A Blog on Knowing Your Gifts by: Josh Shelton
The Christian school I grew up in was strict. One of the big school rules for guys was that shirts had to be tucked in. Back then, I absolutely despised the rule. It didn’t fit my style. I wore a popular brand of extremely baggy jeans called JNCO. Think parachutes strapped to your legs. A tucked in shirt looked awkward with these pants. And to be honest, these pants looked awkward all on their own.
Back in my parachute pant days, I used to challenge my teachers with questions like, doesn’t Jesus love me even with an untucked shirt? Where does it say in the Bible that I have to tuck in my shirt? Isn’t He concerned with more important matters? I truly did not understand why tucking in my shirt was important to my spiritual growth.
Another thing I did not understand was how satan operates. I knew he wanted to mess up my life, but I used to imagine satan as some cartoony scary-looking guy with red skin and a pitch fork who wore a red cape. I thought he had demons hiding in the closet waiting to pounce on me late at night. He was a scary dark figure that I didn’t really understand.
As I’ve matured, I’ve come to understand satan is not that scary and he dresses in much more attractive “brands” than a red cape. He’s not just happy wearing these brands; he wants us wearing them as well. One of his bestselling brands is to blind us from knowing our gifting.
When we buy into satan’s brand of deception, we struggle to know the gifts and talents God has placed on our life. Like a Prada model struts down the catwalk enticing us to buy into the latest alluring line of clothing; Satan tries to lure is into a “line of lies” to stop us from knowing our gifting. If we purchase these lies with our belief in them, he wins. The good news is we can identify the lies, and choose to believe God’s truth instead. Here are three common lies I believe he tries with all his might to get us to “purchase.”
1) The Forgetful Lie
Acts 7:21-23 says, “When Moses was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites.”
Wait…powerful in speech and action? Moses? I thought Moses was the guy who argued with God about being a bad speaker.
What’s interesting about Moses, is he is described as “powerful in speech and action” before he is called to be the voice for God to free the Israelites from Egyptian oppression. Notice the mention of his speaking ability is sandwiched between his being raised and educated as a child in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and before he decided to visit the Israelites when he was 40 years old. This reveals he is described as a powerful speaker far before his argument with God over his ability to speak at the burning bush.
Moses had always been gifted in speaking, yet somehow, he had “forgotten” and become insecure about his gifting. It almost stopped him from delivering the Israelites out of bondage. Imagine what insecurity could be stopping you from accomplishing things for God.
2) The Discovery Lie
I used to think other people needed to “discover” my gifting. I especially thought my leaders should “discover” me. I put the responsibility on them to see how great I was, and I was disappointed when they didn’t notice.
I’ve realized no one needs to discover my gifting, only I do. Once I discover it, I can work to develop it. It’s true God will place people in our lives to help us discover our gifting, but we cannot put the expectation on others to identify it. The parable of the talents shows us it’s our responsibility to know and increase our own gifts.
Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” As we know and develop our gifting, others will take notice. Our gift will make room for us.
If I were the enemy I would get us tied up in the lie that we need to be “waiting to be discovered” before feeling secure in our talents and working hard to develop them. God wants us to live in the freedom that our gifting will make room for itself, in due time, as we develop and increase in it.
3) The Jump Ship Lie
If you attend Wave Church, you’ve likely heard Psalms 92:13, “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
The promise for Christians is to flourish when we stay planted in a life-giving church. What I’ve found in my own life, and watching others, is those who stay planted in church typically over the long haul tend to flourish in their gifting also.
The enemy knows when we are vulnerable. As Christians, we are never more vulnerable than when we jump ship out of church. To grow strong and remain strong in our gifting, I believe we need to stay planted in God’s house. It protects us and our gifting.
Prada is an attractive brand, but knowing our gifting is way more attractive. Prada is also an expensive brand, but nothing is more expensive than buying into the lies satan tries to sell us about our gifting. I have to admit, I’ve had to deal with all three of the lies I wrote about at different times of my life. The truth is, I still work daily to believe God’s truth over satan’s lies. I can write about it because I have and still do deal with it. Even when I struggle, I am encouraged because God provides a way for us to win. I believe the secret sauce is to stay planted in God’s house, develop our gifting, and overcome our insecurities.