Why I Don’t Recommend the Spiritual Gifts Test


“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that[a]you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” 1 Cor. 12:1-11

Once upon a time a woman I know told me she had the gift of mercy. She was quite certain she had this gift for one single reason. The reason wasn’t the Lord. The reason was the “spiritual gifts test” she had taken somewhere, probably at some church or another. If you’re not aware, in this 21st century, plenty of churches have jumped on the bandwagon of getting congregants to take the infamous “spiritual gifts test” to help people figure out what gifts the Lord has supposedly given them. Please note the word “supposedly”. Nowhere in the Bible have I at least as of yet discovered the Lord instructing His followers to take a “spiritual gifts test” to determine what gifts He has given them and how they should proceed forth in fulfilling the life calling the Lord has given them using those supposed gifts.

Interestingly, in the years following the woman telling me about the gift of mercy she had learned according to the spiritual gifts test she supposedly had, I went through some pretty challenging times. Much of that time, I felt hurt by the lack of mercy and compassion I felt that woman showed me. So much for the spiritual gifts test, eh? She was a beautiful woman of God who most assuredly had a calling and gifts from God, but I’m not certain the “spiritual gifts test” was correct in determining where she stood in the way of the Lord’s gifts. Only the Lord knows.

Is it not dangerous when we use a man-made test to determine what the Lord has given His children in the way of spiritual gifts? Most assuredly He gives gifts and a calling to His children. Most assuredly He wants us to use them to help build His Kingdom and to bring Him glory. But is it not dangerous when we entrust a written test, made by man, and determined and judged by man in the way of its results, to discern what the Lord has given us to use for His glory?

Perhaps the results are accurate at times. Perhaps they are not. But I wonder how many people have gone skipping off after taking the test with results in hand bound and determined to use their “gifts” shown them on their test results when in fact the Lord may have given them entirely different gifts. Is this not dangerous? When we take into our own fleshly hands the things of God rather than trust Him to lead us by His Spirit who gives us gifts in the first place? Would we not be better off sharing the Gospel message, teaching people God’s Word, encouraging them to develop a deeply personal, deeply intimate relationship with God through Christ and to daily dig into His Word while daily seeking Him while daily learning to discern His voice with as of the utmost priority encouraging them to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, to be continually filled with His Spirit, and to learn to follow the leading of the Spirit who will teach and guide and direct us and most assuredly tell us which gifts we have, what is our calling from and for God, and who will equip us day by day to fulfill that godly calling?

Nobody told me to become an evangelist. Nobody told me I should be one. Nobody taught me what to do. Years ago, I landed in people’s yards when I was doing dog rescue work to inquire about homeless dogs. I would open my mouth to speak about dogs and out would pour words about Jesus. Nobody told me I should stop writing for myself and the devil and this world and start writing for Christ. Nobody told me what specific gifts I have been given to use in my writing and streets ministry work. By the time I took that infamous “spiritual gifts test” at some church which I took both ignorantly and really just for the heck of it, the Lord had already begun to make clear the gifts He has given me. So how did I land where I am today, having sold my house, given away most everything, and hit the road full time for the Lord and ministry, with an exceeding clarity about what exactly the Lord has called me to in this life and how exactly He has gifted me? Want to know my secret? It’s no secret at all. And it’s totally biblical.

I have a rock solid relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my LORD; I submit to His lordship. I have been baptized with the Holy Spirit and seek continual filling by His Spirit. I live for Christ. I spend time daily, devotedly, and diligently in God’s Word, and do my utmost to seek God, to hear God, and to love, worship, obey, and serve God. I trust His Spirit to speak to me. And I learn daily to trust Him more and more and to let His Spirit lead the way. No “spiritual gifts test”, nor anything man-made at all, nor any human at all, no matter how great anyone’s intentions, and no matter how thankful I am for people’s love, prayers, encouragement, and support, could have given me the wisdom and understanding I have about my life’s calling and spiritual gifts not to mention the equipping I have all of which comes from the Spirit of God in accordance with His Word as everything of the Lord always lines up with the blessed Bible.

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