“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
nWhat would you say if I showed up to your house, opened my car door and said, “Jump in! We’re going on a trip?!” Now you want to know how to pack and prepare so you ask me, “Where are we going?” Imagine now that I reply, “I don’t know! We’ll figure it out along the way!” And if you took me up on my offer, how would you feel if after a few days, I still offered no clue as to our destination. Now I’m all for fun, but if you showed up at my house with a similar proposition, I’m sorry, but I would have to respectfully decline.
As crazy that sounds, the truth is that there are way too many people who live this way. They go through life without a sense of direction or purpose and, as a result, bounce from job to job or change careers almost annually. You almost fear seeing them come your way because they are always sharing some new scheme or “business idea” they’ve invented. The truth is all of these changes reflect a lack of direction or purpose in their life.
The Bible teaches us that God created us with a purpose. In Ephesians 2:10 (ESV), the Bible says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Imagine that! God not only knew us before we were born, but He created us with a purpose in mind, and He expects us to walk in that purpose!
When confronted with this truth, many people ask, “So how do I know what my purpose is?” We can actually find a clue to that answer in the first chapter of Jeremiah. After God tells Jeremiah that He has given him a purpose, and that purpose is for Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations, Jeremiah objects claiming that he is too young and doesn’t know how to speak (1:6). God responds to Jeremiah by urging him not to be afraid and then, in verses 9 and 10, Jeremiah records, “Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and break down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.’” We learn two truths from this passage. First, God will gift you according to your purpose and, second, He will set the boundaries of your influence according to that gift.
Regarding the first truth, God appointed Jeremiah a prophet to the nations and then said to him, “I have put my words in your mouth.” In other words, God gave Jeremiah what he needed to accomplish his purpose. So, let me ask you – How has God wired you? What gifts, talents, and experience do you possesses? We often find our life’s purpose and calling through identifying our talents and areas of giftedness.
The second truth – God sets the boundaries of our influence relating to our gift – is also helpful in identifying our purpose. God seems to always put us in situations where we can exercise our giftedness. If you are a singer, for example, isn’t it interesting that you frequently find yourself in situations where you are asked to sing? One of my other favorites is the reluctant leader – that person who says they don’t want to lead but always seem to be in charge of something. God created you for a purpose and gave you the gifts you need to fulfil that purpose, and then He will place you in situations to exercise that gift.
Consider the following questions:
- What have you done to identify your gifts? What steps have you taken to know the way God has wired you?
- Have you noticed that there are certain activities that come more natural to you than others?
What can you learn from Jeremiah’s experience?
Published on Jan 10 @ 3:00 AM EDT
Lord help, lesd, guide and direct me. At 68, I know u saved me , but to what purpose, I don't know.
Posted on Sun, Jan 10, 2021 @ 7:22 AM CST
It took me a while to recognize my purpose and gift. Like Jeremiah my purpose is to spread the word of God to others through my prayers to them, for them, worshiping and praising God with others, and just being a positive presence, an ear to hear and to bring comfort when needed.
Posted on Sun, Jan 10, 2021 @ 9:04 AM CST
Author: L.B. Cowman
“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when others suggest courses of action that are conflicting, when caution dictates one approach but faith another, we should be still. We should quiet each intruding person, calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God’s presence, study His Word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him.
We should lift our nature into the pure light radiating from His face, having an eagerness to know only what God our Lord will determine for us. Soon God will reveal, by His secret counsel, a distinct and unmistakable sense of His direction. It is unwise for a new believer to depend on this approach alone. He should wait for circumstances to also confirm what God is revealing. Yet Christians who have had many experiences in their walk with Him know the great value of the secret counsel of the Lord as a means of discerning His will.
Are you uncertain about which direction you should go? Take your question to God and receive guidance from either the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal. You must get alone with Him, where the lights and the darkness of this world cannot interfere and where the opinions of others cannot reach you. You must also have the courage to wait in silent expectation, even when everyone around you is insisting on an immediate decision or action. If you will do these things, the will of God will become clear to you. And you will have a deeper concept of who He is, having more insight into His nature and His heart of love. All this will be your unsurpassed gift. It will be a heavenly experience, a precious eternal privilege, and the rich reward for the long hours of waiting. DAVID
Keep still! When trouble is brewing, keep still! When slander is getting on its legs, keep still! When your feelings are hurt, keep still till you recover from your excitement at any rate! Things look different through an unagitated eye. In a commotion once I wrote a letter and sent it and wished I had not. In my later years I had another commotion and wrote another long letter; my life had rubbed a little sense into me, and I kept that letter in my pocket until I could look it over without agitation, and without tears, and I was glad I did—less and less it seemed necessary to send it. I was not sure it would do any harm, but in my doubtfulness, I learned reticence, and eventually it was destroyed. Time works wonders!
Wait till you can speak calmly and then perhaps you will not need to speak. Silence is the most powerful thing conceivable, sometimes. It is strength in its grandeur; it is like a regiment ordered to stand still in the mad fury of battle. To plunge in were twice as easy. Nothing is lost by learning to keep still. HANNAH WHITALL SMITH
I do not believe we have even begun to understand the wonderful power there is in being still. We are in such a hurry, always doing, that we are in danger of not allowing God the opportunity to work. You may be sure that God will never say to us, “Stand still,” “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something. This is our problem regarding the Christian life: we want to do something to be Christians, instead of allowing Him to work in us. Think of how still you stand when your picture is being taken, as the photographer captures your likeness on film. God has one eternal purpose for us: that we should be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29 KJV). But in order for that to happen, we must stand still. We hear so much today about being active, but maybe we need to learn what it means to be quiet. Perhaps we simply need to learn to be still and watch God work out the details that challenged us so greatly and caused us so much distress. You will find that He works wonders if we can just still our hearts and sit before Him until He speaks.
Oh Lord, You know my heart better than I know it myself. You know my struggles and You hold each hope and fear in Your caring hands. Teach me, LORD, to be still and to know that You are God. I trust in You alone. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
An excerpt from the book: "Streams in the Desert: Morning and Evening"
Published on Jan 31 @ 12:46 AM EDT