I'm guessing a friend could probably tell you more about your gifts than you could yourself.
My really short answer is this: God will show you your spiritual gift(s). When one becomes 'saved' in the name of Jesus Christ, He sends the Holy Spirit to live in you, to cleanse you of all unrighteousness and to give you gift(s) IN which you may serve Him more productively in our pursuit of 'going about, witnessing to the lost of this world, being a Holy example unto others that they may see Christ in me, and this is the working of His Holy Spirit". The Apostle Paul was, to me, one of or the most extreme examples to us of how and what to do to exemplify to others the message of Christ to a lost world that so desperately needs His eternal Grace and forgiveness "unto salvation in His Holy name, the name above ALL names, Jesus Christ, our Lord." Paul was extreme Jew, Hebrew, follower and teacher of the Torah, responsible to the execution of many followers of Christ. Simply, he was "a Jew's JEW to the extreme. So, one day, on his travels on the road to the city of Damascus, Jesus appeared unto Saul(not Paul as of yet!), and asked him "Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?" What happened next? Well, Jesus blinded Saul and told him He had great work to do 'for and IN the name of the son of God, in the name above all names, Jesus Christ. And, that your name shall be called Paul. (Acts 9) A major reason that Saul(Paul) was chosen is He was 'a Jews' Jew! And now, having been converted by Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit with God's directive (Acts 9) "to go ye into all the lands about and preach my good news of the saving grace I (Jesus) will extend....." **Paul is a major 'writer' of our New Testament books, and one of the major "Soldiers for the cause of Christ". AMEN! ~~Andy~~
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