Use the Gift!
Do not neglect the gift which is in you, that special inward endowment which was directly imparted to you by the Holy Spirit by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you at your ordination. Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody (1Tim 4:14-15 –Amplified). Each of us has been given a special gift, talent, or ability by the Father. It’s just an embryo within us at first. Sometimes it manifests as a faint desire that glimmers faintly in the background of our thoughts. This special ability won’t develop on its own. In fact in many people it lies dormant year after year, longing to be activated, but never given opportunity. Paul’s admonition to Timothy shows the practical way the gifts of God develop in us. You must practice, cultivate, meditate upon, and throw yourself wholly into them. I was eighteen years old when I first sensed the call of God on my life to preach the Word. It came as an embryo of desire to begin with. I changed the course of my life from pursuing a career to pursuing this call. It was a general call to ministry at first, and following that desire I enrolled in Bible College. Then I began to notice a strong desire to help people understand who they are in Christ and to help them apply the scriptures to their own lives. It was faint at first, but as I began to talk with people, it seemed like a “switch” would turn on inside and I found words pouring out of me with passion. That was the gift God placed in me seeking to manifest. A while later I was asked to speak in the morning devotions for our large church staff. I was petrified by fear! But I said yes, and spent weeks studying, praying, and preparing. That “switch” cut on again as I spoke for the few minutes each day that week and the words just poured out. Later I ministered one on one in hospitals, taught Bible studies, ministered to people one on one, and said yes anytime a need arose for someone to minister in a small meeting. The gift kept growing, until today, it dominates me! The Father has placed a gift in you. Develop it. Allow it to grow by giving in to it. It may be only a faint desire, but go after it! Pursue your passion. Give yourself to the godly desire that rises from within. This desire will “tickle” your thoughts over and over again until you yield to it. Fear will seek to override it and keep you from acting, but go ahead and do it scared! It may be a spiritual or natural desire, but give yourself to it. Some have a gift to make money and finance the kingdom of God in earth. Others yearn to stay in the background and be a support for those called into full time ministry. Some have a strong desire to teach and mentor children. Still other have a desire to reach out to the lonely, the down and out and provide practical relief. Some yearn to pray. Whatever the desire, you must give in to it and allow it to develop. It will not until you act. With practice, the gift from the Father in you will make room for itself. Make room in your life for it, and watch what the Father will accomplish with it. He’s waiting on you to faithfully act!