How Your Gifts Work: P&P Part 2

Posted: March 26, 2012 in Passion and Purpose
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Here is Part 2 of Your Activate instruction manuel. Pair this lesson with your Activate Discovery Guide, and you will be on your way to discovering your passion and purpose in Christ!

Let’s think back to the tower of Babel. This is what God said about the people who were operating apart from his spirit.

The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. (Genesis 11:6 NIV)

Wow, now if nothing would be impossible for them in a human type of unity, how much more can be accomplished with a spiritual unity? God reversed the curse of Babel when he poured out his Spirit at Pentecost. With it came new gifts and a new unity.

Motivational Gifts

The things you find yourself doing without a second thought. Romans 12:6-8

Showing Mercy

My dad used to get irritated by producers in Hollywood who would flaunt the “producer” title, but had nothing to show for it. He would say, “So you’re a producer, huh, well then– PRODUCE!” That reminds me of this passage in Romans 12:6-8. Paul is saying, so you’re a leader, lead! You’re a giver, give!

We are called to excel in our gifts. There is plenty of biblical backing for the pursuit of excellence.

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. (1 Corinthians 14:12 NIV)

How, then, can we be ignorant of the gifts God has given us?

Know your gifts, master your natural gifts and then go get some more!

The Fruit of the Spirit

The Fruit of the Spirit (evident in the life of all Spirit led believers): In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, when he introduces the gifts, he reminds believers that Love is more important than any of the gifts. Love is the overarching fruit of the Spirit. It is no mistake that our famous Love Chapter begins immediately following the list of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 6) is proof that any person is truly living by the Spirit. It is clear from scripture that a person can operate in the gifts, but not be living by the Spirit. When talking about the gifts, we must take care that the fruit of the Spirit is evidenced in our lives. Otherwise, the value of our gifts will be lost on us, we can be like resounding gongs or clanging cymbals.

Charisma and Doma

There are two words for gifts that are used in the Bible “Charisma” gifts and “Doma” gifts. The Charisma gifts or “grace gifts” are the ones that are available to every believer who has the Holy Spirit. The “Doma” gifts are actually people within the body of Christ that are especially set apart to be a gift to the body of Christ. Ever thought you were God’s gift to the church? You just might be. All believers can access Charisma, but only a few believers embody “Doma.” So think of your motivational gifts as dovetailing with either the charisma or the Doma gifting.

The “Charisma” or Grace Gifts “I access the gift.”
God grants access to all who desire and ask, for the empowerment of the work of the ministry. These gifts can only be accomplished by the supernatural empowerment of the Spirit. These are the tools we are given to advance the kingdom.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

Speaking in Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues

This list is not completely exhaustive. Scripture uses the word “charisma” to describe everything from the free gift of God’s son to the gift of celibacy, but mostly for the gifts listed above. Therefore, we can conclude that charisma is the power to do anything that can only be accomplished through the power of God.

We are commanded to “stir up the gifts” when necessary, to practice them and become more excellent in them. They can be imparted by the Spirit through the laying on of hands or directly from God. These gifts can also present themselves when a person is filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Think of these gifts like weapons in your Holy Spirit arsenal. God put them in your go bag when he endowed you with the Holy Spirit, but you have to choose to pick them up and take the time to let him teach you how to use them. Don’t fear them, and don’t think you have to limit yourself to just one or two. You may have some favorites, but it is good to become familiar with all of them. You never know when you will need that particular weapon to do the job.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10, 11 NIV)

The “Doma” or 5 Fold Ministry “I am the gift.”
God chooses some to embody a gift as in the “office” of any one of the five fold gifts. You do not merely operate in the gift, but you are the gift. He committed some to these roles or “offices” for the express purpose of building up the body of Christ. It is as though he was saying, these people are a gift to my bride, the Church, so the church can accomplish the Great Commission. You can desire this role, but only God can appoint and commission you to fulfill any of these offices. Also, elders, full of the Holy Spirit, will recognize and impart a calling to any of the fivefold Doma gifts. People with a Doma calling should be prepared to sacrifice much for the cause of Christ and his Bride. They are called to lay down their lives for the church just as Jesus did. Therefore, those who desire such gifts should also desire to be a servant of all.

He gave “Doma” some to be….

Ephesians 4:11


1 Corinthians 12:28 gives a list of both Doma (overlapped from Ephesians) and Charisma gifts (overlapped from earlier in the chapter).

