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Our Abilities Carry the Need for Accountability!
By Shirley Sue Shields

The greatest ability God gave to man was the power of choice, which can easily become a liability (danger) if we arenít careful in our choices. I have always been fairly independent, a self starter, and believed that I could do almost anything that I set my mind to. I am forever grateful that the Lord called me as a young child for many reasons. Iím also well aware that any ability that I may have, comes from my Creator and He holds me accountable for what I do with it.

Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (KJV) That scripture became my hope and prayer at an early age, since many didnít hold too high a view of my abilities. Letís just say I was different according to their views. Thatís why I said Iím grateful the Lord called me early and gave me a hunger for His Word, it was a life line to me since my youth, and continues to be every day. Yes, I failed many times but the Lord never let go of my hand.

For some reason only the Lord knows, He blessed me with a very analytical mind, with questions about anything and everything that didnít make sense to me. It wasnít like the normal never-ending questions the average child will ask a parent, but for some reason my questions always centered on things about God, why He made us and the earth, why He didnít do certain things, why He said this but seemed to do another Ö and on and on it went. They were usually generated from a sermon or a Sunday school lesson we had read, and then like now, it seemed to me that if one read the passages before and after the designated scripture, the message often said something quite different. I even questioned that. I made some people uncomfortable with my questions, especially if they didnít have an answer for me.

Many times I asked the Lord why He gave me such an inquiring mind since no one seemed to appreciate my questions. I finally recognized that I needed only to ask the Lord to direct me to the answers in His Word, He was always faithful. Romans 8:38-39 tells me nothing can separate me from His love. Amen!

Matthew 15:15-29 is a parable about an owner of property going on a journey and giving his goods to his servants to take care of while he was gone. It states that the goods were divided according to the servantsí abilities. It is not about the amount of abilities we have been given, but what we actually do with the abilities we have. I know this parable used a monetary theme, but it also covers a personís abilities or any special talent God has bestowed on His children. The Lord desires it to be used to bring Him an increase in His kingdom.

I canít calculate the times that Iíve been reprimanded for asking questions of someone who others have put on some pedestal of authority in their minds. It seems they feel one should never question those who happen to know more than we do about certain subjects; after all they have studied the subject extensively and know more than we do. My mother was a nurse and you just never questioned a doctor in her book. I did, and I always figured if they knew more, then they should be able to answer my simplified questions, after all it was my body being discussed. It has nothing to do with not respecting their knowledge, but of them respecting my right to understand fully what was being said in a way that I could comprehend.

The Pharisees seemed to have a high pedestal problem as well, and failed to see the simple truth about the Lordís coming. We have been warned there are false teachers and false shepherds running about trying to deceive Godís children, so it matters not at all to me what someoneís earthly degree may say. If their message doesnít match up with the Word of God, we shouldnít accept it Ė period, no matter who it comes through.

So while the greatest gift God gave us was the ability to make choices; this ability also has some warning signs attached that we need to pay close attention to. For instance, when God created mankind and placed him in the Garden of Eden, He gave man the authority to have dominion (ruling power) over all the other things that had been created for them to enjoy. Included in this were certain rules that needed to be obeyed and the consequences involved if they disobeyed. We all know they made the wrong choice, hence old Satan gained the right to rule for a period of time over Godís Creation.

Anyone that has ever held a job knows they have to obey the bossís orders, or if they donít, they can lose the position they have. Satan or Lucifer, as previously known in heaven, had already found that out when he tried to dethrone God. He even convinced a third of Godís angels to follow Ė so he can be pretty deceitful. He was able to deceive Eve, and Adam just plain disobeyed. Each made an excuse to God for their disobedience of course, but Satan did gain the authority on earth over man. His hate for God and His children consumes his every action even today. We are told he desires to kill, steal and destroy us at every opportunity he is given (John 10:10). While he is already a defeated foe for the born again child of God (John 3:16), we still must constantly be aware of his tactics to destroy our faith, deceive us or defeat our efforts at every opportunity.

We have the choice to develop and share our abilities and talents further for Godís glory, or to make excuses of why we have failed to use what God gave us to share with others in this life. Anything we have been given was meant to be shared with others for the benefit of the kingdom (Matthew 25:15-29).

Maybe you donít feel your gift is a very important one right now, but your Heavenly Father does Ö and who are you to argue with Him?

I have found personally that as you use whatever ability you have been given, donít be surprised if He increases your abilities along the way. He is always looking for workers in His garden.

© Sue Shields 2004

I have learnt that in all things the Lord is our provider Ė not my writing, and not my husband's graphics jobs Ė He just happens to use those as one way to bless us. (Corinne Smelker)

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