Experiencing God has been around a number of years, and I remember when it was wildly popular as a Bible study, but I never bothered reading the book ... until now. Andrew had a copy at his parents' house so he brought it home knowing I'd been reading a number of spiritual books the last few months and more recently been wondering out loud to him what - if anything - God wanted me (us) to do in life. Was this all there was to it? Or was there something more? I wanted to be content, and I am, but I also felt this longing for something more. So, I saw the book lying around the other week and thought, "Eh, maybe I should read this one so I can let Andrew take it back to his mom's house." I wasn't overly-enthusiastic, but willing.
WOW! Has it ever spoken to my heart! First off the thing about spiritual gifts from the other day was awesome because I never have really been able to identify mine and I felt kind of inadequate because of that. It seemed most everyone else KNEW they were gifted to teach or preach or help or whatever. I never quite fit any of the molds. And I felt some underlying frustration from that ... what was I supposed to do??
Recently at church my pastor talked about Ecclesiastes and how Solomon came to the end of his life and talked about how life apart from God was vanity. Brian told us that if we didn't use our lives wisely then one day we would look back and realize how we wasted our time doing nothing for our Lord. I remember how sad I felt because I could see ME being that way. Always having a desire to do something, but never knowing WHAT exactly. I feel as if I am willing to go somewhere, do something for the Lord, but WHAT? and WHERE? I want to have faith like Abraham and just leave home not knowing where to travel, but, unfortunately, I have neither Abraham's faith or freedom to go since I AM married and since flying requires purchasing tickets and sometimes visas!
When I read the chapter the other day about our spiritual gift being God Himself working through us for the task, I felt liberated from having to identify my gift so I could find work that fit it. Instead I need to simply abide in Him, yield to Him and allow Him to work through me! He will supply whatever "gift" I need for whatever task He chooses for me. Quite possibly my spiritual "gift" then could change! He may want me as a teacher at one point and as a minister or administrator at another time. I love the example of Moses. God called him to do a task and Moses said his speech wasn't good enough. But GOD worked through Moses so that GOD got the glory. If Moses had been a brilliant speaker, people may have credited Moses for talking Pharaoh into freeing the children of Israel. As it happened, God used the "weak" things -- Moses' lack of good communication skills -- and worked through Moses to accomplish His will. The Bible tells us clearly that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise and He uses the weak and despised things so that He will get the glory.
This really spoke to my heart, and I have found it to be true just within this past week when God called me to disciple someone. I've never had much discipling experience ... probably none actually, and I really felt inadequate for this task! (Still do quite often, to be honest.) But God showed me that if I submit to Him, that HE will teach through me. He will give me the words to say and lead me in what to teach about Himself. Wow, how wonderful and freeing is that?!
And then I read this chapter on love, and how God pursues that love relationship with us. It spoke to another need I'd had lately of feeling useless and without purpose. Now I know to focus on abiding in and strengthening that love relationship with my Father to find fulfillment.
I am really joyful when I remember these things and live close to God. I am so happy He pursued me and loved me enough to show me these things. He has made me glad.