Purpose is a very confusing thing. We throw around the word
like it’s simple—like everyone understands it—but similar to political words
like “change” and marketing words like “believe,” the object of the word is
lost in the sentiments. Purpose must be accompanied by direction. It must be
directed at not just something, but someone—God. And this is precisely where
the use of spiritual gifts becomes skewed.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (Ephesians 4:11–16 ESV).
There is a reason why people dislike the notion that God can
lead someone directly (speaking to them) and the idea that God has called
people to very particular tasks, using gifts that He chose to give them: it’s
something that not only can’t be controlled but can get out of control. We’ve
all heard the idea that if the murderer says “God told me to do it,” than the
logic behind God still speaking is fraught with problems. This leads to the
conclusion that God stopped speaking after the canonized Bible came to be.