Getting Past the Start Part 2 — Gifts from God

Much like when I wrote the book, this portion of my blog series weighs heavily on my heart. I want to ensure that I write it well—not only in content but in message. The gifts we receive from God draw us into a life that distinguishes us from the rest of the world. Whether through the gift of salvation, the usage of our natural talents, or the workings of the gifts of the Spirit, we are changed by living a life that reflects the God we worship and serve.

getting past the start- magnitude of salvation word graphicThe gift of salvation takes the forefront for one very basic reason—it is the most vital. “If you don’t grasp the magnitude that comes with accepting the gift of eternal life, then how you live your life, purposeful or not, really won’t matter much in the end.” (p. 27) Before anything else, we all need to recognize that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that we are all in need of a Savior.

Jesus is that Savior. He is the only one who can make things right between us and God. We can’t be good enough, nice enough, productive enough. “The entire reason Jesus came to earth, lived the way He did, and died the way He did was so that we could be made righteous.” (p. 29) If you don’t get this gift, the others just won’t matter.

Clearly salvation is something that can only be given by God through Jesus, but how can our talents be a gift? There is no denying that there are plenty of talented people who blatantly deny God. Whether or not we choose to acknowledge Him, God is the one who gave us these talents in the first place. And there is something so beautiful when someone talented chooses to dedicate their craft to the One who gave it to them in the first place.

You see, “they (talents) bring us joy and help us in our understanding of who God is so that we can better find our ultimate identity in Him.” (p. 42) We are created beings, created to worship. “We are created for a purpose and that purpose is to worship God fully with everything we’ve got.” (p. 58) Everything. That means our art, our words, our sports, our hobbies.

While we are born with certain talents that are not contingent on a relationship with Jesus, we cannot experience the gifts of the Spirit without a relationship. They are those special opportunities where we exercise abilities outside of our natural ability and see the power and love of God first hand in an amazing and awe-inspiring way.

Paul tells the people in Corinth, “Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.” (1 Corinthians 12:1, NIV) He tells the people of Ephesus their purpose is “ to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12-13, NIV)

Like I said, these gifts are outside our “natural” abilities but so often I find that how I am living actually restricts the Spirit from moving as freely as I may even say I’d like Him to. As someone who likes lists and structured schedules, I often squash any open opportunity that may have been used for something supernatural, for the sake of “organization.”

“Are we allowing our lives to be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit? Or are we living so structured and impenetrable that even the method in which we worship God is dictated by our need for control, thus diminishing the opportunity to see and experience the might and wonder of the Holy Spirit working in and through us?” (p. 51)

This is not to say that organization and schedules are a bad thing. We simply need to be in active communication with God to know when His Spirit is asking us to break our routine to allow Him the freedom to move where He sees fit. “Living by the Spirit must become continuous interaction and communication with Him.” (p. 54)

Ultimately, we must continue to allow Him to mold us into who we were created to be. It can be challenging and uncomfortable, even counter cultural. But we must always remember that “when we make a commitment to follow Jesus and give our hearts to Him, we can’t just take it back to fit our desired lifestyles.” (p. 53)

getting past the start - made to stand out word art“We are not supposed to blend in. We were made to stand out.” (p. 62) And if we live by the Spirit daily, allowing God to be reflected in who we are, we will find that is exactly what happens.

Comments are closed.