Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.
1 Timothy 4:12-14 ESV
I've seen this Scripture several times lately. In most cases it was shared about a younger person. God just kept bringing it around & around...I must insert in this space the fact that our Father is so patient...how many times have you asked your children to do something & then just wait around patiently for them to decide to do it?? Well that doesn't fly in this house & I'm sure it doesn't in yours either.
Back to God showing me this verse. I have been up & down most of the last few nights. I could feel this post coming through His subtle whispers. I've been putting this off for as long as I can. I honestly thought He was leading me to get the posts about the Encounter God Retreat we attended in Abilene, TX last Oct. done...the messages have been so jumbled. That's when I know it's something that will be life changing for me. That He's going to be growing me, that what He's going to teach me will make me more like Him. These are both my favorite & sometimes most difficult times. But they are like a changing of the season's....a growth spurt...
Remember those?? I have fond memories of those & sad ones too. In our family we did hand me downs. God blessed me with 2 girl cousins that were just a few years older than me & my sister. Of course their mom was always up on the cutest styles, so they had so many cute clothes & shoes to hand down. I got my first pair of high heels from them!!! I used to look forward to their bags. I loved digging through them trying outfit after outfit on. Some would be to big & I'd have to wait to grow into them...those were some of the sad memories. The next day I'd get to wear a new outfit, it always felt so good to head out in a new outfit. The sadness long gone & forgotten, now replaced by the laughing & excitement of girls giggling. Still too big, but not as important.
The other sad memories I have with growth spurts is out growing a favorite out fit. You know what I'm saying. The outfit that I'd wear everywhere. It fit me just right. I felt attractive in it. Wearing it made me walk with my head a little higher. Then I'd hit a growth spurt & suddenly it became my little sisters outfit...I would be so frustrated & sad. Jealous even sometimes.
All this to say that finally today my brain started working in a different way & I now am seeing this Scripture in a different way. Instead of seeing & thinking literally young in age, I'm seeing & understanding it as in young in our relationship with Jesus. We all start out as newborns in every area of our lives. We learn as we go. Our faith grows as we grow & mature in our relationship with Him. It doesn't go by how long we've walked, but the path He is taking us down. Sometimes His plan is to get us through something quickly, fast track us. Other times He lets us linger along the path. If we linger too long in a comfy spot, He may allow things to get uncomfortable for us, to get us moving. We never want to stay somewhere we are uncomfortable. So we will move, if we are believers, we move the direction God guides us. But as we go we grow, become more like Christ. Each time we pass a season, we find it getting easier to get going again. To not linger for too long. To hear Him & get moving. Then we enter a new season, when He knows we're ready.
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
Daniel 2:21 NIV
I was reading in "God's Words of Life" when He led me to this Truth...
"...The talents we use may change season to season...Keep looking for & developing new talents. God will bring them out in you as you yield yourself to Him."
Nancy Corbett Cole
At this point I have noticed I'm on a new growth spurt. This growth spurt is spiritual. It's the kind of growth I've experienced a couple of other times...the first time when I realized I didn't need religion, only to have a personal relationship with God. The second was when I learned that Jesus is God...that was a wonderful revelation that has changed my life. I, like so many others, always thought that God, the Son & the Holy Spirit were 3 different individual beings. So this was something new for me. Lately my Faother has been teaching me more & more what the Holy Spirit is to me. That it is God in me. He's my Helper. I'm learning that not all Christians believe He is the same as God the Father & Son. They are all good with the first part...God the Father & Son & will speak of the Holy Spirit being equal, but in their truest heart of hearts for God, they place Him at a lower level. But I believe ALL are God & therefore ALL are co-equals. Now this being said I found this reading today, and it really spoke to me.
This made me search out all I could. I found several places that talk about where the gifts come from. How we receive them. What are the gifts of the Spirit. This has caused a conflict & I'm sure will right to judgement day. Some people believe in the gifts of the Spirit, some don't. Some pick & choose which gifts they will accept & some just say "I refuse to put a border, wall, or ceiling on what, when & how God can work through me & others." This is my belief. I've seen God use the Spirit in many areas of my life & those around me.
Here are some of the Scriptures I found concerning the gifts...
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NIV
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:6-8 NIV
I have been learning that God uses each of us in different areas, according to our gifts & where He wants us. He moves us around. He grows His gifts in each of His children that choose to give Him control. He will not force us, He gave us free will. We can choose to accept the gift He gives us & let Him use the gift through us to grow us into a more mature relationship with Him. To bring Him glory, to shine His love through us all.
Our family has recently had a few HUGE changes take place. These are life changing steps. I can not sit & honestly tell you that I have not doubted, or compared. I've put boundaries on & lifted them off God. I've felt the old comfort of my flesh calling my name. I've failed God so many times...but He is here. He knows what He's doing & I trust Him. So, I know so many things are changing around us. I know that these are the times that the enemy wants to use to divide & conquer. Rebuke him, break off the spirit of rejection & doubt. Toss that liar back into his pit.
We as Christ-followers, must not let the enemy tempt us to turn on each other. God made us each unique, so we all handle things differently...but don't give the enemy an inch in this battle. God is more than sufficient to take care of all of us. Let's not judge others choices, lets lift them in prayer. God will show each of us who chooses to surrender all of ourselves to Him, which gift He's blessed you with. If someone else who has been a Christian longer than you speaks doubt over it, smile & choose God. Don't let anyone tell you what your relationship with God should be. Or what gifts He's given you.
Your gifts may change with the seasons He takes you through. The more you allow Him to mature you, the more gifts you may receive?? I do believe that all gifts are alive & shared to this day & will be forever...
Okay, I'm out of words, so this is the end of the breaking news...