Two Sundays ago now, our Pastor shared about spiritual gifts during our Bible Study hour. He spoke about the fact that we all have been given varying gifts from God and that we are all accountable for using those gifts in order to aid in building His kingdom here on earth. As he shared how we can find out what our spiritual gifts are, he said that the only way we can cultivate these gifts is by serving and following the prompting of God. The truth is, most gifts lie unused, and therefore useless to the body. As I heard this, I was reminded of an excerpt of an essay that I once read by A. W. Tozer. I wanted to share that with you this week as we continue to think about our gifts and how important we are in the mission of building for the kingdom. This quote comes from a book called, “Tozer on Worship and Entertainment,” and says the following:
The amount of loafing practiced by the average Christian in spiritual things would ruin a concert pianist if he allowed himself to do the same thing in the field of music. The idle puttering around that we see in church circles would end the
career of a big league pitcher in one week. No scientist could solve his exacting problem if he took as little interest in it as the rank and file of Christians take in the art of being holy. The nation whose soldiers were as soft and undisciplined as the soldiers of the churches would be conquered by the
first enemy that attacked it. Triumphs are not won by men in easy chairs. Success is costly.
Ouch. One thing I really like about Tozer is his unwillingness to pull punches. That sums it up quite nicely, I believe, at least as far as the American church is concerned. Now, this quote has a lot to do with spiritual maturity through the Word and sanctification, but this past week it really hit home to me that it has everything to do with what we choose to do with our spiritual gifts as well. The sad thing is, most church-goers don’t even have a clue as to what their spiritual gifts are, more less where and how to use them. We need to jump into the game, begin serving wherever, and allow the Holy Spirit to show us our specific gifts, as well as God’s specific call on our lives.
As Tozer concluded, success is costly. The only way we will see God really use us and our gifts is for us to lay down our pride and begin to allow Him to work through us. We must be willing to put others first, be uncomfortable, roll up our sleeves and get dirty, drop some things off of our schedules, etc… We must be willing to sacrifice, and I think that is why so few are really discovering their God-given gifts through ministry. The concert pianist, the pitcher, the scientist, the soldier…all are more than willing to do so. Why wouldn’t we be willing to do the same (and even more) for our Great God and His incredible commission and call!?
May this hard word (and reality) from Tozer spur us to discover and cultivate our spiritual gifts so that we can begin to see just how big our God can be through us in changing this world with the Gospel!