Point to Ponder: I was shaped for serving God.
Verse to Remember: “God works through different men in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purposes through them all.” — I Corinthians 12:6 (Ph)
Question to Consider: In what way can I see myself passionately serving others and loving it?
While I’m not sure I’d go quite as far as Rick does in asserting that God has explicitly planned out every minute detail of every person’s life, I do agree that we were and are created to fulfill a particular purpose. For the record, I suspect some details of God’s purpose may be determined dynamically by circumstances, rather than everything being statically determined before creation/conception. Nonetheless, I affirm that “God never wastes anything,” but uses everything that happens to fulfill His larger purpose.
In particular, I believe it is essential to keep that larger purpose in mind as we discuss both Spiritual Gifts and Heart (Passion), the two keys Rick covers today. I love the terms “gift-projection” and “gift-envy” that Rick uses to describe what happens when we think of gifts in terms of how they make us feel, rather than how they serve the body. There is in one sense a natural hierarchy of gift and offices, but woe to the person who thinks he/she is personally superior to others merely because of a particular calling. With great power comes great responsibility, and the more I understand that the more aware I am of how far short I fall of the gifts I’ve already received, never mind those I haven’t.
Similarly, how can we distinguish the virtue of magnanimity from the vice of ambition as we seek to fulfill our passions, i.e., the desires of our heart* Only by submitting ourselves to God, and finding our purpose in serving others — i.e., humility. When ambition is transmuted into an ambition to serve — and not made an idol in its own right — then, and only then, are we truly free to follow our hearts.
Prayer: God, I thank you for all the ways you’ve gifted me. You know the passions and dreams of my heart better than I do. You also know the times I’ve used them for selfish gain, as well as the times I’ve hid them under a bushel. Father, teach me to offer myself as a living sacrifice to you, that as your slave I may be truly free. I ask this in Jesus name, and for His glory, Amen.