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May - Divine Appointment - Discovering Who We Are in Christ

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

I spent the month of May reading through the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Job -- and met - truly met - so many wonderful characters of the Bible for the first time.


Ezra, the priest, gives an account of the return of the Jewish exiles back to the Holy Land and stresses the importance of turning our hearts back toward our sovereign God.


Nehemiah, cupbearer to King to King Artaxerxes of Persia, oversaw the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in an unfathomable 52 days time - proof that God will intervene on behalf of his chosen people to accomplish extraordinary things.

Esther, the beautiful Jewish girl who caught the attention of King Xerxes, was made Queen of Persia just in time to save her people from slaughter.


Mordecai, Esther's uncle, was similarly promoted at an appointed time and became "very great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he continued to work for the good of his people, and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants." (Esther 10:3)


Job, who was "blameless - a man of complete integrity" (v. 1), suffered unimaginable trials. Yet in every circumstance, he maintained his devotion to God, teaching us that remaining faithful to the God who saves promises us a fortune so great, we ought never to focus on our troubles, but only keep our eyes on what is to come.

 

Here are my main takeaways:


(1)The Bible really is the most beautiful story ever told. It no longer surprises me that it holds the record for the Best Selling book of all time!


(2) We were all made with the same intention by the very same God who formed the universe into being. We were made to reflect His image and care for His Earth IN OUR APPOINTED TIME.


(3) We will step into our divinely appointed role when we are ready to do so. God will give us the tools we need to carry out the duties He has planned for us to carry out.


John 15:16 secures that promise. "You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you what you ask for, using my name."


How beautiful does the Psalmist paint this picture for us in Ch 8, v: 3-9 -


When I consider your heavens,

the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which you have set in place,

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels

and crowned them with glory and honor.

You made them rulers over the works of your hands;

you put everything under their feet:

all flocks and herds,

and the animals of the wild,

the birds in the sky,

and the fish in the sea,

all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the Earth!

 

Our God is a God of intention.


He merely speaks, and miracles take place.


He spoke the entire universe into existence!


The Master Creator intricately designed every grain of sand, every droplet of water, species of animal and wildflower, and most especially, he fashioned you and I.


I often speak of my Fearless Fellowship Leader, who I love very dearly. For the past year and a half, she has had us open just about every weekly Fellowship with Genesis 1:26-28, and I could not be more grateful for this. You see, the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."


So what can we learn from Genesis 1:26-28?


"And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.'"


I particularly enjoy The Message version, which reads:

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them

reflecting our nature

So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,

the birds in the air, the cattle,

And, yes, Earth itself,

and every animal that moves on the face of Earth."

God created human beings;

he created them godlike,

Reflecting God's nature.

He created them male and female.

God blessed them:

"Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!

Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,

for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."


You see the way Eugene Peterson so phenomenally translates the phrases "in the image of God" to "reflecting God's nature," and "dominion over" to "responsible for?"


These are indeed phrases the modern man can understand!


And, so, it begs the question, as a collective, are we genuinely Reflecting God's nature and taking care of the things we are responsible for taking care of?


I don't mean this to serve as a rhetorical - my purpose here is for all of us to dig deep within our souls and answer that question truthfully.


Here are a few more to ponder:

  • In what areas are we doing our part, and where are we falling short?

  • Are we mirroring the ways of this world or the ways of the Divine?

  • What can we do to lift one another up, to open the eyes, ears, and hearts of our fellow men and women to the instruction and voice of the Father?

  • Have we prayed to God to place His purpose upon us?

 

In every high school student's life, there will come that time for selecting majors, seeking out recommendation letters and guidance for their place in this world. In my experience as a classroom teacher, I must have asked at least 2000 students what they had in mind for their college or future plans.


I frequently reflect on my own career path.

It took me an unnecessarily long time to come full circle as a Teacher. Looking back, I believe I did just about everything possible NOT to become and remain a teacher and postponed my true calling in the process. (Stubborn and thick-headed - yes, these are two of my character defects.)


Praise God; He was right beside me along the way, placing me back on the path He laid out for me every time I tried to go off on my own.


He most certainly fulfilled his promise from Jeremiah 29:13 in my life. "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

You see, before we can do the work that God is asking us to do, we have to be secure in our true identity in Christ. We can't become what we are meant to become if we don't know who we are.


Remember, we are made in the image and likeness of a most wonderful, loving Father.


The most important thing along this journey is that I know He isn't finished with me yet, "and that He who began a good work in you [and me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6, emphasis mine.)


If you decide right now to dedicate a portion of your day to spending time with the Father in prayer and worship, and seek His wisdom above all things, you will begin to feel His familiar tug on your heart to move in His direction. If you listen carefully, you will start to recognize His soft voice, gently guiding you to do the next right thing. You will be able to drown out the voices of this world and tune in to the only voice that truly matters - that of the one who made you.


Get to know who you are in Christ, and you will surely step into your Divine Appointment. ❤

Thank you for signing in this month as we journey together through God's word. May He pour out His blessings upon you and your families.

With love,

~Jen 💕🌷


 

"Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” - Esther 4:14



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