By Henry & Mel Blackaby
The concept of the gifts of the Holy Spirit has been one that has been extremely hard for me to grasp my whole christian life. I never got anything from those tests that are supposed to tell you what your gifts are, in fact they reminded me of the test you took in school that told you what you should be when you grow up. As a result I've been searching for a tool that made sense to me on this subject - I am thrilled to have found something that has helped tremendously.
This book is a super quick read - I am a mommy of two energetic boys, so trust me when I say this is a super quick read. And yet it is packed with information that unravels this mystery of the gifts of the Spirit.
The main point the Blackabys make, is that the Lord gifts believers with the gift of the Holy Spirit - let that sink in for a minute. This means that all the "gifts" that I was told I had in those tests are mostly, if not all, natural talents, which were also given to me by God, but they are not the same as the Spirit.
Of course some of you are thinking - what about all those gifts the Spirit gives us? That is what the book discusses.
By focusing on having "an intimate relationship" with God and allowing His Spirit to become your Spirit, you are allowing God to use His gifts through you whenever He needs/wants to.
Our focus as Christians needs to be "What does God want to do through me?" (p 11). Not what spiritual gifts am I honing so that I can do God's will. Do you see the difference? The focus needs to be on allowing God to work through you, not honing skills while waiting for some calling - I think the book does a better job explaining this than I am!
"God is waiting for a heart that is surrendered and ready to obey before you ever hear Him speak." (p 53) This is a huge point because many Christians talk about how they are not walking closely with God but are trying to work on their spiritual gift while they are finding their way back to Him. The Blackaby's say this just isn't possible. You have to be walking closely with the Father in order to hear the Spirit - it just goes together.
Now don't get me wrong, we, as Christians, are still called to serve, so keep doing acts of service, just don't mix it up with the gifts of the Spirit (it usually is just acts of service). Realize that just because you are gifted at one type of service, it doesn't mean it is a Spiritual Gift, don't brag about it - that seems to a major point in the book.
So now of course the question that came to my mind was, well what am I supposed to do? I am supposed to have these gifts, how do I even know when I'm allowing the Spirit to display His gifts or just serving God's kingdom?
Well here's Blackaby's answer:
- Don't compare yourself and your abilities to others (Isaiah 66:2)
- Develop a deep hunger for the Bible (p 39)
- Check the condition of your heart through prayer (1 Sam 16:7)
- Find places to serve and allow God to shine through you
There is also a great quote from Oswald Chambers that I'd like to share:
Every element of our own self-reliance
must be put to death by the power of God. The moment
we recognize our complete weakness and our dependence upon Him
will be the very moment that the Spirit of God will exhibit power.
~~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
I truly think this is a must read for anyone who is unsure about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Christians. It truly helped me greatly - I hope I did the book justice in this little review.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you any insight on the gifts of the Holy Spirit? I'd love to hear from you!
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