I'm going to make a bold statement. You were designed. It's a pretty loaded statement. It means that you were intentionally created. It means you exist for a purpose. Most importantly, it means there is a designer.
Think of something that has been "designed", a car, a building, a painting, or the phone in your pocket. Do these things come together easily? They are intricate, complex and take planning. The same can be said for you.
Today's culture says that you were created when the egg was fertilized. That may be true physically, but the Bible says your soul was created well before. "Before the creation of the world I knew you." We existed in some form, possibly in thought only, but we were known.
In Psalm 139:13-14, We see design conveyed and it lead the Psalmist to praise God because of it. This describes the detailed work, by God, of you.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Knitting is tedious work. In a recent forum, I saw estimates of 3-5 hours for one sock, 3-4 weeks for a sweater, 6 months-6 years for a blanket. There must be committed and intentional work to get to the end of a project of that scope. It's also delicate work. If you miss a loop, it'll have a hole or worse, unravel all of your work. Made right and used properly however, it's extremely useful.
God took the time to make you wonderfully. Thinking otherwise is elevating your opinion of yourself above God's, in short, it's idolatry. The designer has ultimate authority in defining what is or what is not good (2 Timothy 2:20).
Designed for a Purpose
When a widget is designed, it likely has a purpose. This could be a need to solve, a problem to fix a need, or a void to fill. A car part is designed to help the car function well so you get from A to B. A building is designed to house people or facilitate business. A painting is painted to express the vision of the painter. The phone is designed to communicate with others (and play games, I suppose). The point is, everything that is designed has a purpose. You, have a purpose.
An excellent example of design and purpose is the calling of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:4-7).
4Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”
He was uniquely designed and purposed to be God's audible voice on Earth.
Paul also discusses design (Ephesians 2:10),
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
This so rich, I wish he would have written a whole chapter about what it means. We see that
- We are God's workmanship, New Living Translation says masterpiece (designed)
- We were created for good works (purposed)
- We should be doing them (fulfilling our purpose)
Unfortunately, the Bible is silent on what my or your exact purpose is. However, the message is clear, we need to understand who we are and why God created us so that we can be doing the work we should be doing. It's left up to the reader to pursue God and discover who we are and what purpose we have been made for. It's faith and it takes effort, time and a relationship with Him.
Bezalel and Oholiab
One last example of designed purpose being fulfilled, is Bezalel and Oholiab (Exodus 31:1-11). It's a wonderful example of the types of design God gives to those for the purpose of edifying and building up God's people. They are called to create the tabernacle and its furnishings.
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. 6 And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, [...list of furnishings...]. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”
These verses describe an array of artistic ability in these men. It is certainly possible that God could supernaturally import "intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship" at that very instance. However, that's not the pattern we see with God and his people. He takes His time. David was appointed as successor king and then was running from Saul, Moses lived in Moab hiding from his past, Jesus lived 30+ years before embarking on his ministry. God develops leaders for him slowly, usually periods of pain and difficulty, resulting in a better understanding of themselves and God and a deeper relationship with Him. Even though we don't know what Bezalel and Oholiab's lives were like before they were appointed, I suspect they had gradually accrued those skills over time, preparing them for this calling of a lifetime.
Ultimately, our design has one additional purpose, to show God's goodness and love. We were formed in love and given good works. When we understand our design and put it to work for the good of those around us, we reflect our designer and the designer of this world (Romans 2). We give others the opportunity to be encouraged and loved by Him (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) who has loved us and provided for us. It also gives a clear way to show others that God is a designer of us and of them.
The concept of God given design is the central idea behind Design Coaching. You are designed and the world needs you to be who God intended you to be. I was designed to help you get there. If you’d like help knowing your design or learning how to use your strengths, consider Design Coaching.