Humans have an inherent need to feel their lives matter, that they have a sense of purpose. We long to be people of significance. Too many people wake up every day wondering about their worth or purpose. These doubts can be overcome when we remember his sacrifice proves our worth. God breathed his breath into us, he breathed the power of the Holy Spirit upon his followers, he commissioned us to be his people. He is the one who gives our lives significance, purpose, and worth. Our negative emotions can rob us of our hope and joy. Yet through prayer God can help us overcome those feelings of worthlessness and purposelessness.
Those who belong to Christ have an important calling, which Jesus articulated as he bodily left this earth. Listen again to these familiar words of the great commission:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
These are Jesus’ last words before he ascends to heaven. As parting words, this command was of paramount importance to him and should be equally important to us. Jesus has chosen YOU, imperfect, broken, confused you, to continue the work he completed on the cross. YOU are chosen to bring the good news of salvation. YOU are chosen to show love and mercy. YOU are chosen to be light in a dark world.
If you are anything like me, you feel totally underqualified and ill-equipped for such a high calling. Honestly, that is the best place to be, because then you will rely on the overcoming power of the Holy Spirit that is living within you. When you are totally humbled and submitted, you are in the perfect place for the Holy Spirit to fill you. And prayer is how you get access to the overcoming power of the Spirit.
God has graciously prepared you to fulfill the great commission in a way that is unique to you. If you want to discover how God wants to use you, I suggest that every morning, in prayer, you obey the command found in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” In faith and trust, out of gratitude for all God has done for you, humbly offer yourself to God, asking him to use you as he will in that day.
As you offer yourself to God every day, give him ALL of you, both strengths and weaknesses. God not only knows our weaknesses, he is also powerful enough to use them. I appreciate Paul’s attitude when Christ assured him with these words, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul responded with,
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”(2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Don’t let the evil one convince you that you are worthless because you are not perfect. You are precious and chosen by God to do amazing things. Offer yourself to God in prayer and experience the overcoming power of God flowing through you.
In prayer, we can claim the beautiful promises of scripture about who we are and what we are called to do. Listen to what Paul says about you in those verses. As Christ’s disciple, you are significant because God has made you a new creation in Christ. God called you to be a minister of reconciliation, sharing the good news of forgiveness and reconciliation with our creator. God empowered you to be an ambassador that speaks the King's words and stands in the gap in prayer for those in trouble. God chose you to be his righteousness on earth. I encourage you to continue to search scripture to discover your significance in building God’s kingdom then in prayer offer yourself to God for that purpose.
Be assured, God will take you up on your offer and do things through you that bless other people’s lives and assures you of your worth, purpose, and significance. You may not be called to do grandiose things, but each small act of love and kindness done in Christ’s name spreads God’s grace and builds God’s kingdom. I encourage you to open your eyes and heart to see how small acts of kindness, generosity, and mercy God are actually using you to do a mighty work for the kingdom.
As you daily offer yourself to God in prayer and he does kingdom work through you, people will start to see Jesus in you, and offer compliments. Some may have trouble receiving affirmations because they lack self esteem or just want to stay humble. Choose to graciously receive the compliment as the gift of grace it was meant to be. Then in prayer at night, lay every single compliment at the feet of Jesus as a sacrifice of praise. Because the good they saw in you was Jesus working in you, and he deserves the praise.
My prayer is that you will experience the overcoming power of prayer as you hear and experience the profound truth that you are a person of great significance who has an important purpose in this world.
Rev. Dr. Rob Toornstra
Rev. Travis Jamieson