God has made us what we are, on purpose, everything about me (Psalm 139).God is making me what I am - creating me to be like Jesus, not to make a different me, but to make us, me, a redeemed, new, fresh, me, that, more and more, resembles, reflects, looks, sounds and acts, like, Jesus. Eph 2:8-10; 2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Ezek 36:26-27
If God is Providential and wise in His intentions… God will do what is specific to me, for me, to guide and use me, or else He would not have made me, the way He’s made me, me - and this, not for me, but Him, which, as it so happens, is for me. This is not about “self-interest”, but, His interest, and, His being interested in, me. As, having seen God, having been loved by God, we are moved to being used naturally by God, as God has made us what we are, naturally, and is making us what we are, spiritually Ez 36:22-38; Ps 23; Prov 4:11
We would do well to see...
...that we naturally go about kingdom work as an innate or natural expression - pure and holy, unassuming and without pretense, without a lot of worry or fanfare - when we just live as God has made us and is (still, now) making, or, creating us - as the self we have been made to be and the Jesus into which we are being created Ja 3:13; 1Pet 1:15-16; 1Jo 3:3
So, we ought to relax just a little…
Be who you are, as who you’ve been made to be, and be righteous - being what He is making you to be. Trust that God will give you the desires of your heart, which are the essence of your prayers - when you, having received God’s love - expressed in His mercy, by His grace - now, love God sincerely, (and) love yourself humbly, and love others lavishly. Matt 22; Rom 12
As we position, posture, and pace ourselves with God, in Truth and Spirit, we come to trust that our desires will become HIs desires, so that, when we are inclined to move in a direction and step in places that we believe are right, God will guide, direct, and redirect, our steps and can trust that, very often, it will be according to the way we have been made.
So, plan your way, step out in faith, go with confidence, as God has not only made you as you are, and is creating you to be More, but, has promised to guide your steps and answer your prayers and work all “for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose”! James 3; Prov 16; Eph 2; Rom 8
He is not surprised at who you are or what you’re becoming… as He has “created in Christ Jesus” and “prepared works in advance for us to do”, and that, with us, me, in mind - who I am, who I am becoming, what I am, where I am, and who I am with - in the context of where He has me… as I am, as He has made me, the way He has made me. Eph 2
He has made us and is creating us, He knows. God, who is working in us, wants to work with us. He’s made us as we are in giving us the inclinations, and with those, we have a purpose. It is ours to join his sanctifying work by redeeming our inclinations, the person He has made us to be, and aiming them at the kingdom. Certainly, there are desires of the flesh that we are not to indulge and entertain (Gal 5; 6). Wisdom teaches us which is which (Prov 1;2;6;8). To help us understand when this is a matter of self-interest, or, God’s interest.
What appeals to us is a function of the way we have been made by God (Prov; 1Cor 12). It is ours to join Him in the redemption and purifying of what we are, as to be used as who we are, as having been made what we have been made to be, as He is making us to be – Jesus.
To go where God wants us to go may be more natural than it may seem, God knows who we are – He made us – and guides us according to that making.We may be thinking “how can this be? I don’t always ‘obey’ God or even know what I’m doing”. Well, sometimes, this is where faith comes in. We sometimes forget that everything I am has been ordained by God. Everything. Where do I tend to go? What do I tend to do? What tends to attract my eyes, ears, nose, steps, etc.? Is it not what appeals to me? Do I forget, that God knows exactly how I have been made and did that on purpose, for a purpose? And then, in the remaking, Do I forget that (He) is creating me and how He made me to be, to now be like Jesus too? “…we are God’s workmanship…”(Eph 2:8-10)
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Psalm 139; Psalm 91; Gen 16:13; Dan 4:35; Isa 10:15; 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; Jer 18:6; Rom 14:4
Woven together - 139:3-16 Fearfully and wonderfully made
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, a God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Grace apportioned as He has seen fit…
We have been woven together, by God, each and every thread, and this, on purpose - purposely and purposefully. Whenever we begin to pick out one thing, pull out one thread, we are telling God that what He has done, what He has ordained, is wrong, and what He would do with us is wrong, and He was mistaken about what He has made me to be and to do. When we do this, we risk no longer being able to be used in that area – as that thing we have discounted or picked at or put away is no longer at our, or God’s, disposal.
● 1 Cor 12:7, 11, 18
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, a and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Unity and Diversity in the Body
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
● Eph 4:7-8;
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.8 This is why it a says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”
● Heb 2:4
This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
● 2 Tim 2:20
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Understanding that it is God who works in us:
● Matthew 5:3 “blessed are the poor in spirit…
● Romans 12:3 “…do not think more highly of yourself and you should…”
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your a faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, b do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
● John 3:16; 1 John 4:10, 16, 19 “God so loved the world… This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins… God is love… We love because He first loved us.”
● Romans 5:8 “…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
● Romans 12:1, 3 “In view of God’s mercy offer your body…, For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
● Philippians 2:3-5 “…think of others as being better than yourself, …have the same attitude as Jesus, …a servant…”
● Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
● Phil 2:13 “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
James 4:10;1 Peter 5:6 “…Humble yourselves under God‘s mighty hand… humble yourself… and he will
It is not ours to say such things about ourselves, but it is God who speaks this of us. Our recognizing that God dignifies us is not a matter of arrogance or inappropriate pride, but in fact, this is a most humble recognition of what it is that we have been made to be, and what is He is making me to be.
God is a redeeming God and when He redeemed me and placed His Spirit in me and gave His truth to me He promised to work with me, to make me, more and more, like Jesus. And this, He has lovingly and wisely chosen to do with me over time - a process - sanctification - as He and I redeem each and every part of me, one part, one piece, at a time, as we go, together. (Ps 138:8; Rom 8:28-29; Phil 1:6; 2:13)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who i have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son”
“…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... continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
And that includes what appeals to me - what I understand as good, as right and just and fair, what is fruitful, what is tasteful and honoring - or - what is not good, wrong and unjust and unfair, distasteful, dishonoring (Prov 1-8). And all of this is done as I cooperate with Him, by His Spirit that guides me according to His Truth, He who is Truth, Jesus. (John 14:6; 1John 5:6; Gal 5:13; Phil 1:10)
As I grow in Christ, though I am still the me God has made me to be, my tastes, or, what appeals to me, will be refined and re-aimed toward what is pleasing to God and the Spirit that is in me. So that what appealed to me before (and still may to my flesh) no longer satisfies or satiates like it did before.
It does not taste quite the same or do quite the same thing for me… so, I go a different direction, I eat and drink different things, I begin hanging with other folks in other places…
...and really, I’m not even sure why, accept that, it, this new thing, intrigues me, it distracts me from what I used to concentrate on, it just “feels right”, it's beginning to agree with my soul, it is beginning to appeal to me, so, I go.
It’s a little bewildering, actually.
But, now, I begin to delight in the Lord and what delights Him. (Matt 7:7-8; 1Sam 15:22; Ps 37:4; 43:4; 81:10; 94:19; 104:31; 145:19; 149:4; Prov 3:12; 11:1, 11; 12:22Is 58:14; 61:10; Hab 3:19)
“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
So, as a grow in Christ, I go, and as I go, I go as I know and understand, and as I go, God steers and corrects and redeems and redirects and uses, me. Together Him and me, we.
Inhibited worship, service, fellowship with others occurs when we despise her holding contempt how and who we have been made to be and the attributes that make us who we are.
Who we are, what we’ve been made to be, is combined with the placement in the body, the circumstances we find ourselves in, the station and stage of life we find ourselves.
We underestimate God‘s desire for us in regard to loving and being loved as we have been designed.