Divinely Apportioned (1 Corinthians 12:11)

All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” (1 Corinthians 12:11, ESV)

When I was in the United States Army Ranger School, we had a 12-day patrol exercise in the Florida panhandle. We got little sleep and spent a lot of time wading through swampy areas. On this patrol, the evaluators would assign the Ranger students various roles. Most would carry the M-16 and just be members of the patrol. While others would be assigned to carry the M-60 machine gun, the radio, the grenade launcher, or on some occasions, explosives.

On one of the patrol exercises, I was assigned as part of a two-man demolition team. I think that they gave me a car battery, which was to simulate an explosive, along with some det-cord and two detonators to carry. Frankly, the car battery, or what ever it was, was heavy and awkward, and I would rather not have carried it. However, that was my assignment and the patrol evaluator determined what we were to do. We had no say in it. So, in addition to all the other stuff I had to carry, I carried the explosive pack through the swamp to the objective and completed the mission.

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth regarding spiritual gifts. There were many gifts. The believer in the church needed to understand many things regarding these spiritual gifts. As we will see, many wanted to have certain gifts for reasons that were not completely noble. Here Paul told the church that they did not choose their gift. Their gifting was apportioned by the Spirit as He wills. Thus, no person could determine what his or her own spiritual gift would be. It was divinely determined.

Moreover, Paul also indicated that the proper function of the believer in the use of the gift determined not upon human strength or ability. The believer could only use this gift by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In my time in ministry, I have seen many people who had a desire to minister in the church, and sought spiritual gifts for the wrong reasons. These sought giftings and positions of service to gain an audience by others. Many times, people wanted to be teachers or preachers and it appeared that their reason was for personal prestige.

The point is that it is the Spirit who grants believers a spiritual gifting and it is not the choice of the believer. The believer must graciously receive the gift given and submit to the divine will by using the gift given for the glory of God.

The believer’s responsibility is to determine his or her spiritual gifting and put it to use in the church.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: