This is part 5 of the series, Go and See. These posts are designed to give you tools to "go and see" the ways God has designed you for impact right where you are, right now. If you are new here, head back to part 1, Stones of Remembrance, for the purpose and context of the series, along with the steps for creating a timeline. Then move to part 2, Thematic Labeling of Experience. Next, jump into part 3, A Clear-Conscience. And don't skip, part 4, Writing A Personal Essay.
Recap: Purpose & Context of the, Go and See, Series
Go and See, Part 5 Introduction
We all have been given gifts (skills, talents, experiences, heritage, etc.) to be used to do the work of heaven on earth. God has talents for each of us, and we are commanded to multiply them until his return. This is easier said than done, for sure. Yet, knowing your unique design, is paramount to running the race marked out for you. You have been given an exclusive combination of natural talents, spiritual gifts, and personality traits that are assigned only to you. This session is designed to help you see more clearly how who you are is the greatest gift of all because the way you are designed is specific to how you will be used for the glory of God and to impact earth and heaven.
Understanding your unique design can be challenging and time consuming. It may require some endurance and awkward moments of seeking the point of view of others. Still, it is worth it because your creator-Father desires for you to take joy in being the rare gem that you are. He desires for you to experience the fullness of peace and freedom that comes through the confidence gained in living out of who you were designed to be from the start. When you live from this place of understanding and wholeness, you will discover that like the loaves of bread and fish multiplying to feed the 5,000, God will start multiplying what you have to meet the needs of the “multitudes” you are asked to feed.
I pray that this session will help you to see that working at excavating and understanding your natural talents, spiritual gifts, personality traits and the ways God has worked in your life (your life’s timeline and story) can aid in propelling you forward from where you are right now. We are called to a dynamic, not a stagnant life. But sometimes fear, doubt or simply a lack of understanding of your unique design's purpose, can hold you back from moving forward. So, before start this session, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to come and remove any burdens are barriers that could hold you back from excavating the beautiful talents, gifts, and traits that God asks you to go and see as the "bread and fish" he wants to multiply through you to impact those around you.
Reflection & Application
If you need to refresh your memory on the scriptural rooting for this study, take a couple minutes to go and read Mark 6:30-44 and Matthew 25:14-30. Keep these in mind as you navigate this lesson because the metaphors, contexts and characters in the stories help us to see the necessity of taking seriously the act of going and seeing what we have, as little as it may seem. In addition, investing what we have been given for such a time as this is our end goal.
Let’s start with looking at what the Bible instructs us to as it pertains to spiritual gifts. Take a few minutes and go and see what is written 1 Corinthians 12:1-31. Highlight anything that sticks out to you.
Reflect on the following applications found in this chapter:
We are all called. We all have gifts. Let’s look at the journey of discovering our calling as if it is a Christmas morning. We run down the stairs, dig under the tree. Find all the gifts with our name on them. And then we start unwrapping them to see what we have been given.
There are many ways to unwrap a gift. And depending on the size or shape of the gift, we may use a different strategy to reveal it. So, we are going to use a variety of tools to go and see what the giver of the gifts has given to each of us.
There are a couple of differences between the typical gift we are given under the Christmas tree and the gifts we are given to fulfill our calling. First is that the gifts we are given to fulfill our calling are not intended just for personal use. They are given to us for the “common good” and in order that we may reveal God to those in our portion of the world.
Second, the typical gift we receive on our birthday or Christmas morning does not multiply itself. Unless of course you are the type of person who receives seeds or trees as gifts. Unlike material or man-made gifts, the gifts given to us from God are multiplied and increased by the work of the Holy Spirit living in us who gives us grace, strength and power to use all that we are and have to honor and glorify all that God is.
It is important with each gift that is unwrapped to pause and go and see in the deepest parts of our hearts the reasons we have been are given the gifts that are displayed before us. By this I mean, asking for revelation to gain understanding of how your natural talents, spiritual gifts, and personality traits point you to your gifts, purpose and vision.
And when you go hunting down and find those reasons, you can know you are on the right track if those reasons you find are rooted in and supported by the words of Scripture.
“...our God will count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NKJV) .
This above verse points very clearly to the main reason we are charge to go and see what we have been given and then use those things in our lives to live out our purpose and vision. That is: so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him.
This call to lift the name of Jesus high in our lives, so that the world can see his light through us--that our lives can be illuminated by His glory--is a corporate calling with individual assignments. All our resources, natural talents, spiritual gifts, and personality traits are to build up, support and advance the assignments of the corporate body of believers. But the ways in which the gifts work within the lives of each believer should be as unique as the snowflakes that fall from the sky: no two alike in shape and size, yet alike in color, texture and beauty. And it takes thousands of them to cover a landscape to make it glimmer and shine in the Son.
Rebekah Lyons, in her, Be Still and Know Study, puts it this way, Within this corporate calling, we all have unique expressions. Throughout history-- and still today--God places specific assignments in our lives. He created each of us with talents and burdens to advance His kingdom work on earth.
Corporate and individual callings are part of our destiny. Each generation, people group and person have been uniquely created and strategically located to fulfill a calling in the time and the place they were set in. Christine Cain, at IF:Gathering 2018, put it this way, “If you are breathing on this earth. You are called to something right now because He put you here now.”
