Do you know that our identity fuels our generosity? When we truly know who we are IN CHRIST and Who He is to us, we will not be afraid to give confidently. It is not just in giving something from our hands but more so giving of ourselves knowing that each one of us is a piece of a puzzle. That piece that is so uniquely cut which perfectly fits only where God intends us to be when we are fully yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Our lives can be a lot like jigsaw puzzles that come to us in a container of a thousand pieces. On the cover is the beautiful picture when every piece is in its rightful place. Before we can see the whole picture, we have to understand how all the pieces fit together.
A jigsaw puzzle is a tiling puzzle that requires the assembly of often oddly and strangely shaped interlocking and tessellating pieces. Jigsaw puzzles were originally created by painting a picture on a flat, rectangular piece of wood, and then cutting that picture into small pieces with a jigsaw, hence the name. It’s goal is to develop problem solving strategies for fitting the pieces together where they belong and completing the picture. It causes people to observe and detect similarities and differences, analyze, and do trial and error.
Just as this puzzle starts with a full and complete picture, our lives are no different. God already knows what the final outcome of our lives will be which is GLORIOUS to behold and that is cut out according to His image and likeness. He already knows the seed of greatness that He has deposited in us, the gifts and callings that He has entrusted us. Our role is TO DISCOVER who He created us to be and walk in the anointing that He has empowered us to do. All by His mercy and grace, He takes us from glory to glory, with every step that we take making us more like Jesus.
God said, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you ..” (Jeremeiah 1:5 NLT) He chose us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him IN LOVE (Ephesians 1:4). His ways are steadfast love and faithfulness to those who keep His covenant and testimonies (Psalm 25:10). Our Daddy God knows the end from the beginning. He already knows our life’s blueprint, a detailed plan. After all, we are His masterpieces.
“For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He PREARRANGED and MADE READY for us].” (Ephesians 2:10 Amp)
In the process, we try, we make mistakes, we make wrong positions, we make wrong angles, and we do and undo incorrect connection points. Sometimes we go through life which looks far from the picture no matter how we look at it the best way possible. When times like these happen, we are to be careful not to condemn ourselves for it will open us to weariness which robs us of our JOY that keeps us going. Instead, we continue to focus on Jesus, Who is the author and finisher of our faith, Who intercedes for us that our faith will not fail. We continue to COUNT IT ALL JOY while the going gets rough, for the JOY that is set before us, seeing beauty when we get through to the other side, will keep us on the race. I like what Bill Johnson said, “When you go through challenges and you don’t find JOY in your heart, DO THE MATH AGAIN.” Yes, there is always a way of seeing things in a renewed mind’s perspective that brings forth JOY and that is when we have HOPE in our hearts, confidently expecting that something GOOD is about to crash in all because we have a GOOD, GOOD FATHER Who is committed to our good.
Sometimes we connect pieces in its perfect place which feels right, and when this happens we DON’T unlink them unless we are ready to quit altogether. It takes a lot of time, energy, and effort but once we do have the sense of what has happened, is happening and will happen, we recognize we must continue to build and move forward until we make the right choices and create the beautiful picture on the cover. If we don’t, then we’ll get stuck and never realize the beauty and the blessing before us.
We must remember that being created according to the image and likeness of God, our lives are beautiful pictures that are yet to fully unfold. We may discover somewhere along the way some of the pieces in place. Other pieces may be brought in and positioned by the people around us who have yielded to the voice of God and are also doing the very same thing we are doing. It takes powerful experiences, learning to correctly respond to the challenges that we face. Our connections and relationships with people that build our character are vital. But above all it takes intimacy with God to get the full picture. No one and nothing in this world is complete and whole without Him in the midst of us. He is our PORTION. The Portion where no amount of substitute that we can dare dream, think or imagine can fill the void that only He can fill.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:24 ESV)
Ever since I became a believer, I have this deep longing in my heart to hear someone talk about “intimacy with God”. Do you know why? Because when I received Jesus in my heart, He came in as the Lover of my soul. He filled my heart with so much love that I literally questioned myself at one point, “Am I still normal?” The kind of love that He poured into my heart was beyond comprehension and way beyond description. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling so deep in the river of His love and all I did was linger in it every second of it and savor the moments in the silence of His presence yet tangibly feeling Him in my heart. It was awesomely and amazingly bizarre. I believe I found the most important Piece of the puzzle, Him being my Portion.
Years went by and I still was asking Him for explanations why I have this kind of encounters. We know that we are to trust Him with all of our hearts and lean not on our own understanding but I just couldn’t help myself but press in inquiring of Him for a confirmation that I am not the only one who feels like this. Lo and behold, three years ago I saw a facebook ad about a particular speaker whom I knew nothing of. There was such a pull for me to go that conference and hear this speaker speak and so I yielded to the persistent prompting in my heart. As the speaker started to sing in the spirit, I confidently knew that I was at the right place at the right time. And when the preaching started, the topic was all about intimacy with God. When I came to realize that I am not alone, that essential Piece of the puzzle just got laid, was set and firmly placed in its permanent position. This Piece became the Cornerstone of my life. The firm, foundational, tested, precious Stone Who is the first Stone set in the construction of my life which plays the most important Piece since all other stones will be set in reference to this Stone, thus determining the position of my entire life’s structure built to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, JESUS CHRIST Himself being the CHIEF CORNERSTONE, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22 NKJV)
We are all a work in progress but I believe that with His amazing grace where we were once lost but now found, with JESUS as our Cornerstone and our SURE foundation, every other piece will slowly and surely fit in and get laid at the right place at the right time. His word will be our plumb line. He will lead us, instruct us and guide us with His eye for He knows ALL THINGS and He knows where all things are to be placed. Every piece can be a memorial when we see His mighty hand move in our situation. Our testimonies will be vital pieces of markers of His goodness as He shows Himself strong in the midst of our challenges.
Apart from Jesus, we will never be made whole and complete. “He is before all things, and in HIM all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 ESV
Our everyday life contributes to putting more pieces together that will someday reveal the beautiful picture. To do it indestructibly, we need JESUS to be our Cornerstone. To do it effortlessly, we need the HOLY SPIRIT, the all surpassing greatness of power at work within us, creating in us the power and desire both to will and to do what He calls us to do for His own pleasure, delight and satisfaction. He does it all. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. And yet at the end of the day, we will hear our Daddy God personally saying to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.