HOW TO USE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS WISELY

Scripture: II Kings 22; II Chronicles 34:22

“Do you have a close friend or relative in a distant city to whom you send a gift on her birthday or at Christmas? If you care about that person, you probably put a lot of time into choosing the gifts you send. You may also read at least two hundred cards at the card shop as you look for exactly the right one to send.

Let’s assume you’ve been sending cards and gifts to this special friend for the past ten years. Now the opportunity has come up to visit that friend after all these years. While your head is full of all the things you want to do when you get there, you also look forward to seeing your gifts in her home.

After excited greetings at the airport, you find you can hardly wait to arrive at he home. As you enter, you glance surreptitiously around the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the bathroom. You don’t see any of the things you’ve purchased and wrapped so carefully over the years. No sign of the needlepoint pillow you spent months making. Nor of the bone china cup and saucer you knew she would love.

When you open the guest room closet, however, you spot them. All of your packages are still wrapped in brown paper, sitting in a row on the closet shelf.

How does that make you feel? What do you think of this friend on whom you have lavished so much time and thought and money? We all know that such a scenario is not likely to happen. When gifts arrive, most of us tear off the paper to see what a thoughtful friend has given to us. Do you think it is even possible that someone could have given us wonderful gifts that we’ve left unopened?

Is it possible that God has given us gifts that we have stacked carelessly on the shelf of our lives—unopened, unused? Have we received spiritual gifts we’ve never bothered to unwrap? Or perhaps we’ve unwrapped them, but, because we didn’t know what to do with them, we’ve tossed them on a guest room closet shelf.” (Taken from A Woman God Can Use p. 127-128).

In II Kings 22, we meet a remarkable woman named Huldah.

She lived in Jerusalem during a sad time of Israel’s history. David and Solomon were long gone, and the nation split into two rival groups. Ten tribes called themselves Israel and the two remaining tribes in the south were known as “Judah”. Idolatry, satan worship, ritual prostitution, and human sacrifice had taken place of God and true worship of Him. They worshipped so many gods that The Lord God was viewed as just one of the little gods.

The leaders were evil. The northern tribes were being held captive by the Assyrians. It was just a matter of time for the two tribes in the south to become captives as well.

In the midst of this, a prince named Josiah was born. His grandfather and father were wicked kings. His father, Amon, was murdered when Josiah was only 8 years old. Josiah automatically became king. What could an 8 year old know about ruling a nation. He must have been tutored by someone who knew the Lord. He had a desire toward the things of God.

We see in v. 14 that Huldah was sought to give King Josiah a word from the Lord concerning the book that was found and read. We see in verses 2 & 19 that Josiah had a tender heart toward God.

Oh, how we need to pray for a tender heart toward God.

God had given a special spiritual gift to the woman Huldah. God used her to speak His message both to the high priest and to the king.

Verse 14 tells us that she lived in “Jerusalem in the college”. She was probably a teacher. We do know she was a prophetess. She received God’s word and delivered it. Because Hilkiah, the high priest, sought her out tells us that she was well known for her discernment. She could be trusted to tell them the true words of God sharply, clearly, and accurately.

Verses 15-20 tells us what she said. She did not mince words. She spoke decisively and to the point. She did not beat around the bush. She did not speak with apology. She didn’t refuse to answer because she was a woman and didn’t want to offend the men.

Huldah simply used her gift! She was on stage and off stage in one quick, dramatic scene.

Her message was from the Lord, the God of Israel. Four times, she said “Thus saith the Lord”. She knew she was God’s spokesperson.

The High Priest, Hilkiah, also knew that. They didn’t stand around discussing whether they should get a second opinion. They took her message back to the king because they believed Huldah’s message to be from God.

She used her God-given spiritual gift for the benefit of a nation. Spiritual gifts come from God. We are to use them without excessive modesty, without apologies, without hemming and hawing around. God has given us these gifts. We do not decide what gifts we are given. We take them from a good, sovereign GOD.

Nor can WE decide where and when to use the gifts. When God gives us opportunities we must use them.

Start where you are allowed to start. When you have proven your gift in one place, another door will open.

The first step we must take is to accept our gifts as from God to benefit His people. We must take them off the shelf of our lives, unwrap them, and put them to use. We are to use them, not with a selfish ambition, but humbly for God’s glory. With a godly attitude and a willingness to use our gifts freely and fully, we will be amazed by all that God can do through us.

God may have given us a gift that we need to practice to become skillful in using our gifts.

Spiritual gifts are the expression of God’s power and presence in our lives. They are the EVIDENCE of God’s work within us. They can transform us as we put them to work. That is reason enough to unwrap them and to put them to use.

Sandy Roberts

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