Have you ever considered the question: “What is God’s goal for my life?” If you think about it, this might just be the most important question you ever answer. If we are people created in the image and likeness of God (which we are) and if we were designed for a purpose (which we have been), it becomes vital and necessary to know the aim, trajectory, and goal for your life.
But first, let’s consider why we might be out-of-touch with the answer. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Man and woman were the apex and the pinnacle of God’s imaginative activity. Only humanity has within them the ability and the special character to connect with the divine in a special fellowship relationship. Yet, the original man and woman fell from their place in paradise. Now, in this current broken world that we live in, apart from God there is fragmentation, disconnection, confusion, and separation in our relationships and even in understanding ourselves.
A healthy way of looking at the entirety of the Bible is that it is a revealing of how God graciously and patiently is wooing his wayward people back to himself. The ultimate fulfillment of this re-connection is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. In Christ, what was once lost is found; what was separated is connected; and what was scattered into a thousand pieces is being put back together again.
So, then, let’s get back to the question of God’s goal for you and me. Since we live in a fallen world, we have the need to deal with sin, death, and adverse situations. But we can take charge of our lives and face reality with a Christian life that thrives and flourishes. The Apostle James, the Lord’s brother, put the matter this way:
“My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking anything. If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking. But when you ask for something, you must have faith and not doubt” (James 1:2-6, CEV).
Within the words of James is a very important purpose clause or statement: so that you will be completely mature. What is God’s goal for my life? Maturity.
“Huh? Really? Maturity? You’re telling me that being mature is what God wants out all the things he could expect of me?” Yep. That’s right. Maturity means to be a whole person, not fragmented, a complete and healthy person with body, soul, mind, and spirit all aligned together in a total package of wise living.
Maybe that sounds too far from your own experience. Perhaps you feel that you are all over the place, as if you could never have it all together. James isn’t talking about having it all together. He’s talking about you and me submitting to the adversity and bad circumstances of our lives as teachers that will lead us to connecting with God.
When things are going great, it’s too easy to attribute it to our own ingenuity, ability, or intellect. But when things are rough and there is no apparent way out, we need something or someone outside of ourselves. Faith is a muscle that must be stretched and used in order that we will grow and develop. Trials to our faith and hard situations are the means of strengthening such a faith. The result is maturity, completeness, and wholeness. It is about connecting with a generous God who won’t chide us for our messiness and problems. God delights in connecting with you and answering your prayer.
It could be that this sounds a bit too tidy, like you can just talk to God and he will pay attention and respond. No, it isn’t tidy. Yes, he will pay attention and respond… in his own good time. Sometimes we need to learn that having a plan and having clear proven steps to move forward is not what we really need – instead, we need Jesus, to connect or re-connect with him. We need to return to the garden, to simply be with God in Christ – to enjoy him. Maybe our circumstances will change, and maybe they will not. But the point is that you will change, and that your perspective will be different.
So, what will you do today, even right now, to take charge of your life and make a step toward maturity and healthy wholeness? In truth, you know exactly what you should be doing; you just need the courage and the push to do it. Will you?…