Summary: Understand your abilities, personality and experiences as you better understand how God has shaped you to serve Him and others.
Understanding and Using your Shape
Purpose Driven Life #31
March 27, 2004
You have been uniquely designed by God and He has particular ideas of how you are most fully ’you’ and, thereby, how you most fully glorify Him, which you were created to do. All of this is so that you are able to serve Him and those He gives you to serve.
We’ve looked at the subject of spiritual gifts and heart. Let’s take a few minutes to discuss what the spiritual gifts profile is showing you- how to score it and to begin to interpret it.
Beyond your spiritual gifts and your heart, there are three further qualities God has put into your life, which form your shape and indicate how and where you are to serve.
1. Abilities. Your abilities are the natural talents you were born with. These are as different as people are, of course. Some have an incredible ability with words and come out of the womb talking, it seems. Some are naturally athletic. Some have natural musical abilities. Some are incredibly able with mechanics, designing, or building. These abilities are part of who you are and are as important as your spiritual gifts and your heart. God gives these to you, too, so don’t let anyone downplay these.
Exod.31.3-5- when the tabernacle was to be built, God called on those with special abilities and talents to be involved and lead the way in the preparation of it. As that was the case, so it is for you.
Rom.12.6- tells us that God gives us the ability to do certain things well. Some things you do well, I can envy and wish I could, but then, it likely goes the other way, too. These abilities were given you at birth. We all have abilities, and some have studied this and found that the average person has 500-700 different skills and abilities! Wow! Your brain can store facts, and your brain can handle 15,000 decisions a second, you can smell up to 10,000 odors, and you can detect an item that is 1/25,000th of an inch thick! Imagine that! Did you know that? You need to focus on your abilities, then the church needs to help you, as you understand your shape, figure out where and how to use your shape to serve- most of the serving won’t be here, in the church, though.
1 Cor.12.6- tells us that there are different abilities, but they’re all for service. We can look at one another and recognize abilities each other has. It’s all for God’s service. The Bible speaks of so many different abilities that people had, and we find some praised for their ability to do sewing work, leading, masonry, making music (have you ever thought about how noisy temple and tabernacle music was?), being a soldier, teaching, writing literature and poetry, and so on. Some are particularly good at building a business and reaping a profit- Deut.8.18- we all have a certain amount of this ability in this way, in our country, but some have a special ability. What is this for? It is to serve God and His work. This ability, and our blessing in Canada, comes from God. Too, let us realize that our ability is to serve God and others, to spread the gospel and to feed the flock. From our wealth, how are we giving? The OT, which in NT terms, set the bottom line for things, and the NT has taken everything to a higher level, used tithing as that minimum. Do we still tithe, as NT Christians? Or do we consume on ourselves? From our wealth, I believe it’s safe to say that God wants us to return at least a tithe- 10%- to Him for building the Kingdom. Maybe this isn’t where we’re all at right now, but this would be the bottom line goal to reach for, as an expression of the ability to ’make wealth’ that God has given each of us. The goal is to be a Kingdom Builder. Your abilities, like this, and all others, were not given to you just to make a living, but to make a difference.
1 Pet.4.10- use your abilities to benefit others.
2. Use your personality. Now, we always kid and tease about personalities and talk about how some people not only have a character but also are characters. This is normally done in fun and between friends. No two people have the same personality; no two people ever have had the same personality. This is of God. Your DNA molecules are put together in a particular way and the likelihood of finding someone else with the same DNA as yours is only 1 to the 240,000,000 power. In reality, this means never! God loves variety. Some of us have an extroverted personality; others of us are quite introverted- both made by God and both helpful in advancing the Kingdom.