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Rousing Your Spiritual Gift from Sleep

by Cathy Baker

Sometimes they’re obvious. Sometimes not. But they’re always fueled by the Holy Spirit and burn with divine intensity.

Spiritual gifts. 

A quick testimony. For years I’ve used my spiritual gifts both inside and outside the church walls. I’m sure you have as well. 

When I recently accepted an opportunity at our awe-some church to help with communication needs, something unexpected happened. A part of me that had crawled into hibernation several years ago began to emerge with a skip to its step.

Questions arose within. Why am I feeling more fulfilled lately? What’s with this surprising spark of joy? Why do I now sense more of an ownership at Summit Church? 
 

Driving home from staff one day, the answer surfaced: Spiritual gifts. 

By re-engaging my gifts and creative energy, I felt a deeper sense of ownership, not only to Summit but to the Church as well. Few things rally the fulfillment felt by those who employ their God-given gifts for His glory.

If you’re struggling to feel connected in your church, or if you find yourself devoid of a spark that once burned with intensity, could it be that you’re not engaging your spiritual gift(s)?

I pray God’s whisper will rouse it from its sleep and surprise you with its joy. 

Inhale deeply
Some are front and center while others are quietly performed but every divine-empowered gift possesses the potent scent of life-giving, unifying, God-glorifying goodness. 

So, how about you? I’d love to know your spiritual gift(s). To God be the glory! 



[Note: This morning I’m having outpatient surgery so I will respond to your comments but it may be a day or two late. Thank you for sharing them!]

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

 

The Fragrance of Love: The Specificity of God

Specificity of God

by Cathy Baker

It began with a prayer journal entry—my asking God if writing was His desire for me.

You see, in recent years I’ve struggled with guilt. Guilt because my love for teaching the Word had begun to wane while my love for writing continued to increase. I simply wanted to be as certain as possible that God was behind my desire to write, and not my flesh.

I was growing weary of asking (wondering if I’d heard Him clearly) and I was pretty certain He too was weary of confirming every fleece I’d thrown at His feet for the past five years. My entry ended with this:

Will you lead the way? I only want what You want. Give me ears to hear, eyes to see, and a teachable spirit to discern Your ways. I love You, Pappa. 

As my pen swept over the final “p” in Pappa, the phone beeped, alerting me to an incoming text. It was from my dad.

 

“Good morning sweetheart. I often think of you on these rainy mornings that I love so much. I see you with pen in hand with a steaming cup of tea or coffee…loving the quiet sound of raindrops as you listen for a special little message to put on paper. I love your writings very much but I love you much, much more.”
Dad
 
And there it was. My heavenly Father speaking directly to me… through my earthly one.

 

Tears trickled as I picked up my pen and began to write what God had just cemented in my heart:
Father, You do delight when I write! You even love my writing! 
But you love me, your daughter, much, much more.  
A Text from my Father

 

God peeled back the curtain of uncertainty, allowing me to see the situation through His parental eyes. I delight in my boys simply because they are mine. However, they choose to use their God-given gifts to glorify Him will bring a smile to my face. Why couldn’t I believe this truth for myself in relating to my heavenly Father?

It’s not so much about the gifts, but rather, the heart which motivates the desire to use them. This is what God had been trying to tell me all along.

My days of asking God to confirm whether I should be doing this or that with my spiritual gifts ended that morning. Freedom has come to stay, for His delight in me is grounded in the truth that I am His daughter, created in His image and for His glory, just like you. Whatever way we choose to use His gifts will bring Him great pleasure.

How Do I Love Thee? It will take forever to count the ways but today I celebrate God’s specificity. Nothing vague dwells within Him, especially when it comes to His children. The timing of dad’s text was divinely charged and the message was humbly received. Oh, the joy of serving a living, loving God who IS in the details of our daily life!

Your turn! What’s one specific way God has revealed Himself to you recently? 

 

For in him we live and move and have our being. ‘As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:28
Photo by ALP STUDIO on Unsplash

Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Honing Your Gifts

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 27 }

“Give back to the Lord the desires and gifts He has given you and then trust Him to use them when and how He chooses.” 
– Priscilla Shirer

In Judges 6:19-20 four vital steps in giving our gifts to God is discovered, as shared in Priscilla’s study Gideon: Your weakness. God’s STRENGTH:

1. Prepare it.
2. Present it.
3. Put it down.
4. Pour it out. 

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 1 Cor.

She shares how many Christians don’t want to do the hard work required for the preparation process. 

Perhaps some don’t expect to have to hone their God-given gift(s) but like muscles in training, our gifts grow stronger and sharper with practice.

Here are some ways I’m learning to hone my spiritual gifts. I’d love to hear your ideas, as well: 

  • A diligent [not perfect] prayer life, realizing no matter what I do, say, or write will be divinely effective without God’s wisdom, discernment, and power. 
  • Diving in to God’s Word—refusing to be satisfied with surface level knowledge by meditating on passages, reading background information, and learning some of the original language (now available to all of us non-scholarly followers thanks to the web!) Plunging headfirst, regardless of our gift, will collect spiritual treasure troves of truth that are sure to benefit us (and others) for an eternity.
  • Surrounding myself with people who shared the same or similar gifts. Obviously, we want to spend time with a variety of people, but there’s a synergy to be reckoned with when like-minded people join forces for God’s glory.
  • The first 18 years of my journey were spent honing my teaching skills. For the past 5 years, my focus has primarily shifted to writing, although I still love to teach. If I’m convinced writing is where God wants me right now then I must be willing to pour in as much time and energy into it as I did for teaching. Each gift requires something different, but they all must be practiced.
  • Anticipate opportunities. Where God guides, He provides. Watching, listening, and anticipating ways to use our spiritual gifts doesn’t come natural. It requires living intentionally. I know of few things more exciting than watching God at work in the lives of mere human beings, such as ourselves.

“You cannot expect God to use what you have not taken time to prepare. Dedicating the time to hone your gift will help you be ready when He opens the opportunities before you.” -Priscilla Shirer

Your turn! How are you honing your gift(s) so that you’ll be ready when opportunities arise? 

Staying in Step with the Spirit: Preparing, presenting, putting it down, and pouring it out. When we’re honing our gifts and pouring them out, we are following the Spirit so closely we could give Him a flat tire if He wore shoes. Yes,that close! 

Heavenly Father, help us to freely return those desires and gifts which You have placed in our hearts. May our fingers spread open wide allowing everything You’ve given us to be released for Your glory alone. Protect us from self-abasement when we feel we’re not “good enough” to use our spiritual gifts (truth is, we’re not, but You are) as well as from pride when results become our primary focus, our god. 

#Write31Days past posts:

{ Day 1 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Our Senses
{ Day 2 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Less Clutter 
{ Day 3 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Healthy Relationships 
{ Day 4 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation
{ Sunday }
{ Day 6 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Specific Prayer 
{ Day 7 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
{ Day 8 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Soul Search (with guest Ginger Harrington)
{ Day 9 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Vulnerability 
{ Day 10 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 2
{ Day 11 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Moonlit Sunroof
{ Sunday }
{ Day 13 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Wild Goose Chase

{ Day 15 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Paper Bookmark
{ Day 16 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Fresh Start
{ Day 17 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Spontaneous Service
{ Day 18 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 3
{ Sunday } 
{ Day 20 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Mini-Getaway
{ Day 21 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Piped Icing
{ Day 22 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Knock at the Door{ Day 23 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via The Book
{ Day 24 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Breath of Prayer

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