So far I have shared the following three steps with you about achieving God’s purpose for your life:
1. It’s not about you, it is about God.
2. Obedience is mandatory.
3. Know and Understand God’s Word
The next thing you must occupy yourself with is your God given gifts and how to use them for His glory.
Don’t be led by your gifts; Make them follow you. Many of you are saying ‘What?’ What do you mean don’t be led by your gifts? I thought that is why God gave them to us. I thought the word says that your gifts will make room for you? While it is true that God has given us all gifts and those gifts to assist us in achieving our destiny, He did not intend for us to worship our gifts or the gifts of anyone else for that matter. God says do not put any other gods before him. Not even the gifts He gave you. Our gifts can’t come before anything God commands us in His word. Study His word! Proverbs 18:15-17 (KJV) ; Exodus 20:2-4 (KJV)
Too many times we allow a gift to lead us on various journeys in our lives instead of relying on God for direction. Don’t think so? Proverbs 3:5-7 (KJV)
To illustrate my point of reference, take a look at the music industry today. There are many polarizing personalities out there that I could call by name, but I will not join the coalition of calling people out. I believe much of that is fruitless anyway. The word is clear when it says ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” So while you are huffing and puffing about what your favorite rapper you love to hate said on his latest album release, the real issue has blown by you. We all need salvation and that only comes from Christ. Start a coalition of prayers or something. Come together and pray against the wickedness and evil of this world. Stand up to the sin, but offer Christ to the sinner. Ephesians 6:11-13 (KJV)
This presents me with a perfect example of why you should not be following your gifts without following God first. Say what you want about any superstar out there. Pick one, I don’t care who it is. You might not like what they have to say or the way they choose to live their lives, but one thing you will have to admit is that about 90% of the time they are gifted. You might hate their lyrics. You might hate the messages they put on blast for the consumer to take in, but they are nevertheless, talented. I am not complimenting their lifestyles, I am only stating what I think is obvious. You can’t get to those levels and not be gifted in some capacity. Herein is the crux my point. They are gifted, but are they in God’s will? Can you fulfill your purpose and be out of God’s will? Absolutely not! Not if you’re going to call Christ your savior. Their talent will not win them a free pass from obeying God’s laws and commands. This is not Monopoly, God is not handing out get out of Hell free cards when it comes to obeying Him. They will be judged just like you and me. God’s gift used out of His plan will pervert the destiny He put in you. Proverbs 17:22-24 (KJV)
So what are we to make of this? How can someone be so talented, but be so far away from Gods will. How can someone be so incredibility blessed with a talent we could only dream about, but be a monster at home to his wife or bring complete dishonor to her home as a wife. My father was amazingly gifted. He could read something once and not forget it. He began being prepared for ministry at age fourteen. His intelligence level was off the meter. He was gifted with confidence and spoke with eloquence, but he trusted his gifts more than the gift giver (God). He thought he had the mental power to overcome the addictive nature cocaine. He thought he could put excessive alcohol drinking in the choke hold and subdue it with his gift of self control. None of these gifts saved him from being a drug addict, alcoholic, and dying in the prison with cancer. No, his gifts couldn’t save him and yours can't save you either. I can say with confidence that that was not God’s plan for my father’s life.
Why did my father allow himself to become all these things? I can’t say for certain. Maybe he lost control and felt like he couldn’t ask for help. Instead of reaching out he drowned in his addictions until they eventually suffocated him and took his life. It’s sad and I still feel the pain of his life even now as I write this. I too have felt the way my father felt. My gifts made me different at a very young age. My thoughts were different. What God gave me was beyond me and who I was. If I’m going to be completely honest; sometimes God’s gifts can feel like a burden too heavy to carry. Thank God for his life preservers though, without them I would not be here. Matthew 11:29-30 (KJV)
What good are our gifts then? They deceive us. They lead us down the wrong roads if we let them drive. They charm us into believing that we are more than what we really are. They can be overbearing and overwhelm us. They can isolate us and make us feel alone. What good are they? Remember this if you don’t remember anything else in the post. A person’s talents and gifts are not an indication that they possess a certain type of character, it is merely an exhibition of the gift given to them by God. A man or woman can be amazingly gifted, but extremely evil or very shallow. Even the ones that say they do it in Jesus name. Their gift can make you think their deep, but when you pull the covers back on them you would be amazed at what you find. Trusting in your gifts alone will leave you startlingly short sighted. Putting your trust in someone just because they are gifted will leave you emotionally vacant and bankrupt when you discover who they really are. Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)
Relying solely on the gifts God gives to lead us to His destiny for our lives has the potential to mislead us. They can overwhelm us. This is why I am careful not to get caught up in anyone’s gift or my own for that matter. Instead we must stay caught up in the gift giver (God) and use the gifts He has graciously supplied us with for his glory. Don’t follow your gifts; Make them follow you as you follow Christ. Our gifts have been given to us by God to help us achieve His will in our lives. Trust God and use your gifts for his glory, it will make a world of difference in your life.
..To be continued..© 2010 Lynn A. Jackson