From the “Purpose Driven Life” – Shaped for serving God
You hands shaped me and made me (Job 10 v 8)
The people I have shaped for myself will broadcast my praise (Isaiah 43 v 21)
YOU WERE SHAPED TO SERVE GOD.
God formed every creature on this planet with a special area of expertise. Some animals run, some hop, some swim, some burrow, and some fly. Each has a particular role to play, based on the way they were shaped by God. The same is true with humans. Each of us was uniquely designed, or “shaped,” to do certain things.
Before architects design any new building they first ask, “What will be its purpose? How will it be used?” The intended function always determines the form of the building. Before God created you, he decided what role he wanted you to play on earth. He planned exactly how he wanted you to serve him, and then he shaped you for those tasks. You are the way you are because you were made for a specific ministry. The Bible says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” Our English word poem comes from the Greek word translated “workmanship.” You are God’s handcrafted work of art. You are not an assembly-line product, mass produced without thought. You are a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece. God deliberately shaped and formed you to serve him in a way that makes your ministry unique. He carefully mixed the DNA cocktail that created you. David praised God for this incredible personal attention to detail: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous.” As gospel singer Ethel Waters said, “God doesn’t make junk.”
Not only did God shape you before your birth, he planned every day of your life to support his shaping process. David continues, “Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” This means that nothing that happens in your life is insignificant. God uses all of it to mold you for your ministry to others and shape you for your service to him. God never wastes anything. He would not give you abilities, interests, talents, gifts, personality, and life experiences unless he intended to use them for his glory. By identifying and understanding these factors you can discover God’s will for your life. The Bible says you are “wonderfully complex.” You are a combination of many different factors. To help you remember five of these factors, I have created a simple acrostic: SHAPE.
S – Spiritual Gifts
H – Heart
A – Abilities
P – Personality
E – Experience
Don’t settle for just achieving “the good life,” because the good life is not good enough. Ultimately it doesn’t satisfy. You can have a lot to live on and still have nothing to live for. Aim instead for “the better life” — serving God in a way that expresses your heart. Figure out what you love to do — what God gave you a heart to do — and then do it for his glory.
Have a great day!
Pastor Peter Jordan (adapted from the “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren)