When you were born God began working in your life making you who you are today. It was only when you became a believer that God also gave you the gift of the Holy Spirit. As we open more of ourselves to Him we will see the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) growing in us and we will receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12, 1 Corinthians 14).
God has been shaping you for ministry since you were born. In fact, God started uniquely shaping you even before you were born! Psalm 139:14-16.
God has shaped your life and made you who you are, therefore, He wants to use all of who you are, to build up the body of believers, to serve others, and glorify Himself.
The truth is, although whatever gift you have is very special and very rare, you have even more to offer than that. He wants you to use your whole SHAPE to accomplish His will in your life! Our God-given resources for ministry fall into two broad categories:
- Those that are ours naturally
Our natural abilities, personality and experiences.
- Those that are ours supernaturally
Spiritual gifts and Spiritual promptings.
S — Spiritual Gifts
Manifestation — Demonstrating the presence of God (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
Motivation — Determining my purpose for God (Romans 12:3-8)
The best way to identify your gifts is experience. Many don't know what their gift is because they have never tried to do anything. Identifying your gifts will also be much easier when you take the rest of your SHAPE in to account!
- What Gifts do you or others discern?
- How are these Gifts being demonstrated?
H — Heart
What you are passionate about?
Paul tells us that we ought to be ... doing the will of God from your heart (Ephesians 6:6 NIV).
King David wrote: Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4 NIV).
God has shaped your heart so that there’s something that you are passionate about. Some are passionate about children and caring for them, others are passionate about social issues like feeding the poor, taking care of the homeless, campaigning for the persecuted or the environment. Some are passionate about studying and teaching God's word, others are passionate about reaching lost people for Christ.
There will be something you’re passionate about that can be used powerfully when aligned with God's heart. That’s probably an area where God really wants to use you.
- What are you passionate about?
- What stirs you?
A — Abilities
Paul writes telling the church in Corinth; there are different kinds of working [abilities], but the same God works all of them in all men (1 Corinthians 12:6). Not that we’re competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God (2 Corinthians 3:5 NIV).
Everybody has different abilities and things they’re skilled at. Some skills might include: technology and computers, research, photography, filming, writing, acting, singing, playing musical instruments, accounting and business management, leadership, building, teaching, speaking, caring, cleaning, organizing, and the list goes on and on. In your life you have developed abilities that God can and will use if you let Him.
- What are your abilities and things you are skilled at?
P — Personality
Paul again writes this; No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit (1 Corinthians 2:11).
Every person in a church fellowship has a different personality? There’s a reason for this;
Broadly speaking you can divide personalities into 4 types (this is not exclusive).
God created us different, and wants to use our unique personalities for His purposes. Some people are extroverts and some are introverts. Some people are thinkers while others are sensitive to what is unspoken. Every personality is important, and when used by God, a wonderful component to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
- How would you describe your personality?
E — Experience
About Paul's own experiences he writes; Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel (Philippians 1:12).
God wants to use the experiences you’ve had in life to help others. Mum's who’ve raised children can help new Mum's who’re just now facing the challenges of raising children; and likewise with Dad's. God wants to use your painful experiences, the toughest times in your life, the most. Have you been through a divorce, a death in your family, cancer, bankruptcy, abuse, or some other tragedy?
God can and will use these things in miraculous ways if you’ll let Him. No one understands any of these situations better than one who’s walked through them and survived. God will use your experiences in life to touch the lives of many people, if you will trust Him and allow Him to work through you.
- What experiences have you had that you can use to help others?
You’re unique, with a one-of-a-kind blend of spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experiences.
Meditate on Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) the Fruits of the Spirit:
- How have you discerned these fruits being displayed in your life?
- How have you sensed these fruits growing?
- What do you sense the Lord saying with regard to your gifting?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you prayerfully respond.
- Will you allow God to use your SHAPE for expanding the Kingdom, serving others, and above all - glorifying Him?