One of the main reasons I started this blog was because I love looking back on the past. I love seeing where I used to stand, and allow God to remind me how far He’s taken me.
Recently I’ve been thumbing through old journals and last night I read the first page that started it all my sophomore year of college. At the time I was going through a lot of pain and withdraw from an emotionally abusive relationship that turned physical one time earlier that year. I wasn’t in a great place, and I was seeking God, hard.
Although I loved to write, I had never faithfully written in a journal. Then on April 17, 2011 – I began this journey with the following cheesy line:
“Today was a day that I will always remember for the rest of my life. What a cliché way to start off, but it’s true. God has been opening my eyes to new wonders in His love, and opening so many new windows for me for finding new paths in my faith. I am simply amazed and can’t put into words how awesome I feel right now.”
The thing I love most about re-reading these journals, besides seeing all that God has grown me in and brought me through… is that I seem so young. So filled with life and childlike faith. No matter what season I’m in, I’m thankful and awed that, whether it’s heartbreak, longing, pain, joy, praises, miracles, disbelief… I still have a childlike faith that my God is faithful and has my back.
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
While I was on the World Race my team and I took a spiritual gifts test, and I got a 20/20 for Faith. The definition they give is:
Faith: “The special ability that God gives certain members of the Body of Christ to discern with extraordinary confidence the will and purposes of God for His work.”
This gift is a practical gift. Those with this gift often scare other people with their confidence. People with this gift are often very irritated by criticism, as they consider it to be criticism against God and His will. Probably the biggest danger for those with this gift is that they often try to project their gift onto other people.
Scriptures: Acts 11:22-24; 27:21-25; Romans 4:18-21; 1 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 11.
Every time I read this I laugh at the part where it says: “People with this gift are often very irritated by criticism, as they consider it to be criticism against God and His will.”
I find that hilarious, because as I grew stronger in my faith in college, I seriously questioned why other people doubted God more than I did. Even to this day I get a little frustrated when people question how I know what the Lord’s voice feels like in my body, and my ability to sense and discern when the Spirit is moving and speaking to me.
As I grew more in my spiritual gifts, I started to learn that not everyone is created like me, and I started to learn how beautiful of a fact that really is!
One of my close friends and co-small group leader for our high school girls, Mary, is one of the most servant-hearted people I know. Dishes need to be done after a Young Adult event? Mary’s on it. Things need to be cleaned up? Who’s on it? Mary. You’re short a little cash for a candy bar? Mary’s got you covered.It’s amazing how God has created her to be so humble in looking out for the best interests of others!
Every one of us is given all the spiritual gifts, but some might be stronger and more present in us than others. But because we are all one body, the strengths of another can challenge our own weaknesses to become strengths. Service has never been a strong gift of mine. But by being around others who are not like me, it’s challenged me to step up and grow in those weak areas.
One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was; “You love Jesus in a way that makes me want to love Jesus more.”
It still makes me smile reading that. I’ve heard people say it to me before, but it’s so encouraging to hear because it just makes me look up at God and say, “Thank you.”
As I’ve learned that people aren’t like me, I’ve prayed more that God would use me to point them back to Him in ways that are unique in my gifts. I understand that God has given me a gift of faith that isn’t like others, and I love to pursue a childlike faith in the way He uses me in other people’s lives by just being myself. Where others might question and doubt, that He would use my confidence in Him to encourage others. Whether through visions, prophecy, or just His wisdom and intercession.
I encourage you to take the Spiritual Gifts test, and pray on your results! He has graciously blessed everyone with these gifts, and we should recognize them for what they are – powerful and impactful! They might not look like someone else’s gift, but they are incredible, helpful, and encouraging.
Check it out and take the spiritual gifts test here: http://buildingchurch.net/g2s-i.htm