As a child of God, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit which lives in us. That comes with the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. However, they do not flow naturally. You have to be conscious of these gifts in order for them to flow freely. When you have the opportunity to be loving, you must choose to love, when you have the opportunity to be kind, you must choose kindness. The fruit of the Spirit is in you, but using that fruit is a choice. In the same manner, we are given certain spiritual gifts just for us and we must also choose to use them of our own free will. God doesn't force us to do anything, but instead allows us to choose to master and grow our gifts. This is where our goals come from. God's ability to place in us a desire to become all he created us to be. Let's look at how this works.
This Week's Scripture Focus: 2 Timothy 1:6
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands."
Honestly, I feel like Paul was most likely referring to the gift of the Holy Spirit in this particular passage, but God brought to mind as I studied this that we can use this lesson to help us in the areas of spiritual gifts and our purpose also, because God gives us those as well. So what exactly does it mean to "fan into flame the gift of God?"
You must first identify what your spiritual gifts are that you have been given. This only comes through prayer and connection with God. He then is able to help you clarify your path and purpose. He places in us a desire to use the gifts he gives us and it starts us on a journey of discovery and fulfillment. We can stay on that journey or we can choose to get distracted by the world and stray from our path. Either way we go, God will continue to place a desire in us to use our gifts. It is that desire that either fulfills us, because we are living our best life and using our gifts, or keeps us feeling empty and searching for more because we have chosen not to follow it. Both paths lead to very different results.
Once we have identified our unique gifts, we must then choose to use it and get good at it. It is normal for us to feel inadequate when we first begin to use our gifts. God doesn't just make us an expert right away. He wants us to grow into our gifts based on our experiences and what we learn from them so that we will be able to relate to others who may need us to understand what they are going through. For me, I knew my gifts were leadership and teaching, but when I first started out doing those things I stumbled a lot. The lessons I learned along the way have helped me relate and help others who are now growing into their gifts of leadership and teaching. It has also helped me contribute to others who have gifts that are different from mine as well, because I can bring something to the table that they don't have and they can do the same for me. This is what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. We become a branch of a bigger tree.
After we have mastered our gifts, it is then possible for us to contribute to the world around us by sharing our gifts with others. Mastering your gifts doesn't mean we become cocky or egotistical. It is important to always remember that everything we have comes from God and that we must always stay humble. However, we can be confident that "God, who has started a work in us will follow it to completion" (Phil. 1:6), and he will give us what we need to follow through on our purpose. That confidence and promise is what we must live by so that we can step out of our comfort zone and share our gifts with the world around us.
This is how dreams and goals help us accomplish the mission of God that we were created to do. God gives us a gift and places a desire in our heart to use it. We, then, decide we have the potential to live out that desire which helps us grow and master our gifts. By following our desires we are able to create dreams and goals that are God given and lead us to fully live in our God given purpose. This, my friend is fanning into flame our gifts. What we must do now is to fully realize how to share our gifts with the world. Imagine how exciting it is for our Father to watch as we grow and use what he gave us and become exactly who he created us to be.
1. Have you identified your spiritual gifts?
2. Write down what they are? (if you are struggling with this you can find a spiritual gifts quiz here.)
3. Which of the 3 stages above do you think you are in with your gifts?
4. What goals do you have for this year that you feel God is wanting you to focus on?
5. Pray for opportunities this week to work on mastering your gifts and sharing them with the world.
We are officially into our study for January on potential, purpose and dreams. Be sure to follow me on facebook for our daily scripture readings and discussions and don't forget to join my ART & JESUS private facebook group for bible art tutorials on our monthly topics as well. Until next time, keep striving to become the amazing person of God he created you to be.
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