The Gifts of God I Don’t Have

Let’s be honest, I’ve never been good at the ‘typical gifts of God’. What am I talking about you ask? Well, if you grew up in church, there are typical abilities that everyone says are God given. Things such as singing, preaching, or playing any instrument. Oh, and talking to people. Now I’m not saying these things are bad. But I was expected to be good at one of these things. And guess what?

I’m not good at any of them. Nope. I’m still not good at them. I still can’t play an instrument or sing, preaching and talking to people are skills I’m okay at, but definitely not an expert. How am I supposed to do God any good??? I’m striking out here big time.

But then one day I read this verse in Exodus that really hit me:

The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.

Exodus 31:1-5

Seems simple enough, right? Just take a second to realize what is happening here. He filled a carpenter with His Spirit to help build His temple. A carpenter? Wait, I thought God only filled people with His Spirit to do things like preach or sing? My mind was blown.

When we think about gifts from God, the first thing that comes to mind are of course the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians. Then next are the ministry gifts. But what about the rest of us? What about the people, like me, that just aren’t great at those? For so long, I focused on what gifts I didn’t have. The fact that no, I’m not a great preacher and you do NOT want to hear me on a drum set, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have God given gifts.

God doesn’t just give us the spiritual gifts that we so often think of. He also gives us our talents and abilities. All of them. Not just the ones we always think of. He gives us the creative ones, the logical ones, the ones we don’t really think of as ‘gifts’. Things like cooking, dancing, caring for people, understanding math (actually do those people exist?), writing, listening, taking care of kids…

Things like photography.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a photographer. It is my talent. You could attach a camera to my right hand and I would be totally content. But I struggled for years to see how God could use my photography. I never read anywhere of anyone saying, “I saw this photo and I just felt like I needed to give my heart to the Lord.” It just didn’t happen. Unless it happened to you, then you should tell me all about that. I just never understood how taking a nice photo would be beneficial to the Kingdom of God.

Over time, the Lord helped me realize that He does, in fact, have a purpose for photography. There may not be people running to the altars, but that’s okay. Because of photography, I’ve been able to meet people I would never have been able to. But more than that, I’ve been able to tell the stories of people that are ignored by most of the world. I’m able to shine a light on the fact that there are still people in the world that don’t know Him. We read statistics of how many lost people are still left in the world, but through photography, I’m able to give them faces. They become more than just numbers; they become real people with real needs.

You see, when we ignore the fact that God is the God of creativity, we miss an entire aspect of Him. He created the entire world, and He put the same desire to create inside of us. We are made in His image, after all. It’s in our design to make things. Not only that but to make things for Him like He made the world for us.

We also miss a lot of ways God could be using us to make Him known in the world. I feel like I have looked Him in the face and said “I cannot bring You glory with what You gave me” more times than I should have. I love that it says that God filled him with ability, with intelligence, with knowledge of all craftsmanship. God gave Bezalel everything he would need to bring God glory. He gave him the talents and abilities He knew he would need to fulfill the purpose God gave him. God also gave us all of the abilities we would need to bring Him glory. He didn’t forget anything. It feels like it at times, but He knew what He was doing. Knowing that He has already prepared me for His purpose gives me joy. And it should give you joy, too.

I want to leave you with this: what abilities has God given you that you’re not using? Ask God to show you what those are. You never know what He might do with them.

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