Your SHAPE Shows Your Purpose
“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.” (Jeremiah 1:5, The Message)
Do you want to live a life of purpose and meaning? Think of what you do well -- and find ways to do more of those things. Then think of what you don’t do well -- and find ways to do less of those things.
God created you to be unique. He shaped you in a specific way for a special purpose only you can fulfill. In Jeremiah 1:5, God says, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you” (The Message).
No matter what, you can rest in the truth that God is working in your life and that he shaped you to succeed. He shaped you in advance for those plans. God’s plans for your life didn’t start the moment you were born. Those plans started before your birth, when the Bible says God shaped you in your mother’s womb.
But here’s the best part. The way God shaped you reveals how he wants to use you. How do you discover the unique way God made you?
I like to use the acrostic SHAPE: your Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. These are the five things that make you, you. And, by looking as each of these areas, you’ll begin to understand what God wants you to do with your life.
Spiritual gifts are God-empowered abilities for serving him that are given only to believers. For instance, some gifts motivate you for ministry -- like serving, teaching, encouraging, leading, giving, showing mercy, or offering biblical insight.
Heart refers to the bundle of desires, hopes, interests, ambitions, dreams, and affections you have. It’s what you love to do and what you care about most.
Abilities are the natural talents you were born with. God wants you to do what you’re able to do.
Personality affects how and where you use your spiritual gifts and abilities. You’ll use your gifts in different ways from anybody else.
Experiences teach you lessons that help you mature. They also help you minister to others going through similar experiences.
My friend, when God made you, he broke the mold -- there is no one else like you. My prayer is that you will find freedom and renewed energy as you live and serve according to your SHAPE.
Talk It Over
Consider what you do well and how God has wired you. What lessons can you draw from that about how God wants to use you for his work?
What things may make it difficult for you to figure out how God has wired you? Ask God to give you discernment. Then ask some friends to share what they see in you -- pieces that may reveal how God wired you.
What do you think about the truth that God had a purpose for you before he placed you in your mother’s womb? How might this change the way you live?
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission