Friday, June 3, 2011

Friendship Friday: My Job from God

Looking for Summer fun ideas? Be sure to check out my Family Fun list ~ A to Z style!

I'm so excited....Speak Up With Confidence is coming to my hometown this month!

You may remember how
God used this powerful conference to significantly bless and empower me. I've also had the chance to meet MANY amazing speakers/writers/bloggers from around the country, and our friendships continue to flourish despite the distance.

For the next few weeks on "Friendship Friday", I'd like to share some of my "Speak Up" friends (and their writings) with you!

For today, may I introduce to you....
Donna Fagerstrom!

Although I first met Donna through my "mom-in-love", I've been so blessed by our sweet time of fellowship at Speak Up, and Donna's encouragement, love and prayers on a very regular basis.
Donna is passionate about many things ~ including women discovering their spiritual gifts as soon in their young lives as possible. She continually meets women who are believers in all walks of life that have no idea what their gift(s) are, and recently wrote this devotion to encourage us to discover our job from God.

Enjoy! :)

My Job from God

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Often when I meet someone as a first time acquaintance, the initial question is often, "What is your name?" The question that most often follows is, "What do you do?"

While our name is important, it seems like our work or "job" is equally important in our culture.

In my spiritual journey, it took many years before I learned the marvelous truth that God had given me a job to do. It came in discovering my "spiritual gift(s) "in which I was to serve Him.

I was in my early thirties and we were already serving in our third church when this biblical discovery became a reality. A spiritual gift workshop was offered and I eagerly signed up for it. I remember my husband and Dr. Leith Anderson taught the class.

One of the first things Dr. Anderson said was, "A spiritual gift is a job from God."

I liked that. I could relate to that.

As a young person, I learned how to work hard and I wanted to continue to work for God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I couldn't wait to discover my job from God.

One of our class assignments was to read the informative and inspirational text on Spiritual Gifts, "19 Gifts of the Spirit" by Leslie B. Flynn. After reading the book and taking the class we then took a spiritual gifts inventory. The joy and delight I found in taking this test was the discovery that I was already serving out of my spiritual giftedness.

However, the most important assignment was to ask numerous people who knew be best what they observed the Holy Spirit doing in my life. As others shared, I was humbled to learn that God was doing his job through me, and I didn't even realize it. I found my job from God.

The Holy Spirit of God has enabled me to be a Shepherd, Encourager, Mercy Giver and Teacher. There is great freedom in learning the Spirit's gift(s). Even greater is the joy of using them as I serve Jesus Christ and others. Sometimes I need to try different ministries to find my best fit but always seeking to use the gifts that God has given. They are gifts meant to be used.

I remember loving to give gifts to my Mom, that's one of my love languages. However, my great disappointment always came when I would find something that I had given her tucked away in a drawer or closet. I interrupted it as she didn't like my gift. Her response was, "She wanted to save it. For a little time, my heart would be hurt.

We often react to our spiritual gifts in that way; we tuck them away, or never discover what they are. Have you ever considered how that hurts God's heart? He wants us to use our gifts to serve others and Him for His honor and glory.

There are two more wonderful tools (and I'm sure there are scores of others) that have changed my life in how I do my job from God. I believe it is helpful to learn our love language. One of the best books I've read on the topic is by Dr. Gary Chapman, "The Five Love Languages." Learning our love language helps us relate best to those we serve, including God. We will often give love to others in the way we want to receive love. It also helps us understand how others serve or give love to others. We can serve most effectively when we learn how to speak the right language.

The last tool in helping us better serve God and others is the popular book called "StrengthsFinder" by Dr. Donald Clifton (Gallup Press). This is a tool that helps you discover your life themes through various strengths. When you know you're strengths it sheds light on why you do what you do and why you react to people and situations in certain ways. Not necessarily in this order, but I discovered that my strengths were Relator, Responsibility, Beliefs, Positivity and Developer. The result has been greater understanding and more freedom.

I'm not suggesting that anything should replace the powerful truths of God's Word in our lives, but these three tools help us know who we are, how God has shaped our lives to relate to others, and how we can best serve Him.

I encourage you to join the exploration. Make this a great adventure and discover your job from God!

You will find the best freedom and the greatest joy possible when you do. There truly is JOY in serving Jesus, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Father, I am daily humbled and reminded what a good God you are. You didn't have to give us anything, but you chose to give us the best gift of all, the gift of Salvation through Jesus, the only way, truth and life. Then you blessed us even more with every spiritual blessing that is found in you and gave us gifts that we can serve you better. Thank you for the godly people who have obeyed you and used their gifts to give us tools in which we can more effectively serve you. My heart and face smile as I think of the fact that we don't have to live in frustration or doubt wondering who we are or what you have asked us to do. We are your daughters, your workmanship, created in You to do good works that You prepared in advance. Thank you for loving us so much. I love you. ~ Donna

Donna Fagerstrom has spent a life of ministry in music, worship and discipleship. As a pastor’s wife for thirty one years, wife of a Seminary President for the past seven years, Donna now finds a new role with her husband in Florida to share her heart and life with people committed to serving Jesus Christ. Her family and friends are the loves of her life with a deep commitment to pray and hangout whenever possible.

What a powerful Word, Donna! Thanks for sharing!

And I'd love to hear from you, dear friends! What are your spiritual gifts? How did you discover them? And how are you using them today? Share with us please!

Have a wonderful, refreshing weekend! I thank God for you!

P.S. The winner of my Carol Kent Speak Up with Confidence GIVEAWAY is Kimberly from Mining with Diamonds. Thank you to all who entered! :)

P.S.S. For more Caffeinated Randomness, head over to visit Michelle and friends. You'll be glad you did!


Leah @ Point Ministries said...

congratulations, Kimberly. Donna, that was a great post! Nice to meet you.

My spiritual gifts are teaching/prophecy and exhortation.

Art From My Table said...

My spiritual gifts are Leadership, hospitality and administrative. I've also taken the spiritual gifts inventory, on more than one occasion, and found in my most recent one, one of my gifts changed, or should I say, I received a new one!

I am probably using the hospitality the most right now. I love entertaining and am also a host family for ELS.

Love the book suggestions...Thanks Donna!

Elaine W. Miller said...

Great post, Donna. I know you have blessed me by your spirtutal gift of encouragement and we've never met except through facebook. Amazing.

What good is a gift if you don't open it and enjoy it! I love my gift of encouragement God gave to me.

Cindy, my speaking ministry took off after I attended Speak Up. I highly recommend this conference.

Blessings to all of us as we serve the King!

Elaine W. Miller

Blog Widget by LinkWithin