What burdens are lifted when we live through our spiritual gifts?
Here’s a common pattern for people who live life, especially when serving God, without operating through their gifts.
Before I begin, I want to clarify that it is possible for people to operate in their gifts without realizing that they are. The focus is not on knowledge, for we can certainly know without doing.
The resulting pattern: doing and serving, but getting burned out.
The prophetic truth underlying this is the following:
For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." Matthew 11:30
Christ wants to release us from the burden when coming to God. He freed us from feeling weighed down with to-do lists, fear of judgment, and doubt when serving God. He has already done this through his sovereign grace.
A life in Christ that still feels burdened when serving God would run against the spirit of Christ’s death, wouldn’t it?
So one reason to really get clearer and take action on our spiritual gifts is to continue living and serving with lightness, not with burden that is so common in churches these days.
The problem is that we often push forward through our flesh. Sometimes the church only gives options for serving that meet one type of gift. Sometimes we choose ways to serve and expand God’s Kingdom by copying what others do or say.
That leads to frustration, exhaustion, and disappointment.
This problem is the opposite of God’s promise. In Ephesians 4 where Paul describes in more detail the “Five Fold” spiritual gifts, he writes:
But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is,
He climbed the high mountain,
He captured the enemy and seized the booty,
He handed it all out in gifts to the people.
The promise is that, in fact, we should not be the same as one another. Instead, “each of us” have been given a gift. This makes clear that the promise of gifts is for each one of us.
It’s an amazing promise that should encourage, not discourage us, from seeking them and living through them.
So what’s the pathway to live this way?
The foundation is to understand the gifts in Christ. He is the ultimate example of each gift. It is when we start to know him and ask how Christ appears to us through each gift that we gain an appreciation and sensitive to the gifts.
As we do that, we should actively view choices and behaviors through the lens of our gifts. This part of the path involves looking and seeking how they show up in all part of our lives.
The last part is to start to act on them. To take baby steps. Ideally, we do them in a community such as my Ignite Community, where you can find others who both seek and have studied their gifts.
The pitfall is that we get distracted, disinterested, or detached from desiring to live out our gifts.
It’s one of the reasons I created the Ignite Community. It’s also a reason why I wrote a book to encourage and allow you to go deeper into activating your gifts.
When you have community and a collection of teaching, you can persevere in seeking opportunities in all areas of your life. The gifts isn’t something that come out when we want to serve at church.
Spiritual gifts come into play in all parts of our life, so that we may, indeed, live a full life. In relationships, at work, when leading others, when parenting — our spiritual gifts are the ‘helper’ in our lives that ultimately point back to Christ.
That’s when we can all experience God’s power. When the burdens of life feel somehow lifted. When the gifts made clear through our actions enable us to expand the Kingdom.
It’s that something worth praising God for? It’s amazing that, even after the greatest gift of grace through Christ, he continues to equip us with a spiritual power to lift up burdens, even now?
So, how do we process this?
I would suggest sharing your answers to these questions in the community. If you haven’t join, you may need to go through a “Request invitation” process and then add your answers.
But once you have, it should be very easy.
Here is the question to help you process what we’ve covered today:
What burdens would you feel lifted if you were to operate in your own spiritual gift?