We live in a world of so many purposes, but what actually is the true purpose for everyone’s life? Jesus Christ is the sum of all purposes. He is the reason. He is the Truth.
The following is a devotional by Ps Phil Pringle, as part of his book ‘In Him – A Daily Devotional’.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The word ‘logos’ was used here for one of the first times to describe God. The Stoics had used this word to describe the reason, the force, the principle that began everything.
Here John takes that word to describe Jesus Christ as the beginning of it all and even more importantly using that word meant that John was saying Jesus was the meaning, the reason. He is the purpose. We live in a world of so many purposes, but what actually is the true purpose for everyone’s life? Jesus Christ is the sum of all purposes. He is the reason. He is the Truth.
When we discover Jesus, we discover the reason. We discover our meaning.
John’s words could just as easily have read, ‘In the beginning was the meaning, and the meaning was with God and the meaning was God… the meaning became flesh and dwelt among us… His name is Jesus.’ Once we have discovered Jesus, one of the first revelations He has for us is the blueprint of who we are and what we could do. Paul constantly prayed for his congregation to understand the call of God.
Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling…
As a Father there are times when I have planned a special event, or holiday for the family or one of our children. I make the plans, pay the price. Then we organise for them to get to the place. The excitement in the kids is amazing, I let them know bits and pieces of the upcoming trip, show them photos, plans, things we can do together. It’s my purpose and it’s for all of us to enjoy together.
2 Timothy 3:10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is.
The beauty of knowing your gifts, your calling and your purpose is that this defines what you should not do even more than what you should do. The call is never for no purpose. Everyone is called by God to come to Him, and to come to Him we must come to Christ, God’s Son.
2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling,
The call of God comes to every person born. It may come in a moment, it may come over time step by step, it may come to us as a child like Samuel in the Temple. It may come to us as a teenager, like Mary the mother of Jesus. It can come to us as young adults like the twelve disciples, like David, like Saul, like Gideon. It can come to us in middle age like Moses and Joshua. It can come to us in old age, like Abraham.
We sometimes feel the call through our exhaustion, our weariness, our confusion, the feeling of being lost, not knowing where to go or what to do.
Matthew 22:3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding’ and they were not willing to come.
Whenever Jesus spoke about the call and the invitation, He always also referred to the fact that many declined the invitation or simply refused the call of God. The excuses that people used were very similar to what people would say today;
When Jesus called the rich young ruler, he just couldn’t let go of his business and his wealth. He was afraid that God would take away from him rather than bring blessing to his life after he had given it all up for the Lord. Some said they had to attend to all their family affairs before they could follow Christ.
Some said they had just bought a new business and needed to set it up. Some didn’t have the courage of the faith that God would look after them if they surrendered their life and future into His guidance. Some just simply rebelled against that call. We will never become aware of what we have been called to do, unless we are first yielded to Christ. When we consecrate ourselves to him, His plan for us becomes clearer and clearer.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
This means that there must be a decision within us to say Yes to the Lord. If He is our Lord, the we have said yes. He can be our Saviour without being our Lord. He becomes Lord when we say Yes to His call on our lives. The Yes must become a determination because there will be many things attempting to oppose us doing the will of God.
Probably the most dramatic call from God to a man was Paul, on the Damascus Road. Paul was aggressively pursuing Christians to kill or imprison them and Jesus appears to him and calls him to switch sides and become a builder, not a destroyer of the church. Paul surrenders to Christ and then devotes his life to fulfilling all that Jesus had called him to.
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
The call will never not be there in our lives. God equips us with abilities to fulfil the call of God. The important note here is that His call is irrevocable not irresistible. After we have surrendered to Christ, we then surrender to a lifestyle of following Jesus. God calls us to a lifestyle, not just a certain vocation or work.
As we follow Christ we will find ourselves called to a particular work, at a particular time, with a certain people, in a certain place. This destiny that God has planned for us is a beautiful plan. There are many things that will try and prevent this plan from being fulfilled in your life, but the greatest hindrance is not someone else.
It is ourselves.
