“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
Last January, I had puppy fever. I wanted a puppy, but I didn’t really want to train a puppy, or get up with a puppy…so being the clever wife I am, I bought the kind of puppy my husband always wanted – a blue heeler. Now, we don’t live on a farm, and we don’t have any cows. We live in the suburbs with our two boys, 11 year old rat terrier/schnauzer mix, and our fat 9-year old yellow lab (who could possibly be mistaken for a cow if one squinted his eyes just right…). Somehow acquiring another dog that required 2-3 hours of vigorous exercise made perfect sense at the time; looking back, I should have bought a hamster.
Either way, Jack (the puppy) is the reason we go for a walk every morning at 5:00 a.m., the reason we go for a walk every night at 5:00 p.m., and the reason we visit the dog park at least 2 times a week. When we don’t “exercise” Jack, his frustration causes him to become very “nippy”. You see, our Australian Cattle Dog (or as I like to call him, “AuCaDo”) is a purebred blue heeler (without papers ) straight from the farm, designed to herd cows (or sheep, or any other living thing on four – or two – legs…), so it is in his blood to “work”. He has an internal “drive” that pushes him to pursue his purpose – like a race horse behind the gate, or a rodeo bull behind a pen – Jack longs to release this “fire” in his soul. When Jack can’t do what he was designed for, the “Jack Attack” is in full force and he becomes very squirrely indeed.
This last month for me has been very hectic, and I’ve noticed that I, too, have become frustrated. Perhaps my agitation comes from not being allowed to do what my heart desires. From not being able to release that “fire” in my soul.
That “drive” for me, is reflecting and writing on God’s Word. This is my gift. This is what everything in my heart tells me I’m here to do. When I’m not able to write, this pent up energy inside me begins to drive me a little crazy, and like Jack, I too become a little nippy and squirrely.
But what if we are all like that? What if we all have a fire in our soul – a gift or service that God has placed into our hearts – that if we don’t release makes us feel as if we will burst until we do? Perhaps this is the discontentment that pushes us to explore different things, searching for the purpose of our gifts. Maybe this is what leads us to God.
Here is the translation from The Message (v 4-11): “God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.”
He decides who gets what, and when.
We are all given a gift. And we were all designed for such a time as this. Right here and right now! It’s not fair to the world to stuff our gifts and our passion so deep down inside ourselves that the only thing we end up doing is “nipping” at others, because we’re not doing what we were made to do. We were made to worship the One True God, and He’s given us everything we need to do so.
Thank you for the many gifts you’ve given us. Please help us to recognize those gifts and your purpose for them in our lives. Give us clear vision and wisdom to use our abilities to further your kingdom, and keep us from nipping at others.
In Your Name,