I love this quote by Derek Prince, “The Gifts of the Spirit are tools, not toys.” Wow – what a profound statement. What he’s saying is that the Gifts of the Spirit are nothing to play around with. They are serious tools for serious work. We should not take them lightly or use them frivolously. We should definitely not misuse them. By implication, serious damage can be done by the misuse of spiritual gifts. I’d even go so far as to say that the misuse of spiritual gifts is not spiritual gifts at all, but a counterfeit of spiritual gifts. I think sometimes people get caught up in this without even realizing it – by saying that a “word” or “prophecy” is from the Lord when it is really us being led by our own emotions and opinions. That’s dangerous and can cause great damage.
However, that doesn’t mean we throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Spiritual gifts were given by God to be used! And they are to be used in God’s will and in His timing. “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Gal 5:25 NLT)