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Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

I hear people say the phrase, “God told me…” a lot. “God told me to” is often used as an explanation for why people do the things they do and make the decisions they make. Sometimes there are no real words to explain the “why” for you other than, “well, I felt like God was….”

What does God’s voice sound like? What does it really mean when someone uses a phrase like that?

A phrase like that sounds crazy to a person who does not have a relationship with the Lord. Brows become furrowed and and faces contort trying to figure out what that really means.

For those who believe, Jesus stated that “his sheep would know his voice.” So what does God’s voice sound like? How do you know it’s him?

I have three questions I ask myself when it comes to hearing from him. Hopefully they will help you as you learn to hear from him.

How am I wired?

This question has everything to do with our personalities. One key question to answer for yourself is whether or not you are a dominant thinker of feeler? Do you process by facts instead of hearing between the lines?

I am a feeler. I feel deeply about everything. This is also linked to discernment for me. I tend to hear what is not being said more than what is. That means something.  When things feel off that means something for me. God motivates me through emotions of restlessness and frustration. I know our feelings can be deceiving, but they are also telling. I hear God by feeling deeply the stories and characters I am reading about in scripture. I know his voice of grace, because I really know what his grace feels like.

What am I drawn to?

What our hearts and passions are drawn to matter in a huge way. God speaks through the things we love. He has wired us uniquely to do something.

I will never be great at administration at all. I actually hate it! Nothing about that job stirs my heart in anyway. However, get me in a crowd of people talking about hard life topics and truth…I’m IN! That means something. That is vision defining for my life. What we are drawn to means everything. Our passions are his voice in and through us.

How do I receive in my life? What gets into my heart?

How do you hear things like love, truth, and respect? How would you answer the question of knowing your loved? How do you receive?

These are huge questions to recognizing God’s voice in your life. Finding the answers to these questions builds a huge bridge between his voice and your heart.

I am still learning this one about myself. I am not good at receiving. This puts a wall up between God’s voice and my heart. How I answer these questions is making all the difference to knowing him more.

Our personalities are wired uniquely to hear him. Our passions and the drawing of our hearts means so much. How we really receive is huge to hearing from him.

Try out some of these questions and see what happens. Would love to know if you start to hear from him more as you get to know yourself more.  

How do you hear from him? How do you recognize his voice?

(repost)

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Life transition comes with undoubtly so many questions. It seems like transitions enable reassessment in every area.

For a while now, I have been asking myself the question of “what am I doing with my gifts? What am I doing with how God has wired me?”

James has been a great book for my heart while marinating on these questions. James is passionate about teaching faith as a lifestyle – what/who we believe should be followed through by what our life looks like.

James illustrates his point with the example of “suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”

I know James was referring to the actions our faith needs to take, but what about our gifts and talents?

Let’s insert your gifts in that example, “suppose a brother or sister is without _______?”

What do you have that you are in a way… hoarding? What gift and talent do you have that someone else could benefit from? What are you not offering to someone else that could’ve benefitted from it?

That is an important question.

An extra jacket is useful for someone who is cold. So is your gift to someone who does not possess the ones you have. How you are wired matters a great deal to someone else. That is the balance of the body of Christ.

Operating outside your gifts and wiring and is just plain exhausting. Believe me, I am sitting in that place right now. There may be a season for everything, but offering you gifts, even free of charge, is so beneficial

If someone is in need of what you are good at and you just wish them well– what good is that?

Offer what you have because you have it!

What do you have that other people could benefit from?

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This weekend I got to spend time dreaming with some amazing people at Dream Year DC. I had attended the Dream Year weekend in Nashville in January. I loved it. I was so glad for the opportunity to give back for that amazing experience by serving.

Ben Arment is an amazingly gifted guy when it comes to making dreams happen. One thing I have always respected about Ben is his passion. Ben has the same passion when it comes to talking with one person or hundred. He is gifted.

Dreams will stay dreams until we risk to give them form and vision.

I feel like I have been waiting for a long time. Not always waiting well, but waiting. Mark Batterson talked about waiting from Habakkuk, “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay.

I have always been asking myself the question of what am I supposed to be doing in the waiting? What depends on me verses what is stepping out on God?

I am learning that there are some things I can do while waiting. Jesus, among many other greats in the bible, was always growing.

While Jesus was growing up scripture states that he, “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

While we are in the waiting, I’ve got some things we can do.

Always choose to learn

There is so much for us to learn about whose we are. Mark Batterson stated that, “dreams will make you pray more, and prayer will make you dream more.”

There is so much to learn about our gifts. I want to make sure I am reading all I can about speaking, vision, his truth, and anything that pertains to my dreams. Read a lot, or if not reading, listen to podcasts of people you admire. Have conversations with people who are ahead of where you are and learn from their hearts.

Develop

Craft and tweak your gifts. Start out in small ways to see what you are good at, what your passions are, and what makes you fired up.

Listen to what you tend to marinate on and think about. Ask people for feedback on what they see in you. Ask for help in areas you that are not your gifts.

Risk

Our dreams take risk. Risk in the areas you can now. Risk to believe that you are wired to do something. Risk to believe that where you are is okay. Risk in your willingness to fail. Risk to ask in ways that might seem scary, but could make all the difference. Risk.

What can your waiting look like?

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I love reading signs, particularly the ones that look vintage in stores. I love simply stated things. Yesterday,  I bought one that states, “Sometimes it’s the smallest things that take up the most room in your heart.”

I have been trying to pay more attention to small things in my life. I don’t want to miss what God is doing because I am stuck looking for the obvious. I have a growing appreciate for the saying, “it’s the little things…

It really is the little things that fill our hearts. There is so much meaning packed into the small things of value to our hearts. The small things make a difference in me. They also make the bigger things more meaningful.

