Open The Box!
It’s Monday afternoon. It’s just like Christmas. The UPS delivery man has been here three times so far today. I still have the excitement of several more items that will arrive any day now. I work out of the home so I am always having art supplies, home décor, books, and office supplies delivered. I feel like a kid every time I open the door and sign my name. The excitement of getting mail every day is a good feeling. I’ve started thinking, as I’ve grown in years, about the excitement we have as Christians and the joy of finding out the amazing things in Christ, and the gifts God has placed in us. Open the box!
After walking with Christ for so many years I want to make sure I am growing in him and maturing. I read the word daily. I pray as often as I can. I love reading prayer books. I find the more I pray, the more I grow close to Jesus, the more I find out more about myself. Truly being a Christian and walking with God is like having a mirror reflecting the state of your life. That is a good thing. As I pray I find out more about the gifts and talents he has placed in me. I am growing every day in understanding who I am. Now at the age of 49, I am sure there are those who at my age have this whole thing all figured out. I am still learning about myself as I walk with God. My creative ability surprises me. The unique things he shows me every day I apply. Some days I am overwhelmed with so many ideas I have to write them down before I burst. I have about 17 books I am planning on writing. I have about 1000 paintings waiting to be painted. I have about 10 songs I want to record, and at least 5 short animations and films I want to create. But then there are the spiritual gifts. Have you looked at your giftings from God? Open the box! Here is an outline of the gifts of the spirit below:
I Corinthians 12: 8-10
· Word of wisdom
· Gifts of healings
I Corinthians 12:28
· Kinds of healings
Five Fold Ministry Gifts: Ephesians 4:11
When I first started ministering many years ago, I recognized my spiritual gifts. I am still discovering how to use those gifts in new ways to glorify God. The gifts work with the biblical offices, fruit of the spirit, and our talents. Talents and spiritual gifts are different. Talents are the natural and trained abilities that are developed and cultivated in your life. Spiritual gifts are the unique combinations of giftings in the Holy Spirit you have been blessed with to build God’s kingdom.
Many churches just come up with gift tests to help people discover their abilities. I think God has a beautiful gift test that is easier: Prayer. When you pray and talk to God he will show you the obvious giftings in you. For example, I am a motivator. I have the ability to exhort, and motivate people to try and excel in their abilities. I don’t have the gift of mercy. My husband does. When it comes to mercy I can show it when God really nudges me, but most of the time I am straight forward and direct without tears or mercy. I have had to minister to people when it was life and death for them. I am an evangelist by heart, an exhorter. I will tell you the truth and keep walking. My husband has the gift of mercy, compassion, and understanding. When people hurt he has a caring heart, but he is not an evangelist. So the how to get out of their mess is not in his giftings. I have a combination of giftings in the Holy Spirit. I opened the box. We as a couple open the box as one.
My music when combined with the gift of healing has healed broken hearts. As you read the giftings think about how God has used you. If you don’t see a gifting that fits you it may be because it is lying dormant. When you get saved you are blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit as you cry to be filled and baptized. The giftings are in the gift. It is natural. However we have a tendency to quench the gifts. That is unnatural. They are to be used in everyday life. It not a side show to have giftings, but a blessing. There are some who make so much money off of the gifts of God. They sell the gifts and market them for profit. That is not God’s best for his giftings.
The gifts are to be used for the betterment of both the Body of Christ and unbelievers. They have a purpose. When that purpose is used correctly it is a blessing. When it is used to exploit and hurt other that it is dangerous. There are many TV preachers and gifted people who use their gifts for making money instead of helping others. One of the more powerful first steps in using God’s gifts is learning love for others. Love will allow you to be used by God in spite of your fears and concerns. I would rather be used by God and know that he is the one with the power, than remain silent while people are hurting. The other option of just sitting and watching others be broken hurt and die is not the heart of Christ. The closer you draw to God in prayer the more the gifts will be used for his glory because he will guide you and show you through the Holy Spirit how to walk in the gifts.
