I have seen many ways taught to discover the gifts and abilities God has put inside of us. These run the gamut from personality tests to psychological evaluations. Regardless of the method, most are focused on the natural realm.
There may be some benefit received from these natural methods but we must ask ourselves what this is. If it is limited to the natural or soulish realms then any benefit will have no eternal value.
We are spiritual beings created in the image of our creator who is spirit. Any reliance on natural tests or methods to achieve any spiritual result is dangerous. Many well meaning people have been led away from the path God planned for them to walk by these.
Paul’s call to preach the Gospel came before his natural birth. It is likely he was born before Jesus’ ministry. What would have happened if his rabbi had given him a personality test? The results definitely would not have pointed him to the ministry he ended up in!
The ministry that Paul ended up in was not based on his training. He had sat under some of the best teachers in Judaism but had to walk away from everything in order to follow Jesus.
3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
Paul had completely sold out to his religion. He described himself as being “zealous towards God”. Unfortunately, his ministry and service to the Jewish people was based on man’s tradition and not the plan of God. He had moved into leadership and even served as a witness during the stoning of Stephen.
God sees the end from the beginning. I seriously doubt Paul would have been ordained by most of our modern denominations. Can you imagine the reaction to his application with an associated history of having Christians stoned, beaten, and throne in prison?
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
I am so thankful that God does not use our criteria for determining who is and is not qualified for service in His kingdom!
Paul had attended the best Jewish schools and served as a leader for his religion. We probably would have chosen him to serve as a missionary to the Jewish people. God chose an unschooled fisherman named Peter for this ministry and instead sent Paul to the Gentile nations!
Paul knew the Jewish law and understood Jewish tradition. He was the ideal candidate for ministry among the Jewish people! We choose ministers and determine the best place for them to be sent based on training and qualifications. This is not the way of the Spirit.
Peter was an unschooled fisherman. He seemed to be the ideal candidate for ministry among the Gentiles. The Holy Spirit does not lead according to what can be seen and determined in the natural realm! Peter was called to minister to the Jewish people before his birth and the Holy Spirit was aware of this.
Several years ago I had the privilege to be part of a revival that lasted sixteen weeks. There was a man named Paul who was saved in those services. Paul had come from a very rough background but was hungry to be used by God.
Paul approached the pastor one evening at the end of service. A lady was standing in the altar area who had a very large tumor hanging off of her neck. He felt the Lord was leading him to pray for the ladie’s healing and asked for the pastor’s permission.
The pastor agreed and told Paul he could pray for the woman. Paul had not gone through a discipleship program and had not been trained on how to pray for the sick. From a natural viewpoint, he was not qualified to pray for this woman.
There was not a single person prepared for what would happen when Paul prayed. He approached the woman with a boldness that surprised us. The woman had her eyes closed but they popped open when she heard Paul yell at the tumor! She was shocked just as everyone else was.
Paul yelled, “In the f _ _ _ ing Name of Jesus I curse you cancer!”
We all stood in total shock. It was almost as if there was a collective gasp heard throughout the auditorium.
Paul lifted his right hand and forcefully struck the tumor! The power of God manifested and knocked the woman off of her feet. Her tumor flew off of her neck and landed at the pastor’s feet. I’ll never forget the look on his face!
God chooses people differently than we do. Paul should not have used the word he did but the Holy Spirit still used him. He was looking at his heart’s desire to be used and was not worried about Paul being cleaned up before being used to minister healing. We need to keep in mind that usability in God’s service is based on the condition of our heart and the calling of God more than anything else.
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