I'm only 17 and since I was a little girl I could always prophecy but now I have found that I cannot see as I used to. I've found that my gift for discernment has also been put on hold. Does this mean that I have lost my gifts? Was it simply a season or a phase that I went through? Has God stripped me of something he once blessed me with as a child, or have my gifts just been put on hold and seem to be a little rusty?
J. from Texas
The Highest Call (Part 1)
There is a reassuring passage of scripture which seems to indicate that our gifts are never lost. Romans 11:29 says; "for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." The context of the passage, however, refers to Israel's covenant with God so I cannot say with certainty that the Holy Spirit gifts are meant to be included. In your case we will have to wait and see.
As your question indicates, you feel somewhat disappointed and confused over this turn of events. I believe there are some encouraging ways to look at this and there are also some questions you can ask yourself to seek clarity.
First, it is not uncommon to see all kinds of changes from childhood to adulthood in both preferences and abilities. Since this is true in the natural why not in the spiritual arena as well? For instance, a child with the voice of an angel may hear it turn to gravel during the teen years. Those so gifted are often told to rest their voice during that time so it will come back stronger later.
You wonder if this is simply a season and that would be my first inclination. God may have deposited gifts in you which will have a more mature form in your adulthood. You are blessed to have known and used them during childhood because many others can't say the same thing.
Still, it is a good idea to check yourself for any hindrance that could be blocking your gifts. Ask yourself if you have had any major shift spiritually. Is there any sin? What are you allowing in through your eye gates? Are you still seeking God's kingdom first? Have your gifts ever taken preference over your relationship with the Lord himself? Examine your heart with the help of the Holy Spirit and he will direct you if you need to repent or reprioritize your life.
My suggestion is to humbly lay down every spiritual gift you have ever operated in on God's altar. Recommit them to his use in his time. Offer yourself as a living sacrifice, telling God that you will live for him no matter what. Then, walk away and keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to serve him by serving other people.
Believe me, if you have that heart, you will be used by God. A call to servanthood will never be lost.