Our pride, our fear, our resistance to doing what someone else tells us, rebellion, has to be surrendered to Christ if we are to ever fulfil the work of Christ He has called us to. There is a price to gaining Christ and His plan for us in this life. It’s called surrender. It’s called obedience. All of us struggle with this. Paul did, even Jesus did. When it came time for Him to go to the cross, he asked the father to take the cup from him, three times!
The Call of Jeremiah
Jeremiah 1:4 – Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth’, For you shall go to all whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His and and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.”
God knows us before we are born. We are in His mind, thoughts and heart before even the world was formed. It is God that has formed us, not evolution. Even though science shows us how we are formed, the power behind our formation is God Himself in person. even within our mothers womb we were set apart for God and for a particular purpose in life. This is our predestination.
However, Jeremiah was being told this as a youth, in an encounter with God. He does not say ‘I gave birth to you’, thus ensuring that the ‘I formed you’ of the previous line isn’t taken metaphorically. Not only was he known and set apart before he was born, but also ordained, appointed to be a prophet and so the ability to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the visions and word of God were a gift within Jeremiah from the womb.
Jeremiah couldn’t believe what God was saying to him. He felt totally inadequate in ability, age and experience. He had reasons why he could not do what the Lord was telling him to do, but God believed in Jeremiah, even when he didn’t.
What is your reason for saying you can’t do certain things for God, even the basics?
Jeremiah said he was too young. Some people say they are too busy, too old, too married, too many children to get to church on Sunday, too tired, too poor, too rich. Jeremiah felt his inadequacy in the area of his calling. This is not uncommon that we feel weak in the very area we are called to. We get the feeling that we just want to leave town. Jonah fled, Moses fled, David fled his enemies. ‘Oh that I had wings. I would fly away.’
Jeremiah was being prepped for the rejection, animosity, obstruction, torture and persecution he would encounter when he began to pronounce the Word of the Lord to the Jewish people. God told him not to fear. Why? Because God would deliver him. This means he would not escape trouble coming, but he would be delivered from trouble after it had come.
The gift of the prophet is that God’s words are found in a man’s mouth. Even though we may not be called to be prophets like Jeremiah, we are still called to carry God’s Word in our mouths. Preachers must God’s Word in our mouths. Preachers must preach God’s Word, not their own, but God’s. This was a God encounter that added something to Jeremiah’s life that he had not ever had before. He thought he was weak in speaking, and it was upon this inadequacy that God was able to supply the diviner gift to speak. This gift would never be taken from the prophet. He would always find the Word would be there when he needed it to be. All of God’s words for Jeremiah were placed in his mouth. He became gifted with ‘the Word of the Lord’ in a God moment.
Now Jeremiah is to move from hearing the Word and speaking the Word, to seeing the Word. On this very special day in the young man’s life, he was to see himself in a new light. He is to see himself set up over entire nations so that his words will determine the fate, the destiny, the future of those nations God causes him to speak of. The two categories are nations and kingdoms. Each of us are endowed with authority over our own personal nation and kingdom. We need to see that we rule and reign in life by Christ Jesus. Our role is to root out and pull down.
Our Image from the Father
The only self image worth embracing for ourselves is the one form the Father Himself. He alone holds the original blueprint of our nature and calling. We need to see ourselves as the New Testament paints us in general terms which is glorious and sufficient enough – forgiven, justified, glorified, strong. holy – we are to see ourselves – our name and these realities combined together.
Then there is a specific image of ourselves the Father imparts to our deeb subconscious as with Simon when he first meets him, changing his name and giving him a new image of himself. Rulers of nations and Kingdoms may imagine that they are in charge, however, God has servants who are the ones who really are in charge through the authority they have received from Heaven and are ‘set over’ nations. Before we build and plant, we must cleanse the area we are to build on. Bad plants need to be pulled out by the roots otherwise, they will grow again. High places, proud positions, need to be pulled down so they do not obstruct our view of God. Idols and those things offensive to God and destructive to man need to be destroyed. Proud philosophies of man born of their arrogance and independence of God need to be torn down so their influence ceases to be felt when begin to build.
We are to both build structures which contain and maintain and to plant which are living organisms that grow. He would accomplish all of this with the words of his mouth.
See you in church!