LIVING A LIFE OF FOCUS: DISCOVERY STAGE
I. YOU ARE UNIQUE AND SPECIAL
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
§ God has uniquely put in you all that it takes to succeed in life.
§ Do not try to be someone else, be your unique self.
§ God has created each of us in a particular way with certain natural abilities and skills.
§ God uniquely made you; there is no one exactly like you.
§ Even if you are an identical twin, you are not exactly like your twin.
§ Your personality will be different, your abilities will be different because that was the way God intended to create you.
The stage of discovery is a time of finding what god has put in you. It is important to be flexible in how you deal with issues of life, in trying out opportunities, this will give you an idea of where you flow best, on what you enjoy doing, but this season will un-earth latent talent.
The three things you need to do: Discover your Spiritual gifts, know your talentsand develop your acquired skills.
II. DISCOVER YOU TALENTS (Natural Abilities)
Every person is born with natural talents, whether for athletics, music, arithmetic, fine art, linguistic ability, speaking ability, business ability, craftsmanship, mechanics, or something else. Talents are those abilities that seem to “come naturally.”
These are innate within your personhood. Your responsibility is to discover these latent natural abilities and begin to use them.
We discover many of these earlier in life and we do so by trying all kinds of experiences. That is why you need to serve, you need to volunteer, you need to expose yourself by trying out things. Do not fear to fail, it is as you experiment that you will discover what is in you.
Natural abilities may mirror gifts, but there are different. Spiritual gifts are given to Christians, while every person (Christian or not) is born with natural talents.
We get to know what is in us by the rate of our success.
Talents are also given by Godto everyone both believers and those who are not.
Exodus 31:1 The LORD also said to Moses, 2 “Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri… 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts. 6 “Moreover, I have given special skill to all the naturally talented craftsmen so they can make all the things I have instructed you to make.
Daniel 1 17 God gave these four young men [Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego] an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom.
III. GET TO KNOW YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS
A spiritual gift is a God–given unique capacity imparted to each believer for the purpose
of releasing a Holy Spirit empowered ministry or service through that believer.
1Corinthians 12: 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 
IV. DEVELOP YOUR ACQUIRED SKILLS
Through education, vocational training, apprenticeship (on-job training), experience that comes from practice and exposure.
V. YOUR GIFTEDNESS
Dr. Clinton wrote that: Giftedness describes natural abilities, acquired skills, and spiritual gifts which a believer receives as resources to use in ministry or service.
God endows each individual with natural abilities and later spiritual gifts. Along the way we all pick up acquired skills.
IT IS THE COMBINATION OF THESE 3 THAT CAN HELP YOU DISCOVER YOUR FUTURE CALLING.
In your season of discovery is important to pay close attention to yourself and see the combination of these.
Each individual has areas of dominance. Some people the dominating thing is the talent, others it is the spiritual gifts and to many it is the acquired skills.
· He/she will be gifted with Spiritual gift of encouragement or evangelism. 30%
· But then they may have the acquired skill of playing the guitar. 20%
· Talent of being an entrepreneur 50%
· A spiritual gift of giving 20%
· An acquired skill of accounting 30%
· Spiritual gift of Teaching 50%
· Spiritual gift of faith 10%
· An acquired skill of teaching 20%
· A talent of teaching/communication 20%
Remember Spiritual gifts come from God the Holy Spirit after your salvation, while natural abilities are inside you at birth you only need to discover them, the acquired skills come from training and when they are developed they assist the other two to excel.
VI. WHAT TO DO IN THE DISCOVERY SEASON?
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV).
“Each of you should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
· Serving in church and in your community.
· Volunteering and internships, especially in the areas where you seem to see success.
· Trying out different things, and not fearing to fail will un-earth a lot that is in you.
· Following your passion. The things you are enjoying doing, even when they may not pay much at the time.
· Asking those who know you; what they think.
VII. LEADING FROM YOUR STRENGTH
ROMANS 13:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Tim Elmore wrote: “Most people are living out someone else’s life badly. They never thrive because they try to follow a pattern laid out by someone else; they never realize what they’re really supposed to do, and they never go where they’re really supposed to go. They’ve simply followed the direction and strengths of someone else they admire.
Marcus Buckingham identified three MYTHS and three TRUTHS that explain this dilemma we face:
|1. As you grow, you will change.
2. You’ll learn the most in the area of your weaknesses.
3. Great teams are full of well-rounded people. Team members put aside their own strengths and desires.
|1. As you grow, you become more and more of who you already are.
2. You’ll grow the least in your weak areas, and every gain will be hard won.
3. Great teams are well-rounded by allowing team members to play to their strengths and become interdependent on each other.
1. STRENGTH – Your inward abilities, made up of talents, knowledge, gifts, skills.
Question: Are you using your strengths at least 75% of the time at work?
2. SITUATION – The context and group chemistry in which gifts and style function.
Question: Are you working in an environment that brings out the best in you?
3. STYLE – The outward approach in which you relate to and lead teams.
Question: Are you free to pursue the organization’s mission in a natural way?
4. SUBJECT – The issue or cause for which you have a high level of fulfillment.
Question: Do you love the issue or cause for which you labor?
Pursue the areas that God has put in you, that is where your future is. Be yourself do not try to be someone else.
APPLY YOUR SHAPE;S.H.A.P.E. is an acronym Pastor Rick explains in “The Purpose Driven Life”:
Spiritual Gifts: God gives you spiritual gifts to use in ministry (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 8, Ephesians 4)
Heart: As Pastor Rick explains, the Bible teaches that your heart determines why you say the things you do, why you feel the way you do, and why you act the way you do (Proverbs 4:23).
Abilities: These are natural talents God gives you so you can accomplish his purposes. In Exodus 31:3, God gives “skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts …” (NLT).
- Personality: Your personality affects the way you use your gifts. For instance, two people may have the gift of evangelism, but if one is introverted and the other is extroverted, that gift will be expressed differently.
- Experiences: There are five common experiences that influence your service to others: educational, vocational, spiritual, ministry, and painful experiences.
CONCLUSION: MINISTRY FLOWS OUT OF BEINGNESS
Beingness describes the inner life of a person and refers to intimacy with God, character, personality, giftedness, destiny, values drawn from experience, gender influenced perspectives. Dr. Clinton
Remember the Foundations. They give you the values on which to base your life, but they instill in you the disciplines and the character that you will need to combine with the giftedness we have talked about.
Mr. Robert Clinton observed that:
When Christ calls believers/ leaders to christian service he intends to develop them to their full potential. Each one of us is responsible of continuous
development in accordance with God’s will for all our lives.
 The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (1 Co 12:4–7, Ro 12:3). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.