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 1:5 (NKJV)
I sanctified you. I separated you and set you apart. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you. Paul introduced himself in Romans by saying:
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God. Romans 1:1 (NKJV)
He was separated to the gospel of God. The word he used for “separated” is aphorizo, meaning ‘to set apart for purpose’ or ‘mark off with boundaries’. He used the word again in Galatians:
…God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace… Galatians 1:15 (NASB)
Both Jeremiah and Paul knew that God had holy plans for them. In Ephesians 2 Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus and says:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
The expression in Jeremiah 1:5, “I formed you”, has the nuance of potter’s care and expertise, a theme Jeremiah will later expound in chapter eighteen. Jeremiah is being told, “I formed you like a pot. You are hand-made and uniquely formed for the task. You are a bespoke work of art- individually crafted.” We too can rest in the same truth that God has holy plans for us. He shaped us in advance for those plans, wired us for our assignment. The Bible declares that God created each of us with a special, positive purpose. Whatever job we do, it is a holy calling, a sacred calling, a responsibility given to us by God to serve Him there. It is an opportunity to be shining lights of integrity, dedication, humility, service and love. Pay attention to how He has gifted you. His plan for you will always be directly related to the gifts that He has bestowed upon you.
When Jeremiah was given his job, he looked for a way out, claiming that he wasn’t a good speaker and that he was much too young. Many of us give excuses as well when we’re given a tough task. But God had equipped him for his purpose and promised to be with him. He said:
“I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there.
I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it.
Don’t be afraid of a soul.
I’ll be right there, looking after you.” Jeremiah 1:7-8 (MSG)
It’s time to align yourself with God’s purpose and His will for your life. Get in alignment for your God-given assignment. Don’t delay – the destinies of people and nations may be depending on it.