A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: Gifts

"But having different gifts according to the grace that is given to us,
let us use them.." (Rom12:6)  "Therefore He says: When He ascended on
high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men." (Eph4:8)

"There are different distributions of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And 
there are different distributions of ministries, but the same Lord.  
And there are different distributions of works, but it is the same God 
who works each and every work.  But the manifestation is given through 
the Spirit to each one for the profit of all..." (1Cor12:4-7)

Recently somebody e-mailed me (I forget if a subscriber, or a visitor
to the website), asking directions to past teachings on "gifts"; that
they had searched the site, and not found any.

Back in the early 70s I remember there was quite a 'movement' regarding 
"spiritual gifts". There would be seminars that people flocked to, 
teaching guidelines on "how-to-find" -your- gift. Others developed 
forms and formulae by which a person could fill-in-the-blanks and 
traverse their way to the end of this 'method', and depending upon how 
they filled in the blanks, and which answer choices they selected, at 
the end, they would "know" -their- "gift". While some were flocking to 
Gothard's "Basic Youth" seminars, others were flocking to other gurus 
who purported to unloose the secrets of "finding your gift". Now, while 
I never personally went to any of these popular seminars of those days, 
I saw people coming back from them, all excited and wide-eyed.

Of course, back then I didn't need those seminars to find mine, oh no,
sirree!  I 'knew' what my "gift" was. Music! Yes indeedies!  After all,
people told-me-so... that my solo-singing was "such a blessing" to
them! So, -obviously-, that was my "gift"!

But what is a gift? How do we know it's a gift? Do we necessarily 
"know" that we are "exercising-our-gift"? Is a spiritual gift an 
"aptitude"? Certainly, I had been doing musical things since as far 
back into my childhood as I could remember, and as far as I went with
music, I was "good" at it. But was that my spiritual gift from God?
It is one of the things I have "counted loss" for Christ. (Php3:7-8)

We can gain a better understanding of this error by seeing it portrayed
in the NKJV. As Israel set about to build all the various parts of the
tabernacle and implements of worship, the NKJV says they searched out
for "gifted artisans" (Ex28:3), "craftsmen" (36:4) and those who were
"skillful". (35:10)  After all, if you are to have somebody hammer a
seven-lamp lampstand out of one single piece of gold, don't you want
somebody who knows how to wield a hammer, because they have experience
in that "craft"? Don't we need to have "professional" musicians for our
worship? After all, doesn't the psalmist say to play "skillfully"?
(Ps33:3)

If we see what God's Word says, we notice that God told them to search
out "wise-hearted" (Ex28:3), "wise men" (36:4) and those who were
"wise-hearted". (35:10) And the psalmist actually says to play
"beautifully". (Ps33:3)

Are we straining at gnats here? God appointed a special man to oversee
all the work, Bezalel. What were his qualifications? Certainly, he was
experienced in the workmanship of working with gold, cloth, casting of
metals, and everything they did in constructing the tabernacle. But
notice that his gift from God was, that God "filled him with the Spirit
of God". (Ex35:31)

Yes, folks, Bezalel was "Spirit-filled". When he was Spirit-filled, did 
he start jabbering a bunch of gibberish, dancing around wildly, and get 
slain on the ground of the wilderness? No! When he was filled with
God's Holy Spirit, he was qualified to oversee the work of God's
Tabernacle. That was God's -gift-. Certainly, he had learned and
developed skills in craftsmanship. But his -gift- from God for the work
was God's Holy Spirit. For what purpose? To rightly have "wisdom,
understanding and knowledge" regarding the representation of God's
"dwelling" (tabernacle) with man. All the craftsman skills were of no 
use, if he did not also understand the Most High, for whom he was doing 
the work, in order to successfully make everything "according to the 
pattern shown" to Moses. (Ex25:40)

This is why (picking on music for a moment) it is not sufficient to 
have "professional" musicians -performing- in a congregation of 
Believers. They may know music; but if they do not know God, they have 
no clue as to what sort of music is pleasing to the Most High; because 
the performance of music is a subjective matter of the performer's soul 
and spirit; whatever is in the performer's soul is what comes out in
the music. If they are full of satan's darkness, that is what comes
out.  They may know music as a talent and skill, but they are not
"gifted" with God's Holy Spirit for service in music.

Now, one reason to not study gifts too much, and become overly consumed 
in our thoughts on the matter, is because each person's "gift" is 
different.  Each person is given a "name" only he knows (Rev2:17)  And 
each one's gift is also unique. We are to be "faithful" (1Cor4:2)  if 
the Lord says "go", we go...if He says, "stop", we stop...like Israel 
"at the command of Jehovah" (Num9:17-23)  Rather than "looking unto 
Jesus" (Heb12:2) and following Him step-by-step, too many people are
busy trying to figure out, "what is -MY- gift?"  With such a heart
attitude, they are no longer serving the Lord, but them-SELVES. One
sees what another is doing, and lusts after their fame and glory...in
essence, judging "another man's servant" (Rom14:4)  instead of
considering that we all, each, individually "give account concerning
ourselves" to God. (Rom14:12)

When the Master summoned the servants, He gave talents and commissioned
them, "..each according to his own ability.." (Mt25:15) and told them
to "..do business till I come.." (Lk19:13)

When Peter preached at Pentecost, did he know that his "gift" was going 
to be -preaching-?  Paul hadn't yet come on the scene to 'inform' him
that the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts. (1Cor12) So, did he wring
his hands in dismay, pacing around, "What is my gift? What is my gift? 
Will somebody please tell me what my gift is, so I can do exploits for 
God!"? What a silly question! We know the answer. The Holy Spirit came, 
and Peter was filled, and got up and started preaching, as the Holy 
Spirit gave him utterance.

If God lets you know what your gift might be -called-, receive it 
gratefully. But if not...don't worry about it, nor what others might 
see, think or say. If God gifts you for a particular service, don't 
worry about its label. Just get out there and -do- it! 

If somebody sees another drowning in the water, if they prance around 
on the shore asking, "If I go in after this person, will I be called a 
'rescue worker'? ..or perhaps, a 'hero'?" Well, if he prances around 
long enough, the victim will drown! When somebody saves somebody else 
from drowning, fire, accident, etc., the media gathers around, and 
proclamations are made about "The Hero!!" But typically, when they get 
the microphone in front of the person's face, he doesn't consider 
himself to be a "hero" at all, and is typically mystified at all the 
attention.  He saw a "need", and jumped in and -DID- what was needed.

If the Lord has called you to "X", and you see a fellow-believer gifted 
with "Y", don't worry and complain that you are 'only' doing "X". There 
are many who claim to be doing "Y", and if you are not doing it with 
them, tell you that you are disobedient to the Lord. Don't worry about 
them. God called you to "X"... so -DO- "X". If the doer of "Y" receives 
praise from men, and nobody seems to notice you, don't worry about it.  
Your reward is in heaven, and will be made public in due time. (Mt6:1-4)

If you are tempted to start worrying about somebody else's gift, Jesus
says, don't worry about this other person, "YOU FOLLOW ME." (Jn21:22)

Amen!
Ralated Topic: "Do It"