This past Sunday we continued to look at the life of Gideon and how the gifts God gives us are to be used and passed around to those around us, not put on a shelf. Gideon listened to the Lord’s instructions to him concerning his gifts and he conquered armies. So can we.

My cousin collected G.I. Joe figures that he got for birthdays and Christmas. He would open them, admire them, and place them on a shelf. It was the most bizarre thing to me. Why would anyone ask for something they have no intention of using.

Spiritually I wonder if God ever feels the same way, confused having given wonderful gifts only to watch people place them on a shelf or use them for a purpose other than His intent.

Has fear of man kept us from reaching our full potential with God’s gifts?

Opening Scripture

1 Peter 4:10  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: Message

Most people take what they have been given but they use it only for their own benefits.

It’s the same place we find Gideon.

Judges 6:11   Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.

The great leader of men, hiding out in a winepress, grinding just enough grain for himself, all alone.

And then the Lord’s word:

Judges 6:12  The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.”

1.  The way you see yourself doesn’t begin to describe the way God sees you.
2. What you see doesn’t change what really is.

Romans 4:17  …and calls into being that which does not exist.

God is not as concerned with what you seen when you look in the mirror as He is with what He sees.

God is about to show Gideon what can happen when he starts using his gifts the way He had purposed.

Judges 6:34-35  And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. (32 thousand men)

Don’t think for a moment this was Gideon’s first experience leading people. Thirty-two thousand men don’t just start following some guy without knowing who he is or having heard of his ability.

Experience tells me that it’s seldom a stretch for people to accept a person’s gifting once it’s under the direction of God.

Experience also tells me that we are often the only ones that need the convincing.

Remember Moses: Called of God, told by a burning bush what God wanted him to do.
His response: I don’t know how to lead.
God: What’s in your hand?
Yielded or unyielded, submitted or unsubmitted the gift is often evident and always irrevocable.

The question then becomes, will we use our talents and our gifting to build us or to build others?

Society is pushing us toward the building of our own brand, our own place, our own kingdom.

1 Peter 4:10   As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

Use your gifts to serve one another as a steward; don’t put it on a shelf.

A steward is a person whose job is to manage land and property of another. It means you don’t own it. It means the owner is telling us to use it and to pass it around so that all can be apart.

Gideon, using his gifts, shared freely with those around him, led 300 men to defeat 10’s of thousands without even lifting a sword.

When the giver of the gifts gives the instruction on how to use it, the results are unfathomable.

What talent, what gift has God place in you?