I would like to return to a subject that is becoming quite predominant in my thoughts as of late, a topic that seems not only to revolve around trust, but of obedience to the commandments of Scripture.
From the very moment that we became saved, we are blessed with either a gift, or gifts, from God, not only the gift of salvation, which is of course the greatest gift that any could receive, but other gifts which are intended to be used by us thru the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. When we are first saved, we are not transformed immediately into wise, spiritually discerning and God-cognizant individuals, some, but not all do not even own a Bible on the day they came to Christ. All they know is what the one who led them to the cross told them, they are the babes seeking the milk (1 Peter 2:2) and are in no way yet capable of discerning the truths of Scripture on that first day, they must be taught.
Here is where Satan tries to get his first foothold on the one that is now lost forever to his cause, the false assurance of their profession of faith, the loss of status, friends and even family, even the wrong Bible, and yes my friends, there are a lot books out there with the word “Bible” on the front cover that are not the Word of God. The purpose of the born-again believer is to glorify God and obey His commandments, (Eccl. 12:13) all other aspects of our lives are secondary, it matters not who or what they are, if Jesus Christ is not first in every area of your life, you are a disobedient servant. The gifts that we have been given are for the same purpose, but have as it were an addendum to them, they are to be used the show the love of Christ to our neighbors, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, (Lev. 19:18) an impossibility without the power of the Holy Spirit within us, and so, by default we are showing them that Christ loves them.
The gift, or gifts if you please, are not always but many times the things, the events of our own lives, before we came to know Christ as Savior, the entirety of our lives before we became one of the children of God those things that made us who we were. Now I know that there are a lot of Pastors, Christian counselors, and even God-fearing lay people that say that one does not need to experience something to help those who are in the throes of any particular sin, and in partiality I would tend to agree, but how do you help someone in a pit if you have never been down there in it yourself. I am an ex-junkie, in fact, I am an ex-lots of things that were steeped in sin, and the only person that could ever assist me in that area was an ex-junkie hooker phycologist. She was not a saved individual, and I know that it was Christ that took all of those desires of the old man (Col. 3:9) in me away, but you tell me, who would you rather open your heart to in a time of suffering and grief when you have just lost your child to an early death, the woman who has experienced the same, or one who has no children of her own.
The gifts that we have been given are the remnants of our past sinful life, looked at thru the eyes of one who now serves Jesus Christ. He was there beside you watching, and even protecting you while you experienced these trials, no matter how severe, no matter how horrible and traumatic, He was there, Because He knew you as one of His own before the foundation of the world. Your gift from Him then was to suffer, and now you are able to help those who are suffering, showing them and offering them the same love that you now know, and will know for all of eternity. Far too many today who claim Christ as Lord are not using the gifts that they have been given, using as it were the excuse that they do not know what their gift is, when in reality it is that they do not want to look back on the person that they were before Him. To help others in their pain and sorrow that they are suffering in means that they themselves will need to return to those times in their own lives, they will need to once again face those times that they detest in themselves today. They will have to crawl back into the pit to help someone else out. They will have to share with someone, and many times a complete stranger, the pain, anguish and self-loathing of who they once were, and their gift, for those who will not do so, becomes a burden instead of a blessing for others.
Many Christians do not realize that in a way the cross they carry for the sake of Christ is their gift, for the desires of our old sinful nature rarely disappear for the entirety of our lives. We still want, at times even crave to leave the side of Christ, to cast that cross down and enter back into the life that He rescued us from, but we do not, for to do so would dishonor His Holy name. Your cross may be your gift, and those who are suffering today, those who want to be set free, are waiting for someone who once was just like they are now, someone who understands completely, someone who has the same scars they themselves carry.
Sometimes to recognize the gifts that we have been given by our Lord, the ones that are meant to help us reach the lost world for Him, means we must come to the realization that they may be those things in our lives that we never want to look at again, the things we want no one to ever know about us. If you have trouble loving that person you once were, while at the same time hating the actions, you will never be able to love your neighbor, because that is where they are right now. No matter what our Lord allowed you to experience before you fell on your face at the cross, it was because He loves you, you are His, now you are to share the gift of that suffering, that pain, that shame with the one who is in that pit now.
One of the gifts that every Christian has been given is the knowledge that who they are now is not who they were then, it is our honor and privilege to use that gift to help others for His glory, pray and prepare yourself, He will lead in His time.