We spend a lot of time--too much time-- in the church comparing ourselves to one another.
We evaluate where we are and where others are and we measure our spirituality and giftedness by what we see around us.
This doesn't encourage growth when we end up feeling like we fall short.
I remember when I first started leading worship on guitar I was incredibly insecure about it. I used to compare myself to every other guitarist around me and felt absolutely inadequate. Then one day I got a prophetic word from one of the speakers in my YWAM school who told me "You're comparing yourself to others and God wants you to stop it. It's a sin."
I'd never seen it as a sin but it was certainly a wake up call. It also brought a lot of freedom to my life because up to then I had felt paralyzed by the comparisons. For my own sake, I needed to stop. The comparison was not leading me to step out but to stop in my tracks.
The truth is there is no growth without stepping out. This is why we need to stop comparing ourselves and get on with what God has given us already. We may not be as gifted as some others but if we will use whatever little we do indeed have from the spirit, we can actually increase in our gifting.
We need to look at what we do have, not what we don't have. What seed have we got in our hands? There is more seed and more fruit that comes after we've sown what we dohave...but if we don't sow it.. then we never see what could have grown. And God wants us to grow in spiritual gifts!
Otherwise, why would He have called us to "earnestly desire" spiritual gifts? (1 Corinthians 14:1)
When I look at where I was two years ago, I'm amazed at the amount of growth, but it didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen without my challenging myself. I made a choice to take up every challenge given me. I've tried to say 'yes' to every opportunity to prophesy. It's not been comfortable or easy but I've been determined that I want to grow. I know there is no short cut to this.
Here are some scriptures about our part to play:
3Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 4Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.… Psalm 37
There is a personal cultivating of our gifts faithfully.
"..you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you..." Eph. 3:2
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)
2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. (1 Cor 4:2 NLT)
Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. (Matthew 25:23)
So I think the question we have to ask ourselves is "How am I doing with tending to what God has given me? Am I sowing what I have?"
A few weeks ago our associate vicar decided we were going to have 'prophetic evangelism' in the church for the tour de France (yesterday). I was both excited and uncomfortable with the thought. It's something I've never done before but a part of me thought "How hard can it be? It's the same principle...just leave out the Christianese." So I began to organizing for it and the closer we got to the date, I found my excitement was overriding any fear I had at first. We did this yesterday and though it was mainly Christians who came forward, it was a lot of fun and a stretching experience. God met us as we stepped out.
I find that many times we are waiting for God but I believe God is waiting for us.
He's waiting for us to pursue, to earnestly desire, to ask, to seek, to knock... to seek the Kingdom and His righteousness. There is a huge part for each of us to play. We often act like spectators in our own stories, waiting for permission to to be invited in. But this is your life and your story with God.
So why not do some asking, some pursuing, some seeking and knocking today?
God is waiting for you.