Ministry: Shaped To Serve
By Rick Warren
— May 21, 2014
Your hands shaped me and made me. Job 10:8 (NIV)
God formed every creature on this planet with a special area of expertise. Some animals run, some hop, some swim, some burrow, and some fly. Each has a particular role to play based on the way they were shaped by God. The same is true with humans. Each of us was uniquely designed, or "shaped" to do certain things.
Before architects design any new building they first ask, "What will be its purpose? How will it be used?" The intended function always determines the form of the building.
Before God created you, he decided what role he wanted you to play on earth. He planned exactly how he wanted you to serve him, and then he shaped you for those tasks. You are the way you are because you were made for a specific ministry.
The Bible says, "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works" (Ephesians 2:10, NIV). Our English word "poem" comes from this Greek word translated "workmanship." You're God's hand-crafted work of art. You're not an assembly-line product, mass-produced without thought. You're a custom designed, one-of-a kind, original masterpiece.
God deliberately shaped and formed you to serve him in a way that makes your ministry unique. He carefully mixed the DNA recipe that created you. David praised God for this incredible personal attention to detail God gave in designing each of us: "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous" (Psalm 139:13-14, NLT).
Not only did God shape you before your birth, he planned every day of your life to support his shaping process. David continues, "Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16, NLT).
This means nothing that happens in your life is insignificant. God uses all of it to mold you for your ministry to others, and shape you for your service to him.
God never wastes anything. He would not give you abilities, interests, talents, gifts, personality, and life experiences unless he intended to use them for his glory. By identifying and understanding these factors you can discover God's will for your life.
The Bible says you are "wonderfully complex." You're a combination of many different factors: "The people I have shaped for myself will broadcast my praises." (Isaiah 43:21, NJB)