The LORD gave me a message. He said, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” (Jeremiah 1:4)
It is empowering to know that God placed a purpose and a call on our lives before we were even born. People can spend their entire lives trying to figure out what they are good at or what they should be doing with their time on earth, but the truth is these things have already been established and ordained by the Lord. The scripture says God told Jeremiah, “Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you ..” (v.5) Not only does God prepare a life for us, he sets us apart and anoints us in order to perfectly equip us for the job of a lifetime!
To set apart means to reserve for a particular purpose or to cause to be noticed or distinguished. God’s intention is to reserve each of his children for a particular purpose that will cause them to be noticed. Why is that? When we hit our stride within our God-given purpose, something happens. We get into a flow and we begin to shine. People take notice. And when we find a place of humility inside of such success, we naturally magnify God and give him glory (see John 17:1). People see us being successful, but something on the inside of them knows it’s not just us. They see God in us! Our being set apart so we can be noticed actually gets God noticed. And when God gets noticed, his Kingdom on earth expands.
When God sets us apart for a particular purpose, he also desires to anoint us with his Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the necessary power to carry out the call on our lives and testifies to the truth of the message our life creates as we walk out our purpose. The Holy Spirit keeps us on track in our walk, letting us know when we’re getting off course or in need of an attitude adjustment. He gives us directions for the next portion of our journey. Being led by the Spirit as we walk in our calling brings glory to God and makes our service holy.
God sets us apart and anoints us for a particular purpose before we’re born, but it’s our choice whether we walk in that calling. God has given us free will. We can choose our calling and to receive the Holy Spirit or we can resist and try to do life apart from God in our own power. Just look at Saul in the Old Testament. In 1 Samuel 10:1, the prophet anoints Saul because he says the Lord has set him apart to be the leader of the people of Israel. But anyone who is familiar with Saul’s story knows he lost that anointing and, with it, his ability to fulfill the calling. Saul lost favor with God, and with that his position and covering, because he failed to obey God (1 Samuel 15:11). But if you look back to the very beginning of Saul’s story when the prophet begins to reveal the plan God has for his life, it’s evident that Saul’s core issue is fear. He says to Samuel, “But I'm only from Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?” (1 Samuel 9:21). Saul spent most of his life in fear that he wasn’t good enough to live up to the calling God had placed on his life. That fear caused him to make bad choices—choices that eventually drove him out of both the calling and the anointing God had placed on his life.
We have a choice as to whether we will live set apart and anointed. This choice hinges on our ability to believe God at his word when he tells us we’ve been made with a purpose. When we allow fear to creep in and rob us of our confidence, we will begin to doubt the call God has placed on our lives and we will reject his Spirit-filled anointing because we do not feel worthy enough to receive it. But the good news is that Jesus died for us to cleanse us from sin and guilt so we might feel worthy. Not because of anything we did, but because of everything he did! Once we embrace the enormous gift of worthiness he gives us, we can confidently take up our calling–in Christ–and receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit and his power to walk out the purpose of our life.
Flowing out of your God given purpose are certain giftings and talents you’ve been given, in part, to help you succeed in your calling. It can be helpful to consider these gifts and talents as they pertain to the management of your personal finances. Take a few minutes today to either journal or list out gifts and talents you feel you have been given. Examples could be things such as the gifts of faith, administration, teaching or mercy; education in a particular field, a certain natural ability for something or even a strength of attitude or demeanor. If you’re not sure of your giftings or talents, ask your spouse or a friend who knows you well. Once you’ve spent some time thinking about your gifts and talents, take a stab at articulating what you think your God given purpose or calling might be. Even if you can’t articulate it fully, write down as much as you can at this point.
Take about 15 minutes to discuss the following points with your spouse or a trusted friend:
- If you are having trouble creating a list of your gifts and talents, ask your spouse or friend to help you. Discuss how your gifts and talents impact your ability to prosper.
- Begin to explore the understanding you have of your God given purpose through discussion with your partner or friend.
Spend a few minutes in prayer (ideally with your spouse or a trusted friend) and consider the following points:
- Give thanks to God for creating you in a wonderfully unique way with a specific purpose.
- Ask him to reveal your purpose and calling to you in greater and greater detail.
- Ask for a gifting or talent you feel would be beneficial to your ability to manage your finances and prosper financially.