Wednesday, January 7, 2015

you were intimately designed and created for a purpose

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

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Let’s talk about knitting, shall we? I’m not a knitter but I sorta, kinda understand the basics of what goes into such a process. I know it takes time and patience. It is a process after all. It doesn't complete itself. Work and forethought are required. Before you even begin to knit you’ll need to decide what you’re making- a blanket, a sweater, socks? Or even if you're just knitting to knit, you have to first decide to do that!

And then you'll need to decide on yarn- how thick, what color, what material. You should also have an idea of the color scheme and pattern you will be using. Will you alternate stripes? Will you do blocks of random colors? Will your sweater be all one color or will the sleeves and collar be a contrasting color? You’ll also need to determine your method: English? Continental? (add any other types of stitches here, because these are the only 2 I've heard of. also, are they called stitches? what are they called?)

Lots of forethought. Lots of planning.

And then you begin the actual work. After the planning is complete and the work begins, it takes precious time. Each stitch is important and will contribute to the work as a whole. Each stitch is intentional. It’s an intimate process in which you use your hands. You understand and know your work intimately. You know every single stitch.

The point I’m making is this: you don’t just start knitting without any idea of what you’re making or what yarn you’re using or how you desire for it to turn out. You have all of this in mind from the beginning and throughout the process (even if any of those things change in the midst of the knitting project). You are intentional. You have a purpose in mind from the very beginning and that purpose drives every decision you make, every stitch you make, everything you do in the process of creating the beautiful thing that you are creating.

And that’s precisely what it’s like with God and us.

When He knits us together in our mother’s womb, He is intimately creating and making us with a purpose in mind. He has an end-goal and so He makes us in a very specific and individual way- in a way that is specific to the purpose He has for each and every one of us.

He has a purpose for you and so He made you one way.

He has a purpose for me and so He made me this way.

Ephesians 2:10 says it like this: “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Handiwork, as in, made by hand. You are a creation, a product, a work of His hand. And He made you with good works in mind. You were intentional. He knew what He had for you to do on this earth and so He made you in a way that would allow you to do those very things and do them well. He prepared those works in advance and then He made you specifically to do those very things.

This is why human beings are so valuable, from the moment of conception on. Each is made by God and each has a distinct purpose.

In Galations, Paul makes a similar statement about himself, but we can also apply it to ourselves. He says, “But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace…” The statement Paul is making is similar to the one we read in Ephesians. We are set apart in the womb. This is to mean that He ordains us for a specific purpose, work,or office, while we are in the womb being knit together. While God is making us, He is also determining what we will be called to do.

And actually, Jeremiah tells us that God has a purpose in mind before we are ever made.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart Jeremiah 1:5

Now, we could argue until the cows come home whether or not that verse was just for Jeremiah or if it applies to all of us, but considering what we read in the rest of scripture, I think it’s safe to say that God does the same for every single person. We certainly won’t all be set apart as prophets, but we will be set apart for some distinct purpose.

This purpose, however, will not be entirely fulfilled unless we become a child of God, committed to Him and His kingdom. After all, not only did He create us for a specific purpose, He creates us for His specific purpose. Ultimately we are made for His glory, not our own.

The Lord who formed us, knows for what particular services and purposes he intended us. But unless he sanctify us by his new-creating Spirit, we shall neither be fit for his holy service on earth, nor his holy happiness in heaven. -Matthew Henry

Now, we each have a set of skills specific to our purpose- the purpose that God determined. And we can certainly use those skills apart from God. I think that is quite obvious. But, in order for us to see those skills used for their ultimate intended purpose, we must know Jesus. It is only by the Holy Spirit living and working through us that our abilities, skills and talents will be used effectively and thoroughly and completely in the purpose and work ordained for us by God, for God.

I love the footnote in the ESV bible for Psalm 139:14. It says, "I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" with the footnote: "I am fearfully set apart." It's just like Paul says in Galations and just like Jeremiah says in the Old Testament. God doesn't just make you. He sets you apart. He ordains you with a purpose. You were designed with a purpose in mind. You weren't just made to be made. You didn't just happen. He didn't make you and then say, "oh no! What is she going to do with her life? I hope she figures something out!"

Friend, you are intentional. You are no accident. God took time and effort and intention and purpose and love and heart and created you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. And not only that, He purposefully placed you in this specific time and in your geographical location (Acts 17:26). You have been set apart. You have a role to play, works to do, a job specific to you. You have a purpose in God's kingdom.

But, if you are going to fill that role and be used fully for His purpose, you must know Him and live fully for Him.

He has called you through His grace. What will your answer be?

1 comment:

  1. You have such a way with words, Jessi. I love this post. It's so encouraging and comforting and completely true.