Do you ever feel like your spiritual gifts are not growing as quickly as you would like?
When we became children of God, we received a new spirit that is unified with Christ. And just like children, our spirit grows into maturity. This can be a process.
Paul talks about two different stages of believers. One is taking in “milk,” and one is taking in “solid food.” He says the people who are drinking milk are not yet skilled in the word and righteousness; but those who eat “solid food” are of full age (Hebrews 5:12-14).
We are passionate to express God’s love to the world around us. It can feel frustrating when our spiritual gifts are not yet at the level of maturity that we would like for them to be when there is an immediate need in front of us—whether it be someone in need of provision, healing, a word of knowledge, or some other gift from God.
As I (Jessica) was feeding our 8-month-old son, he reached out, grabbed the spoon, and started feeding himself. To my surprise, he was doing it with quite a bit of coordination. By the end of his mealtime, his face and the area around him were covered in squash!
God reminded me that this is how He wants us to be regarding our growth in spiritual gifts. Let’s take a closer look:
- PROTECTION AND SAFETY
Just like baby David wears his bib and is seated in the proper chair, God positions us in a place where there is provision and safety as we step out and exercise our spiritual gifts.
As a developing child goes from soft spoons in childhood to sharp knives as an adult, God knows what our capacity is. He will always position us in a posture where we are under the shadow of His wings. We are protected as we co-labor with Him.
God is a proud Father when we develop towards maturity, and He has an abundance of patience and grace with us in theprocess.
- PROCESS OF MATURITY
Just as we teach David the proper way to hold the spoon, God has given us the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. We can rely on Him to reveal to us our spiritual gifts. He is faithful to teach us how to mature in them.
Ask God who around you walks maturely in the gifts that you desire to grow in, specifically people who bear the fruit of the Spirit. Humbly ask them if they will mentor you in those ways.
Submitting yourself to their guidance can be a safe environment for you to learn to hear the voice of God clearly and begin stewarding the gifts that God has given. It is a sign of maturity when we are open to receive encouragement and constructive feedback in this process.
- CELEBRATE SUCCESS
Don’t assume God measures success the same way we do. He isn’t nearly as concerned with the outcome of what we attempt to do for Him as He is the fact that we stepped out in faith. He celebrates risk over result.
Regardless of how big what you did seems to be, it is an opportunity to celebrate and to give thanksgiving to God.
You might ask, “Why do I need to grow in my spiritual gifts?” 1 Corinthians 14:12 makes it very clear that it is for the edification of the church that we excel in our spiritual gifts. Be encouraged to step out in childlike faith, whether you are beginning or continuing your journey in the maturing of your spiritual gifts.
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