Sometimes we can feel stuck. Maybe you’re there now. You’re doing everything you know to do. You have lived the good life in Christ. You realize that to be in a tough spot, it’s also the “good” life, but deep down you don’t like it. Oh, you embrace it, you endure it, you praise the Lord through it. But you feel like you’re trying to run in a river of molasses. Or even worse, quick sand.
I know. I’ve been there. You think of your past exploits in Christ. The exciting years. Remember? When you and your wife were young and had energy, time, space to be creative and spontaneous. Maybe in those days you enjoyed sitting around all day Sunday watching football. Or you woke up on weekends, musing in your half-conscious about whether you would go to the gym or wash your car. Or maybe you gave a lot of thought to how you could impact God’s kingdom, serve the least of these.
But then one day…One day you woke up and realized how different your life is now. Where did all of your time go? Why are so many “things” keeping you trapped? Where’s your gifting gone?
It’s days like those when I feel awkward when people ask me what I do. If I haven’t felt like my gifting’s been exercised for long stretches of time, I feel like a waiter who tells his table he’s really an actor.
But it really doesn’t have to be that way. You are what you are called to be. It’s more than saying we are what we do. It’s saying we are what we’re created to be.
God has called you for a purpose, man of God. His gifts are merely a means for you to fulfill that purpose. And they’re free. That’s why they’re called gifts. And they are still there. Somewhere.
“For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29 NASB).
If God has you in a season of life when you feel like your gifts are dormant (or even cryogenic!), remember that. It’s only a season. Be encouraged. They’re still there.
You may need to unwrap the gifts, though. The apostle Paul took Timothy under his wing. In 2 Timothy, Paul felt he needed to shake things up in Timothy’s spirit as persecutions were growing stronger. In a paraphrase, Paul tells him, “Look, dude. You have a sincere faith. It was in your grandma; it was in your mom; it’s in you. So use that faith now, remember the gifts God placed in you, and stoke the fire!”
Put simply, if you’re gifted as a teacher, you should teach. Maybe you can start a five-minute Bible verse study at work during lunch break. If you’re a dormant pastor, you should past. Seriously, who do you know on your street or at work who needs shepherding? If you’re prophetic, ask God to speak through you to those who are around you. These are gifts we assume are only used for the edification of the body. That is their primary purpose, agreed. But God uses what you’re created to be to reach the lost. And the lost is just a doorstep away sometimes.
This is how we fan the flame, even during an apparent lull in our life. I have to remember that a lull doesn’t mean it’s time for a lullaby. It’s a time of listening and waiting in a very active way. Fan the flame. Because a fire that’s not stoked grows cold very quickly.