This post is part of an ongoing 4-part teaching series in response to the question, "I’ve done everything I can and nothing is working. Why?"
Here are the previous parts:
When Light Comes.
This post is a continuation of the second out of the four answers we are looking at. As I’ve already noted in preceding posts, the first reason people struggle without success is that they are building without God – the God-factor is dormant. "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."
~ Psalms 127:1
The second reason is that they are laboring in ignorance.
"A fool’s work wearies him; he does not know the way to town."
~ Ecclesiastes 10:15
The fellow has a goal and is laboring towards it, but because of the lack of knowledge, all his efforts end in frustration.
This, from my personal experience, could be that you are trying to force a door open with the wrong keys. Let me deal particularly with gifts, talents, and strengths.
God’s gifts and talents are keys
"A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great."
~ Proverbs 18:16
However, all the gifts in an individual’s life do not open the same doors. Different gifts open different doors and access different resources and opportunities. Some gifts in your life were designed to access wealth, others to access influence, and yet others to bring solutions to those who are helpless.
For instance, like so many others that you and I know, I am multi-talented and gifted. I play the piano. I write poems and music. I’m a graphic artist. I have various technological and computing skills. I teach, preach, prophesy, and pastor. People receive healings and miracles through my prayers. And I could go on and on and on.
Faced with the challenge of growing my church, and my personal finances, I worked hard at my various gifts expecting to prosper equally from them. However, I observed that whereas some of my gifts gave me access to financial wealth, others gave me direct access to people and to influence. Then there were those that gave me the power to help those who will never be able to pay me back in any way.
This was quite surprising to me. Let me explain.
In my personal rating system, based on my religious upbringing, I’ve always rated the gifts of healing and working of miracles higher than all other gifts. Higher ratings here, in my mind, meant that these gifts would bring more success and exposure, say in terms of money, opportunities, and so on. God had promised me He was going to take me to the nations of the world and greatly bless me in every way; so, quite naturally, I imagined the greater part of this success will come from the ‘powerful’ gifts in my life: Healing, working of miracles, preaching, and probably music. So, I worked hard at these and built lots of expectations upon them.
Well, life had other ideas. These mighty gifts blessed the lives of others – and mine too in many ways. However, in terms of money, opportunities, and visible forms of success, I didn’t particularly think I was getting a good deal from these abilities.
I do not believe now that God ever gifted me with healing or miraculous abilities for the purpose of wealth or fame – thankfully, they’ve never brought any of those to me through the years. The powerful gifts of healing, prophecy, and miracles working in my life were never meant to make me rich or famous; they were rather designed by God to enable me bring deliverance to millions of people that would never be able to pay me back. I accept this today. I appreciate it, and would never wish for it to be otherwise. However, it’s important to point out that I once thought otherwise; a religious mindset that caused me to have the wrong expectations leading to stagnation and frustration.
What I didn’t know then – or more accurately, what I’d neglected – was the power of a certain gift in my life: Writing.
Truly, and this is still a bit strange to me, I had always made a lot of money from writing. My first book – Rivers in the Desert – put over $5000 in my pocket when I was just 24! My religious consciousness, however, obliterated the implications of that phenomenon from my mind; and I was left trying to force other keys to open doors they were never meant to open.
One day, I had a conversation that reshaped my consciousness and got me to pay more attention to my writing. I’m glad I did, because as a result, my writing gift gave me what the combination of my gifts of healing, deliverance, miracles, prophecies were unable to do: It placed millions in my pocket and opened the doors to the nations for my message and ministry!
Right now, you may be ignorant of a certain ‘insignificant’ ability, gift, or talent that you have. You might be working hard at forcing other ‘mighty’ gifts to make room for you and bring you before great men. I pray that this post will cause you to pause and reflect on your various gifts and the particular graces and blessings they’ve bestowed upon your life through the years.
Your gifts are keys, and like any key, there are particular doors they were designed to open for you; there are particular rooms and spheres they were designed to open up to you. Different gifts in your life were uniquely designed to give you unique access to unique opportunities and resources: Some are for wealth, others for fame. Some are for influence, others for fulfillment. Some of your gifts are given to you solely to bring help to the helpless and undeserving.
Are you using the right keys for the right doors?
I’ll conclude this teaching tomorrow…