The gifts God gives us are not taken away if we abuse them…but…

Before the next blog, I would like to cite a response from Jon Greene to the last 1 Samuel post (1 Samuel 4:1-11).  He says,

“It always amazes me that Israel was able to recognize the God in the box without knowing the God of the Box. It’s a titanic example of missing the point.”


We have all heard the saying don’t put God in a box.  Fascinating that the children of Israel did just that.  They responded to God after He gave them the law and told them to put it in a box just the way the nations around them did.  Every time, up to this event, the ark went into battle, the Israelites were victorious, as it got reduced to the status of their talisman or lucky charm.  They refused to think outside the box.  Well put homoletically kosher analogy, brother Greene!  This is what happens to us and our victory in the Lord when we move from wrapping our identity in the gifts God has given, rather than wrapping the sum of our identity in God himself (and what He did on the cross for us in order for us to have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ).  


I have heard, as I am sure you have, from some well-meaning believers the idea that if we abuse the gifts God gives us that he is going to take them away from us.  The truth of that statement, though, is the one who believes that statement believes the spiritual gift or gift of God is a reward for good behaviour, instead of an actual gift.  How farcical can you get with the grace of God.  These gifts we are given are irrevocable and without repentance whatsoever.  There is no lockdown or holding tank for those of us who misuse or abuse the calling or the gift God gives us.  The gift has been freely given by Him and freely received by us.  Such is one of the tricky aspects of grace.  We are still free to abuse and neglect our gifts and callings, but the real question is, now that we have the free will to do what we will with what He has given us, knowing that He will not take those deposits away, but rather will call us to account for how we have used them, how will we respond to that?


Just because our gifts and callings are irrevocable does not mean that God does not have a way to call us to account for our use and abuse of them.  Scary thought, huh?  


I say this in light of the fact that I sat under a couple of pastors who abused me or someone I knew.  It’s a hard pill to swallow, knowing that all authority is ordained of God, even those who abuse and misuse us, and all authority can be used to serve His ends.  Think of the worst dictators you can imagine, and even in the midst of that man or woman’s rule, God is still present and will still call that person to account, and in His mercy allow them a season to repent, while they yet have a chance to use the gifts given them to glorify Him.  The question is, what does God see when He looks at you and me, and is He pleased with the way we are using that time, gift, or resource?
  

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