Let me first start with a Happy Heavenly Birthday message to my late great grandmother, Georgia Lee Newton. Her love, wisdom, grace, and the light she always carried within, helped to shape me as a child into the woman I am today. I love when I find her published writings and see how God used her so beautifully. She is one of my role models and I hope that she’s smiling and proud of my growth over the years, and my willingness to walk more intimately with God. Thank you Othermommy!
…the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.
Ecclesiastes 10:10 NIV
You can’t get better in any aspect of your life without practice; without trying repeatedly; without trying your best and working to improve upon that. That is how a skill is developed and mastered. This is exactly how we should approach everything in our life, and most importantly, our walk with God and the gifts that He gives us. Only through our consistent interaction and engagement, do we create a “muscle memory” of sorts with everything that we come into contact with. The more we pray to God, the more our conversations flow and the easier it becomes to engage, listen and obey. Each gift that God has given us requires our repeated study and use, for the gift to expand its impact in our lives. It’s our applied learning, over and over again, that refines us and whatever we’re working on. If you barely “scrape the surface” then you don’t know the full capability of the gift, and you will most likely waste or misapply the gift. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Reflect back to when you first learned how to read and write. Only through repetition and trying new and different ways, did you sharpen your learning and developed a skill. You then continued working on that skill until you reached an intermediate, advanced, or even mastery level. People who are intrigued by math, science, technology, engineering, art, music, and other disciplines, consistently and continually explore the nooks, crannies, and the depths, to learn more and apply their learning. They develop a skillset that makes solving the problems, building and creating the ideas, with greater success. An athlete can be as strong as an ox, but it is the added skill that brings them success in their sport. We can have strength, endurance, and tenacity, and still fall short. When we combine those elements with the skills that come from applied knowledge, we then can succeed in our efforts.
A lot of us are swinging away with the ax, wearing ourselves out, because we don’t have the skills to fully use our gifts as they were designed. Develop the skills, sharpen your ax, apply your knowledge, and make your work seem effortless—and thank God throughout and after the process.
Father, I pray for continued growth, learning, awareness, discernment, and clarity. I pray that I may see and embrace the gifts that You present to me. May I build the necessary skills, apply them as You direct me, and achieve the desired results. Father, I want to become the person You intend for me to be. I don’t want to waste Your gifts. I don’t want my skills and talents to be wasted. I want to build with You, Father. I want to grow with You by my side. I want to grow past the limits that I see to fully embrace all that You have waiting for me. Point me in the right direction, open my eyes and heart to see the gifts, and see how to develop the skills that I need to do the work that You have called me to do. I thank You now for the blessings and favor. I joyfully pray to You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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