“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:5-7 (ESV)
Before we dive in today, I have two questions to ask:
What gifts have you been given?
What are you doing to develop them?
I have a friend who is incredibly prophetic. She loves the Lord deeply and is so intimately acquainted with him that she is able to speak confidently when she hears his voice. She is a powerhouse! I’m constantly in awe of her and, whenever there’s a crisis and prayer is needed, she’s the first one I call.
But she didn’t get that way overnight. She wasn’t born was a spiritual savant, she had to spend time practicing and developing her gifts.
Her sister, likewise, sings beautifully and prophetically. It’s a wonderful thing to experience and I’m grateful for the gifts she’s been given to steward.
But she didn’t come out of the womb knowing how to do that. She took the time to learn how to sing and play the piano. And she took even more time practicing the art of flowing with the Spirit.
What amazes me about these two spiritual warrior women is that they intentionally set aside time to practice their spiritual gifts. They’ll sit together and one will speak in tongues and the other will practice interpreting and then they’ll switch. They take time, separately and together, to be still and get acquainted with the voice of God, then they practice obeying when he speaks.
When was the last time you practiced your spiritual gift?
Or, when was the last time you practiced being like Jesus? After all, he is the best gift we’ve been given.
Notice I used the word ‘practice’. God isn’t expecting any of us to use our gifts perfectly but has set the stage for us to practice honing what he’s given us. And when we practice, we don’t do so in an ornate concert hall filled with hot lights, many on-lookers, and intense pressure. We go into the practice room where we can join with others in a safe space and learn. If you’ve put unnecessary pressure on yourself to be perfect, I encourage you to remove that weight from your shoulders today.
As a recovering perfectionist, here are a few things I’m learning:
I don’t need to be a prophetic savant, I just have to be listening.
I don’t need to be an incredible teacher right off the bat, I just have to be learning.
I don’t need to be the most merciful person in the world, I just have to be aware and care.
I encourage you to find small moments each day to practice and safe people who you can practice with. Let’s intentionally fan our gifts into flame.
How can you practice your gifts today? This week? This month? Let’s do it!
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