Series: Good Advice
I marveled as the salesman stuffed the six foot bulk of material into a sack half its size, thinking I’d never be able to repeat his artful action.
Stuffing a sleeping bag isn’t as effortless as it may appear when done by an experienced salesman or camper as my first attempt divulged. The more I stuffed, the more it expunged itself like a jack in the box springing for freedom. But I eventually mastered the art. Successful stuffing is accomplished a little at a time, slowly stuffing small sections and packing them tightly until you reach the end of the bag. Now what was long and bulky was compact and ready to leash to my pack until I was ready to use it.
Paul warns against trying to do with God’s Spirit what we do with sleeping bags. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good (I Thessalonians 5:19-21 NLT).
God’s Spirit is compacted in the body of every believer. We release him in the form of fruit, gifts, and special callings. Keeping him stuffed encumbers God’s work in the world when his desire is that we unhitch the tie cord and liberate the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control into a world that desperately needs to experience them (Galatians 5:22-23). He also gives at least one spiritual gift-and often more, to each of his children to combine with the fruit and thereby accomplish his work.
Neglecting our gifts-or declining to discover what they are in the first place, and refusing to bear fruit stuffs God’s Spirit. Don’t stow what God has given you in a bag. Set it free so our world can be a better place.
Prayer: Eternal God, giver of all good and perfect gifts, prompt us to free what we so often conceal. Use our lives in small and large ways to impact our world as we serve You by serving others.