Isaiah 50:4 reads, The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may now how to sustain with a word him who is weary. (ESV)

What a beautiful verse. When I read it, my first thought was to use that as a prayer for myself.

Lord, give me the words to sustain the weary.

A good prayer, but immediately I felt a spiritual tap on the shoulder, God whispering, I’ve already given you those words. Now write like you believe it.

I recently listened to a speaker tell a group of writers that God has given them a message to share through their writing and that they can share that message without timidly peppering their writing with “I think” and “I feel.” 

I’ve been writing long enough that this shouldn’t have been a revelation, but it was. I’ve shied away from believing that God could’ve given me something so wonderful as a real world, practical talent. So, in subtle ways, I’ve qualified and cloaked my words. I’ve prayed for a gift I’ve already been given.

But now, God is inviting me–and you!–to move past that. Like his servant Isaiah, we don’t have to be afraid to acknowledge the gifts God has given us. Instead of praying to receive the gift, let’s pray for how we can best use it. Let’s pray for opportunities and boldness and for our wandering hearts to be faithful to the calling Jesus has placed on our lives.

You’ve been given a gift. It comes to mind as you read this. Do you hesitate to claim it as your own? Have you thrown a blanket of uncertainty over it?

Whatever gift he’s given you, there’s some way to act timidly with it and some way to act bravely with it. Take a moment to identify what that looks like. Pray about it.

Sister, believer, friend, it’s time to be brave with the gifts you’ve been given.

We don’t do our Creator a service by discrediting, hiding, or ignoring the gifts he gave us.

It’s time to use them powerfully for the advancement of the Gospel, the encouragement of God’s people, and to allow the beauty of God to shine into the world.

What gifts have you been given?