I use to believe that there were only a limited amount of gifts a person could receive from the Holy Spirit. For the benefit of those who do not know what spiritual gifts are, they are special abilities given to Christians to build up the kingdom of God and validate the birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world. The the most popular ones, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, gifts of healings, faith, working of miracles, discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, leadership, serving, giving, mercy, teaching, and the five-fold ministry gifts. And I use to believe that these were the only ways in which God might choose to spiritually empower a person. So what changed my mind?
It all started with a few moments of experiences that I thought were common to most people. After I was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, I began hearing songs during my prayer time. So I would sing those songs. Now, Ephesians 5:19 reads, “Be filled with the Spirit singing to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” At the time, I thought I was doing this. I thought that the songs I heard in prayer were songs springing forth from me making melodies in my heart to the Lord. And I believed that until one day it came up in a discussion with my friends as we were reminiscing about our relationship with the Lord. I had made the assumption that everyone had experienced singing and hearing new songs during prayer. However, to my surprise, not one person could identify with what as happening to me. They all responded by saying, “That doesn’t happen to me!” That startled me and I began to wonder what was happening. Why was I hearing new songs never heard before while my friends only heard currently produced songs?
This was all a mystery to me until God spoke to me one day about the subject of authority and identity. Part of that discussion led to Him explaining to me that I was a new creation. 2 Corinthians says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new,” that means that I am a new person, or kind of person. Jesus also furthers this idea in John 3:3, when He says to Nicodemus, “Unless a man is born again he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Again, Jesus was talking about becoming something new.
Though many of us have read these two passages many times, we often fail to really embrace its truth. That is due to our tendency, at least in the western world, to analyze things until they make sense to us. Unfortunately, this often robs us of the real meaning of things seen in the scriptures. In our culture, we don’t really believe that we can speak to mountains. It is our nature to assume that the God/Jesus was always speaking figuratively so that nothing He said really meant what He said. Therefore, we readily reject doctrines of faith and healing because they don’t fit into our rational way of processing information. For instance, if I told you that a person only needs to speak to the issue in a healing encounter, to see healing. You might disagree. But when I point you to the scriptures on speaking to the mountains and you say, “Well, what Jesus really meant was…” At that point, I know that you are one of the persons afraid to take Jesus at face value. But oftentimes, Jesus meant exactly what He said. Being born again is one of those things He said that He meant literally.
God began to explain to me that in the spiritual rebirthing process, that He literally creates something new. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:17, we who believe are joined as one spirit with the Lord. This word joined means to be fused into. In other words, God merges His nature with ours and from the merging of the two makes a brand new creation. He rebirths us or gives us a second chance at life. This time, however, instead of filling mankind with the breath of life. He fills mankind with Himself thereby empowering him to engage Satan on a fair playing field. Likewise, with this new person comes a new set of gifting, desires, and abilities. Now instead of having only a sin nature, you have a divine nature. Your divine nature wants to live holy, pray, seek after Jesus and the things of His kingdom, and more. Your new nature even has coded in it, your destiny and what you were recreated to do! This is what God was teaching me and He was making sense of what was happening in my life. By this time, I had heard so many songs that I bought myself a keyboard and from time to time I would get the urge to play it. The problem was, I did not know how to use both hands. Now to be fair, I have always been musically inclined and gifted to play single notes song by simply listening to the melody. So I had an ear to hear and play what I heard. But I could not do that well and was restricted to one-handed playing. And I never heard new songs. I only played the ones I heard on the radio. But what God did next was something unusual.
As we were having this discussion, about me being recreated with new passions and abilities, I said to Him, “Are your telling me that you recreated me and gave me the ability to makes songs and play the piano.” To which He responded, “Yes!” He had also spoken to me about how to access this new person by faith. So I tested out my new ability. What happened next was nothing short of amazing. I put both hands on the piano keys and started playing the most beautiful song that I have never heard! Yes, I said “never” heard, because I literally sat down and played a new song! God had given me a gift that was not listed in the Bible. Some would call it a talent. I would too except I could not do it before.
This, however, was not the only gift that God gave me when He rebirthed me. I have always had problems with reading. Reading is definitely not one of my favorite activities by far and in general, it is a chore til this day. That does not mean that I cannot read. I can actually read very fast and quite well. If you were to listen to me read you would never guess that it was so much work. But if you asked me what I read, you might be surprised at how little I actually retained. This means that I often have to read things three and even four times before I start to retain any information. So I hate reading as a casual activity. As you can see it can be quite the task for me, so I prefer not to read things that God does not direct me to read. I have learned that only the things He directs me to are generally pleasant experiences. What makes this all the more odd is the fact that I like words. At one point in my late high school years, I discovered rap music which ultimately led to a fascination with poetry. Ever since, I have had a fascination with words, how they interact with each other, how eloquent they sound coming from the mouth of a skilled orator. I just like words.
