You long for a life of significance!
You don’t crave fame. You’r not trying to become powerful. Pursue these things and in the end you may discover you’ve squandered your years. So what does it take for life to be significant?
The teaching of Jeremiah gives us important clues.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart and appointed
you as my prophet to the nations.”
— Jeremiah 1:5
We learn that:
- God prepared him from birth for a life of godly significance. He has done the same for you.
- God appointed him to do significant work. He has good works for you to do, too.
Significance begins with the imprint of a great maker!
From the moment you were born you’ve been a treasure to Him. Yes, it’s true! He formed you personally in your mother’s womb. You are a unique and special creation of the Maker of Heaven and Earth Himself. I once stood in front of a glass case containing a collection of the fabulous, jewel-encrusted “Easter eggs” created by Peter Carl Fabergé for the Czars of Russia as gifts for their wives and mothers. A single Fabergé egg was recently estimated to be worth more than $30 million dollars. A violin made by the famous Antonio Stradivari is vastly more valuable than even the best modern instrument.
Imagine, then, the value of something made with love and care by God Himself. The majestic and sovereign God of all creation is your creator. Just like Jeremiah you were formed by God Himself and known to him. Nothing will ever bring greater value to your life than this.
Significance is realized by serving God’s purposes.
Just as Jeremiah was “set apart” and “appointed” by God to be a prophet, God made you for a purpose that is important to Him. I was appointed to the work of Christian ministry, my wife to the work of mother and school teacher. You may have been appointed to some other purpose in life. No matter. A purpose is important not because of what it is but because of who assigns it. God made you for a purpose in His great plan. That should encourage you every day.
Today this essential truth is increasingly forgotten.
As in Jeremiah’s day people say, “At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!” (Jeremiah 2:31). It’s gone so far that Ferris Jabr writing in the New York Times argues that the very idea of “life” is an illusion.
Likewise, “life” is an idea. We find it useful to think of some things as alive and others as inanimate, but this division exists only in our heads.
To be alive is nothing more than an idea inside our heads? You may think that’s an extreme view, but its similar to the thoughts we all have from time to time that we are not really that important. These are lies. We should not listen to them.
Your Life Matters!
Are you thinking, “All I do are small things in quiet places. No one really cares about what I do.”
Listen! A purpose appointed by the Lord no matter what the size is immensely important.
If in the eyes of the world you feel small, take heart. You are important to Him. If you feel large take no glory in it because the honours of the world fade and pass away. A purpose appointed by God endures—forever!
The Key is Faithfulness
Since God has made you for a purpose, your key to significance is faithfulness. Do what he has set you apart to do, large or small, without regard to anything else.
Never doubt that two minutes of faithfulness to even a small but God-given task
is more worthwhile than an entire life achieving goals that did not come from Him.
The Scripture puts it this way, “I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked . . . . For He gives us grace and glory” (Psalm 84:10).
The Tragedy of Unfaithfulness
Jeremiah 2:5 makes a critical point. God’s people had been unfaithful to him. He says: ”They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves.”
What a lesson in these words! Worshipping idols destroys a life. Failure to be faithful to God sucks significance out of your life as surely as fire pump drains a reservoir. To build your life around anything less than God Himself is to worship something worthless. And like the worthless idol you become worthless too.
Never Depart from God’s Calling
Many years ago the man who led me to Christ planted a thought in my heart that has never left. “If God calls you to be a street sweeper,” he said, “Never stoop down to become a king.” I loved this way of looking at things.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said this more eloquently.
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures,
sweep streets like Beethoven composed music . . . sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry.
Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say,
“Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well!”
If you are faithful to God your life will be filled with the significance of His grace and glory.
- It will be filled with grace because it will have been a life transformed by God’s love.
- It will be filled with glory because the imprint of His purpose will be unfading and everlasting.
- It will be filled with joy because the greatest joy comes from serving Him.