It Is Soooo Worth It!
As I was praying I heard myself thanking God for this new awakening I have been experiencing. I described it as being born again, again. That is how amazing the transformation in my walk with God has been! My Pastor describes me as a "bright blinking light!".
For the next little while, Lord willing :-), I am going to share with you how I discovered my Spiritual Gifts, and how God has opened doors and opportunities for me to walk in faith, testing, trying and building confidence in His divine ability working through me. My motivation for this is to give you a better understanding of what it looks and feels like to be a well played instrument in the hand of God.
I am praying for you! I am hoping that you will be encouraged and motivated to step out and allow God to use you for His glory and the building up of His body, the Church. God wants to use you! He wants you to know the gifts He has given you. He has equipped you for a fruitful life. Bearing fruit is very important to God. You can read about it in John 15. My dear friend, don't waste what God has given you. To be blatantly truthful, I must tell you that one day we are going to give an account to God for the lives we are living. Realizing this was a wake up call for me. I started feeling like eternity is coming fast and I better get busy being about my Father's business! The most effective way to do the work of the Lord is to use the divine gifts He has given us for this very purpose.
A little background
I am very blessed to be a part of a church that stands on The Word of God. There are so many opinions out there! We have a Pastor with the gift of Teaching. He has spent many hours teaching us about the Spiritual Gifts listed in Romans 12, 1Corinthians 12,14, 1Peter 4, and Ephesians 4. Early on in his ministry he came upon Ephesians 4:12 where Paul says that the responsibility of the Pastors, Evangelists, Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers is to " equip God's people to do His work and build up the church, the Body of Christ." He began to ask God exactly how to do that. A book on Spiritual Gifts was birthed out of that question. Helping people to discover the gifts God has given them, learning to use them and finding ways to make a difference in the Kingdom of God are some of the main thrusts of the ministry that I sit under.
I have been sitting under these teachings for 15 years. I say that, to say this. It is only in the last 6 months that I have really begun to step out of my comfort zone, allowing God to work through me, using the gifts that He gave me 16 years ago when I first believed. Very sad, very true. I am sorry that it took me so long. My hope is that in sharing you will realize your potential before you are almost two decades into your relationship with God. And if you are like me, a slow learner, to show you that God is not done with you, He is only getting started, if only you will follow! It has been an amazing 6 months! Nothing in this world compares to being used in a supernatural way by the Creator of the Universe! I'm telling you, you don't want to miss this!
I would like to make it abundantly clear that the abundant life does not flow from Spiritual Gifts.
Before I go on, I want to make it real clear to you, the dynamic change in my life did not come from knowing my unique place in the Body of Christ.
It came when I finally surrendered all of my hopes, my plans, my dreams, my desires, my EVERYTHING, to Jesus. For most of my 16 years as a Christian I laboriously pulled around a heavy bag of 'what ifs... and I wants....' I came to a point of total frustration, lack of joy, lack of peace, and a vague hopelessness about this thing called Christianity. Nothing about 'my' Christianity made sense to me anymore. Everything seemed so pointless. I was just drifting in a place I really didn't want to be. I had no direction or purpose in my life beyond what was for breakfast and who's turn it was to wash the dishes. I was living for the day, myself and my family. In hind sight I can see God's gracious merciful hand at work here. He doesn't leave us to ourselves, He is working in us that which is pleasing in His sight. He wouldn't let me go, but at the same time He wouldn't let me have my own way either. God's ways are higher than our ways. So here I am now, doing something I NEVER would have imagined myself doing back when I thought I was following God, but really wasn't.
It came to a point where I wanted God so bad that nothing else mattered. I emptied my hands of everything that the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I was replacing God with. We can all be guilty of keeping a few things back from God. I was holding tightly to my future. I wanted to live closer to my family (I live in Alaska), I wanted to attend a different church, one where there were more children and more like minded believers (what a lie this was!), I wanted to live somewhere where it didn't rain 150 inches per year, I wanted to sell our business and buy another one, somewhere else, I didn't want to live on an island anymore, I wanted a real summer. I, I, I, I, wanted, wanted, wanted.........
Most of these things seem trivial to me now, but they were very real hindrances at one point in my life. It was all about me. What I wanted.
If you are really honest with yourself, I am pretty sure that if there is something you are holding back, you know what it is. I was there. I know what it is like to say" yah, but", and to rationalize and to make up reasons and to be really sure that whatever it is, it's not that.
I am telling you this because I do not want you to think that your life is going to change in a crazy way like mine has just because you learn what your spiritual gifts are. It will not change until you finally give God EVERYTHING. Then you will see God really working in your life. You might be someone who is holding on to a lot of pain and hurt from your past. Let it go. I did.
Let's face it, we have all heard about the abundant life that Jesus talks about, how many of us are actually living it? I've got a glimpse, I've tasted, and I'm not turning back. No way!
This new awakening, that is now a part of everyday, started with a complete surrender to God. And it continues with a daily complete surrender. Every day I tell the Lord, "Jesus, use me, I am Yours."
So, if you are hoping that discovering your Spiritual Gift is going to somehow miraculously change you, I must be honest with you and tell you that you are wasting your time. You MUST do it God's way. Give Him complete control of your life. Read His Word and walk in obedience. Walk with God, not with what people say about him. He is your Father and you need to spend time with Him. You need to get to know Him for yourself. You need to trust Him. Your relationship with Him must be based on who He has revealed Himself to be in His Word, not on what others are saying. Trust God, He is all that is trustworthy. He doesn't change. You can depend on Him. Give Him your life and then begin to step out in your Spiritual Gifts.
As we begin this journey together I would like to encourage you to read 1Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12, 1Peter 4:10-11, and Ephesians 4:1-16.
I didn't get very far, but I felt very impressed of the Lord to lay this foundation and prerequisite for the abundant fruitful life that He has planned for you if only you will choose to trust Him with ALL of your life.
Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength
and then you will be able to truly love your neighbor as yourself.
And then you will be amazed as God begins to touch the world, your neighbors, through you.
It is so awesome!
I'm telling you it is sooooo worth giving up
everything that Satan is trying to convince you that you can't possibly let go of.
Don't believe it my friend!
I read in Luke this morning, Jesus saying, "Let's cross to the other side......."
All glory to God in my life and yours!
Encouraged? Share with a friend!