21D Fishers – Day 2: Psalm 139
Guest Devotional Speaker – Melissa Wickens
13 For it was you who created my inward parts;]
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise you
because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.]
Your works are wondrous,
and I know this very well.
15 My bones were not hidden from you
when I was made in secret,
when I was formed in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all my days were written in your book and planned
before a single one of them began.
Our purpose was created before we ever entered this world. He saw us and chose us, as we can see in Ephesians 1:4-6 it says:
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
A lot of people have an idea of purpose that is kind of like a Mount Everest mentality – a huge, one track mission that will be the pinnacle of life. But that’s not what purpose is. Purpose is not a position, it’s not a job, it’s not a relationship, it’s not a status or a task. Purpose is using your God-given gifts to accomplish what Jesus tells us to do in Matthew 22. The Sadducees and Pharisees were asking Jesus questions to try to trip Him up and they asked what the greatest commandment in the Mosaic Law that they adhered to at that time. Jesus answered “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The same is true of our purpose. Our goal should first be to love the Lord and secondly, to love our neighbor. If you love someone, you know their personality, their likes and dislikes, their character. Like Lindsay talked about yesterday, knowing His character is key to knowing Him. If we don’t know God, we can’t know who we are or where we are going. In order to know our purpose, we must know God and be in relationship with Him.
When we know God, we can know who He has created us to be and start to see where we are going. I’ve taken a lot of personality assessments that tell you what type of personality you have, what you’re good at, where you’re gifted – and I can honestly say none of them have surprised me. They were only an extension of what I knew already.
I already knew that I loved taking chaos and fostering order into that situation. I love take what is messy or confusing and help usher in harmony. I see my purpose in my job. I see my purpose when I serve at church. I see my purpose when I’m with my family. It’s kind of like when you get a new car. Before you buy it, you barely know that kind of car even exists. But after you buy it, you see it EVERYWHERE. This will look different for everyone based on what God has gifted you with and what opportunities He has put in your path. Purpose is our gifts in action for His glory. The opportunities from day to day and season to season might change, but what God is asking me to do what He has given me does not. Knowing our purpose gives us perspective and insight to what God is doing to use us.
Some of you might think, “Yeah, I know God may have had a purpose for my life, but you know those years I spent running from Him and doing whatever felt right at the time? Those surely got me off track from what He wanted me to accomplish.” I am here to tell you that this is not true. We know that He works all things for the good of those who love Him and that includes our past mistakes.
In Esther 1 and the beginning of chapter 2, we see Queen Vashti make a choice and refuse to appear in front of her husband, the king. This had the consequence (whether right or wrong) of her being banished from his presence. Later the king was looking for a replacement and one of the women chosen was Esther. She was an orphan and was adopted by her uncle Mordecai, who is one of the heroes of the book. This story speaks to me so deeply that whether we made a choice in the past that had consequences, like Queen Vashti or did not ask for or choose our circumstance, like Esther being orphaned, that our purpose is not based on our choices or something that may have happened to us. So if you have made wrong choices in the past or had something happen to you that you didn’t ask for, please know that you are forgiven in the Name of Jesus Christ and God’s purpose for you is not void.
So once we have this knowledge of who God is and who He has created us to be, where do we go from here? We can return to Psalm 139 where it says.
1 Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
you understand my thoughts from far away.
3 You observe my travels and my rest;
you are aware of all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue,
you know all about it, Lord.
5 You have encircled me;
you have placed your hand on me.
6 This wondrous knowledge is beyond me.
It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.
17 God, how precious[e] your thoughts are
to me; how vast their sum is!
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my concerns.
24 See if there is any offensive[g] way in me;
lead me in the everlasting way.
We need to:
- Ask God to reveal Himself to us. In a lifetime, we cannot pray this enough. He is so much more than we can think, ask, or imagine and He is faithful to answer our prayers. So this a prayer that can never be wasted.
- Ask God to reveal who He has made us to be. Thank Him for His gift of our personality and what we’re gifted in.
- Ask God how we can use our purpose now and how He is preparing us to be used in the near future and longer than that. What things are hard now that He is asking you to develop so that they will be easy later?