If you knew you couldn’t fail, what is one thing you would try to do for God?
We often think of ourselves as immature or unspiritual in relation to other people. Perhaps you see your small group leader as someone who has it all together and to whom God speaks more than to others. If you see her that way, you are totally wrong. The difference probably has more to do with gifting than anything else. But that doesn’t mean God has not called you to lead, too!
Leadership is something God wants everyone to do. But in order to be a leader, you must first be a servant. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to each of us for the common good of all. “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good,” says 1 Corinthians 11:7.
Mark 9:35 reads: “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
To each of us. No one is left out. And each of us is called to humility, grace, and encouragement. Although it may be differently manifest in the several members of your small group, God has orchestrated your group to meet the needs of the individuals in it.
When Paul was addressing the church at Corinth, he reminded them of their humble beginnings. They were uneducated, lacking influence or wealth. Yet he recognized in them the potential to change the world.
“And there are [distinctive] ways of working [to accomplish things], but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers [inspiring, energizing, and empowering them] (1 Corinthians 12:6 AMP).”
What is the difference between a spiritual gift and a natural talent?
God often augments a natural talent with a spiritual gift, but sometimes a spiritual gift pulls the recipient into an area outside her comfort zone. And that’s okay.
A spiritual gift is given for the edification and good of the body of Christ. It is meant to bring God glory.
A natural talent is a temporal bent that is generally used for the glory of the individual.
When the Holy Spirit gives gifts, He sometimes calls the believer to lay down that natural talent so that she can bring glory to God by stepping into the supernatural to benefit the church.
Spiritual gifts do not reveal the maturity of a believer.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t give gifts only to mature believers. He chooses according to His own criteria, and maturity is rarely among them. In fact, spiritual gifts have the effect of maturing sincere believers.
Mature Christians are ones who seek to encourage and give opportunity to others to serve God and His body so that the whole body is made healthy.
“But we have this precious treasure [the good news about salvation] in [unworthy] earthen vessels [of human frailty], so that the grandeur and surpassing greatness of the power will be [shown to be] from God [His sufficiency] and not from ourselves (2 Corinthians 4:7 AMP).”