We are given the gifts to show the works of the Holy Spirit to the church and to the world. One way to activate the gifts is to actually put them to use. We cannot sit quietly and think the gifts would start operating automatically. We must rise and show forth to the world what God has deposited in us.
There is a book in the Bible called “The Acts of the Apostles.” This tells of the mighty acts of the Holy Spirit done through the Apostles and the early church. It provides us with so much inspiration on using our gifts, as it shows how both ordinary men with no formal education (Acts 4:13) and men of renowned intellect (Acts 22:3) were used by the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel, backed by great signs and wonders. God can work with us as well only if we allow the Holy Ghost.
Our readings show how some of the disciples fully expressed the gifts in them. The gifts are resident in you! The disciples knew what they had and so at the least opportunity, they worked with the gifts, not doubting or fearing anything. We must learn from their example by taking steps to work with the gifts we have, at any given opportunity. We must remove doubt and fear from our minds and focus on the Holy Spirit who has given us the gifts and He will cause them to manifest.