God is the master builder, the perfect planner, the passionate artist, the original designer, the patient sculptor and the Creator. Look at the breathtaking beauty of His creation from the beauty of a simple flower to snow-capped mountains to the sun, moon and billions of stars in the universe. Why do we think his plan and design for our live is any less spectacular? God has called every single Christian to do something special, something mighty, something unique and something that makes a difference. He has given us a special assignment to advance His kingdom. This is part of God’s calling over our lives. Ephesians says we are to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. This calling is so big and magnificent that God dreamed about it before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).
Do you know of the seven billion people on the planet earth not one has the same fingerprint? God is not a duplicator, a copycat, and a counterfeiter, but God is a Creator; God is an originator: God is a visionary. God only designed one you. He only has one blueprint that he masterfully used to make a masterpiece called you. God has designed you wonderfully unique and awesomely made as a true original. God has the most spectacular design for your life that is absolutely breathtaking and specific down to the littlest detail. The gift of holy spirit, the Christ in you, that carries the flame of God in your soul is uniquely and specially designed for your body, your soul and your heart. No one has the same flame of God. No one exactly the same gift of holy spirit for God has tailored made this wonderful gift for your life and your purposes. Are you ready for a God original life? Are you ready to surrender to His purposes? Are you ready to give everything to Him?
The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” We were made for God. We were made to know God, to serve God, to love God, and to live forever with God. As Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” In enjoying God, we will enjoy (in the truest and deepest sense) the life he has given us.
So where does the spiritual life begin? It all starts with this fundamental truth: He’s God and we’re not. Nothing is more basic than that. All spiritual reality begins with this truth, and if we skip this or ignore it or downplay it, life will never work. “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases” (Job 23:13). Life began for the human race in this intimate moment described in Genesis. Can you imagine this beginning of life, God and man face to face, eye to eye and breath to breath as God breathed in Adam’s nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7) and created Him in his image.
The vision, purpose and plan God has for you is beyond anything you have ever imagined; it is big; it is colossal; it is world shaking. It is never too late to walk in His vision, follow His plan and fulfill His purpose.
I Corinthians 2:9.10a: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:
God has an extraordinary plan, purpose and vision for each one of our lives. The opposite of extraordinary is normal. We were created to live extraordinary lives and God has equipped with the power to do so. Jesus Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly and through Him we can reign in life (John 10:10, Romans 5:17). Do you know that God has goals for your life? Do you know has a detailed architectural plan for your life, a vision like no other? Jesus Christ is the door to this plan and purpose. Without Him, we can never fulfil the God-given purpose for our life. John 10:9,10: I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Proverbs 29:18: Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
“Vision” in Hebrew means a divine vision from God respecting future events.
Jeremiah 23:16: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.
Not a vision of our own heart, but out of the mouth of the Lord. He must have spoken it to you sometime or some place if you are listening. Maybe He is speaking His vision for your life to you right now. He sees the vision for your life, do you? He is Yahweh Jireh, the Lord who sees and provides.
We become vain with the wrong vision, a vision out of our own hearts. The Hebrew word for “vain” means to be vain in action, word or expectation; to lead astray. It comes from the word to breathe or exhale. It is like a puff of air. It is to act emptily and to have an empty hope. A vain vision is an empty, fleeting vision that leads you astray far from the Lord. Jeremiah 2:5: Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
Not a vision, purpose or plan conformed to this world. It is a heavenly vision. It comes from the Word of the Lord. I Samuel 3:1: Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
The vision is built on the Word of God. It is rooted in the Word of God and it cannot contradict the Word of God. It is a revelation from the heart of God. It is a seeing of God’s heart and vision for our lives. We must first open the eyes of our heart to see. The wrong vision of Eve in the garden that was after her own heart caused the great fall of mankind into sin. Genesis 3:4ff: But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. The world has had the wrong vision ever since. Satan has vision for your life too as he did for Eve’s. He wants to steal, kill and destroy the vision God has for your life. (John 10:10a). He is a thief, a liar, a deceiver, a destroyer, an accuser and an opposer and utilizes all of his devises to still the vision of God for your life and replace it with his vision. The gospel delivers us from the power of Satan to God and replaces Satan’s vision with God’s vision.
Without this vision we perish. “Perish” in the Hebrew means to go at it alone, to be unrestrained from God’s Word, to let the reins loose and go unbridled. It is to let go of God and try to do it alone without Him. To dismiss God’s vision and God’s instructions and to go lawless. It is the vision of rebellion. It causes us to wander aimlessly.
