Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Remember to Ignite Your Gift from GodI admit that as a young Christian in my teen years I was envious at what I presumed were the "gifts" God gave to my other Christian teen friends

I wished I could play the piano. (I lacked the talent and the discipline it required to make it happen.) I wished I could socialize easily and be popular. (I was a shy introvert a.k.a. "wallflower".) I wished I could speak in public. (I was embarrassed and went blank for words in front of a group.) I thought God overlooked me when He generously gifted others. Nevertheless I surrendered my life wholly to Jesus Christ, just as I was, thinking I was bereft of gifts.

Fast forward through high school and college years into active Christian mission work overseas and on university campuses in America among international students and administration in para-church organizations and writing and publishing and public speaking. I acquired a more mature perspective to understand that the giftings of God for ministry are not the shallow wishes of immaturity. Since God called me, the Holy Spirit generously equipped me with His unique gifts and has enabled me to carry out His will for His glory, not for my own aggrandizement.

Fast forward still further into the final season of life. Does God take away His giftings when we become weak with limitations and weary with the length of the journey and we view our opportunities as truncated? When our road narrows and we are obliged to pass the torch to others to carry on the work of God's Kingdom with their new gifts to suit the changing times?

The calling of God is without repentance, the Scripture says. He does not withdraw His call or gifts in our late calendar years but transforms them in the light of ones current circumstances. My surrender to God's will must continue to be total. I must fan into flame the gifts that He provides for my present state in life. It is only for those that I am accountable now as I live in the present moment. I no longer need some of the gifts I needed when on the front lines in my prime. He gives me support gifts of intercessory prayer and encouragement, new gifts for behind the scenes, mellowed and ripened for my "new normal."

I was encouraged by words from the Wisdom Hunters Devotional,  below. When I find spiritual nourishment from the words of others, I like to share it. I am reminded that if God's gifts within me are burning to low embers, I should take the stick of faith and stir them up into flame for my present season of life.
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:6-7
"Sometimes at the inception of salvation the fire of God’s Spirit burns the brightest, but then life happens—faith loses its fuel—smothered, lacking hope’s oxygen. Bustling activities tend to push Christ to an “as needed role”—as a spiritual EMT. “Jesus, I’ll involve you in my life when I can’t control it.” Instead of enjoying a blazing bonfire of belief, a distracted Christian falls into a routine that doesn’t rock the boat of status quo, and forgets to stoke the fire of God’s gift, as it turns cool and stale within their soul. Lukewarm is not an acceptable option to our Lord!
"With his authority from God, and his affection for Timothy, Paul reminded his mentee to fan into flame God’s gift of evangelism—which laid dormant in his heart. Like a campfire’s smoldering embers, Timothy needed to take a stick of faith and stir Christ’s simmering coals in his being, so the gospel flame would erupt in a life engulfed for the Lord. Every Christian has received the Spirit of God, who bestows on every believer unique gifts from God. The warm gray ashes of an ignored gift—must be replaced by the orange-hot flame of an unleashed gift.
“Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:14-15).
"Rest in your unique gifting from God and resist wishing you had another’s giftedness. Ask the Holy Spirit’s fire to ignite your gifts for God’s glory and to strengthen the church. An under utilized gift fades away, but an enflamed gift delights heaven and disgusts hell."
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the discipline and faithfulness to welcome your changing giftings according to my state in life.

No comments: