Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. —1 Timothy 4:14
It is imperative that you discover what God wants you to do and go ahead with it in the church and in your life. Dr. Clyde Narramore says, “Your natural gift is God’s hint what to do with your life.” Let me pose three questions to help you explore ways in which your gifts can be recognized.
This first is: What do you enjoy? Your gift is often what you like to do. And you say, “Well, I couldn’t have imagined that to be something God would want me to do.” I never will forget, back in 1954, when God used a Scotsman, Dr. John Logan, who was ministering in America, to make me come to terms with the fact that God had called me to preach because I loved talking about the Bible. And I think it was one of the reasons I had postponed recognizing a call to preach, because I almost felt guilty that it was what I loved more than anything.
The second question is: What do you feel is right for you? I often quote Romans 14:19: “Do what leads to peace.” That does refer to church unity, of course, but I think equally it refers to internal peace. A person who operates at the level of his incompetence is tired all the time. This is what causes a nervous breakdown. And sometimes his pride won’t let him admit to himself, “I can’t do this.” When this happens you need to step back, admit that this is not your gift, and do what leads to peace. You need to ask yourself, What is right for me? You do what gives you peace inside.
The third question is: What do others recognize in you? If God has called you to preach, there will be open doors; people will want you. We must live within the limit of our gift, but also up to the level of responsibility that our gift requires. Do not covet another person’s gift, but admit what you know is your own gift and responsibility.
Excerpted from When God Says “Well Done!” (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993).