“For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb….And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as of yet there was not one.” Psalm 139: 13, 16b, NASB
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” Jeremiah 1: 5a, NASB
“I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life.” 1 Samuel 1:11, HCSB
In 1 Samuel we see that Samuel grew up knowing he was born for a unique purpose. Before we move on from that statement, let us UNDERSTAND that each of us was born for a unique purpose! The birth of Samuel itself had been an answer to his mother's impassioned prayers.
We know the story, Hannah prayed that God would give her a child. She further prayed that if God gave her a son, she would dedicate him to God. Samuel did have a choice in how he lived, but he wisely chose to follow the path that God set out for him. Samuel lived his entire life secure in the knowledge that God had created him for a purpose. As I stated previously, each of us have been created by God for a unique purpose. Like Samuel, we can be sure that our life has great meaning. God created you intentionally--not accidentally! God has a purpose for you.
In a recent devotional regarding Hannah’s prayer, I read this statement: “You're probably unaware of just how many prayers God has heard with your name attached to them. Long before you were born, godly ancestors may have been praying that their children and grandchildren would trust and follow God. Even if your parents aren't Christians, you may have no idea how many times others have prayed specifically for you.” Meditate on that thought for a moment and that in itself provides comfort and strength to follow Him.
When I read that statement, I thought of John 17 where Jesus Himself prayed for us. If you have not read John 17 as our Lord’s prayer for you, then I encourage you to read through it slowly. As you read, think on the specific things Jesus asks the Father on YOUR behalf.
The scriptures I listed above give clarity to a truth about each of us. We are not insignificant to God! God has had His hand on you from the very beginning. In fact, BEFORE you were formed in the womb He had a plan and a purpose for YOU. You matter a great deal to Him, and He still has much that He wants to do in your life and through your life if you will allow Him.
Take time today to celebrate your uniqueness that God has created in you. Thank God, for the people who have faithfully prayed for you over the years. Praise God answering those prayers and for making you His from the very beginning. Isn’t that comforting, from the very beginning we belonged to God. When we choose to live for Him and follow His path as Samuel did, we are much more secure in our walk with Him and fulfilled with our lives.
"The Ground is Level" at the foot of the Cross of Jesus. Jesus is the "great equalizer" for all eternity. The "worst" of all sinners---to the most privileged of all people, MUST access the Father through Jesus Christ His Son as personal savior! Even those closest to Him - even family - had to acknowledge Him for who He was, not claim special privilege from being kin. "I am the Lord's slave," said Mary. "May it be done to me according to your word." Luke 1:38, HCSB
The Holy Spirit coming made all persons equal before God. Holy Spirit canceled out all distinctions based on blood or special privilege. Acts 1:14 says that among those who devoted themselves to prayer were "Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers." How easy it would have been to have established a privileged line through those who were closely related to the Lord.
Mary, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, blessed though she was, waited together with the others for the coming of the Holy Spirit. And when she received Him, she received Him on the same basis as the others - by faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. All were equal.
The story is told of two men joining a church on the same Sunday. One was a respected judge in the community. The second, a Chinese immigrant, laundryman. The pastor said, "At the foot of the cross, the ground is level." The blood of God's Son has made it possible for us all to become sons of God. Praise be to God!
The thought occurs to me--without Him, we are nobody (no matter who we are). In Him, we are made "more than conquerors," "sons of God," and we can accomplish ALL things in Him!
As Paul Harvey used to say--"and that's the rest of the story. Good day!" This morning as I read through Judges 6, 7, and 8 I kept thinking of the times I have taught/preached "the story of Gideon." I would always emphasize (and still think it true) the necessity of every man standing in his place and faithfully following God, with the result being God gives the victory. However, the rest of the story reveals MUCH more!
"Then the Israelites said to Gideon, "Rule over us, you as well as your sons and your grandsons, for you delivered us from the power of Midian." Judges 8:22, HCSB
How quickly they forgot---how quickly we forget! It was not Gideon, it was God that delivered the victory! They advocated making Gideon king, when they should have bowed down to the King of Kings. In fact, this was just another time they rejected God to be more like the unfaithful men around them who did have kings. Why are we so willing to reject God and His ways for the ways of man?
Gideon must have really struggled with his crises. First, he had to send 31,700 soldiers home and keep only 300. Then after victory he had to send the people home without the king they wanted. Gideon's love relationship with God was so firm that he followed God's ways even when human ways were far more attractive. What human glory do you surrender to do it God's way?
There was 40 years of peace, BUT in Judges 8: 32 - 35, we see that "as soon as Gideon was dead, that the sons of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals, and made Baal-berith their god." (8:33). They "forgot" the deliverance God had given them--they did not show kindness to the household of Gideon. Before I am too critical of them, I must examine my own life. How quickly I forget. How quickly I "play the harlot." I (we) are guilty of spiritual adultery when we fail to surrender all and FOLLOW Christ daily.
That hymn at the end of the service, "I surrender ALL," (have you noticed) is generally sung quietly and mumbled through. Our hearts are literally singing--"I surrender SOME----." May we surrender ALL to Him this day and experience the JOY and fulfillment that only comes through faithful and COMPLETE obedience/following of the LIVING Lord Jesus Christ!
Associational Missions Strategist at Tar River Baptist Association since November, 2000. Called of God to work with member churches to strengthen the local church in its efforts to impact lostness in THIS generation! I will ATTEMPT to add to this blog almost daily. People are free to use the ideas shared in any way they wish. The purpose of the posts are merely to help us in our search to BE the people God is calling us to BE in Him!