Activating Spiritual Gifts

It is my prayer that believers would discover and walk in the spiritual gift that God has for them. Paul prayed, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established” (Romans 1:11).

I am blessed by my dear friend Bonnie who is a gifted prophetic teacher on end times. Many years ago she laid hands on me and activated a spiritual gift into my life. She prophesied over me to prepare and encourage me for the calling I would walk in. The spiritual gift she imparted has flowed like a river since that day.

If you are overflowing in the Holy Spirit, when you lay hands on someone it is like spiritual power is flowing through you and onto them. God is the power and you are only the conduit. Jesus taught, “’He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive…” (John 7:38-39).

Every time I meet with Bonnie, I am reminded of all she imparted to me and the fruit that has come from it. She always encourages me to this day to stay diligent in serving the Lord. “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6).

Once you have received a spiritual gift, you must then walk in it. “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership” (1 Timothy 4:14).

Receiving a spiritual gift:

The Lord will never give you a spiritual gift you are not ready to receive. He loves you too much to allow you to have a gift that you are not prepared to walk in. Thank Him for not giving you what would ruin you. Be content with having nothing, and it will from there He can start to do a work in you.

The first step to receiving a spiritual gift is to be filled of the Holy Spirit. “And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:6).

It is by the Holy Spirit that you will gain a spiritual gift and it is by the Holy Spirit that you can then walk in it. “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11).

One hindrance for people in receiving the gifts is their pride. Either they want a gift to be seen by men, or they refuse to receive it from someone they think beneath them. Natural pride blocks spiritual breakthroughs.

You can never take hold in the natural what can only be received as a gift in the spiritual. Your natural strength cannot lift a feather in the spiritual realm. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God…” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Spiritual gifts are not for you, but to be through you. “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel” (1 Corinthians 14:12).

God chooses your spiritual gifts:

We will get different gifts, but we share in the same Holy Spirit. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4).

Don’t worry which gift you receive. Rejoice in the spiritual gift He has picked out just for you. “…each one has his own gift from God” (1 Corinthians 7:7).

In God’s economy, every gift has equal value in what it can achieve for the kingdom.

We are but utensils in the Hands of God, and we argue about whether we are a spoon or a fork. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).

We can have all the spiritual gifts pour through us from time to time as the Lord sees fit. These temporary gifts we may walk in are to meet a specific need at a specific point in time. For example, the Lord gave me the “word of knowledge” gift when I was preaching in the prison ministry. The Holy Spirit would show me in advance exactly who would receive salvation at a service, such that I would keep pressing into the altar call until the person came up. God never got it wrong and this bolstered my faith and my preaching. But when God called me out of the prison ministry and I stopped preaching, I no longer needed that gift for what He had me doing in the next season.

He gives the right gift at the right time. Let Him be in charge, you are not qualified, and neither am I. Don’t ever chase the gift, as it is not yours to take but only to receive.

The Lord will guide us into the gift in which we will flow the strongest. If you ever feel like your gift is not flowing as much as it used to, it is usually because you are not yielding. A river can only flow when the ground has given way.

Don’t seek the gift, but the Giver, and surrender your life unto Him. It will be there you will find your gift by which you can then serve Him. “Be patient, knowing that “…the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).

Blessings to you,


All Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version. Please use the version you prefer to review the verses shown here. The best version is the one you read.

2 thoughts on “Activating Spiritual Gifts

  1. Excellent teaching & encouragement by the Word & example, Paul. Where would I be in my walk if several obedient & caring prophetic people hadn’t spoken into my issues so clearly as from the secret place! I would add that (from testimony from others & exposure to, in personal context) I’ve seen that fear of man in both ways & many forms can hinder or corrupt receiving & flowing in Spirit promptings & gift use. Thanks for sharing this important perspective & experience, where much zealous hype & ignorant helplessness is addressed so well.

    1. I have seen so much error in how spiritual gifts are either ignored, over-emphasized, coveted and used for self-promotion. Leave it to sinful humans to take a precious gift from God and turn it into a commodity that benefits the flesh and not the kingdom. How much I wish for a balanced and Biblical view to be taught at churches everywhere, that the gifts of heaven could be used for kingdom purposes!

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