Have you ever found yourself in the dentist’s chair waiting for the Novocaine to take affect, and you get a glimpse at all those tools on his tray? Even if you don’t have a huge fear of dental work you must admit that taking a peek at the things that could potentially be used on you sends a bit of a shiver up your spine. The thought that always runs through my head is… “I sure hope he knows how to use those things!”
I am pleased to say that I do have a dentist who is extremely skilled in his use of every tool on that tray. (Thank you, God!) But there is an analogy I’d like to draw from this. Can you imagine if my dentist picked up one of those tools and the tool said to him, “Ah sorry, doc, you can’t use me on her. I can see what you’re trying to do and I’m sorry but I’m just not gifted to be used in that way.” It’s crazy, right? (O.k., so it’s a little crazy to have a talking dental tool… but stay with me.)
I used to be very big into discovering my spiritual gifts. I took every online quiz and inventory I could find. I think my theory was if I knew my giftedness then I would know when and how to serve God most effectively. I had the best intentions but when you come right down to it, I was heading in the direction of a talking dentist tool.
We have a God who knows exactly how He created us and what gifts He has given us. He is skilled at knowing who He wants to use and in what situation He wants to use them in. He puts people in our lives that He wants us to touch with His love. When we are open to being used by Him and directed by Him it makes very little difference what we know about ourselves! What’s worse, when we think we know ourselves better than He does, we limit ourselves to only working within our “giftedness.”
I believe the key to all of this is knowing our “Dentist.” When we are in tuned with Him, when we trust Him, and when we listen to His direction and obey it, we can be used by Him to effect this world in ways that bring Him great glory and us great joy. We are not in charge! Life is not about us! We are literally His “tools!” And while that is a derogatory term in today’s society, it goes to the heart of what it means to be a Christian. God does not mistreat us and use us only to throw us away when He’s done. His desire is for us to partner with Him under His direction and great skill to make a difference in this world.
In a world that not only promotes and worships “self” this concept is certainly counter-cultural. But to know Him and to be used by Him is I believe the greatest joy in the human experience. Be a tool! Let God use you this week… with His skill and your willingness, you two will be an amazing pair of influence in the world around you!