Living By Design

by riverbendcog

design

What do you love doing?  Chances are you get most enjoyment out of doing what you are talented at.  Oh, and are you lucky enough to be getting paid to do what you love?  Many people, for different reasons, are not in that situation.  But oh the joy and freedom for those who are employed in an area of their giftedness.  That can make the difference between stress-filled and joy-filled days.  Days which turn into weeks, which turn into months, which turn into years without much intention.

At Riverbend Church of God we are in a 3 week series on stewardship.  The terminology we are using is called Trading Up-in time, talent, and treasure.  Do we dare to trade up from the good in our lives, to the better or best-doing things God’s way!  Last Sunday we looked at Trading Up with our talents.  God has given each of us abilities.  The question is what are we going to do with them?  Do we pervert them by using them to build our own kingdoms.  Or do we have a Kingdom understanding of life?  Do we believe that we are part of a bigger narrative?  That God has created us for His glory.  Do we believe that God chooses to use us as His representatives?  That God has given us responsibility that comes with our relationship with Him.

So how do we connect talents with representation?  Very easily.  The reason we experience joy and satisfaction in doing things that come natural to us is that God designed us that way.  When we are able to live by His design for our lives, we will experience rejuvenation instead of stress and drain.  But what if working in our area of strength isn’t possible?  I suggest 2 things.  First we need to keep in mind that abilities are tools in the hand of God, not an end in themselves.  And so we need not despair that we are stuck and will be unfruitful in our lives.  God is bigger than that.  We need to embrace the Apostle Paul’s exhortation that “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”(1 Cor. 10:31).  Also, “whatever you do, whether word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col.3:17).  No matter where you are, you can bring glory to God and be a Kingdom representative.

But what about those who have settled for second best, when it is within their power to make changes and trade up to work within their area of expertise?  To them I would offer this word of challenge and encouragement: Trade Up!  Do you truly believe God wants you to serve and use you in your areas of giftedness?  Change always involves disruption, and may even be difficult.  However, trust that what feels like sacrifice will turn into something much better than what you started with after you step out in obedience.  You can face the future with confidence, embracing difficult changes you need to make because God is for you.  Therefore, what can really stand against you!  (Romans 8:31)

For all of us, let’s remember we are called to Kingdom representation.  Wherever the Lord has placed you, may He give you the eyes to see how using your talents for Him, will open up doors to the Kingdom for the lost.

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