"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power" (1 Cor 2:3-5).
I learned a principle years ago of withholding our natural gifting to insure that God is in whatever we are doing.
Crystal is a businesswoman involved in the manufacture of designer clothing. Her designs are known for their elaborate detail and accessories sewn into the clothing. She had a contract with a major retail chain that agreed to carry here clothing. A call came from the retailer requesting that four designs be sent to them for consideration for the next season’s clothing line. She had known that meeting this particular deadline was going to be very difficult due to other circumstances that were going on in her life.
Finally the deadline came and she had not completed the two of the pieces of clothing she wanted them to consider. The elaborate detail and finish work she was known for had not been completed on two of the four pieces they were asking for. She called the retailer and said she had two pieces ready to ship but the other two still needed to be completed. The retailer argued with her and said, "Send the others to us anyway."
Crystal is a perfectionist and the idea of sending her designs to the retailer without the finished detail, creativity, and quality made her very uncomfortable. Then, she recalled my teaching on this principle. She decided to do something in total opposition to her natural inclinations. She sent the two pieces of clothing to the retailer along with the other two "finished" pieces. To her shock and amazement the retailer chose the two pieces of clothing that had not been "finished" and declined the other two.
Crystalrealized that God was demonstrating His power through this principle of withholding her natural gifting to show her that it was by His hand that she was being successful in her business. This did not take away her need to be creative or skillful, but there was now a new understanding to move in a dimension that placed greater dependence upon obedience rather than just her natural skill.