by Pastor Rick Warren
“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 a (The Message)
Do you worry about your weaknesses and forget to focuses on your strengths? God has uniquely designed each of us with strengths that point us toward fulfilling our destiny and bringing Him glory. No matter what you have experienced in your life, God still has a purpose for you.
“You Lord, made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body. I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way…You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your Book before I was one day old!”
Psalm 139:13-16 (New Century Version)
THE 5 ELEMENTS GOD USES TO “SHAPE” YOUR LIFE
- Spiritual Gifts – Each person has multiple supernatural gifts to build up others and the Church. “Each one has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.” 1 Corinthians 7:7 b (NIV)
- Heart – Each person has motives, passions, and/or things that “turn your crank.” “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23(NIV)
- Abilities – Each person has been born with specific capabilities. “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well…” Romans 12:6 a (LB)
- Personality – Each person has a specific personality. “God works through different people in different ways…” 1 Corinthians 12:6(Ph)
- Experiences – Each person has experiences, good and the bad (Vocation, education, and painful times). “All that happens to us is working for our good if we love God…” Romans 8:28(LB)
HOW DO I MAXIMIZE MY GOD-GIVEN SHAPE?
Discover my shape (examine the 5 elements)
- By examining my past – “You have experienced many things. Were all those experiences wasted?” Galatians 3:4 (ICB) “Everyone should examine his own conduct; then he will be able to take the measure of his own worth; with no need to compare himself to others.” Galatians 6:4 (Knox)
- By experimenting with different tasks
- Accept my shape – Why did you make me this shape? A potter can do whatever he likes with the clay!” Romans 9:20-21 (JB) “Each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.” 1 Corinthians 7:17 a (NIV)
- Enjoy my shape – “To enjoy your work and to accept your lot in life – this is a gift from God. People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy.” Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 (NLT)
- Develop and use my SHAPE “Keep using the gift God gave you…let it grow, as a small flame grows into a fire.” 2 Timothy 1:6(NCV) “God has given each of you special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s…blessings.” 1 Peter 4:10(LB)
WHAT HOLDS US BACK?
- Fear – “I was afraid, so I hid the talent you gave me in the ground.” Matthew 25:25 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
WHY MUST I MAXIMIZE MY STRENGTHS?
- I’m accountable to my Creator – “From where he sits God overlooks all of us on earth. He has shaped each person and now he watches everything we do.” Psalm 33:14-15(The Message) “Offer every part of your body to God to be used in doing good.” Romans 6:13 b (NCV)