Jul. 15, 2021

God Made You On Purpose

This passage is toward the end of the book of Job. It is after Job’s friends have shared their thoughts and Job has shared his. Now the Lord God is speaking and He is challenging Job. Based on what Job has said, the Lord charges that Job has spoken “words without knowledge”. (Job 38:1) Based on Job’s big talk, the Lord asked him some questions: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4) “Have you commanded the morning…and caused the dawn to know its place?” (Job 38:12) “Have the gates of death been revealed to you?” (Job 38:17) In Job 38:18 the Lord says to Job, “Tell Me, if you know it all.”

In the next chapter, Job 39, the Lord asks Job about his knowledge of the animal kingdom. This is Job 39:14 – 15 AMP:

14 The ostrich leaves her eggs on the ground and warms them in the dust,

15 Forgetting that a foot may crush them or that the wild beast may trample them.

When we look at the other birds, the ostrich seems like an oddity. Most birds fly - - the ostrich cannot. Birds usually, not always, but usually build their nests in the trees or some other high place which helps protect the eggs. The ostrich makes the nest on the ground. And it is kind of like a community nest because other females also put their eggs in the same communal nest. One ostrich may lay 12 – 18 eggs but the nest may have as many as 60 eggs in it. The dominant female puts hers in the middle, then the other eggs are placed around those. Even though ostriches are often depicted as sticking their heads in the sand they don’t really do that.

Job 39:16-17 AMP

16 She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers; her labor is in vain because she has no sense of danger [for her unborn brood],

17 For God has deprived her of wisdom, neither has He imparted to her understanding.

The Lord Himself is saying here that the ostrich is not that smart. Yet God created them the way they are for His purposes and for His glory. He likes them!

Job 39:18 AMP

Yet when she lifts herself up in flight [so swift is she that] she can laugh to scorn the horse and his rider.

Even though the ostrich is lacking some attributes that are seen as advantageous and common for birds, the Lord gave the ostrich some characteristics and abilities that other birds lack.

Their ‘flight’ mentioned in verse 18 refers to their speed.

  1. They can outrun most horses.
  2. They can sustain a running speed of 40 miles per hour.
  3. The stride for an adult can be as much as 25’ in length.
  4. They can live as long as a human being…generally 50 to 75 years old.
  5. They fight with their feet. They can kill a lion with one kick.

Now if God put all that thought and originality into a witless bird, what about you? What about us? He took a lot more care in our development than He did with the ostrich. We know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made! Sometimes believers live and think like their life doesn’t matter, or that God has forgotten them or He has no real purpose for them being here. None of that is true.

Remember what the Lord said to Jeremiah as recorded in Jeremiah 1:5 AMP “Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument]…

The Lord says, ‘knew’, past tense. He knew everyone of us even before our parents met each other. He also gave us the ‘thumbs up’. He approved of us. He was pleased with the life we would live for Him. He was satisfied and pleased with how He created each one of us to be!

This is the rest of Jeremiah 1:5 AMP

…and before you were born I separated you and set you apart, consecrating you;[and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

This is God’s stamp not only on Jeremiah, but also on every believer. He marks us as His own. This is the distinction…

  1. Knew you – way, way back He already had you in His thoughts and plans
  2. Formed you – your character, attributes and abilities are specifically suited to what He has determined for you to be and to do
  3. Approved of you – He looked at you, clapped His hands and said, ‘Yay! It’s all good!’
  4. Separated you before you were born – you were put into a different category from those who would not obey, not listen and not serve.
  5. Set you apart – those He can trust with His assignments and purposes are deemed different from the rest
  6. Consecrating you – in the AMP all of these other distinctions are past tense. This one is not past tense. It is current. The ‘ing’ ending means it is ongoing, active, current, still happening. Consecrating means being singled out from the crowd specifically for the Lord’s use and glory. This special treatment began before you were even known by your mother and continues even right this minute!
  7. Appointed you – He chose you on purpose. Because He does all things well, He equipped, prepared and chose you.
  8. Gave you your assignment – He told Jeremiah at the end of verse five what he would be doing for the Lord. God said, “I appointed you (again, past tense) as a prophet to the nations.”

What is going on in our lives isn’t always clear to us. But it is crystal clear to the Lord. The plan didn’t just start when we became aware of it. It has been in the works way, way back…a long time ago!

 At some point in our lives we have desired to have a talent, gift, attribute or strength that we lacked. Or maybe we had the trait or ability but desired to have it developed in a much greater measure. Think about this…hummingbirds and sparrows can fly. But they will never be able to soar to the heights or the speed of an eagle. Nor should they because their habitat is designed differently and they are equipped for the environment in which they are to live and thrive. We all also are designed and supplied to serve, thrive and excel in the areas that God has ordained for us. We have what we need to do what God has called us to do. We can also develop what we have to become more proficient.

 Think about the twelve men Jesus chose to impart to on a regular basis. They were all different. The Lord doesn’t only use one type of personality in His ministry. He can use all types of people. Obedience is one of the few common requirements. But as far as strengths and attributes, the Lord delights in variety!

As an example, look at a couple of the disciples. Many times when people quote a biblical personality and they name that person it is often someone who had a big presence like David, Paul, Peter or Isaiah. But think about Matthew. He didn’t seem to have an exceptionally noticeable personality. He was probably what might be referred to today as a geek. An accountant. A studious, quiet, boring man. Extremely different from loud, exuberant Peter. Matthew was a tax collector. He had a desk job. Didn’t get out in the open air much. Wasn’t prone to hunting, fishing, exercising or being one with nature. If they had eyeglasses back then he probably would have had a thick, unattractive pair. He probably wasn’t much for fashion or other fancy things. He would have been a matter-of-fact type of person who was a logical, methodical thinker.

While we know that Peter, on the other hand, was an outdoorsman. He would not have been happy sitting in an office all day crunching numbers. He wanted to be out in the open, braving the elements, using his hands and physical strength to be able to ‘see’ at the end of the day what his efforts had accomplished: a boat load of seafood! Peter was impulsive: quick to act and quick to talk. He was a man of action who believed in jumping into a situation with both feet!

These men were very different in their demeanor and perspectives. Jesus chose both of them. Their personality differences did not exclude them from being valuable and vital to the ministry. The writings they left for future believers are reflective of their different temperaments. Matthew’s account is detailed, thorough, logical and a straightforward telling of the facts. He doesn’t use poetic language like David. He doesn’t use the prophetic voice like Isaiah. He doesn’t use the emphatic voice like Peter. Matthew uses his own voice as inspired and instructed by the Holy Spirit.

That is what the Lord wants from each one of us. He did not create or desire clones or robots. He likes and treasures our individuality. We all possess abilities that please the Lord. He is the One who gave us those abilities!

When I was preparing this I thought about my parents. They wanted me to do something I do not have the capacity to do. They wanted me to be able to play the piano. I do not have good eye-hand coordination. I can’t keep time very well. Don’t have an ear for music, no sense of rhythm. Just no aptitude for it at all. And yet, they kept sending me to piano lessons. I think the teacher must have finally advised them to quit wasting their money.

But God isn’t like that. Whatever His desire is for us, we have the capacity to do it and be it. Because He sees to it that we do. The Holy Spirit endows us with what we need to fulfill our assignments. There is no failure in God. There is no shortcoming in Him. He doesn’t miss anything or forget anything. He does all things well!

 We may not appreciate some of our individual characteristics but God likes variety and He is the Master. He created each one of us on purpose. Our goal is to identify and learn our gifts and talents. Allow them to be developed and strengthened through the Holy Spirit. Then use them to glorify God.