Use your gifts to bring glory to God
All believers are given gifts to steward throughout their life. As Jesus illustrates in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), we will be held accountable for the development and stewardship of these gifts. We hope to explore not only how to use your gifts but also how to recognise them in the following blog.
Before discussing how engagement with these gifts can remedy the apathetic soul, we must first clarify why we serve Him. As Paul writes in Acts 17, the God we serve is omnipotent and therefore we do not give our time or talents because He needs anything, but because in doing so we fulfil His purpose and glorify His name.
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17:24-25)
An empty tank
If we run our cars for too long without stopping at a gas station to refill, we all know our engines will eventually cut out. The same is true of our hearts, souls and mind which, having been created for intimacy with God, reach burnout when we don’t appropriately fill ourselves with His love and the purpose for which He has predestined us.
Taking intentional time to step back, take a breath and begin the process of knowing yourself and the gifts God has given you can be the first step to a more enlightened mindset. If you have recently faced burnout or struggle with spiritual apathy, re-connecting with your spiritual gifts could be an active method of regaining your zeal for Jesus and re-filling your tank with His purpose.
Asking God to reveal your spiritual gifts through prayer is certainly the best way to begin the process of discovering your gifts. Reading 1 Corinthians chapter 12 will help you understand your own unique disposition to serve the bride of Christ through gifts.
An encouragement to those who are struggling to discern your spiritual gifts can be found in 1 Corinthians 12:7: “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” How incredibly heartening it is to know that the Holy Spirit is in you and will use you for good. What is your role in this? To be attentive and obedient in your giftings.
Finding His fuel
Has apathy stemmed from believing the lie that God has not gifted us as obviously as others? Paul urges us to “earnestly desire” (1 Corinthians 12:31) spiritual gifts such as tongues and prophesy and yet at times these can be recognised as unattainable gifts. We can take this opportunity to check our perceptions and refocus our attention on the multiple gifts God has bestowed on the Christian community.
Remember, the chief end of spiritual gifts is love. Whilst the gift of tongues and prophesying are valuable to the church, a myriad of other gifts exist to serve, love and bring the glory of Jesus Christ. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:12, the church needs every member and their distinctive gifts. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”
If you are gifted in exhortation, this can be used to build up the church. In the same way, if you are gifted in teaching, this will benefit your local church. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through you to lift up the body of Christ.
To some, the main concern on your mind is not what gifts God has bestowed on you, but how to use these to obtain God’s glory. The Enemy’s fear can transform the freedom we find in Christ into a pensive mindset focussed on what we have to lose. Inadvertently, we put a stopper in His glorious plans by letting fear control our gifts.
If this sounds like you, this is your reminder to flee fear and chose freedom. Finding peace in the gifts you may have neglected can act as an antidote to the spiritually apathetic. Whatever circumstance has allowed to creep into your faith, reclaiming your glorious gifts can also ensure you reclaim zeal for Jesus Christ.
Who is in your life that you can trust, rely on and also hold in high esteem? If you’re unsure what gifts God has given you, why not invite a trusted Christian in your life to reflect with you on how you are uniquely gifted.
If you sense a passion for theology, your spiritual gift could lie in teaching. Or if you boldly witness to non-believers, perhaps you are gifted in evangelism. Trusting a mentor to help discern these areas in your life is a healthy step to take in order to glorify God through your gifts.
Proverbs 2:4-5 urges us to seek the knowledge of God: “if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
Relying on the strength of the Lord, we can fearlessly step forward and begin to serve. He may reveal to you that a particular serving area is not suited to you at this current time, or alternatively you may experience a potent calling to a ministry area. Through time in His presence, He will cure our apathetic souls and we can step forward resolutely into a future in service.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
As we conclude this series exploring spiritual apathy, invite God to guide you in discernment and use of your gifts today through a simple prayer: Lord, reveal to me how you have specifically gifted me. Holy Spirit, equip me to serve the Lord fully and with renewed energy. I pray for patience as I explore my spiritual gifts and that I would use these to love the local church. Cast away apathy and let me rest in the promises of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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