Monday, September 29, 2014

God Doesn't Make Photocopies

In a world inhabited by more than six billion people, it would be easy to assume that there's nothing truly unique about you. But there is.

You have something that's physically different from any other person who's ever lived. It has belonged to you since you were in your mother's womb, it will remain unchanged throughout your life. It's a small window into God's totally unique design for you. What is it?

Your fingerprints.

The arches, whorls, and loops on your fingers create a pattern unlike anyone else's. If God took that much care in designing your unique fingerprints, He must intend for you to be different in other ways, too.

Crime investigators have long used fingerprints to identify people who were present at a crime scene. And the same trail applies to the unique ministry imprint you leave on the everyday lives of the people of touch.

Paul wrote about God's purpose in designing His one body of believers out of many different parts. God gives each of us different roles and responsibilities (Romans 12; 1 Corinthian 12; Ephesians 4). Paul declared that each part is vitally important - even the ones that are hidde or don't seem important (1 Corinthians 12:22-23). But together, each part functioning according to God's plan, they act as one. In fact, the body parts working together resemble Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:27).

Imagine the overwhelming joy you will experience as you fulfill the unique and distinct ministry role that God specifically designed for you. But, as my wife, Dawn, will quickly point out, you'll get frustrated if you try to fulfill someone else's role or try to fulfill your role in exactly the same way as someone else. God doesn't make photocopies! Your role and style were intended by God to be different.

You don't need to imitate anyone else. God has designed you like no other, and His design is perfect for the ministry He's called you to. In a sense, He's given each of us a ministry fingerprint. 

Understanding our unique design occurs most naturally as a result of an intimate relationship with God and His word. Studying God's word and meditating on His historical tendency to choose ordinary people and ordinary things to accomplish His extraordinary purposes should give us great confidence. Take for example:

-the slingshot David used to slay Goliath (1 Samuel 17:40)
-the jawbone Samson employed to defeat the Philistines (Judges 15)
-the staff God gave Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land (Exodus 4)
-the handful of flour and small portion of oil that fed Elijah and the widow of Zarephath's family for three years (1 Kings 17)
-the widow's meager offering (Mark 12)
-the boy's lunch that fed five thousand (John 6)

God often chooses "the foolish [simple, small, unexpected] things of the word to confound the wise" (1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV). When God's all-surpassing power shows up in the simplest of people and things, there's no mistaking it (2 Corinthians 4:7). The story and the glory are all His.

(From Dwight Robertson's "You are God's Plan A {and there is no plan B}")

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