The Secret Ingredient

 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

My hope is to encourage you today.

People seem to be so hesitant about their gifts and abilities. People tell me all the time that they don’t know what their talents are or they are insecure about stepping out taking the risk to use them. Almost all of the writers who have written on this blog have shared their insecurities with me about writing. I too struggle with insecurity in my writing ability. Satan whispers lies continually that I am not good enough, gifted enough, or eloquent enough.

I am so sick and tired of the victory he has in my life and others’ lives when we choose to buy into his lies.

Let me share something with you today, sweet friend.

God did not create junk.

He created you with very unique gifts and talents designed to bring Him glory.

He created each and every one of us for a great purpose.

What are your passions? Where do you flourish? What do you love to do?

I know people who have the gift of teaching. Others write. Still others have the gift of worship and song. Others are crafty and have creative ideas. Some have the gift of hospitality. I could go on and on.

My point is this. Don’t let Satan tell you for one second that you are not gifted! You are…very much so.

The Lord has been showing me that I have to shift my focus. I have to stop looking at me, my abilities…or lack of.

I have to stop looking inward and start looking upward.

See, it’s not about us and how gifted we are. It’s about Him and His glory.

If He calls you, He will equip you. I love what Rick Warren says, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the call.”

Christine Caine says,

“Over time I stopped thinking about all of the things that were wrong with me and started thinking more about all of the things that were right with Jesus. I have discovered that you become what you behold, and as I beheld Him, I started to become more like Him.

The things I could never do in my own strength began to happen in God’s strength!

Friend, put away the performance treadmill and put on the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Stop trying to become what you already are!”

Of course Satan doesn’t want us to use our giftedness for God’s glory. It’s a huge threat. He knows how powerful God’s Word is. God’s truth sets people free (John 8:32). God’s Word won’t go out and come back void (Isaiah 55:11). He will do anything he can to defeat us and keep us from reaching others and being effective for Christ.

I have been so guilty of holding back truth because I’ve worried too much about my own inability and what others might think of me. But I am learning that I cannot control what others think, and neither can you. People are going to think what they are going to think. But what we better be worried about is what God thinks.

Whose opinion matters most? Man’s or God’s?

Let me shoot straight with you. We, in and of ourselves, don’t amount to much. All of our righteousness is filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We can have lots of gifts, talents, and abilities, but if the Lord isn’t in them, they are pretty worthless.

See, we are not worthy, but God is.

1 Corinthians 13:1, “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.”

What’s the secret ingredient in that verse? Love. Who is the ultimate source of love? God.

1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Without Him, all of our gifts are just resounding gongs and clanging cymbals. In other words, they won’t carry a tune in a bucket. We might speak with eloquence and really be able to attract an audience, but if He’s not in it, it’s pointless.

Oh, but if He is in it, the gift He has given us will be powerful and life changing.

So what has God called you to do? What passions has He laid on your heart?

Don’t let Satan’s lies hold you back any longer. Stop listening to him. Let the truth of who God is and who you are in Christ set you free today and give you boldness to step out in faith and use your gifts to bring Him glory. If you aren’t sure what your gifts are, just draw close to Him. As you do, He will teach you, guide, and lead you.

The best way to know your gift is to know the Giver.

He is the secret ingredient in our gifts. It all comes back to Him. HE is what makes the difference in our lives and in the lives of others.

God has gifted us. Yes. But we cannot place too much emphasis on our gifts. We must keep our focus on the Giver of those gifts. We must continue to daily draw near to Him, through prayer and reading His Word.

Our gifts will naturally flow out of our relationship with Him.

Christine Caine says, “Your heart for God will take you further than your gift ever will.”

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