1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? Most people I talk to about their health & fitness wouldn’t place their physical well being in the sacred category. However, from Gods perspective, there is no divide between the sacred and secular. Everything is spiritual. Our bodies are the vehicle Gods given to us to live our lives and carry out our life purpose. Whilst Godliness is of every value, bodily training is of some value and it generally only becomes an issue when ill health surfaces in our lives. Many of us punish our bodies with a lack of sleep, poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles that ultimately catch up with us as we age. When your unwell and unable to operate in your daily life as you once did, it doesn’t matter how grand your vision, or how passionate you are about reaching your friends with the gospel, the truth is you are dramatically limited in your capacity to carry out your ministry and spiritual goals. I’m advocating that we all increase the value we place upon our physical well being, not for cosmetic reasons but for stewardship and sustainability reasons that brings glory to God and energy for life and ministry. Sleep 7-8hrs, eat clean and move your body 30-60mins daily and the benefits will be dramatic, both physically and spiritually.
In the centre of the compass is God. My relationship with him is the epi-centre of my life. God impacts my identity, character, ministry, finances, relationships, activities and everything in between. God is on the throne of my heart because out of my heart flow the springs of life.
True North on my compass is my Family. My family is always in my focus. Everything I am and do impacts on my family and I want to protect the integrity of my relationships with my closest loved ones. If it doesn’t work first at home, it simply doesn’t work.
East is my Health and Fitness. Apart from time, my health and well being is the most precious commodity I have. If my health goes, everything goes with it. Nutrition, Sleep and Training make up the core ingredients of this pillar.
South is my Ministry. From preaching to writing to studying a masters degree and mentoring others, my working life is super busy but I love the opportunity to be used by God to change someone’s life through my gifts.
East is Finance. This has come into greater focus for me the older I get. What you do with your money can make or break you in more ways than one. I think God cares more about this than many of us care to acknowledge. From savings to giving to investments to expenses, this is a must in my compass.
Does the compass metaphor work for you and if it does what would you include as your north, south, east and west?
You have been given a charisma gift(s) of the Spirit and it’s time you used them to their full capacity. You didn’t do anything to earn them but the Spirit of God has distributed to you freely as he wills (1 Cor 12:11). If you lack knowledge of your gifting or despise your gifting or resist your gifting, you won’t operate in the gift zone as God has graced you for.
You aren’t to be afraid of using your gifts to their full extent, after all, the apostle exhorts all of us to ‘earnestly desire the higher gifts’ (1 Cor 12:31). Embrace who God created you to be and how he has wired you up. Until you become comfortable in your own skin, you won’t be able to flow in the gift zone, as God wants you to. Too often we are looking over the fence at how fruitful someone else’s ministry gifting is, while our own gifting is staring us in the face, waiting for us to pick it up and use it.
I know in the past I have been guilty of insecurity in my gifting, lacking awareness and confidence of what I am called to do but I have had to stare the bear in the face and run at it, instead of being chased by it. You might need to as well. Arise in what God has called and gifted you to do. You might be in a season of preparation more than a season of impartation but whatever season you’re in, recognize it, enjoy it and run towards Gods assignment for you.
Being in the gift zone is fun and exhilarating. For me, there’s nothing better than bringing Gods word to a church and them asking, ‘Have you been listening to our board meetings?’ Or someone walking to my office door to tell me something and God has already told me what they are coming to tell me. I’m as blown away as anybody at the amazing grace God gives fallen yet redeemed people to demonstrate and manifest his love, grace and power to the world.
Get in the gift zone. Don’t quench the Spirit. Enjoy being the person God created you to be. Enjoy walking in the calling Gods given to you.
Grace & Truth
Often we think of change as being only a positive process but in fact to enter the transformation spiral is to prepare yourself for a bloody battle with your sinful nature. Preaching is spiritual warfare, not just with cosmic powers but with our flesh. The flesh will oppose anything of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God stands in direct opposition to your flesh. This conflict is not dualistic, meaning between equal adversaries. God is supreme over every cosmic power and our flesh but nevertheless, there will be blood on the floor of your heart, one way or the other. By God’s grace and your faith, it will be your flesh and the enemy, needing trauma treatment, not your spirit and God’s purpose for you.
God has graced you with special gifts and abilities as an entrustment to serve His purposes in your life. These special abilities are called spiritual gifts and these gifts are a supernatural ability given by God to reveal God to the world and serve people for their benefit.
Whatever purpose God has called you for, he gives special grace to compliment the call on your life. Sometimes we can fret over what God is asking us to do but know that God also empowers you with what you need to walk in your call.
You have a responsibility to discover your gifts and there are many ways you can do that. Completing a profile may make you partially aware of your gifts but the best way to know what your gifts are is to just start serving and your gifts will come to the service. Some people wait to start serving until they find the perfect fit but the perfect fit only comes through serving with a right attitude. Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be the one who serves.”
You have a responsibility to develop your gifts. Your gifts won’t grow all by themselves. Reading and researching your gift helps sharpen your knowledge base on how to use your gift. Watching how others use their gift and following their example helps sharpen your gift. Finally, practicing your gift helps develop your gift.
Finally, you have a responsibility to deploy your gifts. You must put your gifts into action. Your gifts are a revelation of God to you and to the world. Your gifts aren’t separate to you, they are literally God in you expressing himself through you to the world. God gave you gifts to compliment the call he has pre-designed you for. Don’t neglect your gifts and they will serve others well.