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Fingerprints of GodFingerprints of God
by Phil Ware

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    One of the defining statements of our identity as human beings comes in the very first chapter of the Bible:

Then God said, “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life — the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock, wild animals, and small animals.”

So God created people in his own image;
God patterned them after himself;
male and female he created them.
(Genesis 1:26-27 NLT)

    Oftentimes, when our world is filled with painful realities that are too overwhelming for us to properly manage emotionally, we lose ourselves in insignificance. We feel a numbing powerlessness to impact world outcomes and a mocking frustration at our inability to make a difference in global events. If we are not careful, we soon spiral into fatalistic depression and lose our sense of purpose in our individual lives, thus robbing the smaller world in proximity to us of the influence God has called us to make.

    Rather than hearing Jesus positively challenge us to be salt and light in a world of decay and darkness (cf. Matthew 5:13-16), we let our lives sink into futile sense of sameness. We get up and do the same basic routine, in the same basic way, week in and week out, ad nauseum, without purpose and without any sense of significance. Not only is such a life discouraging and depressing, it also is a waste.

    God put his fingerprints on us from the moment of our conception. He has known us and personally fashioned each of us to make a difference in the world at our fingertips. He has a purpose for each of our lives and has put us in the place we find ourselves to help leave His divine fingerprints of grace on others. Listen to the words of David that are given to us to describe our relationship with God:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous — and how well I know it.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
(Psalm 139:13-16 NLT)

God is at work in us.
    Notice that the beginning and ending lines focus on God knowing us, forming us, fashioning us, and purposing us before we were born. Notice that at the center of this declaration, however, is a thanksgiving based on a personal awareness that God is doing His creative and powerful work in us. As believers, especially in the times in which we live where the world problems are so huge and vast, we must reawaken to the reverent awe that God is at work in us (cf. Philippians 1:6; 2:12-13). His fingerprints are all over us and we leave behind the fingerprints of God for others to find when we live out God’s purpose for us. While our individual decisions and actions may seem small and insignificant in the overall world scheme of things, they are not.

    The God who raised up a Moses out of mother’s decision to hide her son in the bulrushes is our God. The Sovereign LORD who used Esther to save her people is the same God who is at work in us. The Creator who helped a young man with a slingshot destroy the giant who mocked his God and his people is the Creator who is fashioning new things through us. The Jesus who stilled the storm and then used the fearful to change the world for centuries is the same Jesus who knows our hearts and intercedes for our needs in the throne room of heaven.

    No matter where you find yourself today, no matter how you feel about yourself today, and no matter what is going on the world today, please remember this: God’s fingerprints are on you. He longs to use His power to work through you to make a difference in the world around you. And, if enough of us will live with passion with these convictions, God will use us to change the small world around us, and through our combined efforts, he will change the bigger world in which we live.

    That’s not “pie in the sky in the sweet by and by,” but the track record of God who used Moses, Deborah, David, Esther, Daniel, Mary, Peter, Paul, and a host of others, to share His grace and to leave His fingerprints on our world.

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      Title: "Fingerprints of God"
      Author: Phil Ware
      Publication Date: May 5, 2003

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Phil Ware is minister of the Word at Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. For the past 10+ years, he has also been co-editor of HEARTLIGHT Magazine. For more details, click here.


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