Habakkuk 2:2,3: Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision
And engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets So that the one who reads it will run.3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time. It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, because it will certainly come; it will not delay.
“Write” in the Hebrew means: to engrave, to write down and describe in writing. We record and write it down so we do not forget. “Make it plain” in Hebrew means to dig out the sense and make it distinct and clear as we declare it with our lives. “Run”: We move quickly and decisively with speed and diligence and never look back. It’s the Lord’s vision for our lives. What are we running to daily? We must run toward and with God’s vision for our lives and never forget it. It is what we live and breathe and move in. Take time daily to be still in prayer and the Word and listen to God speaking to your heart. Write down His thoughts until His vision becomes crystal clear.
Jeremiah 1:4: Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.” 9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond] branch.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”
Isaiah 49:1b: The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.
Psalm 139:13-18: For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke, [could I count to the end] I would still be with You.
God embroidered everything about you like a beautiful tapestry when he formed you in the womb. He knit you together with magnificent detail and in all the vibrant colors of His glory. He formed your heart, your eyes, your abilities, your personality, your hands, your DNA and every minute detail about you. Your book, your story of all the days of your life, was written by God before you ever took shape. God’s thoughts about you are so immense, so numerous, so vast that they cannot even be numbered. They are more than all the grains of sand on every beach on earth. Oh how special you are to God!!! How wonderful must your purpose be!! How much you mean to God!! Oh how we have missed this truth.
What is the most tragic thing that could ever happen in the history of the world? What is the greatest catastrophe throughout the ages? The greatest tragedy in life is when we turn our backs on God’s design and purpose for our lives. This tragedy hurts the heart of God for He knows what could have been. The story that never came to pass; the beautiful masterpiece that was left in the box. The awesome calling that faded away. He has written a beautiful story for our life, but when we pick up the pen and try to write the book ourselves, everything falls apart and crumbles before our eyes. Pray to God. Talk to God. Ask God to show you day by day His design and function and purpose for you on this earth. Pray to God that you fulfill every jot and tittle of it. It is glorious. It is immense. It is adventurous. It is the best. This purpose always has at its fabric that you have a heart of service to God and others. It begins with salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and the new birth. No one can accomplish their destiny without the Lord Jesus Christ. God is with you every step of the way and He will help you, strengthen you and guide you into fulfilling His purpose that He has for you in your generation. Don’t ever waste your potential, your purpose and your design on things, paths, ways that God never intended for you. Be all that you can be for God. Every cell in your body was designed for you to fulfill your purpose that God knew about before time began. Let God make your life count and ring as a gem of God’s glory throughout the halls of eternity forever. Every moment counts; every day counts; every week counts; every year counts, but we live with God one day at a time.
Acts 13:36: For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation,
It is no mistake you were born in this generation, in this time. You have a purpose to fulfill for your generation. David completed it. He served this purpose of God for his life and fulfilled it.
Most of us have no idea why we were born. We spend our lives in search of purpose. We are on the race track of life; the course of the world and all we do is spin our wheels going around in a circle having the same fears, doing the same routine things, having the same worries and living in a rut of existence. God wants us to enter each day with anticipation which can only be done when you begin to know the heart of God. Each day is a gift from God and contains a moment God has been planning to express his purpose for creating you; a moment that he has planned since before time began to express his grace and mercy through you. Entering your day with the same trusting anticipation as a child asking a parent, “Where are we going today and what are we going to do?” will let God be the Lord of your day and your work.
What is your mission statement for life? What is your purpose for life? What were born to do in God’s kingdom? God wants us to be perfect (telios) which does not mean without flaw or defect, but means to reach the goal of God’s intended purpose for your life and be all that God wants you to be; to be just like Him as I fulfill my mission in life given by my commander-in-chief, the Lord of Hosts. God wants me to become the destiny that He purposes for me to be. 2 Timothy 4:7: 7 I have fought the good fight, I have stayed on course and finished the race, and through it all, I have kept believing. Philippians 1:6: Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. This is not done by doing nothing; living like everyone else, wasting your life away with trivialities that matter little in His kingdom. God wants me to be everything he designed me to be. Only with God is this possible. It cannot be done by human grit, human achievement, human effort and human knowledge because YOU WILL ALWAYS FALL SHORT. God is the designer, the architect, the master-builder, the sculptor, and the artist and without Him the true design for your life falls flat and fails miserably. Such a waste of God’s potential; such a waste of God’s impact in the world through your life. Grow up and become His destiny for you. Be completely what He wants you to be. To do so you must surrender to His will, His purposes, His design. You must serve Him above all else. “No man can serve two masters” Matthew 6:24.