This past weekend was full of small things that filled my heart. I sat down and wrote out a list of great small things that brought me deep joy, and most of them were unexpected. It made me welly to see blessings that I might have missed.

The little things look different for everyone. We all find joy in different ways.

I find so much joy in laughter. I love making people laugh, and I love getting my hard laughter on! I had the blessing of an unexpected small thing in my Saturday night. After a crazy day of fun events, I ended the night playing Taboo with a bunch of friends. (I really do not like games, so a small thing including Taboo really is no small thing.) I laughed so hard for a couple hours over that game. I don’t know if it was the combination of people, words, or just playing late at night, but it was freaking ha-larious! I have never laughed that hard over a game before. It made my heart fill up fast. It was awesome.

I have lots of other small things I am grateful for like: words of encouragement, love that hits down deep, good conversations, playful banter, dance parties, hugs, writing, journaling, moments of being seen, reminders that I am believed in, and connections of the heart.

Small things are usually the big things. I would love to know what small things have been filling up your heart lately.

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My heart feels prayer consumed. I can’t seem to talk to him enough. I don’t want to get to the point where I feel like I have talked to him enough, but this is where my heart is.

Praying means a lot to me. I pray using the model of John 17.

Jesus prays for himself.

-Jesus prays for his friends.

-Jesus prays for all believers.

Maybe you are feeling like you need some talk time with him as well. I would love for you to pray with me or even take some space on here to pray for you.

Father, my heart is heavy. I feel heavy with conversation. I feel like we haven’t really talked in so long. I feel like there is so much to catch up on with one another, but you still know all things. You have seen my every day and every moment. I have left you hanging and sidelined in me for too long. I wonder why I am tired. Thank you for your grace and patience with me. Thank you for forgiving me every time I just take information about you and run with it without abiding. Forgive me for my walls of control and protection. I never need protection from you. I never need control when it comes to you.

My heart is tired. Well, all of me is tired. For the first time in a while, I feel like my soul is waking up. I feel like I have been telling my heart over and over to wake up, and now new dawn seems to be peaking through. What does that mean? Help me to trust.

Father, I pray for my friends. I pray for the dreams and hopes of my friends. I know I try and step in too much to where you are supposed to be. I love those you have given me so much. I know I forget you are the one who gave them as gifts. Forgive me for holding too tight to them. Forgive me for the fears and jealousy that comes out of holding too tight to them. Forgive me for the places that they fill me where you are wanting to. Thank you for gently restoring my failures. Help us to love each other with healthy and open handed love. Help us to forgive much so we can love much. Help us to speak in times of speaking, whether tough love or tender, and help us to listen when silence is needed. Thank you for your gifts.

Father, you know all the temptations that threats to your church. Provide strength, joy, and courage to speak your truth. Give believers a real hunger to want you, to crave intimacy with you. Give us means and wisdom to know how to stand up for intimacy with you. Let the lies of this culture be silenced. Give us a voice that sounds and looks like one. Jesus desired that we would be one like you are one with each other. I pray that. I pray that we would value greatly knowing you and making you known. Show us your favor Lord. Help us give you space, time, value, and authority. Help us to pursue the life of just believing in you.

Thank you for knowing me. Thank you for your love, grace, and gentleness. I love you, father. In your sons name, amen.

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I feel like my gifts and talents are being refined every day. Development is so crucial to stepping into any role. The desert is a great time for preparation and development

John Maxwell states that, “the role of the wilderness in the prepartion for a leader cannot be overemphasied.” The desert is a place where transformation and development happens. When we make the choice to step out of our every day routine and into a place of surrender, change will happen. In order to do anything well, I think development needs to take place.

The second temptation in the devil’s deck was challenging Jesus to go outside of God for his glory, power, and authority. The devil led Jesus up to a high place and showed him, “all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And he said to him, I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”

The devil challenges Jesus in core areas of what he is about to do. He challenges Jesus by first showing him the world. The world is who Jesus was here to die for. I think the devil’s first mistake was presenting the wrong perspective “giving.” Jesus would go on later to make light of this temptation by saying, “whoever will lose his life for my sake, will gain it.”

The devil also offered authority and glory in exchange for worship. I see clear examples of this temptation in my life as well as the culture we live in. The devil is presenting some pretty strong false advertising. We are all wired, made, and created to worship. If we don’t worship God, we WILL worship someone or something else. This also includes the temptation to worship ourselves.

All too often God is redirecting me back on the path of surrendering glory and worship to him. I tend to fail quite a bit when I choose not to surrender authority to him. Hoarding authority and glory for myself reflects acting out of self-sufficiency, self-protection, playing savior to someone else, satisfying my own needs/wants, stepping up to satisfy someone else’s needs/wants, and being filled with pride.

Jesus knew that all of authority and glory come out of worshiping the father. He knew that authority and glory were not dependant on his gifts, but dependant on who the father is.

How often do I look at the tangible? I have to ask myself the question, am I tempted by the false splendor of this world? Do I believe God to be the authority and glory my life depends on? Do I depend on my own gifts and name over his? I wish I could honestly say I respond with the confidence that Jesus did. I cannot. I teeter too often on the side of immediate results or comparing myself to others.

Jesus looks at all that is presented to him and simply states, “it is written: worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” I can almost hear Jesus saying, “next.” Jesus understood that everything he was about was for the worship of the father. All of his gifts and talents were meant to serve the Lord and give him glory.

My heart has some work to do

What are your temptations in the areas of authority, glory, and worship?

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