What are your talents? What are your natural abilities, those activities that you do well with little effort? One of the best ways to discover your talents is to identify the ones that you don’t have.
One of mine is categorized in the area of music. I can’t sing!
Does it bother me? Not at all! As a matter of fact, I intentionally sing often just to stir up laughter among my daughter and her friends. Besides, if God wanted me to sound like Julie Andrews, then I would. Instead of a singing voice, God gave me a speaking voice; I trust His decision with this. As insignificant as carrying a tune has been for me over the past two decades, it mattered greatly when I was in junior high.
Wanting to be in the same class as my friends, I auditioned for choir in the spring before my seventh-grade year. I made it…. with everyone else who tried out! Summer passed and fall ushered in my first day of school. I was surprised to discover that my inspirational music teacher was replaced by a vocal giant. Serious and determined to orchestrate the greatest Christmas pageant the community had ever heard, he rehearsed with us the melody, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.”
Packed like sardines in a military stance, we proudly sang our little hearts out for our new director… until that moment when–
Vehemently, marching up, down, and across the choir room, my teacher found his way next to me. With a stern look and arms crossed, he bent in to assess my voice.
Certain that he was hearing something special, I sang louder, and then it happened….
In an urgent plea backed by a deep voice, he shouted, “Everyone keep singing –except you!”
He continued, “Now, it sounds right!”
—And for many years that followed, I stayed frozen.
What started as silence in a choir room avalanched into other areas of my life. I became an expert at lip-syncing, fearing that my voice would cause great distractions. No longer did I boldly speak my opinion in a classroom setting, I silently disagreed with classmates as they debated and discussed important topics. Even in church where God hears everything beautifully, I mumbled in worship. Rather than trusting that I was made in God’s image, I believed a lie, and I gave the “devil a foothold in my life.” —Ephesians 4:27
Aren’t most, if not all lies, tied to some form of truth? Isn’t it in those grey-lined areas where the enemy works the best? The truth was that the song did sound better without my mistuned notes, but the lie was that I needed to silence my voice.
How about you? Was there a time in your life when the enemy stole your God-given talents and gifts? Were you enjoying where God was leading until the piercing of a misguided truth came along? Did someone speak or act in a way that caused you to freeze?
Perhaps, even today, you are still frozen.
The good news is that you don’t have to stay that way. The God who creates summer and winter, beach sand and mountain snow, can take what the enemy froze and dethaw it right now! My prayer for you is that you will become aware of the enemy’s work to steal your talents, your purpose. I pray that you will walk in forgiveness of those who hurt you and pursue your eternal calling in life. Forgiveness is our only solution when we realize that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” –Ephesians 6:12
Friend, is there a passion burning inside of you, a talent that wants to reawaken? Does your heart skip a beat when you walk into certain stores, read certain magazines? Are you drawn to People? Things? Ideas? Data? Do you imagine trying something new, but you remember a time when you were discouraged in that particular area?
Is it possible, even probable, that your abandoned talent could be exactly what God wants to use to reach others for Him?
Perhaps, it isn’t the talent, however accomplished you may be with it that matters, but how you serve others with it that makes the eternal difference.
Friend, I encourage you to reawaken your dreams, your passions today! Will you choose to live before you die?
Blessings! — Michelle