“God’s love is so real that He created you just so He can prove it.”
This post flows from the last thought shared on my previous post about receiving a calling from God. And here I intend to touch on a very sensitive matter that springs from that thought – predestination.
More challenging than the quest for purpose is the fear of what we may discover when we embark on that quest. Sometimes it’s the fear of discovering the responsibility that purpose would bestow on us and other times it’s the fear of discovering that an unpleasant path lies ahead of us or that we have been predestined for damnation. More often than not this fear finds its root in a popular misunderstanding of the scriptures.
“Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for dishonour? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” (Romans 9:21–24)
It is easy to read these verses on a surface level and think that it is in God’s character to take away a man’s freewill and power of choice in order to destine him for dishonour and wrath. But if we take a closer look at the scriptures, we would not only see how wrong that is, but how contrary it is. Those who deduce the idea of predestination from Paul’s letter to the Romans fail to see how inconsistent that idea is with that of Paul and the whole body of scripture. (Not to mention how deeply rooted that idea is in Eastern religion). For instance it was the same Paul who wrote 2 Timothy 2:20-21, a portion of scripture that clearly reveals humanity’s power of choice.
“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honour and some for dishonour. Therefore IF ANYONE (i.e. if anyone of these vessels, whether they be gold, silver, wood or clay, if anyone) cleanses himself from the latter (that is from dishonour), he will be a vessel for honour, sanctified and useful for the master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:20-21)
Do you see how the same thought is shared here as in Romans 9 but this time the message is more defined – that ANYONE can be a vessel of honour if they choose to? Hence we all have a choice which vessel we would be, whether vessels for honour or for dishonour.
So if you are out there bound by fear that some angry God has made you simply as His punching bag to carry out His entire personal vendetta, I want to reassure you that the heavenly Father who made you in His own image has nothing but undying love for you and a glorious purpose for which you were made to find fulfillment in. Whether or not you will have that glory or settle for wrath is entirely up to you. The Father is not out to destroy anyone, if He was, He wouldn’t be called the Creator but the Destroyer.
This message is especially relevant to the physically challenged, and those suffering untold misery, fighting endless battles, those who feel God has forgotten them or has lesser value for them; do not despair and do not give in to the lie of the devil, for you too were created for His glory. Our mistake has always been to read 2 Timothy 2:20-21 and think that the vessels of gold and silver are the ones designed for honour and that the vessels of wood and clay were made for dishonour. On the contrary it says “if anyone (whether less privileged, handicapped, of low social status or physically challenged, if anyone) cleanses himself from [dishonour], he will be a vessel for honour…” That means being a vessel of honour is dependent on us and the choices we make and not on God nor on our physical limitations. Therefore if even a ‘vessel of clay’ was to cleanse himself from dishonour he will be used for honour and the reverse is also true: If ‘the gold vessel’ fails to cleanse himself he will be found fit only for dishonour.
If you think your life is over and no situation is as bad as yours and therefore this article does not apply to you then you probably haven’t heard of Nick Vujicic, born without limbs and without apparent hope. That’s just as bad as it gets. Today he is a motivational speaker, founder of a non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs and even more astonishing than all this is that he is now married to a beauty queen and has a healthy child.
You don’t have to receive a miracle in order to fulfill purpose, Vujicic is a testimony to that.
For the blind man in John 9, the work of God was revealed in the gift he received in the miracle he got in regaining his sight.
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” John 9:2-3
But for people like Nick Vujicic, Cobhams Asuquo, Helen Keller and countless others like them, the work of God was revealed in the gift they gave in service to humanity.
Like Nick would say, “If you can’t get a miracle, become one”.
Let go of self-pity. Let your light shine. Forget your fears and anxieties and relax in God’s reassuring love.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11).