Dear Loved One,
Recently I read something so stunning, I wanted to share it with you today. Did you know that, in America, we spend nearly $10,000,000,000 a year on self-help and personal development?
But, even with all of that spending, many people still "feel" like they need to be better. Why do so many continue to struggle with who they are and wonder who they can become?
While I am not systematically against personal development, and think certain courses and books on this matter hold great worth, I do see a fundamental need the entire "self-help" genre misses if it is not rooted in the Word of God.
Our skills and abilities are given to us by God for the specific purposes He has created for us to fulfill. If we are not developing the gifts the Lord has given us for the purposes for which He created us, life will be a life-long struggle.
Many wrestle with internal turmoil, regardless of the success or accomplishment garnered by the world's standards, if they are not fulfilling what God has for them.
Now you might be thinking, "Pastor Jack, some of this sounds recently familiar." And you are not wrong! I wrote to you last month about God having a destiny for your life. Today, I want to take the truth of God having a specific plan and purpose for you a layer deeper and talk about how you can find yourself in His plan and live a truly fulfilled life.
It excites me when people move beyond just going through the motions of life and discover God's unique purpose for them! There is a shift when people recognize they were made to do specific things that fit in God's divine will.
You begin to live your life with a sense of mission, because you know your mission matters!
Created to be. Appointed to build. Enabled to Love.
You were created to be someone with a basic list of drives, motivations, traits and inclinations. God has made everybody to be and to become something that will both fulfill them and bless others.
You have been appointed to build. As a believer, you are called to be conformed to the mind of Christ with the distinct purpose of helping lost people come to Jesus and begin to grow in the mind of Christ. You are an instrument Jesus uses in building His Church!
It is important to note, when Jesus talks about building, He is not referring to building physical buildings. While we need places to gather and worship, as a family needs a home, Jesus' instructions to build refers to growing and building people. That's what ministries are for, to save the lost and build people up in Christ!
You have been divinely enabled to love. I Corinthians establishes all spiritual gifts are to function in the spirit of love. The gifts of the Spirit are simply different expressions of God's love answering human needs.
When we operate in the gifts we have been given, we become part of the great distribution program of what the Father wants to get out in the world. People who are sick become healed. People who are bound become free. People in need of wisdom receive it. People who are discouraged hear life-giving words of encouragement.
All of these amazing things happen because we have been given God's ability to love!
God willed for you to have a will
Many have asked through the years how God's will works with the fallen state of man. I think this question is one that many grapple with, likely at several points in their lives.
I would like to start by saying there are not options and varying degrees of being in God's will. You are either in it, or not.
That said, a primary part of God's will is for you to have your own free will. Even when our decisions defy His perfect will and loving desires, it is still His will.
God doesn't want to dominate or mandate something you are unwilling to do or submit to Him. A decision or occurrence may not be His perfect will, but it is still in His permissive will.
He didn't make you to be a dead-minded robot, or some kind of religious automaton! He made you to be a person with coherent capacity for thought and remarkable gifts. He wants you to know His gifted purpose in you!
You are who HE says you are
One very common stumbling block that keeps people from reaching their full potential is they struggle to believe God could have a plan for them. I want to explain why this is a matter of critical importance.
Thoughts such as "I'm unworthy" or "God could never do anything with me" or "other people have more gifts than I do" assign yourself a description unworthy of your Creator.
Those thoughts and beliefs say you are less than He has made you to be, which is saying something different than your Creator has said about you.
They also boast against the Lord by saying the nature of a situation or person is such that even God couldn't possibly fulfill His purposes in them. We know this is not true, because the Bible says " . . . with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26 NIV).
Another common stumbling block is people trying to be something they were not created to be, because they desire to be like people they respect or admire. The Lord wants you to receive the beautiful things He is doing in other believers, not to covet their gifts and long to be like them.
Each of us are unique creations, with distinct gifts to fulfill important purposes, and your Heavenly Father longs to unfold that to you!
Good gifts for a great purpose
I am fully persuaded the Lord wants to make very much alive in us the specific things He has given us. This creates a channeling of His creative power, which brings fulfillment to us, fruition to our dreams, favor in our vocation and fruitfulness in the Body of Christ.
The Church advances when people are functioning in the resources given to them, and God's will is fulfilled.
I do think it is important for believers to understand that our innate giftings and inclinations are hard-wired in us by God's design, but spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) are not something God designed for us to accumulate or possess.
Spiritual gifts are given at certain times, for certain situations, and the recipient of a spiritual gift becomes the avenue of the gift's expression. After the gift is given, we don't "possess" the gift anymore, because it has already been given.
The storehouse of the gifts of the Spirit is loaded, and the Holy Spirit wants to distribute an abundance of these gifts! However, He's looking for people who understand how the gifts work and will respond to them as avenues of their delivery.
Grow in your gifts
All gifts require cultivation, response, refinement and obedience. God has made you to be something, but that doesn't mean you're going to wake up one morning with your giftings in full flower! That process takes time.
The release of what you were made to be is something you keep growing in and intentionally cultivating. One avenue of cultivating a gift God has given you is participating in whatever schooling or training will help you improve in what you were made to do.
A very essential role we play in the release of what God has for us is our response and recognition of what God wants us to be. We must respond to our gifts as unto the Lord! In the mind of every believer ought to be the understanding that we are charged with obedience to Jesus Christ. That's a part of the refinement of God's purpose in us.
How do I find where I fit?
v Loved One, I hope to help you do just that! So, all this month I'll be sending e-mail messages that practically explain how to apply the gifts found in Romans 12 in your everyday life. I believe these additional teachings will help you better recognize your place in God's plan, as you learn to effectively operate in the gifts of Romans 12 and the unique gifts God has given you.
There is so much more I'd like to share with you than space permits in this letter, which is why I have prepared these special e-mails. If you are not already receiving our e-mail teaching messages and ministry updates, I strongly encourage you to sign up. Just take a look at the information below!
I also have prepared a 3-message series to help you go even deeper in your understanding of the gifts. As a companion to these messages, I believe my book Rebuilding the Real You will help you discover and grow into the person God created you to be.
The Lord longs to beautifully unfold you to you. He created you, and He knows what you are best made to be!
Thankful for a place in His plan,
P.S. Be sure you don't miss the special resources, featured below, that can help you further develop your God-given gifts. I know these teachings will assist you in more fully understanding who God created you to be and how you uniquely fit in His plan!
It excites me when people move beyond just going through the motions of life and discover God's unique purpose for them! There is a shift when you recognize you were created to do specific things that fit in God's divine will. That is why I want to take the truth of God's specific plan and purpose for you a layer deeper and help you learn how to find your place in His plan and live a truly fulfilled life!
In appreciation of your gift of $40.00 Or more in support of jack hayford ministries, we want to send you these two power-filled resources:
REBUILDING THE REAL YOU
Pastor Jack Hayford reveals a clear picture of the nature and work of the Holy Spirit assisting the believer in rebuilding life's broken places. You see a picture of the Holy Spirit who has come to repair, rebuild and restore. Find out how the Holy Spirit is ready to rebuild the thoughts, emotions and character of those who have received new life in Christ.
COVET THE BEST GIFTS
In this 3-part sermon series, Pastor Jack Hayford explores the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and explains how these gifts are active and alive in the modern day Body of Christ. In his practical, biblical style, you'll be encouraged to steward the Spiritual Gifts you have received from the Lord.