Everything that God does is perfectly and intricately intentional. In fact, every decision and plan that God has ever made has a complexity of purposefulness and deliberateness that is beyond our comprehension. In comparison, our plans and purposes are simple, confused and conflicted. We make our plans with such limited understanding and with no knowledge of the future. But God plans his designs with full and complete knowledge. His mind fully grasps every detail, every angle, every nuance. God's plans and purposes are therefore perfect in every way, including the way that he has created you.

Who you are, in every aspect of your being, is not based on random and inadvertent chance. You are perfectly designed by God to accomplish exactly what he desires to accomplish through you. Perfectly. Stop for a minute. Did you get that? Perfectly. You are perfectly designed by God to accomplish exactly what he desires to accomplish through you. Perfectly. Do I need to repeat that?

This is not how we usually think about ourselves. Rather than beginning with God's purposefulness as our starting point and then understand ourselves in that light, we start with ourselves and rarely move beyond that point. We become fixated upon ourselves. And regardless of whether this causes our hearts to be filled with pride or shame, the error is the same. We are the focus; we are the center of attention. We are looking at ourselves rather than at Jesus and his plans for us.

So let's start with God. Genesis 1 describes God's work of creation, including his creation of human beings. And whereas God declares every previous stage of creation to be "good", only after his creation of men and women is it declared "very good"; only men and women are uniquely created in the image of God (Genesis 1:31, 1:27). Now two chapters later, the fall happens, and who we are becomes distorted and marred by sin. But even then, the problem is not with our design. And further, when we receive our new life in Jesus, the image of God is renewed in us (Colossians 3:10). So if God wanted you different, he would have made you differently.

God also clearly tells us that he gives spiritual gifts to every follower of Jesus. And every passage in which God speaks about spiritual gifts, he emphasizes that the distribution of the gifts is up to him. For example, see Romans 12:3 ("that God has assigned"), Ephesians 4:11 ("And he gave"), 1 Corinthians 12:11 ("the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills") and 1 Corinthians 12:18 ("God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose"). That means that your personality, your abilities, your tendencies and inclinations and gifts have been given to you by God himself. It is his determination; it is his decision. If he wanted you to have different gifts, he would have assigned them differently.

Point being, Jesus is bringing about his glorious tapestry of his redemptive mission, and if you are a follower of Jesus, he has created you and gifted you to live out your unique part. You are perfectly designed by God to accomplish exactly what he desires to accomplish through you. Every element of who you are has been intentionally determined by God to be used for his purposes. God has deliberately formed you for what he has given you to do.

What are you to do with this information? The goal is not to sit back on your couch with a self-satisfied grin based on how special you are. The goal is to use all that God has created and gifted you to be for the kingdom of Jesus. This means that you continually receive and grow in the gospel of Jesus, so that you can give away this hope to others in your labors. This means that you fight against sin, which can hinder your usability, with a greater satisfaction in Jesus. It means that you get training and develop your gifts to maximize your effectiveness. It means that you be an active part of the church body, of which you are but one part. And it means that you use your gifts. Gifts are not meant to be admired but to be given. Given to others—for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7) and for building up the church (1 Corinthians 14:4-5, 12, 26, Ephesians 4:12). That is why God created you as you.

So don't let your heart be filled with pride because of how gifted you are; those gifts come from the Lord, not from you. But also don't follow the lie that your abilities and gifts are too limited to make much of a difference; that would belittle what God has done. Because you are perfectly designed by God to accomplish exactly what he desires to accomplish through you. Perfectly.

In Mark 7:37, crowds are amazed at Jesus, and they declare, "He has done all things well!" That's what Jesus does, and that includes you. Now use it for him.

John Luhmann

John Luhmann has served as a pastor since 1999 and has served at Sovereign Hope since 2005, where he focuses on the preaching/teaching and leadership of the church. He is a graduate of Wheaton College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is greatly blessed to be able to devote his life to the church and God's word and loves to see the fruit that God produces in people's lives through the gospel. John and his wife Korinda were married in 1994 and are currently raising their seven children.