By: Joy Byers
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
There are three things for which I am immensely grateful in my life. First - I have a clear understanding of who I am in Christ. Understanding that I am His daughter, loved accepted and redeemed gives me clear perspective and releases me from the feeling the pressure of competition and be something or someone that I am not. Second, I have been given gifts that have been deposited in me by the Holy Spirit that God fully expects me to be use. Last but not least, I have the privilege of serving on teams where I have been affirmed in my identity and gifting.
I have spent countless hours sitting with people who do not have a clear understanding of who they are in Christ, where passion and gifting have been suppressed resulting in a belief that they are of no value or use for Kingdom work. When we allow others to define who we are and how we function as a healthy part of the body of Christ, we do ourselves an injustice. This manifests itself most frequently in women shying away from opportunities that God is placing before them as we turn our backs and walk away. When this happens, the ENTIRE body is affected as we each have a part in God’s Kingdom Work.
When we understand how God has uniquely equipped us we begin to understand that we are all part of God’s plan. Our gifting is meant to complement one another and come alongside to make a whole, healthy functioning unit working together. Our world is filled with people who tear one another down and that is a most unflattering representation of who Christ is in each of us.
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Jesus called us to be different and that uniqueness in us testifies to God’s goodness and power to bring about lasting transformation in the lives of His children. As we stand shoulder to shoulder and lean in to the hard work of ministering in the ways we have been gifted, we recognize that God has uniquely created you and prepared you to do what the person beside you cannot and is not supposed to do.
And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
2 Timothy 1:6
What do you believe about who you are in Christ? About your gifting? Who in your life has affirmed you in your gifting? What opportunities have been placed before you that you have walked away from? Where have you allowed others to limit your dreams, and quench the flame that God placed within you for His purposes and His glory?
What would it look like for us to live and serve in a way that honoured each part of the body? Men and women serving together side by side...How different would our world be if men and women affirmed one another in their gifting?
We share together the responsibility of using our gifting. We have a unique opportunity that God has put before each one of us, something that we are ALL responsible for - that is to make Him known and bring Him ALL the glory. As we think about that and lean in, remember when we affirm one another’s gifting and allow God to work through each one of us - we shine brightly for the kingdom.
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:7-9 NLT