And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (NIV)
A lot has been said about finding purpose in life. But do you know that the spiritual gifts God has given you determine the divine purpose of your life? Yes, you have been told that you only need to look within yourself or follow your intuition, and you will discover the purpose of your life. But as children of God, we know that there is more to life than just self or intuition.
We did not create ourselves, and therefore looking within is not enough for us to discover the divine purpose of our lives. God is gracious, and that is why people like Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus king of Persia, fulfilled the purposes of God even though they were not Israelites. So yes, God uses everyone, even unbelievers, to fulfill His purposes. Having said that, it is only by aligning with God that we can do great things for His kingdom.
Now before we go into detail about discovering divine purpose, let us look at spiritual gifts. It is by understanding what spiritual gifts are and why they are important that we are able to know our divine purpose. And how to walk in it.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith. – Romans 12:6 (NIV)
Spiritual gifts are God-given abilities given to individuals by God so that they can fulfill their purposes on earth. These gifts are divided into three categories: ministry gifts, manifestation gifts, and motivational/redemptive gifts. No gift is better than the other. All of them are important for they enable us to accomplish the purposes of God on earth.
But here is the thing: motivational gifts are a bit different from the other two categories. They’re imparted to us at conception while ministry and manifestation gifts are imparted at salvation. Why is that? It is because motivational gifts enable us to fulfill our destiny and engage in restoring creation. On the other hand, manifestation and ministry gifts are meant to edify the body of Christ. In this article, we shall focus on motivational gifts because we want you to learn how to discover the divine purpose of your life.
Now, you may be asking how is it possible for God to give us motivational gifts at conception? God told Jeremiah, He knew him before forming him in his mother’s womb. He also set Jeremiah apart to be a prophet (Jeremiah 1:5). Meaning God is all-knowing. He knows our end from the beginning, even before we are formed in our mother’s womb.
None of us believers and non-believers alike are born by accident. It is just that we choose whether to worship God through Christ or not and the course of our life. All of us are born for a purpose. And that is why God gives each one of us a primary gift that influences the course of our lives.
I can testify that it is very important to know your motivational gift. I was a missionary at Healing and Deliverance ministry. I joined a ministry team. We had people coming from different backgrounds for different courses. There were many opportunities to minister to them. We usually had two or three people from the ministry team in a group to pray for a person.
If I understood my motivational gift at that time, I would operate much better and did not need to struggle. In the beginning of a prayer, I already had a feeling, a picture, a word for a person. Honestly, if I was there by myself the session would be short and neat. I would just say what I saw, gave the word, some instruction on what to do and that’s it. My prayer would be a 5-minute prayer. Thankfully, in the group, we had the ministry team with other gifts – a gift of mercy, service, or giving.
It’s later in life I was going through some teachings and motivational gifts were one of them. Our teacher told us to find out what our motivational gifts were. Then, he explained each gift in an everyday situation. After that teaching, something clicked with me. Hey, nothing was wrong with me. I was operating in my gift that was different from others. My primary gift is prophecy, then teaching and exhortation. But I wanted to minister like others. I could not because I was not like others.
Do you feel the same? I think ministries, churches are missing this. We need to know our primary motivational gift to be able to serve better. When we understand what God created us for and who we are, we will be more productive.
So, let’s find out what are those motivational gifts are.
7 Types of Motivational (Redemptive) Gifts
There are different kinds of gifts under each category of gifts.Under motivational gifts, we have seven gifts that are found in Romans 12:6-8. These include:
A lot of controversies surround the gift of prophecy. This is because of abuse and lack of understanding of this gift. We need to understand that the prophecy gift is significant today, just as it was in the past.
The motivational gift of prophecy is different from the gifts of prophecy in the manifestation and ministry categories. A person with the gift of prophecy in this category sees things as they are. They are able to discern the inner motives of people in a way that other people can’t. A person with the motivational gift of prophecy applies God’s word to different life situations so that relationships are restored, and sin is exposed.
People with this gift demonstrate their love for Christ’s body by meeting the practical needs of the church. They enjoy physical work and love seeing a project to the end. The goal of this gift in the body of Christ is to energize the church and free people with other spiritual gifts to focus on their gifts.
For example, a person with the gift of serving can use this gift to take up practical administrative tasks like secretarial duties and free the pastor to take up his role of teaching and preaching fully.
Do you enjoy spending hours in the word of God and sharing the revelations you get with others? Know someone who likes to do that? Then chances are you(they) have the gift of teaching.
People with this gift have the God-given ability to understand the word of God on a deeper level and clarify it to other believers. These people feel disturbed when God’s word is taken out of context and will seek to validate the truth.
Believers with the gift of encouragement are motivated to encourage the body of Christ to grow spiritually. They express love through being there for others in their good and bad times. They also regard trials as opportunities for growth.
Though they can teach, people with this gift are more interested in edifying and encouraging. While teachers are most interested in the Bible’s content, exhorters are more interested in how the word of God can be made effective in the lives of people.
