Author and teacher Paulette Reed of propheticarrow.orgshares on her website, “After discovering our God-given gifts, it then becomes our responsibility to continually practice using them. God has called each of us to exercise our gifts so they become strong.”
In a well-known passage of Scripture, Paul teaches, “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Rom. 12:6-8, NAS)
I’m OK with all this “exercising”… but I’m not so sure I like the commonly used phrase “our gifts.” It’s grammatically accurate but directionally misleading. The direction it points to is “our,” to “us.”
The gifts aren’t for us. He is for us. The gifts are for others. Joyland’s Chris Nelson recently said in a meeting, “He is our gift. The ‘gifts’ are our manifestation of Him living in us, expressed in different ways.”
To that, we could all say amen. Yes, each of us has a divine destiny, a purpose sealed over our lives while we were still in the womb; yes, we have a divine identity which He has lovingly bestowed on us. But the center of all that is not “us” or “our”…it’s “Him” and “His.” The exchanged life, the transformed, taken-out-of-darkness-into-
Therefore, the person with the “grace gift” of giving is not necessarily to be thought of as intrinsically generous…but a trusted conduit through whom an intrinsically generous God can reach out, bless, provide and restore. The person with the “grace gift” of prophecy is not to be thought of as wondrously weird or stupendously spiritual….but a trusted conduit through whom an intrinsically wondrous and stupendous God can speak, impart, clarify, communicate in a direct way.
This is consistent with Paul’s prior guidance, in which he encouraged the believers “…to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice” and to not be “conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Rom. 12:1,2, NAS) We allow Him to be Himself, in us, in our sacrificed and surrendered lives…and as our minds are increasingly transformed and renewed, we can sense that He becomes us and we become Him...for the world to see…for lives to be restored…for unity to be achieved.
“The glory which You have given Me, I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one; I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may believe that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (John17:22,23, NAS)
Him in me, touching you…Him in you, touching me…strengthening His expression in each one of us as we exercise “our” gift…