The Instrument’s Purpose

Whew. What a flute. What a paintbrush. What a keyboard!

…Said no one awed in a concert, enjoying an art show, or mesmerized by a book.

The plate, my goodness, it’s spectacular. What a fork!

Said no satisfied diner. Ever.

Those Christians. So good and righteous and flawless. What a bunch!

Said too many people. Often.

They said it in church board meetings. They said it in mission statements. They said it in awards ceremonies, publishing companies, and professional offices. They were Christians and non-Christians alike.

They were and are us.

Because too often we forget we’re not the image of God.

We’re made in the image of.


We’re called to be finely tuned instruments. We’re privileged to delight in the song. But we are not the music.

We’re shaped in our walks of faith to be master-crafted vessels. We are vessels filled to the brim and over-flowing with the Spirit of God. But we are not the Spirit of God.

God’s image, song, Spirit…these are things we are not in and of ourselves. But that’s what makes us us.

Satan’s words in the garden were tricky: he said we “will be like God”…by acting as if we are the same as god.

We already are like God. But we are not Him.

Trouble comes when we let the difference go. Confusion abounds. We are confused about identity, sufficiency, and goodness. We lack assurance about our purpose and strive for meaning as if we must manufacture it to be like God.

It’s the supporting clause of modern mantras:

Be someone.

Make a difference.

Live intentionally.

Only you can choose ________.

Find your calling.

Friends, we have a calling. We are someones to the One true God. Our very existence makes a difference in the world. Intention drives our every decision, whether we’re conscious of it or not. We don’t choose to matter- we matter because we’re created by the One who matters most.

The inherent meaningfulness we crave isn't gained through effort or performance. Click To Tweet

But we are valuable because of the love of God who made us in His own image.

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord” (2 Corinthians 4:5.)

Our privilege and joy is to be in the hands of our master maker, attuned to His will, and singing His praise with our everyday purposes.

Our meaning is inherently intertwined with the fibers of our being, knit there by the One who made us in the first days, who fills us through the last days.

Our meaning is lived out while we grow as the Creator’s well-loved creations, offering ourselves as living sacrifices for glorious use.

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31 Replies to “The Instrument’s Purpose

  1. This is good. You hit the nail on the head – we are instruments to be used by the master. But we are also humans – with a conscience and a will. May God provide the wisdom to each of us so that we are bright lights for Him and that our words amplify our living.

    Stopping by from #DreamTogether Linkup

  2. I love your paragraph where you say, “We are someones to the one true God,” and that we matter by His choosing not our own.
    So true that we are instruments in His hands. And if He is the Great Musician, our best living will be done in submission to Him so that He can make the beautiful music through us that He wants to make without us screeching in protest. 🙂

  3. I love your message here that we don’t praise the instrument, but we do the music. What a great analogy. “Our privilege and joy is to be in the hands of our master maker, attuned to His will, and singing His praise with our everyday purposes.” Amen!

  4. This truth is so freeing. And if only we could keep our eyes on the Conductor, the Divine Artist, the Creator of all that is good and find our delight in deflecting all praise and glory to Him!

  5. I love this sentence: “We don’t choose to matter- we matter because we’re created by the One who matters most.” It’s truly a beautiful thing knowing we don’t need to strive to matter to Him, but that we do just because He loves us! Thank you for your encouraging words, I’m visiting you today from Testimony Tuesday Linkup!
    PS. if you are looking for another place to link to on Thursday’s I would love if you would consider joining my new linkup #TuneInThursday – it opens Thursday 3am PST and runs through Sunday night. you can find it at (Please feel free to delete the link if you think it inappropriate).

    1. It’s such a beautiful, freeing truth : ) Thank you for stopping by and encouraging me as well! Unfortunately I don’t have time for another linkup at this point but I’ve marked it down for the future!

  6. I love this! As a musician it really speaks to me. The instrument is nothing in itself- it all depends on who is playing it, and often an instrument that looks like it has seen better days can often be used to make beautiful music when it is played well. It’s so important to remember that God chooses to use us but we’re only effective because of him.

    1. What a great way to summarize it, Lesley. I hadn’t even thought that much about instruments being worn or otherwise in a particular condition but being able to make beautiful music when played well. That just has me smiling. Thank you!!

  7. We aren’t the image, we bear the image. I love how you said what we SHOULD know in a fresh way to catch our attention! This makes it easier for us to identify even small areas where we need to adjust our mindset. Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much Tiffany! When I recently picked up on this illustration reading through the Bible I found it fresh and helpful- so praying it is the same for others too : ) Love how the Lord’s Word is always relevant and applicable!

  8. “The inherent meaningfulness we crave isn’t gained through effort or performance.”–so true and yet our world keeps telling us differently! What an important reminder

  9. I love this, Bethany! ‘We have a calling. – Our meaning is lived out while we grow as the Creator’s well-loved creations, offering ourselves as living sacrifices for glorious use.’ So profound and filled with a truth that is so often masked under the world’s screams. Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Wow. Good reminder. Your opening is really powerful and it puts this whole thing into perspective. Yes we are supposed to honour people and esteem them more highly than ourselves, but how often are we motivated to do something because we want recognition? This is a good reminder for me that if people can’t see Jesus Christ in what I do, then who am I glorifying? Thank you for this great post. Bless you!

  11. This made me smile. Yes, we are His instruments to play the music HE composed, and it is HIS message that has the true beauty and HIM as the composer who deserves all the glory. Love this!

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