How Does God Plan to Use You?
Have you ever wondered how God plans to use you? Are you open to His plans? I wrote a blog post on spiritual gifts last summer and shared the five areas of which God works through us by Beth Bond. Here’s a brief recap of the five areas:
- Spiritual Gifts: abilities given by God at salvation for the purpose of ministry to the body of Christ. They motivate and enable your ministry.
- Natural Talents and Abilities: God-given abilities we are born with, such as musical abilities or athletic abilities.
- Life Experiences: these shape the person that we have become. Useful experiences include positive experiences, like great family interactions, education, and success in business; challenging experiences include illness, the death of a loved one, divorce, or financial devastation.
- Passions: what has God given you, a heart or desire to help those within this realm. Your passions may include local issues such as homelessness, children in need, education or global concerns such as clean drinking water or health initiatives. (God brings this passion to life, and it’s important in accomplishing the work of God.)
- Personality: we all have one! There is no right or wrong temperament for ministry, although personality will help determine where and how you minister. For example, an introvert may minister behind the scenes whereas an extrovert may prefer to minister in groups or large events.
Are you developing any of these five areas in your life? Are you currently serving in any of these five areas?
Service to Others
I’m a big believer in service to others and the importance of how we, individually, enhance the lives of those around us. As we invest in others, we have the ability to create transformation which, in turn, creates positive social change. However, to achieve this transformation, it is important to build genuine relationships. Relationships are the essence of our being as written in Hebrews 10: 24-25,
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more you see the day approaching.”
Sharing Our Strengths
When we commit ourselves to serve one another, we can lean on our spiritual gifts to serve. In fact, our spiritual gifts are given to us for the benefit of others, not for our own gain but to use in service to others.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
If you’re not acquainted with your spiritual gifts, I encourage you to take the Ministry Gifts Inventory Assessment. This assessment will assist you in identifying your God-given spiritual gifts and highlight areas of strength based on what motivates you spiritually. The ministry gifts assessment questionnaire covered the following ministry areas:
Administration Evangelism Exhortation Giving Helps Hospitality
Leadership Mercy Prophecy Service Shepherding Teaching
The Ministry Gifts Inventory is available at Lifeway stores, or you may visit www.lifeway.com for the online version of the assessment.
A Heart for Serving
While it’s important to use our gifts to minister to others and serve, it’s important to remember that we are called to serve regardless of our gifts or calling. If you see a need in your community or church, fill that need. If it is not your strongest gift, seek out a sister-in-Christ to join you. Team-up and serve. God gives us what we need when we need it. When we are serving honorably, God will see us through regardless of our skill. It’s our intentions and our hearts that allow us to sincerely serve others:
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
Serving allows us to give to others as we have been given, and allows us to enhance the lives of those around us. When we serve, we are not only increasing our joy, but we are increasing the joy of those we serve.
To serve is to honor God, and so I ask you today, who are you serving? Use your gifts and what gives you purpose, and make a difference to someone today.
Should you be interested in learning more about your purpose and using your spiritual gifts, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to share your top three spiritual gifts in the comments below!