Obed grew up in the church. He was the child of a pastor, yet from the ages 12-16, he went in a different direction, and he was in and out of jail. The friends who said they would be there for him were not, but his mom always prayed for him and visited him. When it was time for him to be released at 16, she brought him to church and then to a youth camp where he accepted Christ and experienced a powerful transformation in his life.
Some time later the youth pastor asked Obed to speak in front of the group and share his testimony. Obed was discouraged and unsure – what would he even say? He had nothing to share! That was when God began to teach him about the power of Nothing.
Remember in Genesis 1 that the earth was formless and empty. The Holy Spirit hovered over the formless earth, just as he hovered over your formless life. In Genesis 2:7, God took clay in his hands and created man from nothing. To form something with your hands, you need a picture of it in your mind. Before you were formed, God had a picture of your purpose and destiny. He knew what your life would look like.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
God already knew you before He formed you. He made you to be set apart and appointed - have you discovered your worth and your purpose yet?
God already knew you before He formed you. You were on His mind before you had ever been planted as a seed in your mother’s womb. He made you to be set apart and appointed - have you discovered your worth and your purpose yet?
Pastor Obed illustrated his point with an orange seed. What he explained was, inside the seed was all the instruction needed to yield oranges. If it was planted in Florida and well tended, it would yield without trouble, but if it was planted in Idaho, it would be a weak and sickly tree that may never produce fruit. Like the seed, we have all the instruction in us to yield the fruit that God intended for us to yield, yet we are planted in a sinful world where the purpose of God has not yet been fully realized.
God forms, sin deforms, and Jesus transforms.
If you have ever watched a potter you may wonder - what is he/she doing? In a few hours you can discover the finished work, but the full picture is not in your mind as you watch the pottery being formed - it is in the potter’s mind.
Similarly, when your life begins developing without the full picture of God before you, you quickly take on new identities that were not intended for you, which can easily lead to sin. You may place yourself the in the care of other hands that don’t have the picture of your destiny in their minds. You can easily be manipulated in the opposite direction of your destiny by others who didn’t create your life. They can’t have the same destiny for you - Jesus is the only one who does.
When you are saved from false identity, you begin to discover your true identity. You are not saved from something as much as you are saved for something. Do you ever feel that you have nothing to offer? Mark 6 tells us a great story of watching God turn our nothing into something.
Jesus's disciples went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving, recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns to get there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
By this time, it was late in the day, and his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
But Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
“How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. Mark 6:32-44
As the disciples carried their empty baskets heading back toward the village, they had nothing. Jesus knew they had nothing, but He wanted them to see it and realize it on their own, so He said, “You feed them.” With the nothing they had, He sent them to find a little bit of bread and fish, and then He miraculously provides for a crowd - five thousand men, and thousands of women and children.
Maybe you find yourself saying, “I’d like to serve, but what do I have to offer? I want to make a difference, but what can I do? My basket is empty!”
God is used to people coming to Him with nothing. He is ever ready and willing to turn nothing into something amazing. Jesus desires for us all to learn not to allow our nothing to stop us from something when all He wants to do is give us everything. He is far beyond our perceptions of being too busy, too tapped, too tired to give – remember, He fearfully and wonderfully made you from nothing and He fed thousands with a few loaves of bread and still had leftovers!
God wants you to see that when the disciples had nothing but they acted in faith, their baskets became full. Faith...full. How will your lives ever be considered full if you never act out in faith?
Is your life bearing the intended fruit or are you still a seed seeking your place? Psalm 92 tells us that those who are planted in the house of God will flourish! Pray to Him to show you His plan and give Him all of your nothing. When we are broken, God takes the pieces and turns them into a masterpiece! Ephesians 2:10