“All these are the work of the same Spirit . . just as He determines.” 1 Corinthians 12:11 NIV
“God is to be the center and source in every moment and expression of everyday life.”
My thoughts today are about “giftedness.”
Wouldn’t it be terrible if everyone was identically alike – looked alike, dressed alike, acted alike, talked alike – copies and clones of one another? I am glad we are each a wonderful original. When I look around at God’s creation, I am amazed at the diversity of His creation, whether talking about people or fish or fowl or animals or insects or flowers or weeds. And then within each of those broader categories there are even so many more species even more diverse. How dissimilar are the giraffe and the hippopotamus? Just saying! Why then do so many of us expect everyone else to be so much like we are? How boring would that be?
Much beyond outward dissimilarities, a significant distinction is the uniqueness of how God has planned to use each person and the giftedness He releases to accomplish that. After identifying various spiritual gifts, Paul says, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God who works all of them in all men . . All these are the work of the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6/11 NIV.
There are a few misconceptions as it relates to spiritual giftedness. Don’t be misled by the word, “gift;” spiritual gifts are unlike natural gifts that you possess or acquire. Your spiritual gift does not reside in you nor is it yours to use when and as you choose; God’s Spirit dwells in you and your giftedness is an expression of His presence and power there – “a gift of the Spirit” that operates through you at His direction and with His enabling. “The Father . . will give you . . the Spirit of Truth . . for He lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NIV.
You don’t choose the task for which you were created, nor the gift you prefer. “All these are the work of the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.” 1 Corinthians 12:11 NIV. Those are sovereign decisions, because Father knows best. Your spiritual giftedness will best fit your task, and vice versa. Forget artificial distinctions between sacred and secular; all you are and do is sacred to God – your faith, your family, your occupation, your relationships, and your recreation. Let God be the center and source in every moment and expression of everyday life.
Your spiritual gift is not for your personal amusement, benefit, or enrichment; they are for God’s purpose and glory. “To each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 NIV. Spiritual gifts have an essential purpose: to reveal and express God’s love and caring, for the edification – building up – of others, and for the accomplishment of God’s intention and will, all of that “as He determines.”
Sincere Christians may differ on their understanding of spiritual gifts, and/or their nature and exercise, but I doubt any of us would argue that whatever we attempt and accomplish of eternal value is dependent upon the Spirit of God working in and through us.
My prayer for you today is that you welcome God into every area of your life everyday.