Numerous changes are going on in my life. Three days of posts (yesterday, today, tomorrow) will share them with you.
"The purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
~ Westminster Catechism
Though this creed is not quoted from a Bible verse, it is entirely consistent with the whole of Scripture. I'd go so far as to say the purpose of God might be to glorify Himself and bring mankind to enjoy Him forever.
The goal above all goals, stated yesterday, is to become more like Jesus. The nature of Christ is to glorify the Father and enjoy Him, and thus the goal achieves the purpose.
Can we hope to obtain greater satisfaction than in achieving a goal which brings us to fulfill our purpose?
Toward these ends, the Lord entrusts us with gifts and talents. If such blessings are either squandered or buried, we may expect from our Master the due punishment for wasting what is precious. If we wisely utilize our gifts and talents, we are assured of a reward commensurate with our efforts. (Matthew 25:14-30)
To invest our blessings for temporal reward is to waste them. The only sure investment is to place our blessings where they reap spiritual returns.
My personal ministry is to edify the saints—to "build up the body of Christ." I aspire to do so with the gifts God has given me by speaking truth with love in a spirit of Christian unity, and by extending comfort and counsel where I encounter trouble and trial. I've been told I have a gift for such things—that these are my strengths.
But now, after many changes, I find I am weak.
For God made my heart weak,
And the Almighty terrifies me.
~ Job 23:16 (NKJV)
The more a person learns about a particular discipline, the easier one expects the discipline to become.
Not so for walking with God.
When I started walking with Jesus and began to comprehend the depth of my sin, my ambition became to grow out of it. I think I've been subconsciously waiting for a plateau which allows a rest from spiritual climbing. But the climb has become steeper and more arduous, filled with pitfalls, finally taxing the remnant of my strength.
I have wanted to lie down and rest, believing I have no more strength from which to minister. In confusing ministry and goals and purpose, I've even questioned if my gifts are exhausted.
I find instead that I have a deeper well of comfort from which to counsel. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Having been broken by trial, I feel more acutely the anguish of the broken-hearted. The quality of my mercy is richer for those who are oppressed. I speak more fluently to despair now that I have been plunged beneath its murky waters.
Did I truly expect that I a spiritual walk would bring me to a place of strength, where I need God less? I have instead arrived at the place of weakness, where I know I need Him all the more.
I do not like being in the place where I am weak.
But God says such a place fulfills my purpose.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
Amen, Lord. So be it.
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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