Jeremiah 29:11: 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God knows: Hebrew word for “know” is yada. The Bible uses this word to proclaim God’s complete knowledge of creation. Nothing can be hidden from His understanding. God’s perception and recognition extend to every act and circumstance. God’s knowledge extends to our relationships, tendencies, behavior, talents and emotions. God talks about knowing us before we are even born. Someone with that kind of knowledge would certainly know what is best for us and exactly how we should fit into His world.
“Plan” in the Hebrew means: that which one meditates, purposes or plots; a project. It is used in other verses as a skilled plan of artistic design to produce a breathtaking work.
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
Psalm 33:8-13: Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. The plans of His heart stand forever, The plans of man are but a mere breath (Psalm 94:11) Nothing can compare with God’s plan. Psalm 40:4,5a: “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! 5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts (plans-same word in Hebrew) toward us; none can compare with you!” Anything that is not God’s plan is built upon a lie. God has multiplied his plans toward us.
Isaiah 55:8,9: For my thoughts (same Hebrew word translated “plans”) are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Plans for welfare. “Welfare” in the Hebrew is shalom and means: wholeness, completeness and soundness; it’s a harmony and unity of heart and soul because of a restored relationship with God, our Father; it is an inward and outward tranquility, a quiet assurance and a complete well-being where nothing is lacking or broken. It’s the freedom from being disturbed, agitated, stressed and troubled. It is the absence of discord, strife, and anxiety. It is to be at ease and calmly unaffected by circumstance. Peace is the highest measure of contentment, joyfulness, happiness, and satisfaction in life. There is absolute security, safety, and victory at the center of peace. It is the absence of inward conflict, condemnation, and torment, but rather a state of rest, calmness, and quiet confidence.
Not plans for calamity (ra). It is translated “evil” in the Hebrew. The root behind ra is a noun that means “rotten, spoiled or good for nothing”. His determination about what is evil is the last word on the subject. If God says that some act or event is evil, there is no negotiation on the matter. The essence of evil is disobedience to God’s will. It is progressive. Evil begins with a lack of acknowledgement – we do not recognize God as God, we refuse to give Him honor as the Creator. From this lack of acknowledgement, we proceed to an attitude of ingratitude. We are not thankful for what God has done. Refusal and ingratitude become ingrained as habit, then compulsion. The result is that we do injury to others and to ourselves. In this verse, God tells us not only that He has no plans to harm us, but His plans and purposes will keep us from self-inflicted harm. God’s plan is for harmony, unity, peace and life. Ignoring His plans for us will lead to strife, hostility, injury and death, Evil is destroying or injuring by scattering or breaking into pieces; to destroy, circumvent or hinder the good purpose or design God has intended for someone or something. Think of a beautiful flower vase that has the design or function of holding flowers and water, and all are blessed to observe the breathtaking display of beauty in the flowers. But if you take that vase and smash it on the floor, the action of destroying its purpose, design, and function is a vivid illustration of what this Hebrew word for “evil” means. Evil is the active opposition of God’s good purpose or design for a person with the intent of destroying, limiting, suffocating, and hindering it in any way possible.
Plans to Give us a Future. Future-The word is aharit. Skip Moen: What is unusual about this word is that it literally means “afterward, backwards or after part”. So, how can it be about the future? H. W. Wolff says that the Hebrew concept of time is like a man rowing a boat. He sees where he has been, but the future is toward his back. He backs into the future. It is entirely unknown to him because it is behind him! This picture is very powerful. God must set our course since only He can see “behind” us. There is a great connection with the idea that we must trust God’s direction and not fear. If we are “backing” into the future, we must trust the guide. We cannot see where we are going, but He can. There is a tremendous example of this word in a story from Genesis. When Lot and his wife ran from the destruction of Sodom, they were told not to look back. Lot’s wife did look back and she saw her future. She died there. Looking back was a choice not to obey the guide who was taking her out of harm’s way.
Plans to give us Hope-confident expectation of His faithfulness to His promises for all eternity. God is the God of hope.
