Have you ever felt so physically exhausted that you can hardly put one foot in front of the other, yet simultaneously your spirit soars and you are filled with a joy that is inexpressible? If you have ever experienced this, you are undoubtedly functioning in the area of your giftedness!
Just as we build up our bodies with physical exercise, God has called us to build up our spirit by exercising our spiritual gifts.
God graciously gives us spiritual gifts for the purpose of building up and growing His Kingdom, and for blessing others! The best part is, since we have such a gracious and generous God, WE end up getting blessed even more! Your spiritual gift is not just something you enjoy doing. It isn’t a hobby or an interest. It is so much more. Your spiritual gift is a God-given talent and ability that you possess, because God wants to work through His people: people like you.
Do you love to open up your home and have others in it? When they leave and go home and “the party is over,” are you energized, or exhausted? If you are energized, even if you still are tired, you more than likely have the gift of hospitality. So exercise it! Open your home and have a group of ladies over for Bible study.
If you see someone in need and immediately reach out to help him or her, and don’t turn the other way, you may have the gift of helps or mercy. Carry health bars and water bottles in your car, and be ready to roll your window down and give them when the opportunity is there.
If you like organizing things and insuring that events run smoothly, and you feel great after they do, you may have the gift of administration. So step up and help that event to excel and sparkle!
I Corinthians 12:5-6 says,
“…so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We each have different gifts, according to the grace given us.”
Unlike a natural ability or talent, where you can become physically worn out and exasperated, a spiritual gift will lift you up and leave you feeling exhilarated.
Jim and I experienced this this week, as we both exercised our gifts and felt our spirits soar. Amidst the study guides, teacher’s manuals, handbooks on policies and procedures, miles high of HR paperwork, cleaning out an old classroom and setting up a new classroom, preparing desks, cubbies, and lesson plans for twenty-five students…I felt an inner strength and joy in using the gift of teaching God has given me with my new 4th grade class! And then, the moment those kids walked through the door and I began teaching them, I went home excited and exhilarated each night after school!
Jim studied, researched, wrote and re-wrote a sermon, prepared a PowerPoint outline, utilized a movie clip and preached two sermons in a row on Sunday morning. He felt more energized walking out of church on Sunday afternoon, than he felt walking in!
Teaching those kids is for their benefit, and preaching the Word builds up a local church: our gifts are best used when they benefit others and build them up! Our gifts are intended to be a two way street: we travel down it and we are built up; and we intersect with those who are impacted by our gift, and they in turn are built up!
Do you want your spirit to soar? Then find your spiritual gift, and exercise it!