It is not rare that people feel like they don’t know what they are meant to do with their lives. Many of us have passions and hobbies that we perceive as enjoyable but don’t do anything with it. The reasons can be plenty but often it is simply because we do not recognise the gifts that God has given us from the very start.
Take the apostle Peter for example. This was a man who lived to fish all his life in order to provide for his family. While this is certainly a skill that was vital at that time, the true gift that Peter was meant to embrace was that of leadership. While Peter appeared to be a man who took his role as provider and carer of the people close to him seriously, his true leadership skills sprouted during his time in ministry alongside Jesus. It becomes obvious when looking at Peter’s life but also our own that God uses different seasons in our lives to prepare us for what we are ultimately called to do. Peter, for instance, spent years providing and caring for his family which undoubtedly started his journey of growing into what he is known as today.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Inside of Peter rested the gift of being a leader and evangelist that he had himself was not aware of. As soon as he heard from Jesus that he would impact other people, Peter left everything behind immediately. This passage reveals the calling to live out the gift that God has planted into Peter; and he realised it.
Although many of us may not hear such clear callings like Peter did, we need to look out for pointers and instances that may come directly from God. When Peter was called by Jesus, he knew that something was about to change in his life and that he needed to follow the call. From then on his life as a fisherman, which I can imagine was a dead-end job at the time, was over and the leadership that was within started to develop. It is because of his walk with God and fellow believers that his gift grew to its potential.
There is not a single person who has not received a gift from God. Some are born leaders like Peter and just need to be encouraged and have the potentials unchained. Others may be more suited for roles that are vital in the background. Whatever our gifts are, I believe that a faithful Christian walk can uncover them in ways far more powerful than we expect.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10
Gifts from God are not only means to serve God directly one-on-one, they can and should also be used to serve His people. Personally, I believe that I have been given a gift of working in the media field. Being involved in my church’s media team, I can say that this gift has been furthered tremendously. In a little more than a year of serving in this area for my church, my God-given potential has grown much more than in four years of studying at the university. While I am definitely grateful for my academic education, studying and learning as I walk with God has been the most fruitful. Not only do I learn a variety of useful skills, I serve the church and fellow believers.
Your church can host a vast amount of opportunities that can help in finding our gifts. They can be found in Sunday school as a teacher, as a creative helper setting up for church events, in office work that needs precision, passionately serving the youth ministry, or wherever it may be. I strongly encourage to walk closer with God when exploring our gifts and the calling we are destined for.