Every handyman (or woman) has a special box with tools and gadgets that are required to do their job. Each job requires different tools. Plumbers don’t use the same tools as electricians or mechanics. And there is nothing better than a job done professionally with proper tools – or nothing worse than a lousy, unprofessional job done with the wrong tools.
Whether you’re calling is to be a preacher, social worker, business entrepreneur, or simply a witness for Christ in the workplace, God would not call you without providing the necessary tools for you to do your job – a Spiritual toolbox, if you will. As Biblical leaders, our work is spiritual, even if it is in the so-called secular marketplace. That is why, beyond our human abilities, the Spirit of God has made supernatural gifts available for every born-again believer to fulfill their calling and their vision. The Bible calls them the gifts of the Holy Spirit (or Spiritual gifts). They are:
Special and supernatural attributes of God’s grace that the Holy Spirit distributes to the members of the Church, entrusting specific gifts to individual believers, which enable them to serve in the Church and proclaim the Gospel in the world.
As Biblical visionary leaders, we have a job to do in God’s Kingdom, and for that, we need a proper toolbox. Here are three steps to preparing a great Spiritual toolbox.
Discern Your Gifts
Every Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit. This means that, potentially, every gift is available to every Christian. However, the Bible affirms that the Holy Spirit distributes these gifts to the Church, indicating that no believer has all of them. It is the responsibility of every believer to discern the gifts entrusted to them. Here is how you can do that.
Study the Scripture. The Bible should be the primary guide to discerning what our toolbox looks like, and what tools are in it.
Examine your Life. Identify specific areas that you see God using you for His glory. Some of these gifts may already be manifesting in your service to the Church and the world.
Seek Good Advice. Talk to mature believers. They may be able confirm your personal thoughts, identify gifts you don’t see yet, or correct you in areas where you are serving in the flesh and not in the Spirit.
Develop Your Gifts
As stewards of the Spiritual gifts, you have a responsibility to develop your ability to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Every believer should discern their gifts and then grow in their ability to use them through greater knowledge and practical experience. Here are a few things you can do.
Study Bible passages that are related to “your” gifts.
Read additional books. There is a wealth of literature from different traditions on the matter.
Learn from mentors who excel in particular gifts.
Put the gifts to use – that is the best way to develop them.
Deploy Your Gifts
Finally, your gifts need to be deployed in the context of the Church. Remember the parable of the talents? The servants were evaluated by the master based on how well they invested the talents entrusted to them.
Think of your Spiritual toolbox as a special gift entrusted to you to be discovered, developed and deployed for God’s glory. Once you identify how the Holy Spirit wants to use you, put the tools in your Spiritual toolbox to use. They will help you tremendously as you pursue God’s vision for your life.