Friday, October 11, 2013

Spiritual Gifts ~ A Starting Point

In the many years before I became a re-born Christian, I wandered through life hopelessly searching for my purpose. I mistakenly believed I was a Christian. After all, I believed in God and Jesus. I even knew a few verses of Scripture. I was deceiving myself with the help of the ruler of this earthly world.

As I trudged through an existence built without God and Jesus, life was an unending daily loop of unfulfilled dreams. I thought I was happy, but I was not. I went from job to job seeking the “American Dream.” I was trying to live life on my terms, which were I could do anything and everything. I could not. The devil really had me under his thumb.

My life began to change when I overcame my alcohol addiction through a twelve step program. I still was misguided, but I was getting closer to the plan God had for me. Although at the time, I was unaware of any help from God in my life. However, God has always been in my life.

I did not have a personal relationship with God, nor did I want one at that stage of my life. I did not know I was headed toward a major life changing event. A year in my life where my world came crashing down and I was changed by God forever. My year was 2009.

It was a year in which three events played a major role in my rebirth. The first was becoming part of an online prayer ministry called World Prayr. The second was attending a “whole” bible teaching and believing church. The third was the death of my wife in December. Becoming associated with this ministry, I began to find and use the talents and gifts God had given me. My wife’s death led me to my re-birth on January 4, 2010. These three events are tied to my use of the gifts God has given me.

While I knew I had talent in a few areas, God used World Prayr, a church and a death to show me how I should be using those gifts. Everyone has spiritual gifts given to them, whether re-born or not. Throughout my life I would pray to God, usually in self-pity or anger. “Why me God?” “What did I do wrong?”

It was not until I was re-born that I became needful of a relationship with God. I had enough reason to be angry at God. But I was not. I dived into the bible to learn what God wanted to teach me and to build a father-son connection. I began spending “alone” time with God. I am getting better at hearing God speak to me.

Our God given talents have the best effect when used to build the body of Christ. Romans 12:4-11 is one of many verses or passages on the gifts and talents of believers. God has created a unique place for every believer in the body to use their gifts. Serving God and His people should be our primary focus in utilizing our talents.

All spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit. We are responsible to use and sharpen our gifts. Spiritual gifts are not self-serving but serve the whole body of Christ when used properly. Used without love our gifts become practically useless. Make loving God and loving fellow Christians your highest motives, as you seek to identify and use your gifts.

Robert Dodson
October 11, 2013