What am I for?

March 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

I have been reading in Leviticus and Exodus lately as I mentioned in an earlier post and I was struck by how God gifted an appointed people to do certain things.  He mentioned to Moses by name men capable of doing the gold and weaving work to make the Tabernacle and the ark of the covenant.  He appointed the Levites a whole clan to be in charge of the work in the “Tent of Meeting” or Tabernacle.  He chose Aaron (who was an idolator and led others to idolatry because he feared men rather than God at the time) and his family to be the ones who met with God on behalf of the Israelites.  So that got me to thinking about us.  How has God gifted me, am I using the gifts He has given me NOW, am I looking, praying, seeking for His direction on how best to use His the gifts he as given me…So here is the trail my thoughts traveled.

If you have a kid and you know Veggie Tales, you may know the one called Snoodle’s Tale.  It is Dr. Seuss-esk (which is fitting since his birthday is tomorrow…That was a bunny trail).  Anyway there are these creatures named Snoodles and one is born wondering what he is for.  He checks his bag that came with him and finds paints, and a harmonica, and discovers he has wings.  However as he tries his “gifts” out, his attempts are laughed at by the other Snoodles who all have wings, but none can fly.  They use their paints to tear others down.  This Snoodle eventually has an encounter with His creator.  His creator tells him why He gave him paints, a harmonica, and wings.  Soon this little Snoodle is soaring.  But he doesn’t just keep this new information to himself he shares it with the other Snoodles and they are soon soaring as well.

My question is what keeps me from soaring?  What keeps me from using the gifts God has given me?  What keeps me from sharing those gifts with others?  Why would  God want to use someone who can’t figure it all out anyway?

1.  There are many things that keep me from soaring…

—my own insecurities (what if I fail), listening to others and Satan who are telling me lies and trying to tear me down, not listening to constructive criticism, the busy-ness of life, the urgent taking over the important, believing the lie that I am not good enough, smart enough, spiritual enough, whatever enough to do something for God….

2.  The things that keep me from using my gifts God has given me…

—I don’t have time, what will “they” say, what if God calls me to foreign missions living in a hut, God can’t use me I’m too messed up, I don’t know what my gifts are, I don’t know what God wants me to do with my gifts, I am too young, I am too old, I am too small, I have young children, I have older children, my kids are too busy, my husband is too busy, my parents are too busy…

3.  I don’t share my gifts because…

—what if they don’t think I am gifted in that area, what if they think I am weird, what if they are offended, what if they laugh at me, what if they don’t laugh, what if they don’t like me, what if they reject God, what if I don’t really make a difference in anyone’s life…

4.  God uses us because…

—Ok, in a lot of ways I am totally stumped here.  I mean the creator of the entire universe doesn’t NEED me to do anything for Him.  He can handle it all and He can do it all…However here is the kicker…The creator of the universe the God of the mountains, oceans, cosmos, WANTS me to do stuff for Him.  How do I know that?  He tells us countless times, but I’ll choose one of my favorites…I Peter 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”  God wants to use US!!!  ALL of US…Not just the ones you think have it all together (no one does by the way), or the ones who have lots of money, or the beautiful ones, or the smart ones, or the ones who can sing, or the ones who can act….You get my point.  God has a place for YOU.

Let’s look at the people he has used throughout history…Abraham was a liar.  Jacob was a deceiver.  Moses was a murderer.  Aaron the high priest was an idolator (he made a calf and told Israel it was the god who led them out of Egypt).  David (a man after God’s own heart) was an adulterer (had an affair) and a murderer.  Mary Magdelene was demon possessed and yet was one of the first to find the empty tomb.  Paul who wrote most of the New Testament was a persecutor of Christ’s followers and a murderer.  However God tells us in 2 Cor 4:7 “But we [Christians] have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  That treasure is the gospel.  The clay is our sinful stinking selves.  Yet God can and does use broken dirty filthy people for His purpose glory and honor.  Many of our present church leaders have had similar conversions from murderers to druggies to alcoholics to abusers.  God can change us and use us all to show the greatness of His glory.  A treasure in a cracked, dirty, ordinary pot is even more amazing than when it is in an ornate box.  That is God’s plan so the glory is for Him and not for us, the cracked pots.

Not only does He have a job for you, but did you notice that verse…”Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…”  Does it say when you are an adult you should use your gift?  Does it say after your kids are grown you should use your gift?  Does it say that once your finances are figured out you should use your gift? Or maybe once you have lost those pesky last 15 pounds or when you feel like you have it together?  NO!!!!  It just says you should use your gift.  That implies NOW!  Kids, adults, pre-teens, teens, senior citizens that means that once you are a child of God you have a gift and God has a purpose for that gift.  USE IT!!!  How?  Be creative find something you can do…Ask if you can be a greeter if you enjoy meeting new people, if you are more behind the scenes then ask if you can help clean up after an event, if you like children find out if you can help in the pre-school department or even get on a list to babysit for parents in the church.  Pray…Ask others what you can pray for and pray.  Teach if you can teach.  The point is to USE your gifts.

But I don’t know what gifts are mine.  Pray for clarity.  Think about the things that as you do them you feel God’s smile on you.  Often the things God has gifted us with are the things that also bring us joy as we do them.  Pray for direction and be willing to try different things.  I heard once it was like trying on different shoes to see if they fit.  Some are super comfy and work well, some stretch your feet in places you didn’t know you could stretch and were not super comfortable.  However the point is you tried you are searching for what gifts God has given you and how to use them for His glory.  The journey alone is worth the trip and the end doing what God has gifted you for is quite amazing.  FYI, the journey NEVER ends until you die and see God in glory.  That verse doesn’t have an expiration date.  If you are bedridden God has a play for you and your gifts, if you are in a season where you can’t lead things maybe you can help in something, as long as you drawn breath God wants you to use your gifts.  What an awesome God that He would use even me to further His kingdom, to do something that matters for eternity.  What a God I serve.


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