‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.’ (Matt 7 v13 -14)
In HG Well’s book, The County of the Blind, a climber falls into an inaccesible valley only to be rescued by a mysterious community where all of the people are blind. Nursed back to health, the climber falls in love with the woman who cares for him and asks the leader of the community for her hand in marriage but is told the community cannot agree to his request unless he consents to having his eyes removed and becoming as blind as they are.
For the community, rendered blind from birth – presumably from a genetic abnormality – the loss of sight was not an issue as they had no idea of what they were missing. On the other hand, the climber knew exactly the sacrifice he would be taking in forfeiting the beauty of everything for the woman. Although the decision was initially hard for him, the climber eventually leaves the valley rather than have his world of colour and image taken away. The spiritual parallel is obvious.
‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14v18-20)
Unlike the physical world in which the death of parents results in children becoming orphaned, this is an impossibility in the spiritual realm as the Christian belief is that God cannot die nor be removed from those who bear His Image.
As Creator and Divine Parent of everyone, God has devised a way for people to be assured of His presence, comfort, strength and encouragement in their lives. He does this through the Holy Spirit who comes to live within each person when invited into their lives. Instantly, whether the person realizes it or not, their status changes from ‘spiritually orphaned’ person to ‘loved and valued’ member of God’s family. Moreover, the truth of Jesus’ word’s that ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ come true for each of us.
Find out more at primary gift
Personally, I find this image deeply troubling. Not because the nun in the gas mask is detached from the child but because she wears it to protect herself from the one who is helpless and in need.
A while back, I came across a sign outside a church that read: ‘Pray or be prey.’ Initially, it amused me as I imagined a community of believers huddled behind locked doors, fearful that by venturing outside they would be brainwashed and devoured by the world. Later on, I realised what troubled me most about the church sign was it ran contrary to scripture as God never instructs any believer to hide or cowar because:
‘the Spirit who lives in (us) is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.’ (1 John 4v4)
Today, thank God for the Holy Spirit that lives in you. Thank him also that you have nothing to fear as you step out into the world to do God’s work. Be blessed!
‘You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple… for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.’ (1 Peter 2 v2,4)
Okay, five spiritual truths to remember :-
- We are chosen by God who delights to give us the Holy Spirit .
- The Holy Spirit enables us to serve God as his priests. (How cool is that!)
- Along with other spirit-filled believers, we form God’s holy nation as we…
- Reveal the goodness of God to others through our speech, attitude and actions (and)
- Each day we take another step away from darkness to live in God’s wonderful light.
‘ A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.’ 1 Corinthians 12v7-11
Basically, we need to know our primary spiritual gift because it’s one gift in particular (out of many gifts) that God has gives us for a specific purpose in His Kingdom. Put simply…
ministry = primary spiritual gift + the God-given passion (that is particular to you)
If you don’t know your primary spiritual gift, take a spiritual gift test and ask yourself of the spiritual gifts that came top of your list:
- Which gift energises you the most when you use it?
- When using that gift are people blessed or edified?
- Is there a sense of personal and spiritual fulfilment when operating in this gift?*
If you can answer ‘yes’ to all three questions, that will be the one that is your primary spiritual gift.
( *above extract taken from Know your spiritual gifts)
‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’ Ephesians 2v10.
Like many christians, I didn’t have a clue about spiritual gifts when I first started in church. From what I saw around me, no-one had a particular ministry – other than the minister – and the idea was to serve wherever the need was the greatest.
Now, while there’s a good case to be made for churches being full of servers who ‘help out’ when needed, that’s not what is being said in Ephesians where Paul writes: ‘God…created us anew…so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’ You see, God’s Kingdom is more proactive than that! More intentional! It’s not just throwing our weight behind a good endeavour. It’s being part of God’s plan – knowing how we have been spiritually equipping and the passion He has given us – then taking the lead!
If you don’t know the primary spiritual gift God has given you, please do take the spiritual gift test using either the app or e-book. Get proactive! Discover your God-given passion and don’t just help out or stand on the sidelines – God waited a long time to equip you so respond and realise your spiritual potential so the body of Christ will be stronger by the end of today because of it!