“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
Another piece of me was liberated today. As I sat in the presence of those shining their lights before men, they stripped me of every excuse not to do the same.
There are so many believers walking around wasting the talent and gifts they have been blessed with.
They fear what they’re good at won’t provide the lifestyle they desire, so they abandon their gift. Or they continually doubt themselves and the fear of never being good enough imprisons them-so they don’t try.
The fear of rejection shuts them up and the fruit of their gift never has the chance to grow. Or the use of their talent and gifts are misgoverned towards the desire for worldly gain and the pursuit of God’s glory is abandoned.
The common theme of fear is causing too many of us to neglect the gifts God has placed in us.
That’s why I was so excited to support the ministry placed on the heart of Tamika Morton, owner of Ministers of Music Inc. I’m even more excited that despite the many obstacles, roadblocks and rebuttals from the enemy, she perseveres and charges ahead with what God has called her to do.
What does her ministry do?
She trains those gifted with song to “sing with the understanding.” In other words, she trains them on the correct way to use and share their gift of singing with the world while putting God’s glory on display.
She recognizes her gifts of singing and teaching, uses them for God’s glory and trains and inspires others to do the same. She is precisely what this droned out, hopeless, artistically deprived generation needs: someone to inspire them to stand up for their gift, fight for it, and snatch it back out of the control of the enemy.
I had the pleasure of attending her spring vocal recital this afternoon and while I thought I was just going to support a thriving ministry, I came away extremely blessed by the gifts that were displayed. Singing is not my gift or my ministry but the recital put Gods power on display in ways that were definitely a blessing to me and anyone else who sat in attendance. I came away with several revelations:
Our gifts are not given for our benefit
I can’t count how many times I have been blessed or inspired by someone’s writing, art, music, or testimony. It is because they choose to share their gift with the world that I get to experience another encounter with God.
We have no idea the impact the use of our gifts has on others. I’m sure the singers up there today were nervous and unsure about singing to an audience for the first time. But we were blessed, awakened and reminded of God’s love for us through their songs. This world is starving for the display of our gifts because through God, they change the world.
There were many there today who needed a reminder of God’s grace, love, and benevolence; the release of fear and grasp of God’s guiding hand made that possible.
Whether we are teachers, singers, writers, carpenters, or doctors, our gifts and talents are the avenues through which people experience Gods love and provision. When we extinguish the flame of our gift, we deprive the world of God’s glory. When we prostitute the use of our gifts for our own selfish gain, God is not glorified and we are never satisfied.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (I Peter 4:10-11)
Perfection is not a prerequisite to be used by God
Perfectionists have a hard time producing anything because they rarely feel their work is good enough to debut to the world. Instead we fret, redo, undo and contemplate over our work until we’ve talked ourselves right out of doing anything at all.
God doesn’t need perfect; he is perfect. He needs faithful doers who operate in obedience and aren’t afraid to abide In his grace. I saw a great display of obedience and faith as most of those singers took the stage today for the first time. No, they hadn’t perfected their gift, there was great risk involved in getting on that stage but that didn’t stop them from sharing it with the world, and we were blessed because of it. It is by using our talents that they grow.
We must nurture our gift and maintain it
At the conclusion of the recital, the students were admonished not to stop there, but to continue learning and nurturing their gift.
God doesn’t require perfection to start but that is no excuse not to strive for it. Our gifts will not nurture themselves, we must sow into them, strengthen and grow them. Gifts are like muscles-we use or lose. We must constantly exercise our gifts to build them up. Practice may not make perfect but it will guarantee proficiency. If our gifts are to make a difference in this world, we must reject mediocrity, refuse to settle and continue to work towards God’s high calling.
The Ministers of Music encourages us all to stop operating in fear and let God be glorified through the display of our gifts. There will be great opposition in the form of doubt, unbelief, procrastination and worry, but if we allow God to take control and realize his strength is made perfect in our weakness, we are unstoppable and our gifts will change the world.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (John 15:16)