God created us for a specific purpose. He orchestrated everything to work towards our alignment towards this work.
Our Identity in God
The Bible in the Amplified version notes in Ephesians 2:10 that:
“For we are God’s (own) handiwork (his workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, (born a new) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which he prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them living the good life which he prearranged and made ready for us to live).”
In line with Genesis 1:26, we note that we are created in GOD’s image and likeness. Why His likeness and image – why not just a special likeness or any other belonging to His entire creation?
So that we can be “masters over all of life” (Genesis 1:26b). He created us in his image and likeness so that we can take charge and dominion – we can have complete authority (authority in line with his image and likeness) – authority that descends from him. So that when this authority is exercised, rightly, then His will here on earth will be done as it is in heaven.
As any instrument/item made by man has its origin and therefore the blueprint manual from the manufacturer, so is the human being (you and I). We cannot be able to function ultimately within our purpose without the image and likeness of God, our creator, our manufacturer. Indeed, even as we came to life physically, God had it all planned in accordance to his purposes for us. Psalms 139:13-14 brings this out so clearly.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb…your workmanship is marvelous!”
There we are – God’s workmanship! We are crafted by him and him alone. We are his artwork, his masterpiece, we are unique – really out of this world! And yes, we are out of this world. We are not created in the class of animals, no, not. Not in the class of any living creature, but we are created in the Image and likeness of God.
Isn’t it amazing, truly, a wonder, to notice that we are created just a little lower than God, and as in Genesis 1:26 above, he has bestowed ALL his AUTHORITY ON US! Take a look at Psalm 8:5-6:
“For you made us only a little lower than God, and you crowned us with you glory and honour. You put us in CHARGE OF EVERYTHING YOU MADE GIVING US AUTHORITY OVER ALL THINGS!”
What is your identity? Do you really know who you are – Your source? Your roots?
The above scriptures (Genesis 1:26, Psalm 139:13-14 and Psalm 8:5-6) provide us with the most authentic source of who we are.
Sometimes we may not feel, leave alone accept and have it anchored in us that we are the image of God, and that he has given us authority over all!
We live in a fallen world – the enemy came and his whole intention was and still is to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10.10a). As a result, sometimes life challenges and difficulty experiences can blur the truth about our identity! But that is what they just do – blur – but they do not change the truth that WE ARE CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE AND THAT HE HAS A DIVINE PURPOSE FOR EACH OF US!
Yes, the challenges you have faced (in form of broken relationships, lack and poverty, sicknesses, failed businesses, rejection and all the nasty things the devil throws our way) may leave you feeling worthless, but the undaunted truth of the word of God is that YOU ARE HIS, AND HE HAS A PURPOSE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED FOR YOU. And that there is a specific path that he would want you to follow so as to fulfill this purpose, because in it you will find “good life”! Hallelujah!
Right from the beginning, God put his purpose in us – to take charge of everything He made!
Examining the Work
Back to our opening scripture – Ephesians 2:10:
“For we are God’s (own) handiwork (his workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, (born a new) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which he prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them living the good life which he prearranged and made ready for us to live)”.
A closer review of the above scripture reveals the following:
1. We are God’s own handiwork – his workmanship – his masterpiece.
2. We have been recreated in Christ Jesus, i.e. born a new or born again, so that we may do the good works.
It is only through recreation – our being recreated and reconstructed a new through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, that we are able to do the God works.
3. God predestined – he planned beforehand – the good works, and it is upon us to discover these good works.
4. In doing the good works, we have to walk through the paths that God also prepared ahead of time.
5. And in walking through the paths that God prepared for us, then we live the good life, which he also prearranged and made ready for us to live!
Our lives were all planned out by God before we became! Is it a wonder that God tells Jeremiah that, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” (Jeremiah 1:5).
Many times a lot of people assume that being in the purposes of God is being in the five-fold ministry of Pastors, Teachers, Prophets, Apostles and Evangelists. These are only a part of the paths that lead us to the purposes of God. You could be doing your general shop business and you are in the purpose of God. You could be teaching in a school, and you are in the purpose of God. You would be leading a government ministry or a corporate or private entity and still be in the purposes of God. The determining factor is: Are you doing it in a renewed state?
From the beginning, we have seen that God created us in his image and likeness so that our services (our purposes) may be executed in his likeness and image – in his way. So what kind of an attitude do we need to adopt to execute the purpose of God in our work – it is none other than “DO IT AS UNTO GOD”. Embrace an attitude of stewardship – where you know and are fully persuaded that whatever you do, you are doing it on behalf of God, you are representing God, you are serving him by taking charge of the space, the knowledge, the skill, the expertise that he has given you.
The Renewed Mind
Our new identity in Christ only comes as we embrace him as Lord and Saviour in lives. We give him authority to lead and to govern our lives. This new identity comes after one exchanges their self-will with the will of Christ Jesus in their lives.
A self-willed, self-governed and self-led life in any area of work focuses and works towards selfishness. Yet this is not in the will of God, it does not aid in achieving his intended purpose in our lives. Self-will will only pursue self-interests. It is in light of this, that God warns us “Not to be CONFORMED to the world (this age), (fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs), but to be TRANSFORMED (changed) by the entire RENEWAL of your mind (by its new ideals and its new attitude), so that you may prove (for yourselves) what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect (in his sight for you).” (Romans 12:2).
ONLY a renewed mind will work out the purpose of God. Many people including born again believers, have been accustomed to the way of the world – its behaviours and customs – in business, in relationships, in families, in all areas of life – they follow through the worldly norms. This only keep one blinded and completely off the purposes of God.
However, a renewal of mind – a transformation – a change – from the worldly to God’s ways is available. This is what Romans 12:2 presents to us – to turn away from the worldly system. This renewal comes as one embraces a new behavior, a new attitude, a new way of thinking that only comes when the old is gone. The renewed mind is able to prove and embrace the good and acceptable and perfect will of God – his purpose for us. The New Living Translation puts verse 12 this way:
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God TRANSFORM YOU INTO A NEW PERSON by changing the way you think. THEN YOU WILL KNOW WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO, AND YOU WILL KNOW HOW GOOD AND PLEASING AND PERFECT HIS WILL REALLY IS.”
Renewal is available for everyone – Only DO NOT CONFORM but be ye TRANSFORMED. Position yourself to do the work in you. Position yourself to take charge of that which the Lord has given you. Position yourself to represent God here on earth. As you do so, all self-interests will be exchanged for God’s interests. Corruption will be a thing of the past. Murder, theft and robbery and all other vices will disappear in light of men and women who have positioned themselves to follow after the purposes of God. Amen.
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