“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
This devotion is written to any who are asking themselves: Who am I? Where am I headed? Who is in control? Am I lost in a sea of humanity?
Sometimes even God’s people, in their view, are as a leaf floating aimlessly on a creek; not really knowing the who, what, where, or how – about the direction of their life.
However, be assured of this truth – God has a definite and specific plan for your life in His Eternal Purpose in Christ. God is Sovereign in all things, as your Creator, Controller, and Consummator.
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)
To illustrate the fact that you are in God’s eye, and that you are not lost, aimlessly floating down life’s pathway with no purpose, but quite the contrary – consider the following situation:
When my clothes are soiled, I carry them to the dry cleaners. I deposit my clothes with the clerk at the dry cleaner, and she gives me a tag with a number on the tag. She places my clothes into a huge clothes container and rolls them to the processing area.
I think to myself, how is she going to keep my clothes separate from all the other clothes?
Two days later, I return and ask for my clean clothes. She turns a switch and the railway of hanging clothes begins to rotate. Hundreds of clothes go by; and then the rotation of hanging clothes stops. She lifts some clothes off the rotating rack, and there are my clean clothes.
I ask her how she knows exactly where my clothes were. The clerk answers, “Sir, I tagged your dirty clothes when you brought them in with the same tag number I gave you. Your clothes were never in danger of being lost in the cleaning process.”
This simple illustration of my tagged dry cleaning, where they were never lost in the cleaning process, is what God revealed to Jeremiah, the prophet to Judah, concerning God’s purpose for him.
God brought to Jeremiah three simple truths:
A. The Past – “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…”
This reveals that God was Jeremiah’s Creator, “Before I formed thee.” Each person reading this devotion must understand that God is their Creator. (See Ecclesiastes 11:5; 7:13; 3:14; Jeremiah 13:23; Matthew 6:27.)
Second, this reveals that God, the Creator, knew him before He formed him in the belly of his mother. Being God, it is not what God knew about Jeremiah, but that God knew Jeremiah; God knew him. (See Romans 8:29a.) This proves that Jeremiah was in the mind of God in Eternity Past, before Jeremiah was created in his mother’s womb. This idea brings on many theological thoughts, but that is not the focus here. What is primary here is that Jeremiah was “tagged” by God “before” he was created. Jeremiah, you were never without purpose.
B. The Present, “…and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee …”
Jeremiah, even when you were forming in your mother’s womb, I (God) set you apart (or sanctified you) with a purpose in life for Me (God). Jeremiah, even before you were born, even before you ever breathed air – I set you apart, I had a plan for your life, even then. So you were “tagged” by God, even before you knew yourself.
“Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.” (Isaiah 49:1)
C. The Future “…and I (God) ordained (or appointed, or predestinated) thee a prophet unto the nations.”
Jeremiah, I not only set you apart in the womb, but I did it for a specific purpose; for you have been appointed, or “ordained,” (by Me) to be a prophet.
If God has quickened your spirit – proven by the fact that as you read this devotion, you realize you have ears to hear God speaking to you in your seeming dilemma, which you are in now; that is, aimlessly floating without a goal in life; really just lost in a sea of people, without knowing the who, what, when, where, and how of this life; just a wondering, doubting, and defeated soul – be still and listen to God. You have never been without God’s Plan and Purpose for your life; for you have been tagged by God for His Honor and Glory.
Even though you were born in sin, dead in trespasses and sin; though you are a sinner – yet Christ died for you, atoned for your sins. Look to Him even now, and confess Him as Lord (Master) and Savior and King. Confess that you have been to His Cleaners, and are now washed and justified by Christ on the Cross (Romans 3:24-25; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 1:7) and called (2 Timothy 1:7-9).
Praise God, you were never not known by God (Ephesians 1:4-11; Romans 8:29-39); and now, by God the Spirit, you have been quickened (Ephesians 2:1; John 6:63), you have been drawn to Him (John 6:44-45), you have confessed your sins, and you have acknowledged Him as your Savior. (Read Romans 8:1-16; Galatians 4:5-6.). Whereby you cry “Abba, Father” – that is, you know you are His son or daughter:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10)
Yes, praise God you were tagged by God. Shed your depression and your seeming doubt and defeat. Replace it with Victory in the Lamb of God (1 John 5:4).
Start this very moment to be led of the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit, and to live in the Spirit; and to be His witness of His Saving Grace as an overcomer in Christ, over all things.
Lift up your head – you do have a purpose in Christ. Walk in His Love, in His Light, and in His Power daily. (Read Jeremiah’s story, especially 1:6-19.)
Read God’s Word daily; pray daily; seek to walk even as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). And you will find purpose in your life.
Don’t look at your circumstances or your situation – but look to God, your Creator, Controller, and Consummator. Keep your eyes on Him; and He will reveal His purpose for you in life for His Honor and Glory. Amen and Amen!