We have been looking at how you can know what God’s will is when it isn’t quite obvious. This week I want to suggest that sometimes the best way to know what God’s will is for you is to consider which option allows you to best use your gifts.
Every Christian has been given different gifts from the Lord: ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us’ (Romans 12:6). Paul then proceeds to provide a list of some of the gifts that Christians may have: ‘If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully’ (Romans 12:6-8). But this list is in no way exhaustive. Whatever you are able to do and whatever you own is a gift from God.
Now we know that the gifts that we have from the Lord are not to be hidden away, but they are supposed to be used for God’s glory. Jesus teaches this in the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25. The servant that puts his master’s money in the ground is condemned for hiding it because it produces nothing. The point is that you are supposed to use what God has given you to bring him the most glory that you can. To hide your gifts in the ground is not part of God’s will for you.
So, for example, if you are considering what profession you think God would like you to perform, then you should firstly look at what you’re good at and what you’re not very good at. This will tell you what gifts you have. So if you’re not very good at teaching others, than God doesn’t want you to be a teacher or a pastor. Whereas if you are very good at mathematics and enjoy working with numbers, it is likely that God has gifted you to use that gift in some way, such as an accountant. This may sound like common sense, but the funny thing about common sense is that it is not always very common. People fall in love with the idea of doing something that they are not good at and end up failing miserably – and all the time that they are setting themselves up for failure they have been hiding their actual gifts in the ground.
Do you consider your God given gifts when you try to determine the will of God for you?