Bible Society of South Africa

Not a cookie-cutter faith - 25 October 2023

By Imogen Campbell

Bible text(s)

26From one human being he created all races on earth and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live.

Acts 17:26GNBOpen in Bible reader

No two individuals possess faith in equal measure. An old friend and I were chatting about how God’s calling on our lives is so unique. And God puts us exactly where he wants us to be according to the verse above.

Yet, often when we meet corporately, comparisons abound among believers and it can feel as though we need to have a cookie-cutter faith: a one-size-fits-all approach to life. Yet, the God of the universe has created each one of us with unique talents, abilities, features, gifts and fingerprints.

Each believer’s life is moulded by the hand of God and, as such, much heartache and pain would be spared if we learnt early on that marriage and the baby carriage did not necessarily come to peers at the same time, neither did careers take off in a linear manner.

It is so easy to fall prey to competitiveness. Then, as sheep in God’s pasture, we start to question why other sheep have greener grass – why things don’t work out for us like for others.

Jesus did miracles according to people’s measure of faith. So many women came to Jesus. I think of the woman who had bled for 12 years, the woman caught in adultery, the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair and what about the woman whom he met at the well. Each interaction was unique.

In the same way, God has a singular plan for each of our lives. God also exists outside of time. How often have we not, as humans, scratched our heads about God’s timing? Consider Lazarus: Jesus only came four days after he died; before resurrecting him from the dead.

The Old Testament sheds more light on God’s modus operandi for achieving his purposes. The Shunammite woman of 2 Kings 4:8-37 had her need for a child met in a rather extraordinary fashion, only to lose the boy to the tentacles of death, and then receive him back through miraculous intervention.

Perhaps less dramatic was Naaman’s cure from leprosy in 2 Kings 5:1-14. Dipping himself seven times in the Jordan River as instructed was what was required. It seemed mighty strange to him.

How is the plan for your life going? In good company?

Prayer: Father God, we are so privileged to have a God who has a tailor-made plan for each of our lives. Thank you that you are so great, you are easily able to factor our variables into your ultimate plan. We praise your name. Amen

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