Though I liked words, I detested reading. But one day as I was spending time with God I began to get a familiar urge. It was the urge to get up and start preaching and prophesying. This time, however, I felt like writing. So in the interest of taking good notes from God, I started writing. Then all of a sudden one page turned to two pages and three pages turned to four pages. Before I knew it I had written an article. Now, I will remind you that I hated reading. And writing was a close second! Nonetheless, I fell in love with writing just then and I began reproducing my writings and passing them out to people. And what was more surprising is how clear my thoughts came across and how well my articles were received. I had written so many that I decided that I needed a typewriter or word processor. (I’m telling my age now…) So I saved up my money and bought one. Then things really took off. Next, God gave me a book, that I would later publish as God, Is that You, Me, or the Devil; how to confidently know God’s Voice. This was an awesome time in my life.
Some of you may be thinking, “Kevin, I really think that was just dormant talent that needed to be awakened.” That’s what I thought too! And it was this thought process that led to me discovering that writing was a gift from God. I learned this as I sat at my computer one day determined that I would write my book only to discover that the words flowing from me sounded more like my words. They were jumbled, unweighted, and structurally and grammatically unsound. The words did not flow and it was just laborious. I thought, “Humm…what’s gong on? I can’t seem to write anymore!” It did not take me long to realize that the writing was a gifting to my spirit and God has sanctified it for His use. That means, that I have to partner with Him to get His thoughts on the matter. When I did, it was clear that His thoughts are definitely not like mine. They were more structured, even grammatically. They were clear, and they made the insightful and deep things He said to me easy and plain to understand. Lastly, they flowed effortlessly!
So what is the goal of this article? Am I trying to join the rising ranks of Bible questioners out here bashing every idea they disagree with because it not supernatural enough? No! My goal is to get you to look beyond what you think. I received two incredible gifts from God that were not a part of my life prior to my conversion. One of which was completely against my nature. And I mean it was “completely” against my nature!!! In fact, until this day I don’t enjoy reading and do very little reading outside of the Bible. I even prefer listening to the Bible over reading it. People, I was a Slow Learning and Language Development student in high school. I was in the lowest reading group going as far back as first grade. You could not have told me that God was going to make me a writer. And I am pretty sure you could not have convinced my teachers of that either. Had someone tried prophesying such over my life I would have laughed them to scorn.
But look at me now. I have a blog with great content. I have two books, God, Is that You, Me, or the Devil, and You Can Hear the Voice of God Clearly, both of which are being hailed as the best books written on the subject of God’s voice. And I have several more books on an array of subjects to come.
When we consider the idea of gifting we often overlook the many gifts revealed in the Old Testament that revealed God’s divine influence intertwined with what we call talents. There were the gifted artisans.
Exodus 31:3 – See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, 4to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze,…
Exodus 35:35 – …34“He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35“He has filled them with skill to perform everywork of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarletmaterial, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs.
There were gifted musicians. We call them talents, but the scriptures are really clear that God put a “spirit of wisdom” on the artisans when crafting the articles for the tabernacle. We see the same in other areas. Folks, there are other ways in which God may choose to gift you. There was Joseph who was a gifted dreamer and interpreter of dreams. Daniel in whom resided wisdom. There was Aphophel who was regarded as having such a gifted mind for giving counsel that it was said that talking to him was like talking to God Himself. Wow! What a statement!
I believe the 1 Corithinana 12 and its other complimentary scriptures are more of a testament than anything else, that God is unlimited in His ability. You might be surprised with the new thing He has done in you. I have even heard of people being gifts supernaturally with computer engineering knowledge and languages. Who knows, maybe there is a choir director in you, or a computer engineer, or a doctor, or understanding of special healing techniques, or an ability to draw and paint or sing! I know, we just assume that if these things are not in us at the time of our conversion then God is stuck with what we bring to the table. I was a rapper. I thought that would be my life calling. Once I got saved I thought from time to time I can give this talent to God and He would use it for His glory. But to my surprise, He had revamped my gifting and now I’m a preacher and a writer. And even though it is the same tools, words, my voice, and my hands, it’s a completely different use of those same tools. I never could have guessed that my life would go this way. Never! Did I say “Never!”
So I want you to be open to the possibility that who you use to be you are no more. You may have been a nobody with no talent and skills before Christ. But I assure you now, you are His handiwork in Christ Jesus. That means that He has made you new again and with that new life comes new abilities. Figure out what they are and then take life for a ride!!! God has an unexpected spiritual gift for you!