I have always wanted to be a rock and roll star. I was a drummer in my high school band and in college I played many acoustic coffee shop shows. Music was the direction that I wanted to take my life, but there was a part of me that knew that was not in the cards for me. God has shown me that music is not the gift that I should be pursuing, but that He has given me other gifts to use for His glory. God has given us all gifts, passions, abilities, and personal situations that we can use to glorify Him, but sometimes we can spend too much time and focus on things we don’t have but want (like me with music). When we put too much focus on those areas, we can end up feeling unequipped and that we don’t have much to offer God. Do you ever feel like you can’t worship and glorify God with what you have, wishing you had more talents or different situations to glorify God with? Are we using what God has given us to glorify Him in return or are we stuck feeling unequipped and unable to do much for Him at all? In this study, we discussed how to glorify God with the things He has given you - how we do well with what we have been given.
Judges 7:1-22 is one of my all-time favorite Bible stories. Gideon was preparing to go to battle against the Midianites - an opposing army that was so large that the amount of camels in their camp equated to the number of grains of sand in the sea! Gideon originally had 30,000 men to defeat the Midian army with, but God had something different in mind. God wanted to use Gideon in a miraculous way, so He instructed Gideon to use only 300 men. Gideon had to get creative, because it would have been a slaughter house if he marched his 300 guys behind enemy lines against an army of that magnitude. Gideon came up with a masterful plan. At nightfall, they circled the enemy camp with torches, blew their trumpets, and yelled “a sword for the Lord and for Gideon!" - to intimidate the enemy army. And it worked! The Midianites suspected they were surrounded by an even bigger army - they ran, they fled, and they even turned on each other in the dark and started attacking each other. Victory was accomplished through Gideon, by the faith He had in God - for delivering the Midians to hands of Gideon’s 300 men.
There are a few things we can learn from Gideon’s example, to apply to our own lives in understanding how we do well with what we have been given. The first being: in order to do well with what we have, we must know what we have. Gideon knew that God had given him 300 men to fight with. He didn’t focus on the army he could have used or wanted to have, he focused on what God gave him to fight with and formulated a plan from there. What has God given you to use to accomplish His will for your life? Know what you have, so you can work on it, master it, and ultimately use your talent/situation to the best of your ability. Secondly, just as Gideon empowered his army with a plan and the necessary tools they needed for victory, we must empower what we have. God provided for Gideon and his army, and He will provide for us as well, specifically He has given us all that we need to accomplish His will. Embrace what you have to use and be prepared to use those gifts to worship God better and expand His Kingdom. Lastly, we must unleash what we have been given. Gideon unleashed his men with a plan, torches, and trumpets and they circled up and did work! If we don’t use what we have been given, that it’s just wasted. Get out there and use those gifts, passions, abilities, and situations to bring glory to God!
We could focus on talents that we don’t have that we want. We could look at our lives and wish we had different living situations. But at the end of the day, nothing will get accomplished if we put too much attention on these things. Let’s laser focus on the things God has given us to ultimately bring more glory to Him. How are we using what we have to glorify God? Are you really sociable? If connecting with people and having conversation is easy for you - how are you using that gift to bring glory to God? Are you talking about Him and His love? Inviting your friends and peers to church? Are you tech savvy or social media savvy? Are you using these skills to expand God’s Kingdom or promote your own kingdom? Are you an intelligent thinker, innovative, inventive? Be thinking of ways that you can bring glory to God by using your intellectual thinking not only for school, but for God too! Are you an artist, creative, musically gifted? How are you using these abilities and passions to worship God? If we are going to do well with what we have, we must know what we have, empower what we have, and unleash it for God’s glory!