It is time to open the box and be used by God. Discover the gifts in you and take a chance. Pray about the gifts you have and get familiar with how he wants to use you. For many the church has limited the gifts. The five fold ministry gifts in the Body of Christ are being removed by many churches. Pastors are allowing people to become life coaches instead of encouraging them to walk in the biblical office and authority that is in the word of God. It is a power hierarchy that limits the anointing.
There are many waiting for the approval of the church to even think about being used by God. If someone you know is dying and the church cannot come to their side, you are to be the church. Maybe you have the gift of healing. Take away the deep part of what that means… it’s as simple as praying under the Holy Spirit for healing to come forth in a powerful way! God will answer that prayer with the gifts in the Holy Spirit. He will answer the simple prayer of faith. So why the gift of healing? It is gift that’s been given to the Body of Christ for the edification of believers and a sign to the unbelievers that God has placed his healing power in one of his vessels. It is also restoration from the Old Testament in God giving man power back that was lost in the garden. That’s a story for another day.
The gifts show his power in us in supernatural ways. They build faith when they are executed under the power of the Holy Spirit! But he still answers the prayer of faith also. And the gifts can be used severally as he wills. Remember the old tent revivals? There was no restraint. Now there is church hierarchy and politics baked in religion that stops the gifts in you.
God can use the gifts in you as he wills if you’re the only one on the scene. And most of the time. You are! It is because of his mercy, grace and love for those who are in need that God does this. The religious spirits that roam in most churches have limited the people of God from praying and using the gifts in them. There are many more gifts than just prophesying. That gift has been so abused you can’t even recognize the real prophets of God in the midst of so many counterfeits. You can discern the gifts by the anointing and fruit that follows. There is more to prophecy than just bless me words.
The real journey is opening the giftings in you. Stir up the gifts. If someone at work is sick, you pray for their miracle. If someone is in need of comfort, you can give a word of comfort. Know how God has made you and the gifts will spring forth with the unique combinations in you even quicker. You become familiar with His dealings in your heart! Pray about the gifts in you. Open the Box!
Your talents may also need prayer. Maybe many years ago you should have been dancing or running a business. And you gave up. You might be working a job you hate because it pays the bills but have a real ability to sing or open a flower shop. Spend some time getting honest with you and God. Let Jesus really open you up to see what life can be. Life is too short and too long for living it doing things you hate. Open the box of “you” and come current with the “you” who is living today. For many it is easy to get in survival mode. That means, for many, that you’ve gone through something really hard: the death of a parent, a broken marriage, or a job lost. You started just surviving.
Bring forth your dreams and live. Live and not die! This is the time to discover the gifts in you. Unwrap the possibilities of what could be at this stage in your life and live. A spiritual rut is a bad place to be. It is where the word of God does not excite you. You read the Bible and pray because you have to. The newness of your walk has worn off. Is there anything new about you in God? Open the box and let the gifts in you come out and soar to new spiritual heights in Christ. Pray for his presence when you pray. That means an encounter with Jesus not just your bed time prayers. It’s going to take more than that. Really. Weep, cry, laugh, and enjoy again the God you first met many years ago. Then stir up the gifts!
His mercies are new every day, so today let God give you another chance to find out more about, who you are in him, and how he will use you to make the world a better place for you and others.
If you call me, I am going to pray with you with whatever gifts I have to use for you to get whole. If you email me or call me, I will pray the prayer of faith even without a gifting coming forth. I am a believer. You are a believer. So we need to believe. We need to believe for each other, pray for each and use what God has in us for each other. Walk in the gifts of God! Stir up the gifts.
Tomorrow I will have about 4 more packages arriving, but inside me that is nothing compared to the new things I am receiving in my gifting, being unveiled daily with God. I am still a major work in progress but I am excited as I grow as a Christian in Christ every day. I don’t go to church regularly. But I am learning to be the church every minute of the day as I pray and discover the Christ in me! The Holy Ghost is the best UPS delivery: Unexpected Power Supernaturally! UPS! Open the box!