Over lunch today I shared with a friend something I feel God is calling me to do but have been resisting. Along with the excitement that comes with change and new challenge, I confessed a personal battle with low self-confidence, an insecurity that, left unchecked, has the capacity to cripple me into inaction.
The raw beauty of becoming what God created us to be is often hidden in the struggle, although it seems impossibly painful in the moment. My friend spoke passionately about overcoming some of the very same things God has been dealing with in me. Chances are these are things you’ve wrestled with too. Looking back on her life, she explained in the simplest terms how God brought her out from where she was into where she is today. As I listened, our stories were different, but our journeys so similar!
I think if we’re honest, many Christ Followers struggle in the area of doing, giving or serving. Sometimes we mistakenly think we have nothing to offer, that we aren’t good enough, that someone else is better equipped, that what little we could give really doesn’t matter …. or …. perhaps deep down we WANT to do something but don’t know what our gifts are. (Not sure about your spiritual gifts? There are several free online self-assessment tools that can help, such as http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/test/adult .)
If this is where you find yourself today, my prayer is that you will begin to understand what God says about who you are and who He created you to be. That you will embrace it. Believe it. Trust Him with it. Act on it.
You have a purpose in the body of believers – Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12 NIV) Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV)
God’s got a plan for you, even if you don’t know what it is yet – The lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. (Psalms 138:8 NLT) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
You most certainly ARE good enough – For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
You possess spiritual gifts to help you fulfill your God-given purpose. – We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:6-8 NIV) There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. (1 Corinthians 12:4, 5 NIV)
Whatever you do, however small, definitely matters AND it has eternal impact. – “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40 NIV)
We are ALL called, not just to believe, but to put our faith into action – You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. (James 2:22, 24 NIV) As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26 NIV)
Your ugly past is no comparison to the power of God’s love for you. – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
Become FAT …. as in Faithful, Available and Teachable – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15 NIV)