This past week we talked about gifts. That ‘to each is given’ a gift or manifestation of the Spirit to serve others for the common good (1 Cor 12:7).
You might not feel especially gifted in anything, but this passage of scripture reminds us that it is a work of God that is happening when you operate in the gifts. It is not something you do alone. It is both God who gives them and it is the manifestation of God (the Spirit) that will occur as a result.
This might sound very theological, philosophical and perhaps unattainable. But let’s put this in to an easy to see every day context. Say you sit next to someone in church that you don’t know very well. You have the chance to talk with them before or after the service and you ask how they are. They let you know that something difficult is going on in their life. Maybe they or a loved one are unwell, a tragedy has occurred, or they feel discouraged or have had a rough time in general lately.
You take the opportunity to say, ‘could I pray for you’? They agree. You pray for the person and are reminded of a passage of scripture that you share with them that might encourage them. You then offer any practical help you can give, perhaps offer to cook them a meal or just catch up for a coffee during the week.
Guess what…Apart from praying for them, which we should always be prepared to do, you have shown wisdom, discernment and hospitality – the Spirit at work through you! I can say with confidence that this scenario or similar happens regularly in our church. In fact I can recall three times for myself personally in the last year that I have been the person on the receiving end of such grace.
What is crucial is to ask God to use you and your gifts. To be open to what God can do in and through you by His Spirit. This doesn’t need to be weird or spooky. Some gifts may be of a more spiritual nature, but we need not worry about this. We must simply use what He has given us and trust Him to lead us in the gifts and show us the path ahead.
There are many ways this outworks, but in the context of positioning ourselves to be used by God I have found there is one very important key. Humility.
C.S Lewis said: True humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.
Jesus modelled this for us. By no means am I an expert in this, far from it. God saved a wretch like me. But as Christians this should be at the forefront of our minds.
Paul said: Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:4
Let me encourage you this week to be in search of the gifts that God has given you. The first step to doing this is to know that He has gifted us and then pray and also look at how we can serve others with what we have.