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SHAPE Me, Lord…..(Days 30 and 31)

on June 8, 2012


“We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”  ~~ Isaiah 64:8

Before God created us, He gave each of us an assignment, a specific and unique ministry He wants us to perform.   He also planned every day of our lives to bolster His shaping process, meaning that nothing in our lives is insignificant.  After all, we’re “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14b, NIV)

Since God made us so wonderfully,  He also made sure to incorporate a combination of factors within us, identified by Pastor Rick Warren with the acrostic SHAPE:

  • Spiritual gifts
  • Heart
  • Abilities
  • Personality
  • Experience

We’ve been given a number of spiritual gifts, ranging from leadership to hospitality to encouragement and many others in between.  These gifts are to be discovered, developed and used for the benefits of others: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.” (I Corinthians 12:7, NLT).  

How do you know you have a spiritual gift?  Look at what holds your interest, what you’re enthusiastic about and what comes naturally to you.

Along with our spiritual gifts comes the ability to listen to our hearts.  Our hearts hold our desires, hopes, dreams, affections and interests, and is the source of our motivations.  Our hearts reveal who we are, and sets the course for what we say, feel and act.  It helps us understand why and how we’re shaped for service.  We have to pay attention to those inner nudgings to help point us in the direction of our ministry.  It’s what makes you you; it’s those natural talents that we’re born with. 

Once we realize what they are , we’re able to apply them to the ministries they relate best to.  Me, I have the natural ability to write, sing and dance.  I use the writing skills with my blog, poetry, etc.  I enjoy singing, though sometimes I’m scared to sing.  And movement have become my passion these days, particularly with our new dance ministry at church.  Each of these abilities and the others I posess fuel one another, shaping me to become ‘my utmost for His Highest’ (the late Oswald Chambers).

In order to become our utmost for His Highest, we must realize that our natural abilities are as important and as spiritual as our spiritual gifts. The difference between the two is that the natural abilities are given to us at birth, and part of the responsibility of our churches is to help cultivate and set free these abilities for serving God.  Every ability we possess can be used by Him.  What we’re able to do, God gives us the tools to do them.

Personality is another tool used to shape our assignments.  I’m not like you, and you’re not like me, and it’s great that God made us that way.  Variety is the spice of life, and this adage is no different in the lives of His children.  He made us introverts and extroverts, thinkers and feelers, fuddy-duddies and the life of the party.  Our gifts and abilities must be in relation to our personalities as well.  We introverts don’t function well in situations that take us out of our element, and vice versa.  It totally creates tension, raises the temperment and throws us off kilter.  Never mimic another person’s ministry if you know that what they do is out of your realm. Do you.

Our experiences are also a huge catalyst in being shaped and used by the Lord, particularly our painful experiences.  These undergurd us for the specific ministries we’re naturally inclined to participate with.  And, here’s the kicker: we must be willing to share them with each other.  It’s hard to minister to another person if we’re masking the pain of losing a loved one or holding a secret.  This is tough for many of us.  I’m shuddering at the thought!  Yet, with God his strength is made perfect in weakness, giving us the strength we need to share how His grace helped us. (I Cor. 12:9, NSRV)

As you reflect on this blog entry, ask yourself this question: how can my SHAPE help my church, my family and the world around me?  Then, think on this: “What you are is God’s gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God.” (Danish Proverb)


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