Jesus said he has come to give us life, and life to the full.1 I love that about him. So many of us think Jesus wants to restrict our lives. But he offers a life ever expanding, and as he fills us up with it, we look back at our previous version of the good life and see it for the empty facade it was.
The full life! Today I want to talk about one of the least mentioned and possibly the most misunderstood and ignored aspects of this Life to the Full: spiritual gifts.
Quick, right off the top of your head, tell me yours.
Not a clue? Okay, let’s change that. Because starting today, you can move deeper into the Kingdom, and experience more deeply the richness of living in the Kingdom: immeasurably, abundantly more than you could ever ask, or even imagine to ask for.2
We tend to think of Spiritual Gifts as possibly the icing on the cake of the Christian life, when in fact they are an intricate part of the cake. Spiritual Gifts are not reserved for just the Special Christians. Everyone who has surrendered themselves to Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then brings vivid color to our heretofore monochrome lives, and our true personalities emerge through our spiritual gifts.
The resulting life is, well, Life to the Full.
We get a list of some of the Spiritual Gifts in both Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. You might want to read these passages, but here is a partial list:
Prophesying – Serving – Teaching – Encouraging – Giving – Leadership – Mercy
Scripture teaches us we have a God-ordained purpose. He designed you and wired you individually for that purpose, and he wants you to fill out and live out your purpose on this earth. He is your #1 Fan, so he’s rooting you on, and ready to help with the power of the Holy Spirit.
And he is, as always, eager to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”3 Your Heavenly Father wants you to know you are his fine workmanship, crafted and “… created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”4
Now to be sure, it is easier to serve God than to know him. Should I repeat that? Yes, because it is so much easier to serve God – we love projects! – than to take the time to know him.
So I am cautioning you in advance not to grab your spiritual gifts and rush out to “work hard for God!” without first seeking his presence and his power. Busy projects result in a C- life, instead of the A+ Life to the Full. Jesus cautioned us to do this with him, looking to the Holy Spirit to do his job: to guide us and empower us from within us.
He warned that doing it out of sheer will power, or worse, to serve out of a sense of “building my resume” will result in … nothing:
John 15 4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. … 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
But as we live out our natural, now supernatural spiritual gifts, we start to taste this Life to the Full. The energy of the Holy Spirit builds and thrives as we become integral & contributing parts of this energized, living and breathing Body of Christ.
Trust me, it’s a whole lot more Life than you’ve been accustomed to.
C.S. Lewis calls your spiritual gift “The secret signature of the soul.”
Seek God’s signature within you, live yours out, and you’ll start living, for perhaps the first time, Life to the Full.