Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.
Whether you believe it or not, God has created you for a great purpose. In Jeremiah 1:5, God said to the prophet, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Do you realize every life has been skillfully and wonderfully woven by God in the womb? That is why abortion is such a travesty. When you abort an unborn child, you are not just destroying a life; you are destroying God’s handiwork. He is the one who has skillfully and wonderfully made every human life.
Notice that God also told Jeremiah, “I consecrated you.” In other words, “Jeremiah, before you were born, I had a great purpose for your life.” Jeremiah’s purpose was to be a prophet to the nations. But God also has a unique purpose for your life. You are no accident. God created you for a unique purpose.
What is that purpose? We have to differentiate between God’s eternal purpose and God’s immediate purpose for your life. God’s eternal purpose for you is clear in the Bible: God created you to have fellowship with Him. Another of God’s eternal purposes for your life is that you be fashioned into the image of Christ. Romans 8:29 says, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” God wants you to be just like His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. Those are God’s eternal purposes.
Now here is the $64,000 question: Why didn’t God take you to heaven the moment you were saved so that those purposes could be immediately fulfilled? After all, the Bible says in 1 John 3:2, “When He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” John was saying when we meet Christ, we are going to be immediately transformed to be like Him. Not only that, Revelation 22:3 says in heaven the curse of sin will be removed and we are going to have perfect fellowship with God. All of those things that hinder our relationship with God will be gone. So if God’s eternal purpose for us will be accomplished when we are with Him, why did God leave us here on earth? Why is He delaying that perfect fellowship with us? Why is He postponing His plan to conform us to the perfect image of His Son? Because in addition to God’s eternal purpose for us, we have an immediate purpose to fulfill in this life. God created us and left us here on earth for a reason.
A lot of Christians are walking around in a fog, wondering what God’s will for their life is. But as Erwin McManus put it, the question is not, “God, what is Your will for my life?” but, “God, what is Your will, and how can I give my life to fulfill it?” Our purpose here on earth is to fulfill God’s purpose. So what is God trying to do? Here are a few hints:
- “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
- “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
- “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
God’s purpose in the world is clear: He wants to deliver as many people as possible from the pit of Satan’s kingdom into the light of His kingdom through Jesus Christ. And God invites you and me to join with Him in that mission. That is why we are here. Does God need us to do His work for Him? No, but God has chosen to partner with us in accomplishing His purpose. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave the disciples their instructions: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Those are our marching orders too. Throughout the Bible, Christians are described as soldiers for Jesus Christ. In 2 Timothy 2:4, Paul said, “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” In Paul’s day, the primary role of the soldier was to expand the emperor’s kingdom. When a soldier arrived at a new post, did he pull out the yellow pages and say, “First let me visit every restaurant in town so I can sample the local cuisine”? If that had been the soldier’s priority, he probably would have been dishonorably discharged. No, a soldier understands the reason he has been dispatched is to fulfill not his mission, but the mission of his commander and chief.
God has left us in a foreign outpost called planet Earth to fulfill one mission–and that mission is not to build a successful career, to see how much money we can accumulate, or even to have a successful and fulfilling family life. Our mission is to rescue as many people as possible from the kingdom of darkness and introduce them to faith in Jesus Christ.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Putting On Your Soul Shoes” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.