God gets our human attention in a myriad of ways: miracles, audible voice booming from the mountain, quiet whispers, a friends rebuke. However, if you’re anything like me, you’ve not heard a talking donkey (Numbers 22) or even an audible voice. It’s usually a still, small voice lurking somewhere out of reach. In fact, with the busyness of life, it takes a concerted effort to tune in, listen and discern what the Spirit is trying to say.
Listening to Design
There is another way that I think God speaks to each one of us. It may be the most accessible and it is God given Design. Ephesians 2:10 indicates we were designed for a purpose and God has good works for us to know and do. Our purpose is most likely tied to our design and by studying our design, we can get a picture what God desires for us and where he might be leading.
How to Listen
Understanding design isn’t hard, but it does take time and effort to identify the themes that show up again and again in our activities. Maybe we feel energized by people or maybe we love working with a blank slate or maybe we love creating a warm atmosphere. Identifying design in the 5 core areas (strengths, topics, optimum environment, relationships, satisfaction) can develop a unique picture of who you are. This is an incredibly idiosyncratic, or unique, thing and a gift or personality survey completed in 20 minutes won’t be able to tell you this. It’ll take direct effort to evaluate your life, bring it before God for confirmation, wrestle with the nomenclature and get confirmation from others who know it well. If done right, it can be a wonderful opportunity to hear what God’s already written in your design.
One of the many reasons I believe that design exists, apart from the fact the bible is pretty clear about it, is that it shows the vast creativeness of God. Much like the fact that no two snowflakes are alike or that the amazing beauty that we’re just now beginning to see beyond our solar system, God’s ability to design each individual individually is awesome. We owe it to Him to understand it as best as we can and offer it back to Him in doing those things He’s already called. Not only will you start to be apart of his plan, you also will be more satisfied with the work you do, the more you use it. Like love, the more it’s given the more you receive.
Design in the Afterlife
Psalm 139 indicates we were in God’s thoughts before our body was created and even the days. In addition, the calling of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:4-7) indicates he was created for a purpose well before he “existed”. Essentially, our soul, and I think our design, was in the mind of God before he created that which we see. If he could speak and put it into existence, then the mere thought of us and our design existed before the world, and will likely exist after. We’ll get a new body but I suspect we’ll retain our essence, our soul, our design. Even though it may not be fully revealed until we enter into God’s glory, we have an opportunity to glimpse a bit of heaven by working to understand and use our design.
With that said, sometimes listening is hard. If that's the case for you, I invite you consider Design Coaching as way to better understand who you already are.