“…I created Judah and Israel to cling to me, says the Lord. They were to be my people, my pride, my glory – an honor to my name.” Jeremiah 13:11
Lately, I’ve been dwelling a lot on the notion that we are all custom built by God to be whoever He wants us to be. None of us are here by random chance. All of us, and more importantly, each of us were conceived of in the mind of God long before we were ever conceived in our mothers’ wombs. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating here: This is not our story. God has been spinning His story of creation since the beginning of time and He has thought through and carefully crafted each of us to play our own individual role in that story. As near as I can see, the source of all human suffering begins with us losing sight of this truth. We start thinking the story is about us and we start trying to shape the world in our own image. The problem is; we are not very good artists when compared to our Creator. Rather, we chase after our own interests and generally make a mess of things.
But tonight as I was reading in Jeremiah, I was really struck by the full force of the concept expressed in Jeremiah 13 that His story has a singular purpose. God created us to be “an honor to His name”. At its core, every act of kindness, every act of sacrifice, every act of worship is intended to bring honor and glory to God. Too often my prayers are for guidance, protection, healing, providence, in short “Oh God, help me…” Instead, I need to train my heart to plead as Jesus prayed in John 12:28 “Father, bring glory to your name.”
Daily, I need to be reminded that I am not my own. I was conceived and formed by my Creator and set here to bring glory and honor to His name. How? By reflecting the image of Him who created me and by humbly allowing myself to be directed by His Spirit. As we submit ourselves to the leading of the Spirit and “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”, we will look different, act different, and shine the light of His image to a lost and dying world, not for the praise and honor of men, but so that they might see our good works and give praise to the One who sent us.
My one prayer is that the Spirit would guide me to be whatever it is that God wants me to be, and that whatever my life might look like, it would bring honor, glory and praise to His name.
Dave Gibbs, Shepherd