I’m reading, “Living a Divinely Inspired Life,” on YouVersion as a devotional these days. Today’s devotion is entitled, Discover your Spiritual Gifts.
I grew up in a church tradition that focused a lot on Spiritual Gifts. It seems to me there is less of a focus on this in the churches I have been a part of in recent years… It’s just not what I grew up with in my earlier years as a believer… and maybe something I am missing now.
If I am honest, I have begun to do things in order to be seen by others. I know that is super-spiritual and something you will probably want to aspire to… It’s just not of the Spirit I desire to please. I find myself in a place where I don’t want to be. I’ve made several attempts to live out God’s purpose on my own or own my own terms. From the devotional I read,
In order to fulfill your purpose in life, you need to operate in your area of supernatural gifting.
So much water has gone under the bridge over the years. It feels as though I’ve gotten out of the water and chosen to stand on the bridge and watch it pass me by. While dreaming of being back in the water. But for some reason I’m scared. It’s a miserable place to be… where I am today… living in fear rather than in the power of the Holy Spirit. One thing I am going to surrender today is this fake attempt at finding my purpose in the arena of trying to be noticed. Step one is to step away from what I thought was “my ticket” to moving on.
In The Message, 1 Corinthians 12:7 and 11 reads,
Each person is giving something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.
Paul writes in Romans 12:6,
…let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; (The Message).
These words here by Paul really stuck with me this morning. They pointed out my sin of comparing myself to others and my sin of trying to be seen by others in order to win their approval over God’s. In the end, my desire really is to hear the words of Jesus, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” And not the pat on the back from others.
Why does God give spiritual gifts to the people He sees as His church? We can find the answer to this question in Ephesians 4:12-13,
To train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ. (The Message).
I know it’s so easy for us a Christians, pastors, and churches to get our eyes onto the wrong “thing”. I believe that’s why so many of us end up searching for something else “to do” or for a new way of doing things. We haven’t become comfortable in the skins God has created for us to wear. We are constantly looking for approval from others or ourselves. Our ultimate approval from God is the only approval we really need in this life. We experience it as we build up His church leading each person into a lifestyle of being fully devoted followers of Christ.