“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Because the conviction of self centeredness and self love are fresh on my mind and working like newly prescribed bifocals.. these very well known verses just knocked me on my butt with penetrating clarity. Flattened me out like a pancake in humility. If you think getting hit by a dump truck sounds fun, by all means.. join me and keep reading.
How many times have we read those words above to build up our esteem? I can picture sitting in a women’s retreat as the speaker reads through each one. Women yell out their amens, jot them down quickly in their journals and find their security in the words.
I am wonderfully made. I have a purpose. And God says, it’ll be good.
I sheepishly stand up in the crowd with my hand raised. But wait. Are these verses about us? Or God?
Now, the only reason I actually typed out the verses above is for this moment. I needed them present for your easy reference. Go back and read them again. I’ll wait.
Did you read them differently? God created us. His ways are wonderful. And how lucky are we that God has a plan for our life?—that He would allow us a purpose and a role in what He’s doing on earth?
These verses aren’t about me at all. They are to His glory, not my esteem. And in light of that, here I am running around wasting my life with my nose in a phone yet claiming His plans for me because I am fearfully made with X amount of hairs on my head. [Maybe we’ll part ways on our theology here, but] I believe we can 100% blow our calling. We let fear, insecurity, life and probably the most subtle destroyer—wasted time rob us of our potential in Christ’s plan. We cannot, thankfully, lose our salvation but the devil isn’t dumb. He knows this. So what’s the next best thing? I believe he’ll do everything in his power to take away our effectiveness. And. We. Don’t. Even. Realize. It.
I am painfully aware that if I am not actively swimming upstream—and girlfriend, being a follower of Christ on this side of eternity is swimming upstream—then I am being swept away in the rushing waters of misplaced purpose, misled focus and mismanaged days.
I didn’t want to end this beaten and battered. Matthew 6:33, ‘seek first His kingdom’, had come to mind as I was writing this. I figured I’d somehow use it to wrap this up with application.. you know, a verse that realigned our purpose. But as I was trying on the verse in different translations, the beginning of the next verse snuck in… and I thought, nope. There it is. That one. Verse 34 in the Message starts, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now…”
My entire attention. It is all about God. Practically… 1.) Spending time with God, so put down the phone. Turn off the tv. (I’ve done both now for a week, so don’t mind me over here being radical and uncharacteristically “hear me roar”. It’s a phase. And I don’t mind it.) 2.) Let’s strive to have a right relationship with Him— He is, I am not. And 3.) girl to the friend… do not hide that light. Join me. Find it. What are you good at? What lights that fire in your soul? What were you made for? What God given gifts of yours are on the shelf collecting dust? Find that. Do that. Because His works are wonderful, His plans are good and I want on board. (Nowwww cue the amens and journal jots.)