I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
Do you remember testimony services? I remember there used to be time set aside in every service, and sometimes whole evenings, dedicated to people coming one after another up to a microphone to share the good things God had done for them. I loved listening to the more seasoned saints tell of His unfailing love when they had failed to love Him. One of my favorite people to listen to was Sister Linney. One of my sweet friends was her granddaughter and I remember that when Sister Linney started telling of the love of Jesus, others behind her might just want to take a seat. My friend would tug on her skirt and remind her that others were waiting to testify too but when she started talking about how good God was in her life, it was difficult for her to find a place to stop. I did not know then how the words of those testimonies would return to my mind in moments when I too would fail Him.
As I explored the fact that we were fashioned to glorify God, the Holy Spirit directed me to my own journey with the Lord. It was always easy for me to see how a girl who was raised in the church and guided from a young age into a life of ministry could be used to glorify God. But there came a day when that girl was not so young anymore. Ministry was the furthest thing from her mind as she sat in a puddle of her own tears asking God: “How can you possibly use this?” Her life was such a mess. Some if it was chosen for her but it would be arrogant and misleading for me to say that none of it was her fault.
I looked back at my young life and could easily see how God could be glorified in that girl but I struggled to see how I was fashioned for His glory in the mess I had made. And yet, there was never a moment in all of my history when I was not fashioned for His glory and the same goes for you.
There is a difference between being fashioned for His glory and being used for His glory and that difference is you. You were made to bring glory to God and He can be glorified even in the ugliest parts of your life but first you have to give them to Him. He cannot use your life for His glory if you are still holding on to it. I had to come to a point in that mess that I had made when I handed it all to God and told Him that I didn’t want to do it alone anymore. Let me clarify, I had not been handling it alone because God left. I had been alone because I wasn’t allowing Him to help me. This is not just about turning your life over to God and becoming a Christian. It’s also about trusting Him to be glorified in your whole story. How many Christians are leading a life of faithful service and love for the Lord but who also have a portion of their testimony hidden from view because of fear and shame?
I understand. I wanted so badly to just be invisible but in order for God to be glorified, I had to be willing to be seen. In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus tells the crowds to let their light shine before men so that God could be glorified when their good works were seen. He likened it to a city on a hill that was visible from miles away; a city visible in the darkness. That is how God will use your testimony for His glory. He will make you a beacon to those who are still trying to find their way out of the dark. That beacon will draw others to you and you will show them to Christ. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17) Out with the old life and the old story of shame and fear; and in with a new life, the life shone brightly on a hill for all to see.
As I prayed about this last entry for the month of January focusing on how we have been fashioned by God I came back to the word study I did in the first week. I referenced the dictionary definition of fashioned. At the time I also made note of the antonyms of this word. Antonyms are opposites or contradictions, in this case, of being fashioned by God’s hand.
Antonyms for Fashioned: ignored, neglected, disregarded, abandoned, skipped, skimped, brushed aside, forgotten
As you pray this week, declare not only what you are in Christ but what you are not. You have been fashioned to glorify God and therefore, every moment of your story is eligible to be used for that purpose. I want to issue two challenges to you today. (1) Pray this prayer with me and declare that you have been FASHIONED by God. (2) Surrender your testimony to the Lord for His glory. If you want to share it below in the comments, I would love to rejoice with you in all the good things God has done in your life!
Father, today I declare with the psalmist that I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all that I have and I will glorify Your name forever! I declare that I am fashioned by Your hand in love, with integrity and imagination, with a purpose for Your glory! I AM loved, chosen, promised and valued. I AM NOT, and never will be, ignored, neglected, abandoned, brushed aside, or forgotten. I surrender my life, my home and my testimony to Your service for Your glory today. I love You, Lord, and I know that I can trust You. You are a faithful friend to me. I give You all the glory, God! Amen.
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