Understanding What God Gives

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“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:12 NIV

God has freely given us gifts and talents.  Understanding how to use them as He intended is a different story! The world teaches us overuse, underuse and codependent use of our gifts and talents. It is through Christ and focusing on His model of servant leadership that we find understanding in how to walk fully in our gifts and talents.

From the world’s viewpoint, we are the focal point.  Everything we need is within us: just work harder, dig deeper.  We can fix it. We can figure it out. If that worked the first time, then more of the same should work the second time around. And the cycle intensifies. Faster. More. Self-promotion. Self-protection. Rushing. Toiling. Heaven forbid an unanticipated change get thrown our way! Our gifts and talents develop a hard and sharp edge. Sometimes they become choked in self-absorption.

From God’s perspective, He gives us a different set of values and instruction.  We take on less. He takes on more.  Instead of taking it all on ourselves, He teaches us to release it. It’s a new way and a new day. He teaches us to walk thoughtfully and intentionally, following His direction. Moving with Him and following His favor. It is a partnership and we are never alone. We just have to be willing to let go: things, people, circumstances, control. We have to accept the magnitude of God and the limits of ourselves. As we walk with God, we begin to feel a flow and warmth in our gifts and talents. We see them through a different set of eyes and trust that promotion is not for ourselves but for the glory of God and the redemption of others.

Learning can be hard. Change can be hard. What I am learning is that the perfect storm can be an incredible teacher.  It’s all a matter of perspective. And I am learning.  I am learning to look for God’s hand in everything. I am looking for the lesson and the blessing. I want to be moldable. Teachable. Open to a new way.

Sometimes it’s hard to model Christ in a storm.  As I am struggling it’s hard to believe that anyone can see Christ in me.  The struggle can seem so big.  I take comfort in the knowledge that God can use anything.  Even a donkey.  Even me in the midst of a storm!

Father God, thank you for reminding me that storms are temporary and momentary. Help me release it all to You. Thank you for already paying any debt that I have on the cross.  Forgive me for giving guilt and shame any real estate in my heart and mind. Forgive me for “measuring” myself in comparison to others.  Thank you for Your grace and mercy. Help me to walk fully with You in every gift and talent You have freely given me.

John 3:27-31, Numbers 22:21-33

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