Consider these “heroes” of the Bible and how they were used by God in their time and place to accomplish deliverance and freedom for others: Moses, Joseph, David, Daniel, Esther, Deborah, Rehab, Mary, and Jesus. (Who else can you think of?) All of these people show us what it looks like to be set into time and a place to lead a people, save lives, advance the Kingdom, and storm the gates of hell. And so it is for you and for me. We are given the stories of these men and women so that we can have courage and strength to follow their lead. There is no time like the present to start living like Esthers in our generation!
"Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” 2 Timothy 1:9 (ESV).
Before time began, God had you designed to be who you are, set in your places and realm of influence, and doing what you are do. All these details of our life are gifts. Theses giftings come from a good and amazing Giver. They don’t stand alone under a tree. They are not mysterious packages from an unknown sender. But. . . they do need to be found, unwrapped, examined, and turned over to the power of the Spirit in order to be used.
So before you begin navigating the gifts and examining the ways in which they can be used (or if you are struggling to see the gifts given to you). Stop and seek the Giver. Believe and state as truth that you are gifted for a purpose and their is a vision written on your soul. Deliberately, stop and remind your soul that your life was set into motion before time and nothing can separate you from the design imprinted on you. Ask Him to be present as you go and see what He has already given you as presents.
Knowing this, seek to see the unwrapping of your gifts as an act of love toward the Giver of the gifts. Look at these as gifts to be valued, enjoyed and used as described in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24,
Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit. Do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecy or prophecies [spoken revelations—words of instruction or exhortation or warning]. But test all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good (AMP).
Persist in unwrapping these gifts. Yes, persistence and perseverance will likely be required. Not because God is a tricky jokester who wraps a gift 17 times just to make it hard to find the gem inside. But because we are in a fallen world and the Devil would love nothing more than anything stress you out or confuse you as you seek to know who you are, whose you are and how you are designed beautifully and uniquely to bring Jesus to people.
Yet, it is worth your time to enter this journey of seeking and understanding with caution and in relationship with others who know you well. Why? Because discernment is required. Discernment is the ability to see and decide between truth and error, right and wrong. It is also the process of checking our thinking and ideas against what is biblically true. In order to know what is biblically true, we need to be reading the Bible and bringing our questions about purpose and giftings to God, asking him to reveal and encourage. We also need to have candid conversations with others who know the Bible and can help us to “. . . examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. . .” (2 Thessalonians 5:21-22).
Discernment is found in close proximity of God, studying His words, and by inviting in the revealing power of the Holy Spirit. Only in close relationship with Christ do we see the truest versions of ourselves. He delights in revealing to us our unique talents and assignments to go into all the World sharing the good news of a Christ who saves, restores, redeems, and brings hope and peace. Sometimes he uses the Bible, other times he may use prayer, in other seasons he may used circumstances and most often he uses other believers to help us see who we are and what we are uniquely gifted to do during our one life here on this earth.
So, as you go and see what gifts he is asking you to unwrap, trust that even if you can’t see them right away, they are there. Seek Him. Ask Him to reveal His gifts and purposes for you to you. He already knows them and has a plans for ways for you to use them. There is freedom in being in His holy presence and trusting that He reveals. Rest there, knowing that you have a tailor-made set of gifts set aside just for you to be able to put love into action--to bring glory to the King of heaven and earth. Claim, believe and make your mantra: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). He is talking about you. He is speaking of your design.
Tool 5: Excavating the Gems that are Your Gifts
As you step into this process of excavating and taking inventory of your gifts via the tools listed below, approach each as you would a beautifully wrapped gift handed to you to be opened. Let His joy be your strength as you pursue understanding who you are, whose you are and how your uniquely designed for fulfilling your rare and needed purpose for this time and place. Which just might be the saving of many lives.
Instructions for Excavating & Taking Inventory of Your Gifts:
Invite the Holy Spirit into the following reflection and analysis activities. Work through as many as you have time for over the coming week. (There is one activity for each day of the week.) Try super, duper hard to carve out time daily for these activities because they will help you greatly in understanding your unique design and affirm you in who you are in Christ.
There are a variety of ways God chooses to reveal himself to us. There are a variety of ways for us to go and see what gifts he has given to us to increase our joy, strength, and effectiveness in meeting the needs of those around us. But most essential to our ability to use our gifts to live lives of purpose rooted in who he has made us to be, is first to believe, really believe, that a good, good Father made me and made you in unique and beautiful ways for this time and in this place to increase His glory on the earth and to demonstrate His great love and delight in us for us. And then do the work of going and seeing all that he has given you and asked you to invest until His return.
This is part 5 of the series, Go and See. These posts are designed to give you tools to "go and see" the ways God has designed you for impact right where you are, right now. If you are new here, head back to part 1, Stones of Remembrance, for the purpose and context of the series, along with the steps for creating a timeline. Then move to part 2, Thematic Labeling of Experience. Next, jump into part 3, A Clear-Conscience. And don't skip, part 4, Writing A Personal Essay. Subscribe to updates to your inbox, below.
Links to all the, Go and See Study, sessions.