I've heard people say...
"Practice makes perfect"
But since I so often stare at my faults instead of my gifts,
perfect seems an awful goal to me.
Too, well... unreachable!
I don't ever feel as though I will be perfect...
not on this earth,
so I might as well give up.
I mean, why try to struggle toward toward the unachievable?
Do I quit?
Do I give up?
Do I stay defeated by my negative thoughts of self... or
do I change the goal?
What if instead...
I decided to practice my gifts...
until my purpose is fulfilled, and God is glorified...
rather than focusing on becoming perfect.
What if, instead of practicing toward perfect, I say...
"Practice makes Purposed!"
But you may be wondering...
if I really have gifts from God, why do I need to practice them?
Shouldn't they be all packaged and ready to use?
But if that were the case, then we wouldn't all be using them now?
While I believe in a generous God,
I also believe that He wants us engaged...
partnering with Him.
I don't think that God just hands out gifts and talents
in a ready-to-use form,
like... no assembly required.
For what would be the satisfaction in that?
Like a gift we give our children
for which they cannot appreciate, or ascribe value.
The success and satisfaction we get from a gift
is often not just from receiving it...
but by learning how to use it, and
often mastering it as we put it to use.
So often, we don't even know what our gifts are.
Because they are wrapped, stored and guarded in heaven above.
But we have yet to receive them...
to open them,
to recognize them as ours to claim,
and put them to use.
Paul tells us about the gifts God has for us...
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
Ephesians 1:3 NLT
And for each of us, the combination of these is different.
Yet grace... God’s undeserved favor
was given to each one of us,
not indiscriminately, but in different ways
in proportion to the measure of Christ’s rich and abundant gift.
Therefore it says,
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And He bestowed gifts on men.”
But does that mean we know how to use them?
And His gifts to the church were varied...
and He did this, to fully equip and perfect the saints... God’s people
for works of service, to build up the body of Christ... the church,
until we all reach oneness in the faith
and in the knowledge of the Son of God,
growing spiritually to become a mature believer,
reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ...
manifesting His spiritual completeness
and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity.
It's actually a principal much like our fitness.
We all have muscles, but some of them are covered,
buried beneath the trappings of this earthly body.
Just look in any anatomy book and you'll see that
unless we have been under the knife or injured in some way,
all humans are created... born with 640 muscles.
But not all of them are seen, known, or exercised.
Just talk to any woman who loses weight and catches a glimpse of themselves unexpectedly. Suddenly she see herself differently. Even though these muscles were there all along, they were just unexposed and lacking exercise.
But give her some training,
a bit of awesome music to get her moving,
and Wonder Woman arrives on the scene.
It's just that they are now known,
and working together.
So these muscles we all have, are not worth much,
if they are not worked out.
Just ask anyone lying injured, or ill in bed...
Too long there, and they will lose the strength,
even the coordination to walk.
Sometimes even the strength to lift themselves out of bed.
If that is you, today... I pray this encourages you!
Lord Jesus, healing and wholeness
over the very mind, body and soul that reads this.
And I'm not speaking lightly if this.
For I've seen her,
I've heard her,
I've felt her,
I HAVE BEEN HER!
A year of trial...
injury, infection and isolation.
I have suffered this very weary condition.
I have known the disturbing depression that besets the immobile.
And honestly, that is what moves me daily...
what drives me constantly,
what pushes me to be...
as strong as possible now.
If we don't regularly excercise our muscles,
they will be of little use to us.
And that is also true of the gifts and talents God has for us.
We first need to know that we have them.
To recognize them and call them down from God by faith...
asking Him to expose them to us.
And often that takes a humble heart,
willing to let go of other things that distract...
that cover up our gifts.
Then we must regularly excercise them
so that they gain strength, flexibility,
and coordination with others in God's grace.
Only when we practice our gifts, can we freely and fully serve God.
So I've decided to not longer strive for this unattainable perfection.
For that will only happen in eternity.
But until then, as I seek to be fully equipped for works of service,
I will ask God to make known the varied gifts He has for me.
And with them I can strive toward my purpose...
to grow spiritually as I exercise my gifts,
to put into practice all He has given me.
Practicing my gifts toward fulfilling my purpose.
Practice makes Purposed.
Let me encourage you, as well...
God, has equipped you!
God has given you a special set of gifts.
Ask Him to reveal them to you.
He is #theTrainer who knows how capable you are...
and He will coach you forward,
as you begin to exercise these gifts,
just as you would a muscle..
Trust that you will grow stronger,
more flexible and
coordinated in your purpose for God.
He knows how strong you really are...