Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Romans 12:4-5 (NIV)
Josh and I have been watching a show called “It’s Supernatural,” hosted by Sid Roth (sidroth.org). The show consists of a weekly interview with someone through whom God has worked in miraculous ways (or who has witnessed the supernatural acts of God). A supernatural gift that comes up frequently is that of healing. For instance, someone with a failing kidney, after being surrounded by the prayer of righteous people and the presence of God, not only experiences a healed kidney, but also received an entirely new kidney where one was previously missing! There are many other documented miraculous examples. This got me thinking, “Why doesn’t God use me like all these people on Sid Roth’s show to heal someone miraculously?” Interestingly, the next day, I came across the above verses under “verse of the day” on the home page of biblegateway.com. Paul points out that God has given us different natural abilities, and we should use these abilities to edify one another. We shouldn’t become jealous of someone who has a different set of gifts than we do! He makes the analogy of a body. The eyes, hands, and feet all have different essential roles. I wouldn’t want my eyes to do the tasks set out for my feet! In the same way, we all work together in different ways for a single purpose—to spread the news of the kingdom of God to the world.
It seems to me that there are also supernatural gifts that God gives to people over and above their natural gifts. For example, it seems that things like miraculous healing, seeing the future, and having insight into people you’ve never met are not ordinary things that people are just born with. Also, it seems that gifts from the Spirit, like those talked about in I Corinthians 12, are imparted directly by the Spirit of God and are not related to our natural gifts in any way. However, Paul also says that there are many gifts of the Spirit and that not everyone will have the same gifts given to them. I will have to do a further study of this passage in I Corinthians in order to fully appreciate all that Paul was instructing regarding spiritual gifts, but for now, the message I am getting is that we should be content with what God has given us because he’s given it to us to benefit everyone around us.
My conclusion for today is perhaps more of a segue to future study: God has given us each different gifts so that we can function effectively together with unity of purpose. We fill specific, important roles within the group that others cannot fill, and we should not be jealous of others who operate under different roles. As far as what gifts he has given to us—whether they be solely our natural talents or also Spirit-imparted (even supernatural) talents—I have heard many dissenting opinions, so I must do further study of my own to come to a conclusion. Whatever the truth may be about spiritual gifts, I know this much: we are uniquely designed by God to carry out specific purposes in life, and he loves us all in a very special and personal way.
God of many wonders, thank you for interacting with your creation throughout the course of history. In ages past you displayed your glorious presence with supernatural signs and wonders through your prophets and through nature itself. Even with the visible evidence of your presence, though, your people were fickle of heart, betraying you for gods made by their own hands. How foolish we are, oh Lord! Please forgive us for lacking wisdom and understanding. In this age, you have chosen to make your presence hidden to the eye, and only those who seek you are given eyes to see! We are looking forward to the day when your presence will be visible to all people once again! A wave is coming: at first it appears small, but its tremendous power is revealed as it draws near to the shore. The abiding of your presence with us is near, and as it draws closer your miraculous works will be made known! I desire your presence, Lord. Too long have your people been separated from you. Use me as a tool for your coming glory, so that I may reveal the good news of your kingdom to all who will hear. We look forward to the revelation of your glory, and we worship you now as you reign over all the earth. Amen.