“For God saved us… not because we deserved it, but because that was His plan from before the beginning of time – to show us His grace through Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 1:9)
We have been talking about why any person should consider becoming a Christian – by looking into the three most prevailing questions hard-wired into our souls… Who am I? Why am I here? And…
The Bible tells us the divine story of how each of us is created by God (how we were intentionally made in His Own image) to be the objects of His love – to have a real relationship with our Creator. This was God’s idea! The entirety of the Bible can be summarized as the story of God’s love for us… and of how we can know Him and love Him in return.
The central Figure is Jesus… He came so that we can all be restored to our original design – living in loving relationship with God, and living our lives reflecting that love. This is why Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus is God’s only prescribed way of healing us – of restoring what was lost to us when sin entered the mix.
All that leads us to this… God wanted to restore relationship with us because He had a purpose in Mind for us – and it is a purpose we seldom grasp.
I have always had the notion that God wanted to save me because He wanted to use me to change the world. In other words, God had to make me a suitable person through which He could work. This meant that I had to become perfect. I had to be fixed. I had to be repaired. And this was a lifelong process… because, I was such a mess (as, honestly, most of us are!).
And mostly, I have been wrong… all my life.
Wrong, because my measure of God’s work was always how I performed. And if I didn’t perform well… then I was disqualified from being useful to God. Yes, God had a purpose for my life… but if I wasn’t living a perfect life… God couldn’t use me to do anything that He wanted to do through me. My purpose was thwarted by my own failings.
Do you see the trap? Maybe you’ve always felt this way too. Like you had to “get on God’s good side” or, forever, be placed on the back burner (while He used others who were more holy/qualified). In a sense, God’s purpose became a means of judgment because, if God wasn’t using me… then, it was because I just wasn’t pleasing to Him. Enter more guilt… more shame… more condemnation.
Back when you didn’t really have a relationship with God, this wasn’t a problem. You just needed to come to God and receive the free gift that He was offering (through faith in Jesus). But what do you do when you are already a believer and you keep on failing God? Sure, you can always get forgiveness… but even when you do, you are right back in that performance-based boat once again. And there’s God, always hoping you would get it right this time so He can use you for His purpose for you.
But everything changes… when we realize God’s real purpose for us. And it’s not what we thought…
Tomorrow, we will look at God’s real purpose for our lives – and why it matters so much!