Last week, I said:
‘We say things like, “I don’t want,” or, if we’re being spiritual and need an excuse, “I’m not gifted for that.”’
How do gifting and calling interact? Because there are some things you just aren’t gifted to do, and you shouldn’t do them—they’re good things; you’re just the wrong person for them.
The biggest thing you need to ask yourself is, “Did God ask me to do this?”
You can’t just say, “I’m not gifted for it, therefore God didn’t ask me to do it.” If you always do this, you will disobey God. Because God sometimes calls people to do things they aren’t able to do themselves.
Think, for example, of Moses: ‘But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue,”’ (Exod 4:10). Moses was clearly not gifted to speak. He may have actually had a stutter. Whatever it was, Moses was not an able speaker.
But what did God say to Moses in return? Look to verses 11 and 12: ‘Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”’
Time and time again throughout the Bible, we see people who aren’t able made able by God. God will absolutely ask you do something you can’t do. And God will make you able to do it.
So the question is not, “Am I gifted,” but rather “Has God asked me to do this?” It is a step of faith.
I am a missionary. This is something I encounter fairly often. When the ministry needs something done, I don’t just get to say, “Well, I’m not gifted for this, so I’m not doing it.” Not at all.
I am part of a team of missionaries, but that doesn’t mean that we have every area of gifting covered. If the ministry truly needs something done, and if no one is gifted for it, well, someone has to do it. So if I’m asked, because I am called to serve this ministry, I go out I do it. Gifting is irrelevant—it needs to be done, and God has asked me to do this ministry, so I do it.
This is all the more apparent since I’ve been raising support full-time. I’m not gifted for raising financial support. It’s not something I’m able to do from my nature.
But it’s a key part of being a missionary. And since I’m a missionary, I do it. I’m doing that full-time right now. And God is making me able. It’s not my natural ability; it’s God enabling me to do what he has called me to do.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require effort, even sacrifice. That doesn’t mean that it’s over quickly—in fact, I may have to take another semester off-campus to finish the work God’s set before me. No, it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. But I’m doing it because it’s what God has for me. It’s a long and steady walk by faith.
So how do you know? When do you say, “I’m not gifted for that, so no,” and when do you say, “I’m not gifted for that, but yes”?
The answer depends entirely on whether or not God has appointed you to do it. If God appointed you for that, then you don’t get to say no and still follow Christ, because Christ obeyed the Father. Rather, you need to rely on the Spirit to see you through. Because the Spirit, the Counselor, is with you and will guide you.
It can be scary. But you belong to God, and God takes care of his own.
So walk by faith, not by sight. Don’t hide behind your limitations. Use wisdom and rely on the Spirit. And God will see you through.