1 Samuel 17:33, 37 (NIV)
33 Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth."
37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you."
When David asked Saul to let him fight the giant, Goliath, all Saul saw was a teenage boy who didn't stand a chance against a giant. Saul couldn't believe that a boy could prevail where many other more experienced men had failed. David promptly explained his training and said these convincing words, (in my opinion the most important words) "the Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine." On the outside it looked as if David didn't stand a chance, but through the gifts God had given David and David's trust in God's power and might, he knew he could defeat the giant. Saul thought he would help David by giving him his armour, but it just hindered David. Saul wasn't seeing David as God did and unknowingly was hindering David's use of his gifts instead of encouraging him.
Too often we assume or judge a person's ability by what we see on the outside. They are too young, they aren't strong enough, they don't have the right education, they aren't experienced enough, they are the wrong gender, and so on. We forget that God often uses the unlikely to reveal His glory. Through the Holy Spirit, we each receive gifts that allow us to glorify God and do the work He has planned for us. We don't get to pick and choose our gifts, we are given them without our input. We also don't get to decide who gets what gift or if and how they can use them, that is The Lord's business! It is our responsibility to encourage each person as they grow into and use their gifts, trusting that God knows what He is doing! He has the master plan and knows what part of the body He needs us to be.
In many churches I would not be able to deliver the message on a Sunday, yet God has given me the gift of exhortation and teaching and He expects me to use them for His glory. Just as Saul tried to stop David from showing God's power and glory, we sometimes unknowingly do the same because of traditions or our assumptions. We have to work to see each person as God does, letting them use their gifts as God intended, not as we think they should be used.
Be careful not to limit someone else's gifts or opportunity to show God's glory, let them shine their light. Also don't let someone stop you from using the gifts God has given you. He commands us to use them, to trust in Him as David did and do the unlikely or seemingly impossible thing! Show Christ's light and give God the glory, use your gifts no matter who or what tries to hold you back.
JODI HENDRICKS IS A LONG-TIME MEMBER OF FARMINGTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. SHE TEACHES ADULT AND YOUTH BIBLE CLASSES. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.Religion on 02/06/2019
Print Headline: Using Your God Given Gifts