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Monday, August 22, 2005

Walking in the Light

Long time, no blog! Sorry it's been a while since my last post. I've been busy doing some really cool things and I finally have a minute to share. A little background first… August in my home traditionally means a month of high stress wrapped in chocolate. Getting home school lessons ready, preparing for a writers' conference in mid-September, and consuming far too much chocolate to survive all the late nights required. This August God added a 12th grade Sunday school teacher’s position, major house renovations, and a beach trip to prepare for in early September.

All these things (except for the chaos of house renovations) are things I’ve prayed about and longed to do for some time now. The neatest part of all is that I’m not stressing out. I’m enjoying it. With six years of home schooling under my belt, I’ve finally stepped out from boxed curriculum and am using things that fit my girls’ learning styles and me as a teacher too. It’s been a lot of work to organize, but I’ve designed a curriculum that will teach me, uhm, I mean my daughters, lots of fascinating facts and we’ll have fun doing it. ;-)

With my writing, I’m at a place where I feel confident leaving my work in the Lord’s hands and trusting His timing for a contract. I’m done trying to fit into a nice, neat category and I’m writing the stories and books God’s placed on my heart.

And teaching senior high? Let’s just say I’m loving it!!!

Why am I so excited about all these things? I believe it’s because I’m living out of who I really am and doing what I was created to do.

A lot of it has to do with the healing in my heart that God is hard at work accomplishing. The more comfortable I’ve become with being me, the more excited I am about stepping out and doing the things I love to do. Those things can be summed up in three words.

Truth-telling and teaching.

Spiritual gift inventories say I’m a prophet-teacher. I agree. Any definition I’ve heard of these two gifts fits me like a glove. All the work God's done in my heart and in my marriage has freed me to be more of who I am and to be comfortable with myself—to teach what most excites me and to write what most moves my heart. It’s an incredible place to be.

In blogs past I’ve shared a great deal about my journey to healing. It’s been a long desert walk. And there’s more walking to do. But I feel like the surroundings are changing from a desert to the beach.

Let me just say, beach sand beats the desert any day!

Something else that’s helped me grow more comfortable in my own skin is learning more about how God created me and the gifts He’s given me to use in building up the Body of Christ.

I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned through my pastor’s teaching on spiritual gifts. As I do, I hope that you will see how God has gifted you too. And in seeing your gifting, that you’ll see God’s smile as you live out of who you really are.

I’ll start with prophecy and go in the order listed in Romans 12:4-8.

Prophecy

The driving force of a prophet is to proclaim the truth for the purpose of motivating people to right living. Peter is a Biblical example of the gift of prophecy.

Characteristics of the prophet:

Strong need to express themselves verbally.
Rise up at an injustice, perceived or actual.
Strong sense of discernment. Can sense the character and motivation of others.
Deeply commitment to the Word of God.
Want to correct a wrong because prophets see future consequences and don’t want people to suffer when change could prevent unnecessary pain.
Not concerned with feelings, but with truth.
Wholehearted involvement. Prophets do their best to get the job done.
Little patience with indecision.
Open to correction.
Loyalty is very important.
Willing to suffer, to take a stand for what is right no matter the cost.
Very persuasive.
Know what they believe.
Speak the truth strongly because they love deeply.

Walking in the Spirit

Truthful
Obedient
Sincere
Moral
Bold
Forgiving
Persuasive

Walking in the flesh

Deceptive
Willfully rebellious
Hypocrite
Sensuous, impure
Fearful
Rejection
Contentious, angry


Service

Those with the gift of service are driven to meet practical needs. Timothy is a Biblical example of this gift. 1 Timothy 5:23

Characteristics:

Give of self to help others.
Very alert to people’s likes and dislikes.
Strong desire to be with other people.
Strong need for approval and appreciation.
Wants to meet needs quickly without red tape.
Likes short term goals.
Tendency to feel inadequate and unqualified for position of spiritual leadership.

Walking in the Spirit

Alertness
Hospitable
Generous
Joyful
Flexible
Available
Endurance

Walking in the flesh

Unconscious of need
Lonely
Stingy
Self-pity
Resistant
Self-centered
Defeatist attitude



Teaching

Teachers are driven to systematically present the truth. Luke is a Biblical example of this gift.

Characteristics:

Orderly, exact, lead in an understandable way.
Very interested in details.
Strong desire for knowledge, truth.
Very thorough.
Emphasize the importance of words.
Strong need to validate information and confirm accuracy.
Asks lots of questions.
Loves to learn.
Checks out teacher qualifications~ who they are and where they learned their information.
Great frustration when questions are not answered completely.
Strong need to understand why.
Alert to practical details.

Walking in the Spirit

Self-controlled
Reverent
Diligent
Thoroughness
Dependable
Secure
Patient

Walking in the flesh

Self-indulgence
Disrespectful
Slothful
Incomplete
Inconsistent
Anxious
Restless



Exhortation

People with the gift of exhortation or encouragement are driven to see others reach full spiritual maturity in Christ. Paul is a Biblical example of this gift. Colossians 1:28

Characteristics:

Able to visualize what God can do in someone’s life.
Strong desire to help people see the root problems in their lives.
Likes to prescribe steps of action to deal with an issue.
Desire to encourage.
Willingness to share personal examples to help people grow.
Welcomes opportunities to learn and grow.
Willingness to watch others suffer so that they’ll grow.
Prefers face-to-face discussion to insure a positive response.
Desires to gain spiritual insight through personal experience.
Always looking at future consequences.
Strong desire to see harmony, people growing together.

Walking in the Spirit

Wisdom
Spiritual discernment
Trusting
Discretion
Loving
Creative
Enthusiastic

Walking in the flesh


Carnality
Judgmental
Presumptuous
Simplemindedness
Selfish
Underachiever
Apathy

Well, that’s all my tired hands can type tonight! ;-) I’ll try and get the last three gifts posted soon. If you’re interested in an online spiritual gifts inventory, a decent one can be found at www.elmertowns.com

My hope and prayer is that you’ll see yourself somewhere in this information. And in learning about your gift, that you’ll allow the Lord to reveal more of the wonderful, multifaceted treasure He created you to be!

Walking in the Spirit with the knowledge of who God is and who He created us to be is powerful. That’s what walking in the light is all about…

And it’s beautiful to see!

3 comments:

HeyJules said...

Yeah! You sound SO flippin' happy! I'm so happy that YOU'RE so happy!

Thanks for the spiritual gifts stuff. I'll have to come back later and really read all of it. Looks so interesting.

Glad you're back. Now throw on a swimsuit and stay at the beach!

Amy Wallace said...

Jules,

Thank you! ;-) We're actually heading to the beach next week for real and I'm so excited. God is good... even in the midst of hard stuff happening all around.

It's nice to know I was missed here in peek-a-boo land too! ;-) I'll be posting the rest of the spiritual gifts story soon.

Amy

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