Most people with this gift are least likely to discover that they have it. A person with this gift has an inward motivation to give and be generous. Understand that not every generous person is a giver. Some people have been trained by their loved ones or the church to be generous. Yes, they give generously, but they don’t necessarily have the inward joy that people with the gift of giving have.
Givers have the God-given ability to make money and to venture into wise investments. They use part of the money they make to give but are not afraid to give up all their earthly possessions for the kingdom of God and start over.
People with the gift of leadership have the God-given ability to lead the people of God into a deeper relationship with Jesus and others. Their success centers around helping others to grow and succeed in their relationship with God. A person with this gift is a visionary and is able to accomplish different tasks in the body of Christ by leading others.
Leaders are entrepreneurial and not afraid to take risks for the advancement of the kingdom of God. They will also go to great lengths to protect people under their care.
People with the spiritual gift of mercy are driven to respond to other believers’ spiritual and emotional needs. They are usually kind and gentle to others. If you’re always showing others great empathy in their suffering and trials, then chances are God has given you the gift of motivation.
People with this gift can discern quickly when others are not fine and go to great lengths to be there for the hurting.
How do you Discover the Divine Purpose God has for your life?
1. Ask Your Friends
As you were reading through the motivational gifts written above, did any of them resonate with you? Could it be that several of them jumped off the page? If so, that is a great start. You can narrow the list to one or three gifts and then take it from there.
As we have already seen, knowing your motivational gift is the first step to discovering the divine purpose of your life.
If you don’t know your spiritual gift, don’t get discouraged. There are different ways that you can discover the gift God has given you. Now that you know the different kinds of motivational gifts God imparts to us, you start the discovery journey by analyzing each gift to find one that resonates with you. Feel free to ask your friends and family to point out what you are good at, and with that information, use it to discover your spiritual gift. You can also check out different online spiritual gifts tests. Find one that is easy to understand and then take a test.
2. Turn to Scripture
We are God’s creation, and He has given us a manual through which we can know how to live life according to His purposes. If you want to know your divine purpose, go to the owner’s manual, which is the Bible.
If you do not know how to operate your phone, you read the manual that comes with it. The manufacturer of that phone knows how different functions work. The same is true about God. He alone knows your divine purpose and not just that, but how you can accomplish it in a pleasing way to Him.
Yes, and believers and unbelievers use motivational gifts to accomplish their purpose in life. But the truth is it is by knowing what God wants and how He wants you to achieve it that you will be able to discover your purpose. And walk in it the right way. King Nebuchadnezzar became proud because he thought that all his accomplishments resulted from his own determination and hard work. Even when God warned him through Daniel, he still went ahead and praised himself for his actions (Daniel 4:28-37).
Had he done what God wanted him to do? Yes, but he was bragging about it like it was him who did it all, yet God worked through him. The end result, he had to live in the wilderness for 7 years with wild animals until he came to the realization that it was God who had lifted him up. Starting with God will help you stay grounded. It will also help you to glorify God and edify the body of Christ.
Go to God’s word and find out what He says about His kingdom, man, and His purposes on earth. Spend more time reading about spiritual gifts and how they can be used effectively. Remember to also read about different characters in the Bible that had the same gifts you have or think you have. For example, if your gift is giving, see Lydia and Cornelius’s life and learn something from them. If it is prophecy, study the life of Elijah, Elisha, and Isaiah. Find out how they used their gifts and examine their weaknesses to learn from their mistakes.
3. Go to God in Prayer
It sounds so simple, yet it is something we Christians neglect to do. Most of us will go to seminars, read books, listen to podcasts, and watch YouTube videos to discover our divine purpose. While these media channels are good, they are not better than prayer.
When you go to God in prayer, you will not only discover your purpose in life, but He will show you how to go about it (Jeremiah 33:3). You may know your divine purpose even when you’re not a Christian, but you will go through a lot of hurdles to accomplish it. You need God to show you His plan and how you fit in it because everything is all about Him.
As we try to discover, our divine purpose, let us be like David, who inquired of God whenever he wanted to battle. It is through asking that he knew the best battle strategies to take to defeat his enemies (1 Chronicles 14:10-17). You may be knowing your purpose in life, but God should order your steps. It is also Him who will help you understand what to do next so that you can succeed and accomplish His purposes. Before you go to that seminar or watch that video, go to God, and then let all these other things act as channels of confirmation.
3. Do a Motivational Gift Test
You can also go to Google and search for spiritual motivational gift tests. You can do a test and see if it resonates with what you already know or have heard from your friends.
Here are two sites I know:
Knowing the divine purpose of your life will help you to overcome a lot of challenges and cause you to make the most out of your life and live a fulfilling life. The first step to understanding your life’s divine purpose is to know what spiritual gifts are, the different categories of gifts, and how they function. And most of all, the redemptive or motivational gifts God has given to you. When you know your spiritual gift, it becomes easy for you to start the discovery journey of your purpose on the right path. Spend time in the word and prayer so that you can understand these gifts and your purpose and how God wants you to accomplish them.
Please let me know in the comments below what is your primary motivational gift. You can also add two more. I hope this article has helped you to rediscover more about yourself.