“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
If you’ve ever taken an upper level art or design credit in high school or college, chances are you’ve heard the phrase, “Form Follows Function”. “Form follows function” is a 19th century architectural design principle that implies it’s most important to first understand the purpose or function of something and then to let the appearance or form follow it. Louis Sullivan first shared this concept in an essay he wrote in 1896 regarding the trend of skyscrapers and their designs but understanding function before form is not just art theory, it’s the very nature of God and creation.
In the very first lines of scripture; Genesis 1:1 it is revealed that God created the heavens and the earth. Immediately following in verse 2 it says that the earth was formless and void. If God created the earth but it was formless, it begs the question, “what did He create?” – He created the purpose for which all things would exist first and then proceeded to speak the form of each part into existence to reflect its purpose.
This is also seen in the very creation of man; all throughout the Old Testament, the prophets and the psalms record how God intricately formed us in our mother’s womb, yet in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he reveals the mystery that God set our purpose and destiny in motion before the foundations of the earth (Eph. 1:4). God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah and said, “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” (Jer. 1:5). Before God gave you a form, He knew you and gave you a function; a Calling, a purpose and the assignments you would walk in.
There are many forms in our lives that can become unpredictable and unreliable; school, career, relationships, church, government, and more, but no matter what life may bring or how the form of the world takes shape year after year, you can rest in the knowledge that your function is already eternally created and cannot be shaken, in fact in can only INCREASE as you grow and mature, praise God!!!
If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place.
– Proverbs 24:10 MSG
Seems like everywhere you look these days there’s crisis – famine, pandemics, fear, depression, suicide, terrorism…. If we keep our eyes fixed on the form (what things look like), we’ll fall to pieces when the form falls into crisis, but if we keep our eyes fixed on the function of who Christ is and who we are in Him, then we’ll remain steadfast no matter what things look like. There have been times on our marriage journey of 18 years that we’ve fallen to pieces and the Lord has had to pick us back up and mature us. We’ve had to learn to take our eyes off of what things look like so that we wouldn’t miss what He was doing in the season we were in…. it’s not easy!
How often do we get so caught up in the way things look, that we miss what God is doing?
2000 years ago, a baby was born to a young virgin woman of no prestigious family name or fortune. He was born in a barn under the humblest of circumstances. This baby, Jesus, had come with the kingdom government upon His shoulders, to serve His own and save the world; this would be the One they had waited for… We have the privilege of looking back at this event in time, this birth of Christ, and celebrate it every year, knowing the power it held and still holds. But the people of that time would experience a vastly different reality….
You see, Jesus came to His own as a servant; to deliver them from the oppression of sin, to heal their identity and reconcile them back to the Father. But John chapter 1 accounts that it was His own who rejected Him. His own rejected Him because they were looking for something more than spiritual rebirth; they weren’t looking for a servant, they were waiting for an earthly king; a military-minded ruler who would fight and overthrow the Roman government and end their physical oppression.
No matter the number of miracles, signs and wonders He performed to prove His identity, the people could not receive from Him, because their preconceived ideals blinded their eyes and deafened their ears. They were so focused on the form in which Christ came that they completely missed the freedom in His function!
To listen to the full conversation about Form and Function, click the link and download this episode on the Occupy Freedom podcast!!