What’s In Your Hand: Using Your God-given Talents

Perhaps you’ve said “I want God to use me!” I know many believers who feel that way. Perhaps your daily life now seems quite monotonous and unimportant, and you wish that light-bulb moment would happen when you know you’re making a significant and lasting difference for His kingdom. You see others in the spotlight who God seems to be using in a big way, and you try hard to not allow envy to grow in your heart. Will you ever be able to use your God-given talents to their full potential?

Whenever a lasting desire shows up in the human heart I believe it’s evidence of the way in which God made us. Those desires often become distorted or are directed in unhealthy directions, but the desire is from God. Your desire to make a difference is proof that God made you for a reason, both for this life and for eternity. You and I will never feel completely satisfied until we fulfill the purpose for which He created us.

But we’re not born with everything we need to fill the role for which God made us. The seeds are there, but in order to fill a role that’s big enough to qualify as God-sized, you and I need to grow up in all kinds of ways. And the way to get there is to begin using what’s in our hands right now.

In the Bible, Moses had spent forty years being educated in Pharaoh’s court, and another forty years on the back-side of the desert herding sheep. When God appeared to Him in the burning bush Moses felt ignored, beaten down, old, and anything but ready for some significant role in God’s plan. But God would hear none of His excuses.

When Moses complained that the leaders of Israel would not believe his incredible story of hearing directly from God, God asked him, “What’s in your hand?” All Moses had was a shepherd’s staff, and God immediately demonstrated His miraculous power using that staff. (Exodus 4:1-5) It was with that very staff that God through Moses would later part the Red Sea, bring water out of a rock, and bring the Israelites victory over their foes in battle.

You have something in your hand right now as well. It may seem no more impressive than a shepherd’s staff, but it may be just the thing God needs to use in accomplishing His purpose.

Seeing What’s In Your Hand

We may think of “God-given talents” as natural abilities in areas such as music, business, writing, or speaking. That may be true, but it’s only one part of the equation. What about these other things that may be in your hand?

  1. Early Life Experiences. Moses learned how to lead large numbers of people during his training as Pharaoh’s adopted grandson. You may have learned how to understand people from different cultures, make people laugh, tell stories, overcome opposition, respond to circumstances with flexibility or courage, or any number of beneficial life lessons.
  2. Character traits. A certain degree of emotional and spiritual maturity makes you so much more useful to God. You may right now be developing character traits such as patience, courage, kindness, ability to forgive, paying attention to detail, unselfishness, wisdom, flexibility, integrity, endurance, and love.
  3. Personal relationships and connections. People provide a laboratory in which to learn important skills and develop character. How you treat those closest to you is an important measure of character. It may also be that someone you know becomes the key to opening the door to another stage in God’s purpose for you. People are part of what’s in your hand.
  4. Knowledge and understanding. Education comes in many forms, and all of it may be part of preparing you for God’s purpose. Daniel’s education in the ways of the Babylonians allowed him to be in government when God needed him. David’s years as a shepherd taught him lessons he would need as king. Everything you learn becomes something in your hand that God can use.
  5. Tangible or intangible goods. This certainly includes money, but it also includes the ability to create money. It includes where you live and any possessions you have. It includes information contained in books, music, art, even software or any other creative endeavors you may have “played” with over the years as the dreams God planted in you have slowly germinated.
  6. Skills and talents. This is what we usually think of when we talk about what God needs from us, and it is important. But remember it’s just one part of the equation. Your skills need to be developed and matured, and they need to be backed up by a mature character and a certain degree of people skills in order to be useful in God’s kingdom.

What’s in your hand right now? Who is in your sphere of influence that you can “practice” on? What steps can you take to broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding in some area? What part of your character needs attention and growth? How can you take the skills, relationships, or any other assets you have and make them available for God’s service?

Begin with what you have. Jesus promised that if you do, you’ll end up with even more. (Matthew 13:12)

What’s in your hand?

Your Turn: Name something in your hand – an experience, skill, knowledge, relationship, or character trait – that you can take right now and put into God’s service. Leave a comment below.

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