Devotional for Thursday July 18th

Good Morning Everyone,

Our theme for this month: “The Gift of Being Yourself”

Our Bible verse for today: “But his message becomes like a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones. I become tired of holding it in …” Jeremiah 20:9 (CSB)

Our thought for today: “If it’s in you, it’s got to come out.”

Yesterday I told you the story of how it was that I finally came to terms with the truth that God did not create me to be a singer, songwriter, or guitar player. And He certainly did not give me the ability to dance. Instead He wired me to preach, teach, and write. Once I embraced that identity, once I developed the gifts and put them to use, I found fulfillment and great satisfaction.

So, you would think I would have learned my lesson. But I didn’t. At one time I took a break from being a pastor and I went to work as the Vice-President of an international humanitarian relief agency. My job consisted primarily of planning relief missions to remote locations around the world, recruiting a team of medical and dental professionals to go on the mission, assembling the supplies and resources, coordinating with in-country partners, making travel and lodging arrangements, and then leading the team to the location.

Sounds exotic and exciting, right? And it was, to an extent. I loved the time actually spent on the mission field but unfortunately, that amounted to probably 5% of my time. The other 95% was spent in the office doing administrative work. To me all the planning, organizing, emails, phone calls, and so on was administrative grunt work, and spiritually for me it was dry as dust. I felt unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and dried-up. I missed being a pastor. I longed for the time in my study praying, thinking, researching, and writing. I missed preaching and teaching every week. I missed all of the counseling and coaching and helping people work through the issues of life. To me all of that is spiritually rich and deeply satisfying.

And so, I was wilting. I felt like the prophet Jeremiah who was supposed to be speaking the words of God but was instead keeping them bottled up inside – soon it became like a burning in my bones. I had to let it out. I found myself mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually, unfulfilled and it was because I wasn’t using my primary gifts from God. I’m a pretty good administrator and organizer if I need to be, but that’s not where my heart is – that’s not the most important thing God has wired me for.
That’s true for some of you too. You’re spending your life doing the wrong things, things that God has not primarily created you for. Consequently, you’re not really happy, not feeling fulfilled and satisfied.

I encourage you to give serious thought to how God has wired you. Look deep into your heart and explore what’s in there. Don’t keep it bottled up. Sooner or later what’s in there needs to be let out and when you do, you will flourish and experience great joy. You will be doing the thing that God created you for. Listen to your heart.

God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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