We’ve been talking about the gifts of the Spirit in our Seek the Gifts series. The Spirit gives these gifts to us supernaturally and ministers through us with them. We have just discussed the utterance gifts of speaking in tongues and interpretation.
But what about natural abilities and talents we have? Can the Spirit use those? Absolutely! In this break from studying the gifts, I want to stress that the Holy Spirit uses every part of us. Let’s take a look at how the Spirit can use our natural abilities and talents.
Natural Abilities and Talents
We spent a lot of time talking about how the Holy Spirit apportions the gifts to whom He wills. He chooses the people, and He chooses which gifts he gives to those people. Then He directs them in their gifts.
But the Spirit also uses us in our natural abilities and talents. After all, God gives us those abilities. These are things we have learned and perfected. Some of them we have been able to do better than others naturally.
Creativity is a natural gift from God that not everyone has. Anyone can be a critic, but not everyone can be a creative. God was the first creative Being in the universe. You can see His creativity from the beginning of creation onward.
Some people are more athletic than others. We can admire them from afar, but we don’t have their kinetic memory, their stamina, or their natural ability to be very good at sports. God places in each of us a natural acumen for certain activities and abilities. And we thank Him for the ones He gives to us.
Just like people who don’t like the gifts the Spirit gives, some people wish they could do things others do. But we must be grateful for His gifts in our abilities and talents. We must find a way to be comfortable in our own skin instead of seeking abilities others have.
God Uses Our Abilities
Howard Gardner posited a theory of multiple intelligences first in 1983. We think of intelligence as being smart, but Gardner suggests there are multiple types of intelligence. He proposed eight intelligences, now suggesting a ninth.
These are abilities we are born with and rarely change. They are immeasurable abilities from God. They make each of us different from one another. And God works through these intelligences to bless others through us.
Some scientists have criticized Gardner’s theory, challenging that these are not different types of intelligences, but abilities and talents. People have musical, intellectual, spatial-visual, and verbal intelligence is, for example.
Whether they are intelligences or abilities, God placed them in each of us at birth. He uses them in us and gives us these abilities. And we can use them for His glory. We can use these abilities to help others understand what we grasp intuitively.
God Uses Our Talents
The Spirit takes these abilities, or intelligences, that God gave us naturally and “sets them on fire.” He uses them in His Church in powerful ways. He takes the musical abilities we have and empowers us to lead and minister in worship.
The ability to play an instrument or sing is a powerful way for the Spirit to glorify Christ through us. Not everyone can sing or play an instrument. Some people find it very hard to do. But if you have that ability, the Holy Spirit can use you mightily to lead others and worship.
Others with verbal abilities that enhance their skills in learning language, speaking and communicating with others can move mountains with their words. These abilities lead into gifts of the Spirit, such as teaching and pastoring.
But people with verbal skills greater than others also translate the Bible into other languages used by missionaries around the world. They write books and other publications that greatly help saints in the body of Christ.
There are people with the ability to craft anything. They craft everything from the kinds of things you can find on arts and crafts stores to woodworking, plumbing, mechanics, building, construction, sewing, the sky’s the limit.
Some creatives do wonderful dramatic work in theater or even on the big screen. God uses their abilities to transform Bible stories, Christian stories, and every other form of storytelling. It brings life to words on the page.
No matter what your natural talents and abilities are, the Holy Spirit can use you in powerful ways to impact the body of Christ and the world for Him. Don’t limit your understanding of God’s purposes to the gifts of the Spirit. God thinks bigger than that.
He supercharges Our Talents
The Holy Spirit empowers us to do many things for Jesus’ Kingdom. He not only gives us these abilities and talents at birth, but God has planned them in us for His greater glory. And He enhances these talents and abilities in us.
The power of your abilities and talents is just the start. As you grow in your abilities, learning how to use them more effectively, the Holy Spirit knows exactly how He wants to add His purposes to your abilities and talents.
When you work with your talents for Jesus’ Kingdom, the Holy Spirit gives you even more ability and understanding of your talents. He may plant ideas in view of how to use your talents for the Church and God’s Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit takes your talents and abilities to the next level when you serve God with them. He opens doors for your talents to be on full display. But just like the gifts, it’s not about you looking good in the limelight. It’s about you showing people Jesus with your talents.
As we’ve talked about how the Holy Spirit uses your talents and abilities for Jesus’ Kingdom, think about how you can use them for Jesus. What has God planted in you before you were born that people call natural, but God wants to supercharge?
When the Holy Spirit takes your talents to the next level for God’s purposes, how can you see yourself glorifying Jesus even more? He didn’t plant these talents and abilities in you by mistake. God knows exactly how He wants to use your talents for His glory. Think of how you can glorify Jesus with your talents and where you can put them to godly use.
We’ve talked about how the Holy Spirit uses every part of you, including your natural abilities and talents. But now it’s time to ask, “How do I receive the gifts?” We’ll tackle this question in our next post.