Thursday, June 11, 2015

Battle of the Gifts

Exhortation. I was confronted with this word not too long ago and I remember yelling out to one of my pastors, "what does exhortation even mean?!?" We are all a little laid back at my church so it was completely appropriate to "yell out". When I found out what it really meant, I had chills run down into my soul. Why? Well, you see I really, REALLY like to encourage others to do something. It gives me purpose and lightens up my day. If my life can be an example of positivity we are all on the right track. It makes me higher than cloud nine!

Whoa... hold up! I had to take a double take on this whole encouraging notion. I remember a time when I was all about the negativity and couldn't stop the flow of anxiety, fear, and spiralling pessimism. I suddenly realized that I had come out of this weird funk and was now living what I was meant to be. And to think that I had NO IDEA that encouraging others was a SPIRITUAL GIFT. Ahhhh! I had such an epiphany about the whole thing that I could not contain it and had to share with you all.

I am a human. I do dumb stuff and then regret it BIG time later. I work out the logistics and plot how to avoid it all next time. Then I keep doing it. Ugh. Well, along the way these thoughts started creeping in. Ones of guilt and fear. I wallowed deep in this pit of despair like it was reality. The devil hung my shame over me like a dark cloud. Oh and when I finally realized that I could be forgiven, he was still there prodding me with "you are SO negative" and "just not worth it." Ya, so maybe I am not worth it without Christ, but the devil failed to tell me that I have a Savior. He failed to mention that I didn't have to be in this depressing state. 

Over time I have overcome this pack of lies. Every once in a while I definitely think "things are toooo good right now. Here comes trouble." I have to counteract that with "no. Just because I feel amazing right now, in my head, does NOT mean I am getting it later." Stupid really, but so true for me. Anyways, after I figured out that I had this spiritual gift called Exhortation and that my personality type thrives on its potential I realized one simple point. 


He took the very thing that makes me exhault my Father GOD and replaced it with this negative trash. He got me to thinking that I could help no one. He made me believe that I had nothing to offer. He used my personality to overly give idealistic advice to myself instead of encouragment to others. I was all flipped around and turned inside out. Noticing this made me realize the battle that I face. That we all face. 

Before you get all freaked out that the devil will overcome you or that he will keep you down, read this:


He knows the ins and outs of what makes you tick. He is the one that knows that the only way you can thrive is exhaulting Him in your own way. Despite the sin in this world and the devil's tries, He has a plan tucked away. Even when we get in the way He keeps trying and fiddling with a way to get to our hearts of stone and sheep like demeanors to hear His voice. Like a gentle whisper that ignites your spirit, He gives us life.

He has reminded me time and time again that He has my back. That all those lies that seemed so real and logical really have no roots. I am here today feeling more like myself than I ever did. All I had to do was look for Him and take notice that He was moving in my life. He showed me grace, flowers, kind gestures, beautiful sunsets, and patience. Everything that I show you, He showed me. His finger print is on every good thing in our lives. Ya, sometimes it looks like nothing is good. Again, looking to God will give us the ability to see the good. It gives us the ability to stand when we have no legs, see when we have no sight, and taste His blessings when the sin of this world is crumbling in.

So I urge you, ask God about your spiritual gifts. Maybe you will be like me and say "hey, what does ________________ mean?" Then walk away a survivor and a believer.

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