We see much throughout Scripture about the tasks and assignments individuals are given. In 1 Chronicles 23 alone here are a few of the jobs that had to be filled and the workers needed.
supervisors for temple workers,
workers to build the temple,
officials and judges,
those who praised the Lord with musical instruments,
and finally one man Aaron, was set apart to minister before the Lord and to pronounce blessings in His name.
As I read about the tasks and jobs it always makes me think about our assignments.
First, each of us has our GENERAL ASSIGNMENT from God. We’ll call this assignment #1:
We are to love God with all our hearts, soul, mind, body, and strength. We are to come to know God intimately (including His justice and righteousness, as well as His mercy and love). This is a two part-er that can’t be separated. Once we have given ourselves over to Christ we are to pursue these qualities in all the ways that we can. (Of course trying to live out righteousness and love is interesting business, to say the least. We’re led in to new territory, fraught with as much difficulty as trying to steer a ship straight in a storm. But there is also much blessing for obedience.) It’s not easy to love those who are antagonistic to you and misjudge you. It’s not easy to speak the hard truth in gentle love. It’s not easy to keep your peace and bite your tongue when you have had a bad day yourself and at the end of it somebody whips in the parking spot that you were patiently waiting for.
After our general assignment God gives us individual, peculiar assignments. We’ll call this assignment #2:
We are to be light in our own particular dark place that He places us. For this task, we really will feel alone among those in the world to whom we are to be salt and light and love. Now there’s a task for us. We’ll come to live out the verse that tells us we are foreigners in the midst of an odd culture and strange world that doesn’t understand us, (nor us them unless we remember where we came from). This crazy making spot is where unrighteousness and righteousness face off with each other. This God-spot that we’re planted in may be our work place, the market place, or our own home. Sometimes it’s all of them. All at once.
If we’re going to have any hope of carrying out assignment #2 at all – it will only be as we learn to draw on God – and lean on Him and His love. We can’t do this on our own, because we don’t have an unending supply of the good stuff in us. We’ll wrestle, first, with the difference between ourselves and Christ. As we begin to look at Him and who He is, we’ll see more and more our own lack in these areas. This will drive us to focus and rely on God, not our work and effort. As as we pay attention to The Source, out of us will begin to flow rivers of living water.
And then there is our individual enjoyable assignment. We’ll call this assignment #3:
God gives us passion, gifts, and abilities for our enjoyment and His glory – a unique giftedness that He endows each of us with. Our personal gifts are tiny reflective images of who He is. Are you creative? God is the great and noble Creator and Artisan. Are you good with numbers? God is the God of numbers and order and science. Are you good with people? God is the God of love, hospitality, and outreach.
We are to go and develop our gifts for His pleasure, as well as our enjoyment, and for sharing with others. So don’t be shy and stingy with your gifts! Go! Grow them. Share them.
Mine is to write, write, write. Write as much as I can in general, blog and share, and write books. My gift is also to help encourage others in using and uncovering their gifts and talents. I haven’t figured out all the details of these gifts yet, but I keep plugging away at them.
As I develop my writing, I find that I have to keep thinking on the big picture and one small step. For instance after I had been writing for awhile I had to figure out what avenue I wanted to pursue with sharing my writing. I decided on a blog and website (big picture). Then I had to ask myself, what’s one small beginning thing I need to do to make this happen? For that goal I knew I first needed to find people who could answer my questions and coach me on blogs. (Thanks Patricia at Pollywog Creek and Laura at Blogging Bistro.) Then I had to find a way to actually incorporate writing a blog post into my schedule. Each step along the way I have to keep in mind what my big goal and desire is, and then identify what small piece I can work on.
What do your gifts look like? What would you like to play with, practice on, and develop for your enjoyment and God’s?
What are you doing toward it? What can you do toward it? (Feel free to share what you’ve learned so far or any questions you may have on the whole process.)
There are assignments and needs galore out there in the world around you. Pick a task. Choose a gift. Develop your assignments and gifts for His glory. Enjoy.
Here’s to you and your gift! Here’s to your happy gift-developing and gift-sharing! Go bless someone with it today.