Series: God’s Ultimate Intention
Sun am 13 August 2017 – Kobus Swart
Eph. 2:10; (Eph. 4:11-16); Rom. 8:14; (Luke 9:23); (Rom. 8:28); (John 16:23); (Matt 6:8)
God has called us to walk in what He has prepared for us before we were even born (Eph. 2:10). My question is: Are you connected to your divine purpose? Are you living the life God has predetermined for you to live? There is a master plan – it is more than a just a divine purpose, it is focused on a divine destiny. Nothing is more tragic than seeing individuals who are placed here by God to fulfil some unique and glorious destiny, still wondering aimlessly with no awakened sense of divine purpose or calling. Not everyone is called into full-time church ministry, but everyone is called into ministry. Man was designed by God as a masterpiece of creation. Man was born with an internal mechanism which works like a compass.
The purpose of ministry is to bring the body of Christ to full stature (Eph. 4:11-16). The heavenly Father wants to put on display his family of divinely begotten sons brought to full stature in Christ because then God wants to come to the place of filling the whole universe with His own glory. Ultimately God wants to be all in all and fill all things with Himself. How is He going to do that? Through the sons who have reached full stature in Christ.
Many think that Adam in his sinless state was all that the Father ever purposed him to be. Fromke offers excellent insights on this theme. Adam became a living soul and it was never intended that he continue living by the soul. That is why Jesus came as the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit. That is what God had in mind for us and still has in mind for humanity. The door was open for Adam to become, to share and to reign. Adam had a journey in front of him. That is when God gave him the choice between two trees. Where would we have been if Adam had chosen to eat of the tree of life right from the beginning? History would have been completely different from what it has been thus far. Adam’s inner compass was deflected into the lower realm when he made the wrong choice and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is a warning – every time we make a wrong choice it affects the spiritual compass within us.
Watchman Nee said, “God is concerned with bringing us into and bringing into us something that Adam never had. It is far beyond the recovery of a lost position.” Oswald Chambers, a great saint suggested, “It is according to the plan of God that Adam, by a series of moral choices would be required to take part in his own moral development. He was to transform the life of nature into the spiritual life by obeying God.” Moral choices are what we do daily, we choose between what is right and what is wrong. Every time you make the wrong choice your compass is affected; you lose direction. Many in life seem to be running in circles, repeating the same mistakes and they never go forward. If Adam were to voluntarily turn God’s way and choose dependence upon Him, he would thereby be able to receive from the tree of life, representing God’s own life. God would then have a life union with man – this is what we call sonship. Adam had that choice. But these phases can only become real as His sons learn to be led by His Spirit (Rom. 8:14). To be led by the Spirit daily is an indication of sonship. Some things can only come as a gift from God such as His life, His Spirit and His nature. Other things such as Christ-like character, Christ’s mind, vision, purpose and dedication are products of training, overcoming, trials, hardship and intense spiritual qualifying. Without tests and trials, we will not develop spiritually. All of this is according to God’s original plan. Even if man had not fallen He had a certain program for man. God wanted man to develop into a spiritual, fully grown, fully developed son. God never forgets His intention for each one of us. He puts us through thousands of experiences, often painful. Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Make sure you know what your cross is; each one’s cross is different. Your cross is not trials and afflictions, loss of money, the death of a loved-one or incurable disease. That is not your cross. When you are to go through bad experiences – go through! Do not stop in the middle. It is like a door, go through it and come out the other end wiser, more spiritual, and stronger and with more insights. The ‘old man’ (before you were born again) experiences the work of the cross, but once you are on the road of spiritual growth you embrace the way of the cross. Experiences are like open doors. No experience has finality. As we pass through these doors, these experiences, be mindful of His ultimate intention to fill the whole universe with Himself through the corporate Son. It has to be the underlying sustenance of your compass. We have a race to run and we must make sure our compass is accurately aligned. As we go through these experiences, these open doors, we must surrender to the purpose of each crisis. Paul said, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good no matter how painful it is (Rom. 8:28). Then it is easier for me to submit to the purpose of each crisis. For some reason, some people need more crises than others.
Adam, in the beginning, stood at the gateway of choice. There is no neutral ground. We either feed on the tree of life or on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in our daily choices. What we need is the inner voice of the Holy Spirit (the compass) but it depends whether we are open to that voice and how strongly that voice can come to us when we make choices or whether that voice is muffled by our own desires and ambitions.
We need to recover the sense of divine purpose, the inner compass that God put in each one of us. If a compass is not magnetised it will swing any direction. If it is magnetised, whichever way you walk with it, it will point North. Spiritually we should be sensitive to the voice of the Spirit, that inner compass. Whatever your choices, whatever your crises, whatever your circumstances, take time, become quiet, wait and listen before you make choices. The world is full of alternatives. When it comes to the choice that can affect your life, your marriage, your financial and relational world, that is when you take time and make sure your inner compass is charged with the Word and the Spirit, and then you follow true North. True North means God’s perfect will.
The compass needle depends on it being magnetised. When we are charged by the Spirit of God we can learn to listen to His voice on the inside and get accurate direction. Consider what God did that first morning of creation when He magnetised the compass needle in Adam, with that eternal purpose that they were created to serve. Sadly, the enemy slipped into the garden and Adam’s compass needle was distracted and he made a wrong choice.
Take time! “Lord, am I on course or have I made wrong choices?” Understanding purpose gives full meaning to everything. When we are truly gripped by divine purpose nothing else of less importance can deflect the needle. Do not change your ideal when you face challenges and then call it progress. Stay on course. Do not be distracted by easier alternatives. In order to stay on true North, God’s perfect will, His divine intention, there has to be a governmental change in your life. It means turning from your own lordship to His Lordship. Do you feel your compass needs re-adjustment? It will be time well spent if you find out from the Lord.
Jesus said, “In that day you will ask in My name” (John 16:23). He also said that the Father knows what you need before you ask (Matt 6:8). God is divinely shaping you to connect with His purpose for your life, and some need more shaping than others. Be mindful of the purpose for each crisis in your life. Stay in fellowship and oneness with God, and recognise that He is taking us into His purposes. Then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are.
When prayer seems to be unanswered, beware of trying to place the blame on someone else. The enemy may set a trap for you so that you come to the wrong conclusion. If you pray and there is no answer, there is always a reason. God uses these times to give you deep personal instruction. God wants us to marry His purpose.
Do you want to live your “dream” or do you want to live God’s purposes for your life? Make a difference between living your dream and God’s divine purpose for your life. God’s plan will succeed. Ask God if you are connected to divine purpose for your life or if you are wasting your time and money. Make sure! And do not measure your life by worldly standards. Measure your life by God’s standards and be faithful with the talents God has given you.