Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ever have one of those times where you just felt you were bonked on the noggin with a truth?  I was reading a devotional this week that really got me thinking.  It was based on the scripture Ephesians 2:10

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do"

The author was using the example of the 1924 Olympic runner, Eric Liddell who refused to run a race because it was scheduled on a Sunday.  And Liddell believed that was dishonoring to the Lord's Sabbath.  Because of his loyalty and faithfulness God rewarded him greatly and he went on to win a gold medal with other circumstances causing the race to be changed to a different day.  Liddell believed his joy and ability to run came from God and he used it to glorify God.

All this I understood, using your gifts to glorify God, God taking pleasure in our gifts being used to bring glory to Him.  But then the devotion author made a statement that brought me up short and made me think.   His exact quote was  "Take pleasure in the gifts God has given you this day.  And let His glory shine through you." **

What?? I'm to take pleasure in the gifts God has given me also? Well, believe it or not that was a revelation to me, a real "aha" moment.  And oh boy.  Conviction!! I have not always done that.  How many times have people said certain things in my life were a gift and they could never do it and I've brushed it off and in my heart resented it because it's not the gift I've really wanted?  And I certainly was not taking pleasure in it?  Oh, I've been doing it and doing it the best I can and even giving the credit to God, but deep down I've resented it.  How many days have I used the gift but not even paid that much attention to it because my eyes were always looking outward for something else?  How much pleasure have I let slide by me because I couldn't recognize it right in front of me?  How many times have I, instead, coveted someone else's gifting wishing I could be doing what they do instead?  How much grumbling have I done and complaints have I uttered?  Yikes. God forgive me.  I feel an attitude change coming.  God has majorly pinpointed something in my life that I've struggled with so long and couldn't figure out.  Something so simple and obvious and yet beyond my grasping up until now.  And all it took was a little sentence at the end of a devotional to turn on the lightbulb.  Thank God He still speaks into our lives even when we're stubborn and thick headed!  

**Hillman, Os.  Today God is First - 4 Minute Meditations on the more important things in life.  Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 2000.  pg. 49-50.



Karen said...

You've given me lots to think about, Susanne! Wow. Powerful post.

Hollace said...

Thank you for taking your new insight and enlarging upon it for us. I appreciate your openness and I know what you're talking about.

ellen b. said...

His Word is powerful and active and always teaching us something new, sometimes deeper than before. I love that. I find it interesting too that God has prepared the good things for us to do. Blessings as you work through this Susanne!

Faith said...

this was great! and very convicting for me many times I've just taken my gifts for granted or never even saw them as gifts. thanks Susanne for a good thot provoking post!!

Willow said...

I love Liddell's story and I remember him saying that God made him to run :) Thanks for reminding us to 'take pleasure in the gifts God chooses to give us to use'.

Barbara H. said...

Liddell's story is one of my favorites.

In my young adulthood I got involved in a few different ministries and just felt so draggy and miserable in them, it took a long while to realize they were not my gifts. I don't think I did realize it until one of them needed a person to fill a certain spot, I was available, and wow, what a difference. I felt like I had found my niche and didn't have that miserable feeling any more.

But sometimes even in ministries where I know God has enabled me, I can feel tired and ready for a change, and it is really hard to know whether I'm just "weary in well-doing" and need an attitude adjustment, or whether it is really time to step down. I had felt that way for about a year in the ladies' ministry in our previous church, and then my husband had to move because of his job -- that helped me understand that feeling had been truly of the Lord and a preparation for the needed changes.

And I'm sorry to say I do sometimes feel gripy and put-upon when someone wants me to do something involving my gifts instead of being glad God can use me in that way. But often that gladness comes afterward.

Sandra said...

Well that is a thought provoking post, for sure.

You know I was just coming around to tell you that I miss you, and I miss your blog.

I've been on a journey today, going through my blog from the very first post and it's brought many tears to my eyes :)

I hope you're doing well and I'm going to try and come by more often.

Lisa writes... said...

May you know the Lord's pleasure as you seek to serve Him in joy!