Tuesday, 21 July 2015

God's Masterpieces

When we are born, we are what we are. We did not choose our colour, race, or anything else. We have nothing to be proud of or ashamed of.

In a metaphorical sense, the Apostle Paul talks about one man sowing, another reaping, but God bringing the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). Similarly for humans, once conception has occurred, what happens next is in God's hands. God said He knew Jeremiah before He formed him in his mother's womb. In Psalm 139, the Psalmist says "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,  I know that full well."

Let me state here and now, I do not know the mind of God. I do not know why some pregnancies fail, or why babies are still-born, or have some condition or other. I do know that many babies with special needs have caused their parents to grow in all kinds of ways as they provide a loving and caring environment for their child. I do know that many people, born differently to others, have gone on to lead amazing and fulfilling lives.

The thing is, when we are born, we do not come with a handbook for our parents to follow. We are all unique, with unique needs, and unique abilities. There are no real experts to turn to. After all, what qualifies them as experts? How many children must a person raise to have the expertise to advise other parents?

What we do have is potential, but we do not know what this will be for. Some people are fortunate, and, very early in their life, they find something that fully engages their abilities. Others spend a lifetime looking and failing.

We are guided and changed by our families, our education, local culture and conditions. We may increase in knowledge and understanding, and learn what is right and what is wrong. The problem is that all this is coloured by tradition, opinion and prejudice. Instead of allowing us to find our place in life, that path may be cut off from us.

It does not matter how much we know, much of our knowledge is incomplete, imperfect, or just plain wrong. Our wisdom, similarly, is also flawed. There is so much more that we do not understand than we do. And our goodness, our righteousness, is also imperfect, because it is tarnished by selfishness, pride and other things. There is no-one truly good in this world.

Because we are so flawed, we do not have the ability to guide ourselves through life, let alone anyone else. we do not even know what will happen to us five minutes into the future. We do not know the consequences of what we say and do before they happen.

There is only one Person who truly knows us, and that is God. He designed and created us for a reason, and those reasons are His alone. He knows the heart of every person, and the future is as clear as the present to Him. It follows, then, that He is the only One able to guide us.

Now, Romans 9 says that God makes some people "objects of mercy" and others "objects of wrath". Only God knows who and why. The point is that those of us that choose to follow God do so only because He chose us to receive that ability, that grace. There are others who can never make that choice. Jesus said that only His sheep would hear His voice.

God provides us with the Holy Spirit. It is as if He plants a piece of Himself in us. To see how this helps us, you have to look at the life of Jesus Himself.  He put aside His human knowledge, wisdom and righteousness, and allowed God to speak and act through Him, guiding His every step.

The Apostle Paul reckoned all of his human qualities as rubbish, choosing to live subject to God's Will, just as Jesus did.

This does not make us puppets. We still have free will, but it is making a connection which gives us access to God's knowledge, wisdom and righteousness. Our lives, guided by Him, become a journey of joy and abundance. We will discover our fullest potential. Our lives will achieve their greatest fulfilment. We will be the people we were designed and created to be.

God promises that all things we experience under His guidance will be to our good.  If we let Him, He can override our human shortcomings with divine power, enabling us to do and say exactly the right things for the circumstances we are in, and to allow us to bring encouragement, healing, and freedom to others.

There is another side to this. What I have said above applies to all believers. Everyone who follows Christ was chosen by God. They were designed and created by God for His purposes, known only to Him.

This means that, if we judge another believer, we are judging God. It does not matter what colour, race, gender, sexual orientation, height, weight, level of education, physical or mental characteristics. If a person is a believer, they are chosen by God, and it is up to God to guide them into the life He has planned for them.

So, accept yourself as God's Masterpiece. Trust that He has a perfect plan for you, if you let Him guide you, and accept that the same is true for every other believer. They are all God's Masterpieces, and we must see them like this.

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