Who knows better the sculptor or the sculpture, the potter or the pot, the Creator or the created?
Isaiah 45:9-12: “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? 10Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?'” 11Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:) “Ask me of things to come; will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands? 12 I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.
God as the great sculptor and potter knew what He was doing when he formed you and called you to fulfill His purpose. Who has the right to command God concerning His children? Truly Father knows best. Did we have any part in creating the heavens and the earth? Is God’s design of us any less spectacular?
Skip Moen-Have you ever experienced the wonder that occurs when you allow God to give you His perspective about the task you face?
Sin: missing the mark. The word “sin” in the Greek means: to miss or fail to hit the mark, like when someone fails to hit the target with a bow and arrow; to fall short of any goal, purpose, or standard, and a failure or aberration from a prescribed law or duty. Trench, in Synonyms of the New Testament, states that the word means “a falling and missing the true end and scope of our lives which is God.” Wuest, in Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, says it means “missing the divinely appointed goal, a deviation of what is pleasing to God, doing what is opposed to God’s will…a missing of the goal conformable to and fixed by God.” There is great emptiness of soul and meaningless in life without God. Mankind has lost their true heart, their true destiny, and their true purpose. David Needham, in Birthright, Christian Do You Know Who You Are?, gives a vivid illustration of the emptiness and meaninglessness of the sin nature:
Try to imagine for a moment the entire human
race as though it were an art gallery full of
picture frames. Long, long halls. Billions of
picture frames-without any pictures! Empty
can you visualize it? Some of the frames are
very carefully carved. Some boast very delicate
gold leaf, others are rather gaudily painted. A
few are dirty, chipped. But every frame is
wrapped around-nothing-emptiness. Is it
possible the human race is seen in such a
way by God? An art gallery with no paintings!
Each human being was intended to frame an
inimitable, individual masterpiece of God’s
own reflected glory. But where God should
be, there is only emptiness, a bare patch of wall.
Man and woman were meant for so much more than an enslaved obedience to the sin nature. Humans struggle with a nature that has been crippled by the loss and continued absence of a relationship with God. The sin nature, like a deadly disease, is lethal to life.
Ephesians 2:10 (New Jerusalem Bible): We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life.
New Living Translation: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Moffatt Translation: God has made us what we are, creating us in Christ Jesus for the good deeds which are prepared beforehand by God as our sphere of action.
The word “workmanship” is the Greek word poiema, which means “a thing made or produced with effort, object, and design; a work of art especially a poetic product, and a masterpiece.” We are God’s poetic masterpiece. God is the poet, the sculptor, and the artist, and we are the masterpiece. Poetry is masterfully chosen words, that mixed with rhythm and sound, express great depth of meaning and emotion. A poem is an expression of a vision that is rendered in a form that arouses the emotions and touches the heart. Poetry is the chiseled marble of language, it is a paint spattered canvas, but the poet uses words instead of paint, and the canvas is the human heart. Poetry evokes emotion and deep thought, often calling the human heart to action. Poetry inspires, enlightens, defines, and unfolds.
As God’s poetic masterpiece, who is the audience that we are to have such a great impact upon? Who are the listeners who are stirred and deeply affected by the beautiful poetic expression of language and art? The audience is the world. The listeners are our communities, cities, states, and nations. Once we are created in Christ Jesus as a son or daughter of God, God wants our lives to be His poetic masterpiece to the world. God wants our lives to be a beautiful poem of His love and goodness that inspires, touches, and stirs the human heart to return to the loving arms of God Almighty. The poiema of God is too be seen by the human eye, felt by the human heart, experienced by the human mind, and heard by the human ear. The poeima of God is not to be hid under a bush, concealed in a room, or buried underground. The poeima of God is to be clearly seen and manifested to the world so that all might see a wonderful glimpse of the heart of God. The words “clearly seen” in the Greek mean: to behold fully, to distinctly apprehend, and to discern clearly. The poiema of God is created so that all people can fully behold and distinctly comprehend the amazing characteristics of our loving God. God wants the beauty of who He is and the wonderful grace of His goodness to be seen and understood by every human being on the face of the earth. The poiema of God is the artist’s most magnificent masterpiece, and it reveals many details of the awesome power and glory of Our Creator, our Father, our Lord, and our God.
