“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10
As a young person learning to play guitar, it is almost a right of passage to learn some Metallica tunes. They have some of the greatest guitar riffs of all time and learning them drove me to become a better player. It was, I think, my third concert as a young lad and I begged my father to take me up to Albany to see them. I had been working the 5:30 AM shift at the nursing home and they didn’t go on stage till about 10:00 PM, so yea, I dozed off for a few minutes. I don’t think I’ll ever live it down, Yes…. I fell asleep at a Metallica concert. Some passion for music huh, when you are done laughing at me please proceed…
OK, all done? Good, let’s get back to the topic at hand. Now let me clarify. Metallica per-say did not make me cry, but they did bring up some thoughts and feelings which did. I was driving in to work today, and as I do on occasion, I get nostalgic and listen to some music from my younger days. And Justice For All came on and as the opening riff kicked in (one which I still have memorized to this day), I just had a wave of emotion come over me. At first I was not quite sure what it was about, then the Lord took me on a mental journey that revealed what I was feeling at that moment. Ya know, kind of like that ride in Epcot in the big golf ball where you go on this journey through time and see these little stories and explanations about man’s journey through life? Well maybe that’s not there anymore, but it was at one point. Where was I? OK, the mental journey.
You see, I believe we are all created for a purpose and gifted with talents and abilities to fulfill that purpose. It has always been quite clear to me that God had created me for the ministry of Music & Worship. So the initial feeling that washed over me was one of feeling blessed with the particular talent of being able to play the guitar as I recalled in my mind playing that riff from the song I was hearing. I began to reflect on my journey of serving in the music ministry and felt grateful for the time served and the excitement of what was to come. I am wrapping up a period of serving six straight weeks on the worship team, and I have honestly loved every minute of it. A wave of emotion took over as I thought about it, and that is really what brought on the tears. To think that the God of the universe would call me to serve in a manner such as this using a gift that brings so much joy, was just too much for me to handle. I mean who am I but a lowly sinner not worthy to stand before such a Holy God, that He would bestow on me such a joyful gift? Well he did, and continues to do so, and the AWESOME news is that He does the same for all of you as well. Allow me to lay out a few key points to take away with you…
- The Cross has redeemed you: If you are asking yourself why me, who am I?, all you have to do is look at the Cross. God so loved the world that he sent His only son to die for you (John 3:16). If you ever question why God could or would use someone as flawed as You and I, remember the Cross and the redemption of our lives through the shedding of Christ’s blood.
- You were given unique gifts and talents: God has given us all unique gifts and talents to use to bring Him glory and serve His cause. I have a one of a kind voice, playing style, writing style, leadership style, etc. etc. etc. There is only one ME just as there is only one YOU. We all are a unique piece of the body of Christ, so take ownership of your part. Could you imagine the Body of Christ walking around with two left feet? No one part is more important that the other and we all serve the greater good.
- What is my gift or talent?: I have heard from many people that they do not have a gift or talent, and I want to tell you right now that is a bold faced lie of the enemy. God has a gift and calling for everyone. If you are unsure here are a few tips to help you find out (and I am not talking about spiritual gift quizzes although they are definitely a good tool to give you a bigger picture)
- Look at your life circumstances. Do you find yourself repeatedly a counsel to friends and being someone they lean on? Do you always find yourself in situations where you are called to lead. Are you a problem solver, a comforter? God will usually place you in situations that allow you to use your gifts to grow them. Start looking around you and opening your eyes to what is going in your immediately sphere of influence.
- Do others compliment you in certain aspects of your personality and life? Sometimes the people around you will point things out you are not seeing. Often God will use those in our lives to reveal things to us that we can’t always see.
- Pray, Pray, Pray. Ask God to show you what your calling is and to reveal what gifts and talents He has blessed you with. Once you do find out, your life will never be the same, which leads me to my final point.
- You will have untold Joy serving in your calling: That does NOT mean there will be days you just don’t feel like serving or using your gifts. What it DOES mean is that you will find it much easier to make the sacrifice of serving on the days you just don’t feel like it, and the result of following through will be so rewarding. I have put in a TON of work these last 6 weeks, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There have been days I was too tired to prepare, but there have also been days where it is all I wanted to do. The work of serving the Lord in my calling has been so extremely fulfilling it cannot be fully described with words.
I hope this post has been encouraging to you. We are called to serve the Lord and use whatever gifts He has blessed us with. I pray that God would use you to further His cause and bring you great joy in doing so.