Skills – to Accomplish God’s Purpose
Article by Allie Burkhardt, IPSAT Coach at Bloomingdale Church
As you engage with the Skills Inventory, think about how the skills that you need to fulfill your purpose will almost always connect with a signature theme of talent that you can turn into a true strength.
I challenge you to ask God to open your senses to what He put inside of you. Ask God to help you develop skills that complement the way that He created you, so that you can fulfill the purposes that He has for you!
A Devotional Reflection: The Call of Jeremiah
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
-Jeremiah 1:4-8 (NIV)
In this passage, God tells the prophet Jeremiah that he was created with intentionality (“before you were born I set you apart“). God tells Jeremiah to trust Him (“I am with you and will rescue you”), despite the fact that Jeremiah does not feel equipped to fulfill his purpose when he looks at his own skillset (“I don’t know how to speak“). God reassures Jeremiah that He will prepare him with what he needs.
Jeremiah was a messenger of God’s justice and grace. God called him to speak truth to Israel, who had broken their covenant with God. Reading through the book of Jeremiah reveals that Jeremiah communicated a lot about God’s judgment, but that he also got to communicate the fact that God didn’t abandon his people in their sin and that there is still the hope of the future king from David’s line (Jesus). God had a powerful purpose (proclaiming God’s justice and grace) for Jeremiah’s life!
Take some time to reflect on God’s call to Jeremiah. What does this passage tell you about God? What does it say about living out purpose?
Also, spend some time reflecting on your own strengths and skills. Ask God to show you His character, and where He is asking you to step out in faith when it comes to developing your skills.
My Personal Reflection
Flipping through my typical band selection, an early 2000s Switchfoot song came on in my car earlier this week. It made me think of the passage above from Jeremiah, which has stood out to me every time that I’ve read that book.
Some of the lyrics from the song read “These fragile dusty frames house canvases of souls. We are bruised and broken masterpieces, but we did not paint ourselves…I’m lost without You here. You knew my name when the world was made.” (Switchfoot, “The Economy of Mercy”)
I love how the lyricist describes humanity as “bruised and broken masterpieces” and the fact that “we did not paint ourselves.” Isn’t it so true that we are beautiful, broken and bruised, and that there is much of our stories that we do not choose?
God created you with purpose, and he knows your name and your story. If you have the gift of a relationship with God, you know how lost you are without Him. Reflect on that for a moment. Think about how God wants to use the story of your life to create something beautiful, and how much he wants to be involved with you. Invite Him into this journey as you continue to explore the ways that He created you and think about the skills that you have and those that you want to develop.
You are doing hard (and good!) work by investing in an exploration of how God created you. Keep it up!