​​The 7 Spiritual Gifts and How to Identify Them

By Rebecca Goings – May 26, 2021
Image by Getty

God is so gracious toward His children, that He gives us several spiritual gifts once His Holy Spirit indwells our hearts. Within Scripture, we are told there are seven gifts in the text of Isaiah 11:1-3a, and these gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, godliness, and the fear of the Lord.

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:1-3a

Once we know these gifts, we are able to identify them within ourselves. When we can identify how God uses these gifts within our lives, our faith is strengthened in knowing He is truly bringing His Kingdom in and through our lives.


Wisdom is often considered the greatest of all the gifts. The believer with the gift of wisdom is able to discern the will of God according to the Word of God. They have the uncanny knack to know how to interpret God’s truths in any given situation and give the godly answer to the one who is seeking it. It is considered the wisdom of God by the power of His Word, and those who are mighty in the Scriptures, as Apollos in the book of Acts, are those to whom this gift is given.


This gift is the ability to know how to apply God’s truth and His Word properly within our lives. How should a Christian walk according to the Bible? How should we act when we take in all that Jesus taught? This believer is not at an impasse here, they know exactly what it means to live as a Christian in this world, and also how to live it out in a powerful, authentic faith.


Counsel is a gift of correct judgment, how we determine right from wrong according to the Word. This gift is a discerning gift, and those who have it will know if something preached is truth or error. They will know the right path to take versus the wrong path for their lives. This believer will rightly be able to judge sin for what it is and avoid it in their lives at all costs. 


The gift of fortitude goes far beyond physical strength and dives into spiritual strength, godly courage, and a certain toughness in one's resolve when it comes to proclaiming God's truth. This believer will never back down or shy away from what is written in the Word of God. They are not ashamed of what God has made clear, no matter the popular tide of culture. If God has said it, they will declare it, both firmly and boldly. 


The gift of knowledge is a supernatural knowledge of God Himself. This gift is not mere knowledge of God as one might learn from reading, rather, this is experiential knowledge, seeing your life as through God’s eyes and fully comprehending His perspective on how things truly are. This is knowing the mind of God and making your plans in life accordingly.


Also known as the gift of piety, godliness is a deep respect for the things of God, the humility to bow before Him, and the authentic love for God within the heart of this believer. This gift trusts, this gift burns with passion for bringing God’s glory to the world. The believer with this gift will be a worshipper and likely a true prayer warrior, someone who is serious for God by respect for Christ and His church.

Fear of the Lord

This gift is not to be afraid of God, rather, to have a deep reverence for Him. This believer has been swept away by the majesty of God and captivated by His amazing grace. Anyone with this gift likely weeps at the drop of a hat when mentioning the goodness of God and cannot go much more than a few minutes without prayer or praise to the Lord On High. They are quite aware of their dependence upon God and just the thought of His sovereignty and glory brings them to their knees.

Within these seven gifts, we can see how God works through our lives and helps us walk as Jesus walked, full of grace and truth. Pray, and ask God to give you one of them if you do not recognize these gifts within yourself. Or perhaps you recognize one or many. Give God the glory due His name and thank Him for the grace He has given you in bestowing you the gifts of His Spirit.