These good works, which come forth from God’s poetic masterpiece of our new creation in Christ, are to inspire, heal, touch, mend, repair, and restore. These good works are rooted and grounded in God’s love. Every Christian believer has been called to a ministry of good works that touch the heart, soul, and needs of people emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
We are always producing works in our daily life. What kind of works are we producing? What types of works are coming forth from our mouths, our hands, and our hearts? Are we wise master builders, building a beautiful poetic masterpiece of good works on the foundation of Jesus Christ? Or are we building works of selfishness, pride, lust, greed, anger, and hatred on a foundation of sinking sand? What are you building? What does your building look like?
I Corinthians 12,18,21: But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” We also have a special purpose in the Body of Christ. This is part of God’s plan for the Christian life.
God gives us the vivid example of Moses who had to decide to either follow the world’s plan, vision or purpose for his life or God’s?
Hebrews 12:24-27: By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Moses had the best of everything the world had to offer. Josephus said he was a mighty general who one great battles against the Ethiopians. He was royalty and a mighty conqueror in Egypt’s eyes. He chose to be identified with the slaves in the world’s eyes, God’s chosen people. He saw with spiritual eyes God’s vision and purpose for his life.
Mark Batterson: Jesus did not die to keep us safe, He died to make us dangerous. Faithfulness is not holding the fort; it is storming the gates of hell. The will of God is not an insurance plan; it is a daring plan. The complete surrender of your life to the cause of Christ is not radical; it is normal. It is time to quit living like the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Many think they are following Jesus, but the reality is this: they have invited Jesus to follow them. Who is following who? The true adventure of following Jesus does not begin until you go all in.
DL Moody: The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is wholly and fully consecrated to Him. Consecrate means to set yourself apart; it means full devotion. It is a complete divesture of all self-interest. It is a simple recognition that every second of time, every ounce of energy, and every penny of money is a gift from God and for God. Consecration is going all in and all out for the all in all. Why not you? Why not now?
Our fundamental problem is we try to God’s job for Him. We want to do amazing things for God and that seems noble but we have it backwards. God wants to do amazing things for us. That is His job not ours. Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow God will do amazing things among you (Joshua 3:5)
We can be a Christian for our entire lives and never go all in for Jesus Christ. We never sell out to follow Him no matter where, no matter how, and no matter when. Eric Ludy: When the gospel it truly received it costs you everything, your life, your old ways, your old mannerisms, your old self. You cannot hold on to a scrap of the old you. The problem is us. We have a born disposition that is in rebellion against the Most High God. I want my life on my terms. You can have all that Jesus Christ is, but there is a little caveat: He gets all that you are. Oh the glow, the soul satisfaction, the radiance that comes from giving our all, our entire lives, EVERYTHING to Him. Few want to live Christianity like this. Can you look God square in face and say you made me, you fashioned me for a purpose and a destiny, you gave your Son to set me free, and I now give you my life and will do what you require me to do. I don’t want my way. I want your way. Do you know you have a thousand moments in every day that you need to be rescued and delivered? From what? From YOU, from the problem of you. You have a desire; you have an esteem for that very throne in your life. You want to be in control; you want it to be your way. You are a problem; you are a rebel against the kingdom agenda. But God has a better plan. It starts with this question: Lord what do you want me to do with my life?
The Excuse: Don’t we all have excuses why we don’t follow God’s purpose for our life. He has given us the invitation. He has set a place for us at his extraordinary banquet. But we have more important things to do. We are too busy to fulfill His purpose for us for our generation. We just want to be left alone and live life on our terms. Big mistake. Oh what you are missing out on now and in eternity! We have all become the Marthas of our generation. So busy we do not have time to sit at the feet of Jesus. Our days so packed that God is a distant memory. Busybodies instead of disciples. Anxious wanderers instead of living in His plan. We have lost our vision, our eyes have been blinded and the darkness of our selfishness seems so normal, but in our heart we know something is askew. Something is not right. Excuses! Rationalizations! Puffed up reasonings! And the extraordinary life slips away. We are living off the scraps of the flesh instead of the bread of life at His banquet.
Luke 14:16ff: But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant[c] to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said,‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you,[d] none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
God’s intense desire is that we be filled to capacity with a full, perfect, precise, and detailed knowledge of the desires of His heart. God wants us to intimately experience His will, His heart, His purposes, and His plans and know them in the depths of our heart. God wants us to be absolutely full of the rich heart knowledge of His will, to the end it powerfully influences our character and the growth of our spiritual life. God never wants us to be left empty concerning the purposes, designs, and plans for our lives that come from the very heart of God. God wants us to have a thrilling, living, and dynamic heart experience of His will and His desires through our personal relationship with Him. (Colossians 1:9,10).
