When anyone calls on Jesus to be their Savior, He immediately sends the Holy Spirit to live in them and be their constant companion. In addition, the Spirit equips each Christ-follower with “gifts” to be useful in His Body, the church. Reading through the lists of spiritual gifts in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, you may have asked, “What about me?” If you don’t have a speaking role or a leadership role in the church, you may wonder if you got passed by.
You’ll find encouragement in Exodus 35. God gave Moses instructions for building a special structure for worship, called the tabernacle. God also told Moses to get Bezalel to be the general contractor. Of Bezalel it says, “God filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.” Construction of the tabernacle was a very spiritual project. But notice that all of Bezalel’s skills were very practical ones that he had worked at developing.
Some of you enjoy working with your hands. Some prefer outdoor work; others sitting at a desk. Some choose occupations that require years of education; others pursue a trade. Some like running large organizations; others like to work alone. Have you ever considered that the Spirit of God has built into you the ability to understand finances, or train salespeople, or draw or understand electronics, or lead people on the job, or organize events? Don’t write those interests and capabilities off as just “natural” talents. They were hand-picked for you by God, Himself. One is not better than the other.
And whatever your skill set, God wants to use you to be involved in reaching the world with the Gospel of Christ and to strengthen His church. Every one of you is important. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that God’s gifts must show up only in church services to qualify as spiritual gifts. If that were correct, then the only “spiritual-people“ would be preaching on the stage or teaching in the classroom. I believe this thinking is why many who attend church feel “less spiritual than the people on the stage.”
Some people argue over the difference between natural talents and gifts of the Spirit. I don’t think it’s all that critical to distinguish between the two. For the Christian, everything he or she possesses has been designed by God as His gracious gift, whether natural or spiritual. That’s not to deny that the Spirit gives special gifts to believers, though. I just don’t think I have to be able to identify one over the other.
I hope this gives you a greater appreciation for the way in which God has designed you. I also hope you’ll look for ways to use your abilities and skills to further God’s work through your church and out in your world.