Notice how the language of the text changes here when talking about the gifts.

Also, it should be noted that often the Apostle is marked by signs and wonders. Little is articulated about the role of the Apostle, other than that he or she is a “sent one.” Apostle Bill Pepper asserts that the Apostle has a little of each of the other five-fold giftings as equipment for the work of God. Twice God lists Apostles and Prophets among the most important of the Doma gifts. Similarly, the prophetic gifts are considered the greatest of the Charisma gifts.

The early writers of the new testament were trying to put words to the work that the Spirit of God was doing among them. It stands to reason that it is hard to put a finger on labeling each gift in a concrete way. **

Interestingly, the gift of Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross was both a Doma and a Charisma gift. It was the gift of a person and a gift of divine power.

Regardless of how you interpret or label the gifts, the important thing to realize is that God gives a plethora of Charisma gifts by His Spirit which allows us to do things we could not do with natural power or skill. He gives these to each person as he sees fit. But he also sets apart a special anointing for those who are to be the Doma gift to the church as expressed through the five fold ministries. The Doma was never meant to do the work of the ministry for the Church, but to prepare her and strengthen her to do it herself through the power of the Charisma. For example, you could have a teaching gift, but an expression of the Doma anointing may result in teaching and reproducing other teachers in the Body of Christ.

Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. (1 Timothy 4:14 NIV)

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:6, 7 NIV)

Other Lifestyle Gifts We Are All Admonished to Have
Giving (2 Corinthians 8:7)
Hospitality (1 Peter 4:9)
Service (1 Peter 4:10)
Encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Mercy (1 John 3:17)
Sharing Testimony (Acts 22:15)
Discipleship (Matthew 28:19)
Using the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15)
Prayer (Ephesians 6:18)

Individuality and Unity

We have to be careful of “that’s not my gift syndrome.” If these gifts are available in the Holy Spirit for every believer, we are without excuse. The writers of the new testament are not telling us to do things that we are incapable of doing. They know that we are supposed to access the Holy Spirit for the empowerment to do them.

We focus on our strengths because it is smart to acknowledge the specific work he is doing in me. It is dumb for me to try to make myself into a cookie cutter shape because God doesn’t use cookie cutters. However, there are certain evidences of the Holy Spirit that will bond us together as a family and cause us to recognize each other. It causes the world to recognize us too. Just as you can recognize the differences and similarities within natural family members, so we should be able to recognize some commonalities among all believers even with all the different flavors that make us unique.

So, God is concerned with our individuality and the various wonderful expressions, but he is also concerned with our family and the elements that bind us together. You know you have a healthy view of your gifts if your gifts are pulling you towards other believers because you need them to work with and to learn from, rather than pulling you into an island of your own strength. We even need to be wary of only hanging around others with similar gifts. We can come together to be equipped, but then we should lend our gifts to others who lack our gift and then receive the gift that they bring which we need.

It is interesting how a true understanding of our individuality can lend itself to a powerful picture of unity. When we fully know ourselves and who we are individually, it will free us to pursue the individual strengths of others. We will be compelled to value others for what they offer the body. When we are fulfilled in what we do, it will cause us to stop navel gazing and look at the treasure laying inside others. No one may ever have cared to pull the treasure out of you, well God is giving you permission to pull it out yourself. After you have pulled it out, break the cycle of self pity and start pulling it out of someone else. I’m convinced that pulling treasure out of others is one of the most fulfilling things in all the earth.

Strengths and Skills

The Clifton Strengthsfinder is a very helpful resource to help you understand how your mind works and why you do the things you do. There are 34 different strengths, of which the test will show you your top 5. To read more about the strengths, I recommend the book, “Living Your Strengths.” This book will provide you with a test to take on your own, identifying your top 5 strengths. Your strengths will not dictate what tasks you will do well, but they will dictate the strength you bring to bear on a team or in any given situation. The point of finding our strengths is so that we place our focus on the strength we bring to the table, rather than getting stuck in the rut of trying to make ourselves fit some idealized standard of humanity, which really does not exist. We operate under the conviction that God loves our differences and wants to maximize our individual potential.

Skills are the particular tasks which come easily to us or at which we particularly excel. Skills can grow over time and develop with practice. The best strategy is to see your skill development through the lens of your strengths. If you can find a way to activate your strengths, you will excel more and more in the skills you desire.

Learn your motivational gifts and strengths by referring to page 5 of your Activate Discovery Guide.


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