“Necessity is the mother of invention.” So is the frustrated restlessness of “what’s wrong with this picture?!” So often, growth occurs when someone decides it’s time for a new grid on the block.
It was frustration that caused me to go back to the Father time and again to ask / cry / beseech / whine / complain / ask, “what’s wrong with this picture?” for my life and others, personal and farther removed.
His answer was to direct me back to the seven redemptive gifts to ask the weighty questions of life through this new grid on the block. It has not been an overnight sensation of revelation, but day by day.
Re-framing Through a New Grid
An amazing re-framing occurs when we do what God instructs! He opens up a new grid on the block that we have built our life upon and around. The redemptive effect is experienced as we view and perceive in ways formerly foreign to us, joined with the real practice of how to live life from our God-given design.
But if we don’t know His design of us, we can live life blind in one eye and unable to see out the other. Scripture accurately renders it as first removing the beam from one’s own eye before attempting to remove the speck from another’s. Imagine community if each individual practiced God’s balance beam.1
Sumo Wrestler Soul│Stick Figure Spirit
Years ago when I first envisioned Arthur Burk’s description of the sumo wrestler soul and the stick figure spirit, it made a lasting impression. His verbal depiction provided an accurate mental picture of the internal battle playing out within the lot of us. And, with regularity, being evidenced in our bodies.
It was through going back to the seven redemptive gifts of Romans 12:6-8, shared below in The Passion Translation, that truth of the tri-correlation between spirit, soul, and body 2 gained increasing strength.
6 God’s marvelous grace imparts to each one of us varying gifts and ministries that are uniquely ours. So if God has given you the grace-gift of prophecy, you must activate your gift by using the proportion of faith you have to prophesy. 7 If your grace-gift is serving, then thrive in serving others well. If you have the grace-gift of teaching, then be actively teaching and training others. 8 If you have the grace-gift of encouragement, then use it often to encourage others. If you have the grace-gift of giving to meet the needs of others, then may you prosper in your generosity without any fanfare. If you have the gift of leadership, be passionate about your leadership. And if you have the gift of showing compassion, then flourish in your cheerful display of compassion.
Seven gifts. Seven redemptive living injunctions, all of which have an active component wedded to them. Frustration of soul and restlessness of spirit collided, along with growing intolerance of hearing one thing said and watching the opposite lived out (beginning with myself). I determined to dive deeper.
Embracing your design for redemptive living is a poise of our human spirit, designed by God to lead our soul. Yes, that soul, which often attempts to or succeeds in hijacking the expression of what God imprinted in us. My prayer is that a multitude of stick figure spirits would gain some righteous weight.
That’s part of why the Prophet portion of my human spirit is eager to unpack further the principle of Design. It is the first of the pattern of seven, and a good place to start. The others will follow as well.
Ways to Engage
To initially acquaint yourself with the behavioral characteristics of the seven redemptive gifts / seven portions of your human spirit, a good place to begin is right here: Redemptive Gifts Checklists. You may discover some things about yourself. Your spirit might give your soul a high five with an I knew it! You may be encouraged at where you have grown and also recognize where there’s some work to be done.
Start with one checklist. Go through it with a pencil. Sit with it, talk to God about it, ask Him to show you what He sees. After all, He is the One who placed your design within. The invention of the light bulb and a way to turn it on led to a whole new grid on the block. You can also engage in a community of one or a group here.
Your human spirit is God’s grid. Wherever Holy Spirit finds you desirous of a willing spirit to sustain you,3 He is faithful to grant and engage by bringing His light and life to your ‘birth day’ party.
1 Matthew 7:3-4, Luke 6:41-42 │2 I Thessalonians 5:23 │3 Psalm 51:12
If you haven’t visited the website yet, I hope you will. It is a fresh and colorful representation of God’s imprint in His creation, including our human spirit. What is and will yet be contained on the site is for our and others’ mutual benefit – to encourage and nurture our spiritual growth in Christ, to live out of our respective God-given design.