Gift or Gimmick?

“You can be anything you want”. Many people have probably heard this once or twice growing up. It is a common way for us to encourage young ones trying to discover who they are. We say this to kids in hope that they will discover their talents and abilities through their widespread search. I was told this when I was growing up as well. I had so many dreams and passions that I wanted to do with my life. I loved playing the trumpet and making music. I loved to draw and create art. I loved sports and the joy they gave me. I worked extremely hard at the things I loved, and eventually I became decent at each of them. But as time continued, I needed to revise, “you can be anything you want” into something more along the lines of “should I be everything that I want?”. We all have gifts and abilities, but often we don’t have a purpose for many of them. I had many neat things I could do, but I had no reason to continue doing them. A gift without a purpose is nothing more than a gimmick. It counts for nothing more than something to attract the attention of others to yourself. Our gift becomes part of who we are without us even knowing it. “It’s our gift now, the sender has become obsolete.”

What gift has God given to you? We all have something about us that makes us unique. Do you even recognize that you have a gift? In the book of Exodus, Moses is questioning the same thing. He was just an ordinary man who didn’t see anything worth using in himself. Yet God chose him to free Israel from slavery in Egypt. A man with no perceivable “gifts” was asked to do the impossible. Exodus 4:2-5 says,

“The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail” so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

The Lord simply asks Moses what is in his hand. He knew exactly what Moses had in his hand, but he wanted Moses to acknowledge it. Sometimes we have been holding on to a gift so long that we no longer see value in it. We become numb to the effect it could have in the world if we were to just embrace it. For a long time, I let my writing go unnoticed. I didn’t care to write because I saw no value in it. Yet, now it is something that I cling to and cherish. I have a purpose for my writing, and it drives me to continue using it. Sometimes it takes a burning bush for God to get our attention and point out the gift we are holding in our hand. We need to be aware of the gifts God has given us to use them to their full potential. Don’t let your gift become a prop you carry around.

It is also important to not let your “gift” be something that is not of your own. God didn’t ask Moses to pick up an item beside him. He didn’t ask Moses to pick up a rock to show his power. God only wanted what Moses had to offer. It is so difficult to see the gifts of others around you and not want it for yourself. It is so easy for me to see Christians up on stage ministering to thousands of people with their music and words, and desire that kind of platform as well. But as Christians, we need to understand that God doesn’t want you to try offering him something you don’t have. He wants what is in your hand; the gift you have right now. He wants the staff in your hand that you don’t see much value in or even consider a gift. We shouldn’t try to be something we are not. God wants what you have to offer, and all we have to do is throw it on the ground at his feet. A stick is just a stick until you give it to God. A gift is just a gimmick until you give it purpose. The purpose of God’s blessing through gifts is for us to honor him and serve others with them. He can turn your gift into something extraordinary if you are willing to give God glory through it and not use it to gratify yourself.

There are unbelievable talents in our world today that could be so much more if we would just let go of the pride we have in them. God didn’t just give you a staff, so why boast in that? He gave you proof of his power, and that is something worth sharing! He gave you more than what you see in your gift now. The power he has given to you through your gifts is so extraordinary it may frighten us when we first allow him to use it. Without God, we are only seeing the surface of our gifts and abilities. The real beauty is hiding underneath. Don’t limit God’s power to what you believe your gift is worth because God has so much more use for it. God didn’t just turn Moses’ staff into a snake to entertain him. He did it to show Moses the power we have through God. “That they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

God has given you a gift to be a walking testimony of his power to this world. Don’t let it go to waste. Don’t put a cap on your gift and limit its capabilities according to your own strength. Set it at the Lord’s feet, give it to him and he will show you the true nature of it. He will transform your gift and your purpose if we let him.

What do you have in your hand? A gift or a gimmick?

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