Scripture teaches that when we are baptized in the Spirit, we receive gifts of the Spirit.
Romans 12:6–8 says, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully" (NIV).
Note that it says, "We have different gifts." Each is important, each worth using.
Who are we to be upset with God if He did not give us the gifts we want? They are not given by merit but "according to the grace given us." We are to take what He has placed in our life and seek to multiply it.
2 Timothy 1:6 says, "Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands" (NKJV). To "stir up" means to "fan into full flame." To fail to do this is to "quench the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19). That speaks of extinguishing something, and it is a specific sin against the Holy Spirit.
What right do we have to squander or not use a precious gift God has given to us?
You might say, "But I don't know what my gifts are!" Sometimes the best way to find out is through the process of elimination. You can learn through failure. But it usually starts with some kind of burden God will give you.
When I was a young Christian, I started sharing the gospel. I went to see Billy Graham preach in San Diego. I thought, "That's what I want to be when I grow up!" Little did I ever think I would preach in a stadium, much less meet Billy Graham. God may have given you a dream, a vision, an idea in germ form.
- So maybe you see lost people and want to reach them. You may have the gift of the evangelist.
- Perhaps you see needs everywhere and want to help. You may have the gift of giving!
- You are a "detail person," loving to work behind the scenes. You may have the gift of helps.
- You love to see people learn and grow spiritually. You may have the gift of teaching.
- You love to encourage people to reach their potential. Perhaps you have the gift of exhortation.
- You like to take people into your home, and feed and bless them. You might have the gift of hospitality.
The gifts of the Spirit are not toys to play with. They are tools to build with and weapons to fight with.
We all have a vital part to play in the church. Have you discovered your gifts and are you using them?