Fulfilled by Our Gifts

20 Mule Team Canyon, Death Valley National Park, California
20 Mule Team Canyon, Death Valley National Park, California

There are quite a number of benefits to working in the gifts of the Spirit that God has given us.  First and foremost, these gifts allow God to work in us and through us for the building up of His body and the people around us (1 Corinthians 12:7).  They also help us to decide which of the many “good” things we could do are the ones we’re actually “called” to do.  Knowing our gifts can also keep us out of failure situations and places where we’d be wasting our time – if we just don’t have the gift of teaching, then signing up to be an instructor for a Snowboarding 101 class may not be the best idea unless you have the gift of exhortation and encouragement is what’s really necessary for the position.

A mother and baby moose along the Bullhead Lake Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
A mother and baby moose along the Bullhead Lake Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana

The other great thing about using our spiritual gifts is that the act of using them will fulfill us unlike any other activity in the world.  We were made to use the gifts God gives us (Romans 12:3).  As Paul wrote to the Romans, “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).  There’s nothing that fulfills us and gives us a sense of purpose as much as worshipping God, both through adoration and through allowing Him to use us.

Rock spires in Monument Valley, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Rock spires in Monument Valley, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Some time ago, I visited some friends-of-friends in another state.  They’re an amazing family and it was a true joy to get to know them.  But they also have one of the strongest gifts of hospitality I’ve ever seen.  There’s little they enjoy more on a Sunday afternoon than to have 20 or 30 people over to their house – fellowshipping, watching “the game,” just enjoying the company and community only Christians can have.  Most people I know would be completely overwhelmed at the thought of 30 people invading their house.  But for these friends, it’s their joy and very fulfilling because they were using the gift God had given them.

The trail to the Cirque of Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming
The trail to the Cirque of Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming

One of the gracious gifts God has put on my life is the ability to bless other people (I’d consider it a combination of the gifts of exhortation, faith, and prophecy).  When I get to bless someone – even a random stranger – it makes me incredibly happy.  There’s just nothing else like using the gifts God has placed on your life.

Mt. Whitney at Sunrise from the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, California
Mt. Whitney at Sunrise from the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, California

What gifts of God give you fulfillment and purpose in life?  I don’t mean the adulations you get when you use the gift; that’s receiving purpose from others’ appreciation.  What gifts that you use make you happy just from using them?  What ones do you feel God’s pleasure all over in your own life?  It’s possible that these are very strong spiritual gifts in your life.  Don’t be ashamed of using them to glorify God and to build up His people while being open to God using you in the capacity of more than one spiritual gift in your life.

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