Who Made You?
“and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge, and all craftsmanship.” - Exodus 31:3
I’ve been reading through the Book of Exodus during my study time. Exodus 31 discusses God blessing two men (Oholiab and Bezalel) with talents and abilities to build things (the ark of the covenant, altar of incense, etc.) It is a great reminder of how God has made each one of us as unique individuals, with gifting and abilities specific to His ordained measurements.
There are at least two aspects of which people need to be aware as it pertains to the usefulness of these unique blessings:
The blessing itself must not take the place of God.
The blessing should be used to build up others and lead them to Christ.
As an ardent observer of all things baseball, I can’t help but notice how much the game has changed over the years. Although I consider myself to be one of the “old school” types, I actually enjoy most of the changes. I think all of the analytics are pretty useful, the social media presence and being able to interact with your favorite athletes is a plus, and the excitement that these guys play with today is second to none. I wonder, however, if the celebrations have become more of the focus than the act itself. Fernando Tatis Jr. comes to mind. He’s electric! He has a signature way of celebrating a home run with his long stare, slow jog around the bases, and his pause just before he touches third. He’s always sure to point to heaven when he crosses home plate though, as if to acknowledge God in some way. I don’t know Fernando personally, so I can’t say for sure, but perhaps his gift of being able to destroy baseballs has somehow taken priority. Has Fernando been overcome by hubris? Has success started to plant the roots of vanity? Has the gift taken the place of God in his heart? Time will tell.
When you use your gift for the sake of building people up and leading them to Christ, it brings glory to the one who made you. John Piper has a great quote about this, and he has built his entire ministry around it; “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” God made us, He gifted us, and we should enjoy those gifts and use them for the good of others, but we must not forget that our ultimate joy and satisfaction is God himself, and not necessarily the gifts or blessings we receive from Him. This is a challenging topic for our western culture but one we should keep on the forefronts of our minds.
My prayer is that these young guys, who are currently making the game so much fun to watch, are constantly checking themselves at the door. I pray that they are fully aware of the dangers self exaltation and lack of humility. Life has an interesting way of changing very quickly.
Who are you when you no longer have the gift?