Read Isaiah 49:1–7
Isaiah celebrates his calling to be God’s servant and the fact that God named him and equipped him to fulfill his calling before he was born.
Why is it so hard to choose first what God says about us? Why do we listen to the voices of others more than his? Labels, insults, attempts to overwhelm and limit and thereby control us—these have no place in the life of the believer. God has freed us.
Finding out I was adopted was a big surprise. I held the papers in my hand and stared at the number put there in place of a name. But then I felt a nudge that I knew came from God: Open my Word to Isaiah 49. It was the voice of my heavenly Father: certain, soothing, strong. I began to read at verse 1: “The Lord has called Me from the womb; from the matrix of my mother he has made mention of my name.” The verse warmed and calmed me. I was not an accident. I was not unwanted. I was not unchosen. God had not left me out, overlooked me, or chosen instead someone more gifted, talented, better looking, or smarter.
I gasped. This was the truth: Before I became a number, I had a name. I had always had a name. I laughed. All the details about who I was and who I would be were determined before I even began to take shape: my eye color and shoe size, the curve of my smile, the length of my legs. God shaped my body and my spirit. He created the sound of my voice and loop of my penmanship, the strength of my grip and capacities of my mind.
I felt the Lord speaking directly to me: “These documents in front of you don’t define you or your destiny. My Word is the final authority on that. And I formed you. Your freedom will be determined by whether you allow what I think and say about you to matter more than what anyone else thinks or says. You reflect my glory.”
I breathed deep and exhaled. God’s words were like fresh air; uplifting me as the fog of facts and fiction that afternoon began to burn away. I would not be defined by a pile of papers written by human hands. I would put my trust in God and his Word.
Isn’t it strange how in doubt and dismay, we do some weird math? We see or hear things and add them up incorrectly. We choose to believe what may be somewhat factual but simply isn’t true. We accept what someone else has said, forcing us to conclude something false about ourselves. Will you embrace who God says you are?