Friday, October 18, 2013

The Misuse Of God's Gifts

If you are a member of the Body of Christ, you are called, equipped and anointed for the function you have been given. No one can exist in Jesus outside of the Body. Many try due to their lack of maturity. They are too busy looking at the imperfections of other people to understand the grace that has been applied to their own. They use others as an excuse to separate instead of a reason to serve. We are the Body and God has appointed us to our place in it. Verify the truth of the matter in 1 Corinthians 12.

You have been given certain gifts by the Spirit in order to function within the Body. These are not natural to us but are supernatural, given to us supernaturally. We cannot serve God in a way that pleases him in our natural, but he equips us to serve him in the supernatural. The question is, will we use these gifts to faithfully serve his will, or will we use them selfishly for our own gain? Solomon is a good illustration.

King Solomon knew enough to know he was over his head. What he had been called and anointed to do was beyond his own natural ability, and he was wise enough to realize it. So when God asked him what he could give Solomon, this young, wet behind the ears, newly appointed king asked for two things: wisdom and knowledge. But take note of why he wanted these gifts from God:

Lord God, you were always loyal to my father David, and now you have made me king of Israel. I am supposed to rule these people, but there are as many of them as there are specks of dust on the ground. So keep the promise you made to my father and make me wise. Give me the knowledge I’ll need to be the king of this great nation of yours. (2 Chronicles 1:8-10)

Solomon did not ask for his own benefit but so that he could fulfill his calling, the task for which he was anointed, which is why we receive gifts from the Spirit. God was pleased with this and because he asked with this motivation he also provided Solomon with everything else. But Solomon did not stay so pure in his motivation.

Solomon allowed his eyes to turn inward. He indulged in the privilege of his position. Instead of serving God by serving God's great nation, Solomon started serving his own selfish desires. How easy it is to turn what God gives us to serve him into something for selfish gain.

As great as Solomon was he could have become more. He seeded things into his children which caused the split in the kingdom. Instead of being a united people for the glory of God, they became spoiled and selfish, requiring the great correction God visited on them. We are not too far from this ourselves, even in the early days of the Church.

When apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, guiding him in the strengthening of the Church in Ephesus, he said something that we need to take note of today:

You needed to warn them to stop wasting their time on senseless stories and endless lists of ancestors. Such things only cause arguments. They don’t help anyone to do God’s work that can only be done by faith. (1 Timothy 1:4)

We can never forget the purpose of our calling and the focus we have been given. There should never be anything that we are involved in that does not help us to do God's work. That is the entire focus of our life, to do God's work. It is not a part-time thing. It is not a weekend thing. It is something that we are occupied with every moment of our day, and it is the reason we have been equipped by the Spirit.

It is possible for us to waste the gifts of the Spirit, to use them for ourselves instead of for Jesus in the context of the Body. It is possible but it will prove to be our ruin as it ruined Solomon. We will never reach the heights that God has intended for us and we will seed things that will prove to be the undoing of other people as well. For this we will have to give an account. Don't forget the parable of the talents.

Perhaps it is time to allow the Spirit to take an inventory of where we are with the gifts we have been given, and permit him to remove what is not a help in doing God's work by faith.

No comments: