Just one of those God things, I’ve had this blog in the simmer pot in the back of my head, and when I grabbed a sermon to listen to this morning while I cleaned the kitchen and made breakfast, oh what to my wondering eyes do appear… but a vid full of Francis Chan (minus the reindeer) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxNZT0MtUeg talking about much the same thing.*
All of us have been given gifts. We’re supposed to use them to build the family up.
But a lot of us get this into our heads, that somehow we aren’t strong enough or awesome enough to do the thing. Someone else is better. Stronger. More faithful. More in love with God. Etc.
It’s a weird thing. I know I have certain gifts, and I seek opportunities to use them. It’s not that hard, I like using my gifts. I actively enjoy using them. I feel like I’m at a banquet and my friends are standing outside in the rain, even though they have an invitation – and I can’t get them to come inside and grab a plate. What gives? This blessing is for every member of the family of Christ!
Sometimes God uses me to say stuff or do stuff that’s tots on Him. Because I watch for this – I can see where He has me pick up the phone on just the right day… or leave it on the charger. I can see where He interrupts me when I’ve left what He had me to say and drifted off into my own stuff. Because I’m watching for this, I get to participate in the joy that comes from watching God do His thing. It blesses me, profoundly.
When I’m empty, I see how He arranges rest … usually *after* I thought I couldn’t hold out one more minute.
I have friends who speak God into my life, and they bless me. I have friends with whom I can really be me – all of me, all the bits, not worried about scaring them off or freaking them out – and that blesses me and I need more of that. I need kicking in the head to get me out of myself. I need friendship, I need people who can take the time to get to know all the layers so I can be real. It’s so much too easy for me to do the “acceptable” thing – I need people to call me on that.
We are a family. Every single one of us has a profound gift from the Holy Spirit, and we’re meant to spend those gifts on one another. Our meetings are meant to be a way that God touches us, using each other to be His hands and feet and mouth and heart.
I need YOU. The family needs you.
And *you* don’t have to have the strength or the skill – God will provide. It is an outflowing of the Holy Spirit. Have you ever asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit (an extra portion, not the presence of the Spirit which comes at the time of salvation)? Have you ever asked for your gifts, or to be shown what they are? Have you ever said, “God, please use me today?”
Even if you’re not a crazy charismatic (with a seatbelt, lol)- what would it harm to ask? I was raised Baptist, I wasn’t raised to this crazy stuff either. I was leery. But asking – it changes things. Opportunities come. Words come. No one has to know that you asked. You don’t have to use your outside voice, God can hear your thoughts. It’s a step of faith.
Don’t you want to be used? Don’t you want to be part of what God does today? Of course you do. Of course. That urge is part of who you are in Christ.
You don’t have to be enough. You aren’t. That’s the joy – watching the Holy Spirit make your two loaves into enough to feed an army.
We are not all the same. Not every man is a natural leader, not every woman is naturally gifted in counsel. Not everyone is joyous in anonymous service. Not everyone is gifted in speech, not everyone can work with their hands. Not everyone has the same skillset.
This is intentional. We are made to be interdependent. We need *everyone*. If nothing else, it helps to guard against pride – and don’t we all need help with that? I do.
The only difference in the person who is being used and the one who is not is the willingness to *be* used.
1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance ofknowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
*Wireless headphones are my bestest buddies. Being married to an IT dude/gamer has its advantages. I have very good headphones, and I use them for listening to sermons/talks almost every day. Makes housework go much more quickly – and I learn stuff. Win/win.