“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
Let us say it is your birthday, guests and friends arrive, cake and ice cream, time for fellowship and presents, but before one who offers you the gift that they have brought for you, they place a stipulation upon your receiving of it. In other words, this person says that you can only use this gift in a way that they have intended.
Is it really a gift, or an obligation, when you open it, is it really yours, or an extension of them upon your life?
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:” (Romans 12:4)
Every person who has been born-again is blessed with a gift, it may be a modification of some talent that you already possess, a natural ability, so to speak, that actually all are born with, and the Holy Spirit may choose to reveal to you how it can be used to glorify God while increasing your capabilities in that talent. Or it may be newfound, something completely unexpected by you, exposing traits that you were heretofore unaware of.
By receiving this gift, you acknowledge who the giver is, the Father of lights, the Living God, but you must realize this truth, there are stipulations on that gift. It is to be used for His glory, no matter what it is, it is, in this sense, a present offered with obligations which, if they are not performed, may be removed.
The Almighty offers with requirements that which He offers.
Do not confuse this with salvation as many foolish people do, Ephesians 2:8-9 stands as truth. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
The gift, or gifts, if He so desires are God given for the purpose of works done in our life solely for His glory, they are His and are to be used for Him. They are actions performed in and with the full knowledge and acceptance that if you did not receive the gift, you would be incapable of performing the action or deed, the work that He has set before you cannot be accomplished to its intended purpose without that gift, and the intended purpose is that the Almighty would be glorified in your life and in the presence of those you know and meet, in whatever way He determines.
“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1st Cor. 4:7)
Now, my friends, what of those who forget, what of those who have received a gift, began to cultivate it, grow in it, listen and learn how to apply it for the glory of the giver, but then over time forget who it was that gave them that gift and the reason for doing so? What do we say of those in which pride and vainglory begin to creep in, and that gift becomes a means to their own end?
This trap is subtle, and our adversary is well versed in just how to manipulate those chosen by the Almighty in this regard. Some forget that the Lord keeps His hand on that gift, and He has no qualms about removing it if it is not used in the manner He intended. You have seen this many times, men of God reach a pinnacle, as it were, pride steps in, self-recognition, recognition from the world puts a haze over their eyes, and their fall is hard. But they are not forsaken.
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Prov. 24:16)
Your Father in heaven has given you a gift, perhaps more than one, it comes with a price, it is to be used for His glory, if it is not, it can and more than likely will be removed from you. If you love Him, He may restore it, when you have learned the lesson placed before you. And then He will lift you up, and you will serve with even greater fervency and love than ever before.