The danger of being good at something

I have written before about how there is a long list of things I am bad at.  I won’t rehash that list here but I will say that I feel like I have very little natural talent. Having said that, there are a few things I am good at, and there is a short list of things I am very good at.  I believe that it is important to know where your talents lie.  It is one of the keys to having a fulfilling professional life.  If you are doing something that you are gifted to do, you will be good at it and you will enjoy it.

Even though the list of things I am good at is short, I believe that there is a reason that God has gifted me to do certain things.  If you are a Christian, I hope you would say the same.  God has gifted you in order to use those gifts for His glory.

I desire to use my gifts to God’s glory.  This is why I have launched an apologetics ministry.  I believe that I can use my gifting as a communicator, my love for apologetics, my love for the church and the gospel to help church people be more able to defend their faith.  As I get more experienced as a speaker I realize that I am becoming quite good at it.

Believe it or not, in this case being a good speaker causes a problem.  What possible problem could there be from being good at something?  The problem is that because I am good I can do it without God.  That’s right.  I can prepare a message, iron out the kinks until I am communicating it clearly, practice it, and even present it, all without prayer or asking God to bless it.  It is a lot of work on my part, but it is all on my part, merely in my own strength.  I have spoken often enough and made this mistake enough to say with certainty that there is a substantial difference in me speaking in my own strength and God speaking through me.  I realize that the expression “God speaking through me” may sound either arrogant or crazy, but I also know that I have heard the voice of God from many preachers.  And I have experienced it myself.

I believe that speaking in a pulpit should always come from God.  By that I mean that the preacher should be sharing God’s words rather than his own.  Preaching should involve God speaking, not just the preacher.

Because of this, because I know I am prone to this type of Jeremy-only effort, I have to always be sure to be diligent in my prayer life.  Before any speaking engagement I have to pray and ask God to guide me on the topic, but even more to speak through me as I share what He has laid on my heart to share.

I believe this is a danger for everyone who desires to use their talents for God's glory. Do you also have to guard against this?