What was I designed for?

Understanding Spiritual Gifts 

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds or working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”-1 Corinthians 12:4-6 

We are all called in different ways that are unique and special. Ways that are crafted upon the beauty of the very design of our individual personality, quarks, and desires. Our gifts aren’t bestowed upon on us based on who God wants to change us into but they are already woven into the fabric of who we already are. 

Our gifts, even though they may carry the same label, are very different and very unique. 

Our gifts are the indwelling, and in the same moment, the outpouring of the very spirit of the God of the universe, the partnership of the trinity, and the hands and feet of the living Christ. 

While we are all uniquely and individually gifted, we are all centred around one purpose, one Spirit and one Lord. We are all called to accomplish the same goal. We are all powered by the same fuel source. This makes us perfectly equal and uniquely special all in the same breathe. 

Knowing how special we are makes us confident, courageous, and powerful. Knowing we are powered by an outside force, and the same outside force, eliminates pride, competition, and the fear of failure. 

We are all vessels but vessels that are beautifully and intentionally crafted for a world shaking, life transforming, and kingdom magnifying purpose. 

The purpose of our gifts are not just for ourselves, actually they aren’t for us individually at all. Each of our gifts are given to us for the common good. 
In 1 Corinthians 12:7 the words "common good" come from the the word “symphero” which means “to bring together”, “to help”, “unify” and to “carry with others”. 

Our gifts are for unity in our Christian family so together we can glorify God and love as one big Christ-like body. 

When I envision this, I can’t help but be filled with so much hope and joy. It makes me think of all the areas of my life, our community and our world that are so fractured and how, if we do this well, those things begin to crumble away. 
Loneliness, sadness, anxiety, fear, striving and so many more. 

I just picture how God must have seen that when one part of the body struggles with anything like this there is another member ready to link up. 

How in a perfect picture of this, our spiritual apathy and self inflicted distance from God would be lifted away by the encouragers, the shepherds, and the hospitable. 

That if we do this well we will all be propelled into more intimacy with God, we will draw in the lost and seeking seamlessly, and we will run the race well with far less pitstops from burnout. 

I think the most amazing part of us “doing this well” is that it's simple and it's a lot less “doing” than we think. I believe that the “doing” is simply us playing our part by learning what our part is, making space for the Spirit to work through us, walking through life with our hands open while ready to say yes to what He wants to use us for and all while doing it together. 

1 Corinthians 12:11 says that the spirit is the one who gives us the gifts as he determines. To me that just screams effortlessness. 

He gives the gifts and I believe that when he determines to whom he will give which gifts it’s based on his perfect knowing of who we already are and what he knows we will do well in partnership with him, because it comes from a natural and organic place in us. 

The other part of this is that we have to do this together. This is not a solo flight

1 Corinthians 12:21 says “The eye cannot say to the hand,’I don’t need you’.” We are not designed to function well on our own or at all. We need each other and we need to care for each other and love each other equally. The next few verses touch on this, that God has given great significance to every member, knowing that we would try to out-rank each other. And he tells us to “have equal concern for each other”. 
This is so there is no division between us, so no one suffers, and so we can all rejoice with each other and in each other

As we lift each other up by valuing each other like God does, and through using our gifts together, we begin to function as  a beautiful and God honouring body and family. 

So where do we even begin with this? I think it’s easier sometimes to understand what is asked of you then to actually know how to carry it out. We can start by asking God to show us the gifts he’s specifically determined for each of us and then we can begin to learn what that means for us individually and for us as a body. 

What are my gifts?
What does that gift or those gifts mean for how I’m made and for who I am?
How do I use those gifts to uplift, unify, and encourage the body of Christ? 
How does God want to use me to love on and draw His children closer to Him? 
How do my gifts play into my every day life? 
What are some areas of my church and my community that I can serve to use my gifts well?

My prayer is that we will begin to answer these and many more questions and that our time learning and growing will bring each of us into greater purpose, usefulness, and belonging in the body of Christ. 

Spend time asking God these questions and be still and listen. Find a couple people to do this with you and listen with each other and for each other. God promises to speak to his children, we just need to be still enough to listen. 

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