Thursday 14 March 2013


Spiritual gifts are important for power in ministry; they are not to be neglected. But we should not be mesmerised by it to the extent we value gifts more than character.

Speaking in tongues, one of the more common spiritual gifts, is not to be prohibited (1 Corinthians 14:39) but even more important is prophecy – proclaiming God’s word so that all can understand and benefit. The former edifies the person who speaks in tongues but the latter edifies the community of believers (1 Corinthians 14: 3-5).

The exercise of spiritual gifts is attended by freedom and spontaneity. However, there is also a need for order and self-control.

What does the apostle Paul say concerning checks and balances in the operation of spiritual gifts?

  • “The spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14: 22-23).

  • “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

It is easy for believers to get carried away by spiritual gifts, supernatural experiences or manifestations. Many are just so fascinated with anything supernatural.

However, believers must be vigilant and discerning. The Bible warns that during the end times that we’re now living in, deception will be a prominent feature. This means evil spirits will mimic the works of the Holy Spirit and confuse many.

Deception is as old as the Bible. When Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, it became a serpent. Similarly, the magicians in Pharaoh’s court were able to produce a counterfeit miracle.

And, today, because the counterfeit is hardly distinguishable from the original, even the elect – supposedly mature leaders – can be deceived. If leaders are deceived, don’t you think the flock will fare even worse?

May God grant us the discernment to know that NOT all supernatural experiences or manifestations are of the Holy Spirit – even though it may be happening in church. Just as not all that glitters is gold, not everything supernatural is of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, what do you think is the true measure of a believer? Does it rest solely on how much anointing or power he or she has? Or how many spectacular feats he or she can perform?

Are there not other more important considerations such as an abiding relationship and intimacy with God, obedience, self-denial and faithfulness?

The foregoing does not imply that spiritual gifts are unimportant. The moral of the story is that we must not put the cart before the horse.

Presumptuous faith, failure to walk closely with God, discern and do His will could prove disastrous finally for many on the day of judgment:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7: 21-23).


  1. Our spiritual gifts Inventory is a discovery tool that provides you with a personalized analysis.Knowing your spiritual gifts will enable you to find your place of ministry in the local church.

  2. Yes agreed. It is important to know where our gifting lies and to be focused when we serve.