What's in my toolbox?
How do we know what we have?
“Do not be satisfied with God's calling or His gifts in your life. Be satisfied with Jesus Christ Himself.”
Brother Yun - The Heavenly Man
Our highest calling is to “Love the Lord” (Luke 10:27) and it’s from this place of love that we should serve and no other. We know that the more we love and are in relationship with God the easier it is to know His call upon our lives. Give from a place of input, making your covenant relationship with God high priority, for He deserves it.
How will we know what we were created for unless we know the creator?
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if i have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13
God is specific; all the way through His word there are examples of this. If you want to know what you have, try asking! Be direct with God and seek Him for the specific tools He has given you to help establish His Kingdom.
There’s no point having a tool box unless you know what function the tools have and why they are there in the first place! God gave us tools for one reason, to build his Church! Your gifts are to grow His Kingdom and nothing else.
“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ”
“Now to each one the manifestation of The Spirit is given for the common good”
1 Corinthians 12:7
Gifts are given to all Gods people. Gifts are from God, they are not rewards for good behaviour, or marks of maturity. Each Christian is qualified regardless of age, gender or race and will receive, so be expectant. Also be expectant that the goodness of God will follow as you faithfully use what The Spirit has given you.
Gifts are not to be compared but they are to be desired. We are told to eagerly desire spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1) but at the same time no to disregarded what God has already given us.
Don't compare and look to your left or right, be grateful and work to make God’s name higher not your own.
“Each one should use whatever gift He has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:10-11
What stories in the scriptures resonate deeply with you? Which characters in the Bible do you most identify with? What brings you the most joy in your day? What do you hate doing? And why? By reflecting on these and other like-minded questions this will then determine how and where you should serve.
“Your spiritual gift tells you what to do for Christ; your passions tell you where to do it; your personality tells you how.”
How do you learn to use a tool? By using it! By putting it into practice, You only know how to use a tool and get better if you consistently use it, the more you use it the more skilled you will become.
If you feel you have a gift to develop and a God given skill to grow, practice it, ask for opportunities to practice in it, if it’s not God given, you will soon know!
We don't spend enough time studying what God requires us to do.
For example, if God is calling you to evangelise, study it, grow in knowledge through His Spirit, His word, His people and experience. If you want to give the best for God, get learning as well as experiencing. Make self leading a high priority.
Purposefully put yourself in a position where leaders will see and use you! Make yourself and your desire to serve and be used known. This will then give you opportunities to explore the gifts Holy Spirit has for you, but also put you in a place to be questioned and examined.
When God called many people in His word He called them to a time of exploring. Explore the land God has for you, for it is fruitful and good. Look up, look down and look around when exploring a gift. Exploring will show you what you have a heart for.
For example, if you want to explore the tool of evangelism explore what age it should be with, what setting it should be etc, this will then determine where you use the gift.
Many efforts to grow in the things God would have you do will at times come with failure in how to execute them! Don't let this stop you, learn from the fail then move on! If you hit your thumb with a hammer it shouldn't stop you using the hammer again! The bible is full of failed attempts. If you've never failed you've never tried!
Relating to the above! Great leaders learn how to pick themselves up quickly. A period of recovery is only for a while its not forever, don't stay in this season for too long, if you stay in recovery for too long you will lose confidence and conviction to operate in what God would have you do.
By accounting for it:
If Holy Spirit has given you a gift it’s yours to be responsible for. You are in such a privileged position; USE them wisely with diligence and the respect and honour God deserves.
By measuring your success:
Gifts are tools not trophies, they are there to be used not admired. Find a way to measure how you are using your gifts, some examples could be, someone to be accountable with, setting yourself targets, by positioning yourself in a strategic place so your gifts can be applied.
By celebrating the body of Christ:
The Parable of the Spilled Coffee
A Bible study group met in a home to study how various ministries should work in the body of Christ. One member commented, “I don’t understand how different gifts can work together.” At that moment a woman accidentally dropped her cup, which broke and spilled coffee all over the floor. Each group member responded differently to the mishap, according to their spiritual gifts. The teacher gave some advice. “Next time if you will put your cup on the coffee table, that won’t happen again.”
The administrator responded by organising a clean-up committee. “Bill, please go find a mop. Sally, could you help him with a towel?”
Bill, who had the gift of service, hurried to get the mop.
Sally, who had the gift of helps, followed Bill and said, “I’ll help you!”
The person with the gift of exhortation said, “We all make mistakes so don’t let it get you down.”
The person with the gift of mercy put her arm around the woman, patted her hand and said, “I feel so badly for you.”
The person with the gift of giving exclaimed, “I’ll buy a new set of coffee mugs to replace the broken one!”
They all used their various gifts together to resolve the situation.
Just get on with it! we spend so much time talking about gifts and getting the theory right that we then forget to just do it! Jesus said GO get on with the job! He has your back, and if your motive is to honour His Kingdom and serve Him with righteousness He will honor your attempts.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”