The Search For Significance

Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations”
— Jeremiah 1:4-5 NKJV

There is no denying that mankind searches intently and continually for answers to the most basic questions of life: “Who are we? Where did we come from? What is our purpose on earth? Where are we headed? All people, believers in Christ as well as non-believers, come to the place sometime in their lives where they ask themselves, “Who am I? Why am I here? What am I to do?” Many people thoroughly exhaust their energy and resources searching for answers according to the philosophies and standards of the world, only to come up empty. Others choose a spiritual path but focus on spiritual practices and methods that are essentially self-centered, leaving them with an unfilled void in their lives. Still others simply give up trying eventually and to seek to content themselves with living a mediocre life occupied with mundane day-to-day activities. The one critical truth that all of these miss is that all the answers we are looking for are found in the One who made us: God, our Father. Taking the time to listen to Him will afford us the opportunity to know more about our own lives and understand better who we truly are in Him. We were in Him before the world was made, and before we were formed in our mother’s womb, He knew us.

God gave time to man not to govern or constrain him but to serve him. The problem is not that we don’t have enough time to do things but that many of us lack understanding and direction regarding what to do with our time. Our Father uses time to bring out His purposes, but it has to be at a “fullness-of-time” moment. The more we grow in the Father, the more we understand that even though we live in a time-space world, our disposition is not of the order or standard of this world, but of Him. The world is directed by a set of standards and systems that are man-led, man-orchestrated and man-achieved. There’s always a need for more because more is never enough. Those who are in the Father share a common viewpoint of eternalness because we have eternity in our hearts. Our mandate is all about our Father and His purposes.

Neither our life nor our relationship with our Father began the day we were born, but before. This is a difficult thought to process! Our life in the Father has always been. Our point of inception has always been in Him. Therefore, He can say, “Before I formed you, I knew you.” Many understand this as the Father proclaiming the outcome of the end, and that’s a valid thought that has a bit of substance. But why not go all out and get all of the substance? Our outcome in the Father is not based on an end because He knows the end from the beginning. Everything about who we need to be is in the framework of the Father.

One of our greatest struggles with the Father is the process of “formation.” The Father’s hand in our lives is not molding us into the people we are to “become” as much as molding us into the people we already are in Him. This is where the rubber meets the road and many people bail and abandon the process. Formation is what the Father uses to bring us into the fullness of who we are in Him. We grow into maturity to take on His nature and character. One of the most beautiful aspects of this is that the Father knows us and relates to us at the deepest, most personal, and most intimate level. He has not hidden Himself from us, but rather has revealed Himself to us with great love, care, and kindness. The issue is that we have forgotten who we are in the Father.

The Lord ordained Jeremiah as a prophet before he was born. The word “ordain” means to ascribe, to give, to frame, or to commit. Ephesians 4:11 says that Christ gave some to be prophets. This means that there are a limited number of true prophets within the body of Christ. Many today who call themselves prophets are in reality out of order because they are not among the “some”! The only way we can know our true self is by knowing the One who created us. Although we all come from different families, each of us can testify to a wide range of experiences in our upbringing, from the most gut-wrenching to the most exhilarating and joyful, and everything in between. Regardless of our experiences or the circumstances we come from, our identity, purpose and destiny are all tied up in our Father, who He knows the most intimate details about each of us — and still loves us unconditionally.