October 26, 2011

Where do you fit?

Square Pegs

God does not put square pegs into round holes.  He knows what His church needs and He knows where you fit.  Sometimes we think we know where because of a personality test, gifting test that we have taken.  These tests highlight personality traits, strengths and weakness but many don’t take into account how the Holy Spirit can radically change personalities; or how God can supernaturally endow what is needed to get a specific task done.  I am not implying that this type of test be thrown out; many have stood the test of time and they do have a place.  But they can have the tendency to pigeon-hole people and can inhibit growth. 

There is another dimension that is important to be aware of with spiritual gifts and callings:  God wants us to rely on His strength not our own. So many of these tests leave us with the attitude of “I have the gift of teaching, therefore I should teach” or “I have a mercy gift, so I cannot teach.” 

God rewards faithfulness and many times He will increase that which He has already given to you and He may move you into an area that you thought you had no “gifting” for.  It is easy to see the pitfalls in always being in a place that utilizes the natural gifts that you have because there is the danger of relying on your own ability.  Now your strength becomes a weakness because it can result in pride and self-sufficiency.   

There has been so much emphasis on exploring our own “personal gifting” along with the question “What is God’s will for my life”.  Maybe it is time to start asking “What is God’s will?”  Then situation by situation we can ask Him to equip us accordingly for this purpose.

There is story found in Judges 7 that illustrates how God put the right pegs into the right holes.  God had a specific purpose in mind that He spoke to Gideon about but there was a problem:  vs.2 (NIV) The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands.” 

Gideon had 32,000 men when the challenge was put forth and the numbers began to decrease until 10,000 remained.  If these 10,000 men were to take a “Spiritual Giftedness” test you would find that they fit the profile of a soldier and had the skills to wage a war however God was looking for something more and it was the soldiers that drank the water by lapping it “.. with their hands to their mouths. (Judges 7:6 Amplified).  All the rest got down on their knees to drink. 

God was looking for soldiers who were alert and aware; ones that had been seasoned through previous battles and knew that it took more than their own strength and ability to fight.  They were seasoned because they realized that their ability was only in Him.

Why did God use this winnowing process with Gideon and the soldiers?  The answer is found in Judges 7:2 (NIV) “In order that Israel may not boast…that her own strength has saved her.”  Our own strength can trip us up.  God doesn’t put square pegs into round holes but in His sovereignty He can smooth off those sharp corners in order to make us fit.  He will do this through seasons of brokenness so that we, along, with Paul can say “For when I am weak in human strength, then am I truly strong in divine strength”. 2 Corinthians 12:10 (Amplified).    

So go ahead and take the personality tests but in the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability that counts.”   It doesn’t matter if you are a square peg or a round one; God will mold you and use you where He sees fit as you seek His will and draw on His ability, not your own.

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