I wonder sometimes how much more God would give us if we would only ask.
Too often we refrain from asking because we are afraid we are being selfish, or that in some way our motives our wrong.
Now don’t me wrong. We ought to inspect our motives. But at the same time, it shouldn’t stop us from asking. If in the midst of our asking, God convicts us that our motives aren’t right, then of course we should repent. But one thing that we should remember is that God is a God that loves to give good gifts to his children, and so we should never be ashamed to ask.
That includes spiritual gifts. And so Paul says,
But eagerly desire the greater gifts. (31)
What does he mean by the greater gifts? We’ll look at it later, but it seems from chapter 14 that he’s talking about the gifts that build up the church. (14:12)
And that’s the main thing we should be thinking about as we pray for gifts. Not how much having them will build up our reputation in the church or how much they will be for our own spiritual benefit. But how much it will bless the people around us in the church. Spiritual gifts should have us looking outward, not inward.
The other thing that we should remember as we seek spiritual gifts is that God gives them to us as he sees fit (11). He has given us our place within the body, and he will equip us with those gifts which can help us fill that role.
He may give us more than that, but the simple truth is that he never promises to give us whatever gift we ask for. As Paul says,
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues ? Do all interpret? (29-30)
This of course is a rhetorical question, and the answer is of course “No.”
Still, it can’t hurt to ask for more gifts, especially as you look at what you’re doing and you see the gifts that could help you accomplish that ministry better. So ask.
And then trust that God will give you whatever you need to accomplish the tasks that he has given you.
You may be surprised at just how often he says yes.