Awaken to the vision the purpose the plan God has for your lives. Put off the grave clothes of our old life and become alive to the righteousness you are clothed in in Christ. A new creation. Ephesians 5:14b-17: Awake, you sleeper! Rise from your grave, And the Anointed One will shine on you.15 So be careful how you live; be mindful of your steps. Don’t run around like idiots as the rest of the world does. Instead, walk as the wise! 16 Make the most of every living and breathing moment because these are evil times. 17 So understand and be confident in God’s will, and don’t live thoughtlessly.
I Corinthians 3:5,6,8,10-15 (NIV): What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe-as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. By the grace God has given me, I lay a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
According to I Corinthians 3, every born-again Christian believer is a builder, which from the Greek means “architect, skilled craftsman, and master worker.” By our works, we are constructing a building on the foundation of Jesus Christ. This building is the sum total of the quality and character of our deeds, words, and actions throughout our Christian life.
At the Judgment Seat of Christ, the quality of our workmanship will be tested and we will be rewarded according to how the building passes the inspection. A wise master builder does not throw together the building haphazardly, but contemplates every detail, and works tirelessly to bring about the best, quality product. God is our co-worker, our fellow-laborer, and our building partner, and He will help us build a beautiful structure of good works that is unmatched in quality if we only let Him. God has magnificent architectural plans and drawings for your beautiful house and is so excited to help you build it. God has all the right contacts, knows all the right people, and knows all the proper building techniques to construct the best home that perfectly suits your life. Whose architectural blueprints are we going to follow? God’s or the world’s? Isn’t God the best suited to help us build a quality Christian life that glorifies Him in word and action? God is the ultimate wise master builder, and without His help our building will not pass the inspection.
Every Christians building will go through a complete and thorough testing process at the bema. The word “test” in I Corinthians 3 in the Greek means “ to put to the test for the purpose of approving.” It is a critical examination of something to determine its genuineness. The word was used in secular Greek literature to describe the action of the examining board putting its stamp of approval on those individuals who passed the examination for the degree of Doctor of Medicine. It was also used of a candidate who passed the test as fit for public office. This Greek word describes a process of approval, not condemnation or punishment. You either passed or failed, as the testing was not done to determine how much good or evil was in the product or person being tested. The testing was done to determine whether the thing tested passed the examination according to specifications. It was also used in classic Greek to describe the testing of precious metals, usually by fire, to determine if they were truly authentic and measured up to their stated worth. The word also implies that the testing was done with the expectation and hope that the person or thing being tested would pass the test with flying colors.
God is like the master builder, or the renowned artist, that molds a hunk of clay into a beautiful masterpiece. He shapes, contours, and forms the clay with a delicate and loving touch in great detail, throwing off the excess dirt and molding it into the image that is in his heart. He is not rushed, as time does not matter when you are crafting a magnificent work of art. Not one aspect, not one element, and not one detail escapes the eye of the master. He heats his work in intense flame, and then adds the finishing touches and brushes of color that reflect the beauty of the picture that engulfs his soul. Finally, when the masterpiece is finished, it can be proudly displayed as it forever illustrates the wonderful touch of the master’s hand. God will do the same for your life if you will only let Him. Oh, how we need to let the Lord God, the Master, the most talented artist of all times, work in our lives and shape and mold us into a glorious masterpiece that is a witness to all the world of His love. You can read all the self-help books on the shelves of every library in the world; you can master all the philosophies and psychologies of mankind; you can take every course of self-improvement offered at all the universities throughout the ages and still not reproduce or duplicate one iota of what God can do for you.
I want to end with a beautiful poem which is one of my favorites.
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin, but held it up with a smile; “What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried, “Who’ll start the bidding for me?” “A dollar, a dollar”; then two!” “Only two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three? Three dollars, once; three dollars twice; going for three..” But no, from the room, far back, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody pure and sweet as caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
said; “What am I bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, and going and
gone,” said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not
quite understand what changed its worth.” Swift came the reply: “The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin, A
“mess of pottage,” a glass of wine; a game – and he travels on. “He is
going” once, and “going twice, He’s going and almost gone.” But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.
Myra ‘Brooks’ Welch
Ecclesiastes 5:7: Many words are meaningless. Stand in awe of God.