A paper weight on my desk has the inscription, “Don’t wait for your ship to come in. Swim out to it!” As we practice KingdomNomics, we aggressively look for ways to converterlate our talents for the advancement of the kingdom of God. People often make the mistake of waiting for their ship to come in, hoping for something to come their way. Waiting and wishing with good intentions will not accomplish any worthwhile objective. If it feels like not much is happening in your life, perhaps the Lord is saying, “Stop waiting for your ship; start swimming!”
We need to be alert to areas in which the Holy Spirit is moving us and blessing the efforts we are making on his behalf. Do not belittle whatever God has given to you. He is in the business of generating much out of little or nothing.
God has created each one of us for a unique mission and he has equipped us with the exact abilities and talents to accomplish that mission. Recently I was presented with some information that relates directly to this topic. We can use the acronym SPECIAL to consider the talents and abilities God has given each one of us. Your SPECIAL design includes:
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
—1 Peter 4:10, NASB
At the time that we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit gives each of us one or more spiritual gifts. It is the Holy Spirit who determines which gift or gifts we receive. These spiritual gifts are different from the natural abilities a person already possesses at the time of their spiritual birth. These gifts equip us for special service within the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit has spiritually gifted you for a unique role and mission.
When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb … The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home.
—Genesis 25:24, 27
We are born with different personalities. These personal qualities affect how we think, what we value, and what we do. God designed a personality for you that is perfectly suited for his plan for your life. While the world may value certain personality types more than others, God has designed each and every person with their own personality, and he can use those personalities in a powerful way.
A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?
The experiences of our lives have a profound impact on the kind of people we become. Our family roots, our educational opportunities, our vocational history, the friendships and acquaintances we’ve made, and the major life events that we’ve experienced all combine to give us a totally unique background. God orchestrates the events and circumstances of our lives so we will have the knowledge, relationships, and experiences necessary to fulfill our individual missions in life.
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
—Philippians 3:13–14, NLT
There are many different motivations that drive us. However, in each person there are one or two primary drives that exceed all the others. These central motivations provide the emotional heartbeat for each person. What excites you, or inspires you, or stimulates you to get involved in something? Your central motivation includes your abilities, your interests, the circumstances in which you are most productive, the relationships that bring out the best in you, and what kind of end result brings you the most joy. All of these factors fit together to give us a motivational pattern.
All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded.”
—Exodus 35:10, NIV
Different people have different inherited abilities. These natural abilities enable us to do certain things well. The abilities that you have were not randomly assigned. God has given you inherited abilities so you can better serve him and his kingdom.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
—James 1:2–4, NIV
God has intentionally made each one of us for a special purpose! However, that doesn’t mean that all things will be easy. Adversity is one of the tools used by God to shape us into usable vessels. Adversity plays a major role in the kind of person we become.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
—Ephesians 2:10, ESV
God has given you a special design because he has assigned you a special mission. The prophet Isaiah said, “Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?’ I said, ‘Here I am. Send me’” (Isaiah 6:8, NLT). The Holy Spirit has empowered us to accomplish great things. Second Corinthians 5:5 encourages us with these words, “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit” (ESV). You may have many talents or only one, but with the Holy Spirit’s power working through you, you can make a difference that will last for all eternity.
What steps do you need to take to converterlate your talent for God’s kingdom?