Hey everyone and welcome back to Serenity in The Spirit and a special welcome to you if this is the first blog post you have read.
Today, I wanted to share a little bit about my journey and write about how God can use us in our everyday lives. I think this links quite nicely with a recent post: Discovering Purpose and a previous series 'Living For Jesus' so click the links to have a read if you haven't already.
During my teenage years, I was absolutely convinced I didn't have any talents. As far as I was concerned because I couldn't sing or dance and I didn't have a subject I was amazing at in school, I wasn't talented and so I had no idea what my calling was. This didn't really bother me too much at the time, my main hobby was writing stories on my iPod and I was quite happy doing that in secret. Fast forward to 2017 when I began to have a more personal relationship with God and understand more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus, I suddenly found myself feeling wondering what it is that I could do to serve the Lord and I was drawing a blank.
Fortunately, soon after, God reminded me of an idea I had back in my teenage years to write a blog and I was excited. Writing is something I have always enjoyed and it seemed perfect but then doubt settled in. I started believing that I was not qualified enough to write about God, after all, I didn't know the Bible that well and I had only recently come back to faith. This doubt came straight from the devil - if you wait until you have perfect knowledge/experience, you will be waiting forever. As I have said in previous posts, following Christ is a journey, you continue to learn and grow daily. It took a while for me to realise this and to have the courage to post anything but, just over a year ago, I took a leap of faith, started Serenity in The Spirit and I have never looked back.
The reason I wanted to share that part of my testimony is to encourage anyone who is perhaps having doubts. You don't have to know every scripture to spread the Good News, you don't have to have been attending church for 'x' amount of years for God to use you, just use what you've got and dedicate it to the Lord, God will make up for any area in which you are lacking. God used Moses who had a speech impediment, Peter who denied Jesus, King David who was a murder, Saul/Paul who persecuted Christians...the list goes on. If God calls you, be encouraged that He will provide for your needs. He won't leave you hanging but through the Holy Spirit and His Word, He will equip you for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Now, some of you may be thinking "that's great but I REALLY don't have a talent that I can use for God...how can I serve Him?". The truth is, God calls us all for different things and I truly believe that everyone's life has a God-given purpose, even if it is not something typically listed as a talent. Like I used to, you may only see 'talented' people as those who can sing, dance or act. Whilst these are great talents that can do amazing things for God's kingdom they are not the only methods by which you can serve God. For example, I enjoy writing so I started a Blog, Teddy enjoys conversation and apologetics so he started the Podcast. You might enjoy photography, you could take photos of Christian events or work on your church media team. You might be great with kids, you could put yourself forward for children's ministry at church. You might enjoy helping others, you could put yourself forward for the welcome team or to help serve tea and coffee after service. No job is too small, God will see your efforts and you never know what impact you could be having in people's lives. The smile you gave to a stranger in the street today may have given them hope that there are still friendly people in the world and that they are not alone. You aren't even restricted to just one of the things listed above, so long as you are able to do it without feeling burnt out then why not try a couple? This list is by no means exhaustive and as mentioned in Discovering Purpose - Part 1, a great place to start is considering what you enjoy and prayerfully seeking to understand how it can be used for God's glory.
Social media and platforms such as YouTube are also avenues to consider for reaching large numbers of people and teaching them about who God is. Again, if you aren't sure where to start, social media is a great place. You could begin with posting some of your favourite scriptures and why they inspire you. Or, perhaps you could post your Bible study notes for your followers. I would definitely encourage this even if, like me, most of your followers aren't Christian - as I said, you never know the impact that you could have. Pray over your posts and ask God to use you and your account to bring your followers closer to God.
I also encourage you to do this with those around you in person, open up a discussion and try to understand your friends' beliefs, this puts you in a better place to understand how you can help them (as well as asking God). Speaking with those who aren't Christian also gives you a chance to debunk any myths/common misconceptions. Again, pray before those conversations, ask God to give you words that speak directly to their hearts and for their hearts to be open and receptive to hearing His Word. Ask for any seeds that are planted during the conversation to become fruitful and lead them into relationship with Christ.
For those of you who are perhaps a little nervous about sharing your faith with your friends, I recommend speaking with God about it. Pray for a supernatural boldness and ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that you may be confident in approaching conversations that may seem difficult at first. Peter, John and others did this in Acts 4:29 when they were facing persecution for spreading the Gospel, there is no shame in this prayer (Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word).
During these discussions, don't be discouraged if you are asked questions that you are unable to answer - this has happened to me before countless times. I'm sure your friends won't mind if you simply state that you don't know and that you'll get back to them after doing more research. Even though it can be challenging (and sometimes embarrassing), remember that God is with you and that your conversation, no matter how badly you think it has gone, could be the start of sparking curiosity in your friends' lives. Place everything in God's hands and allow Him to work.
Thank you for reading, I hope this has been a practical help to those who are unsure about how they can serve God or perhaps unsure where to start with their talents. Bonus tip: if you already know how you can serve God, dedicate time to it. If it's singing, set aside time to practice/write new songs, if it's writing a blog, set aside weekly time to prepare content for the week (something I am working on)... whatever it may be, work on it, develop it so that you are giving the Lord your best. Don't just sit on your talent, God gave it to you for a reason...to give Him glory.
I pray that you enjoy the remainder of this week, if you have exams or other challenges coming up, I pray for God's peace and favour to rest upon you, in Jesus' name, Amen.
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