The thing is - both our spiritual gifts and the zeal in our hearts require fuel. Our lives tend to run hot and cold ... like an unattended campfire allowed to simmer to warm ashes overnight, and be rekindled again in the evening. What would it take to keep that fire burning bright? We'd have to keep providing it fuel, and we'd have to keep fanning the flames.
A spiritual high at an event is an amazing thing. I had many of them growing up - camp, Dawson McAllister conferences, mission trips. Places where each day was lived out wholly aware of God and His Word. But then we'd come home, and it would be back to normal. I'd slowly stop reading my Bible, and my prayer life would dwindle to brief cries for help in moments of panic.
So, a spiritual gift, like a musical gift, requires practice. You may be gifted at the violin - but if you never pick it up - no one, including yourself, will be the wiser. So while my gift surprised me - once I started exercising it things started making more sense. I've grown so much more in 2008 than in the rest of my life.
I came to God for some much needed healing, and while I won't say it has been easy - He has come through, just as He promised me. Now I guard my heart like the treasure He says it is. If it is precious to God - it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. His love sustains me and I have faith that His love will not break my heart.
Slowly but surely, I let go my grip on the things in life that I'm afraid will spin out of control - or cease to exist - if I'm not holding them. My faith is growing that God's plans are always, always better than mine. When the voice of discouragement comes I run to God. I cover myself in prayer and His word. I surround myself with His people. My focus is on the things He commands - His work, His opinion. He sifts through me and washes away what is not of Him when I let everything go.
Time and again in the past months, even weeks! Even the past several DAYS! I pray and meditate, and when I'm sure of the direction God is pointing me - I boldly step beyond what I can see. And He has been there! He doesn't just catch me - He lifts me up higher to something I didn't even know was possible.
I'm aware that with growth will come pains, and that the flow of blessings in my life does not go unnoticed by the enemy. But I also know that God will not allow anything to happen that is not part of His plan - and His plan is good.