Day 28 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ It Takes Time
Our salvation is the most precious thing in all the world. It is also an ascension gift which lasts for eternity. It transcends the present human existence and finds its fulfilment in the heavenly realms.
This day 28 chapter of Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” is well worth reading. We should be searching for the fruit of our salvation. There is no fruit where there is no conversion. The difference between rebirth by Christ and religion can be measured by how much work it is to do God’s bidding. When doing the bidding of Christ becomes a natural out flowing of your being, and requires little or no effort, you are bearing fruit naturally in your Christ-likeness.
“Think of your faith as something much more precious than any possible evaluation of gold; remember that fire does not destroy the metal, it reveals it! Now even gold is an inferior comparison to your faith! Gold as a currency has only temporal and unpredictable value; it fluctuates as the market changes. Now, in the same way that fire reveals gold, your faith in the midst of contradiction, makes Jesus Christ visible and gives much reason to testimony and stories worth telling. This is what has permanent value, and exhibits the glory of Christ in you!
So even though you have never seen Jesus in the flesh you love him; even at times where he seems remote and invisible, your awareness of your union in him continues to ignite belief! You are leaping with indescribable and exuberant joy as you hold him in high esteem! In this place of joy, you are beyond the reach of any harm. Joy gives your faith a voice announcing the perfection of your soul’s salvation.” 1 Peter 1:7-9 (Para adapted from the Mirror Bible)
If we are spending time working hard at trying to model our lives with Christ’s example then the internalisation of God’s word has not been fulfilled and we are but good religious people. The real secret lies in our ability to do God’s work with joy and abundance. There has to be fruit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law.” Galatians 5:22 – 23 (BSB)
God has a real purpose for your life. Sometimes, fully understanding that purpose eludes us. The only reason for that is because we are, as Rick Warren says, impatient beings. God took thousands of years to prepare the stage for the Messiah.
My view on the old Testament is that it is mainly about Jesus Christ (Some examples- Genesis 22 “Abraham and his son Isaac”, Exodus 12 “The Passover.”, etc ). Throughout the old Testament, there are shadows of Christ and many incidences point to the coming of the Messiah our saviour. The old Testament reveals to us the lineage and covenants that are internalised by God and confirmed by Christ. Not only that there are very clear prophecies which point directly and uncannily accurate predict not only who and what he will be but also the exact timing of his coming. (see the predictions of Daniel..Here.)
Imagine this for a moment, God in his all knowledge tabloided the drama of the coming Christ in the history of the old Testament from Genesis to Malachi (all the books of the old Testament). In 1996 it is estimated the earth was 7311 years old according to the Septuagint (quoted by Christ), based on a (Non canonised) manuscript 350 years older than the Massoretic text. (Moses writings). That would mean that the earth according to the Septuagint would have been some 5300 years old at the birth of Christ.
So for all intents and purposes, we could say that God ordained 5000 years of history for his pivotal crescendo the Messiah. The best part of this is that throughout this time he elected individuals, willing servants, and directed them to form a concerted continuing story that would perfectly culminate at the time of Christ’s birth. Each individual in that story plays a critical role as part of the overall plan. Mostly I believe they only saw their small existence as a puff of dust on the earth yet their contribution still resonates in the history of the world today. Rahab the harlot who saved Joshua’s spies at the time did not fully understand that her deed and alliance with God’s people would carry her name as a faithful truthful servant. (Joshua 2, Joshua 6:12 – 25) Rahab’s name is more revered, read about and understood than George Washington, Churchill and many other famous people.
The sequence of the fruits of the spirit is different for different people. Again the diversity of God plays a role in our existence. But generally, they start with joy and peace (Galatians 5:22). One of the unchanging facts about conversion is that it manifests itself in your mind as fact “of a changed mind in alignment with Christ”. You go to bed at night having accepted this fact, and its manifestation proves itself every morning you wake up. Therein lies one of the greatest miracles of this world. You wake up with this changed mind, it ebbs and flows through your spirit and soul but never leaves you. This in itself is a great miracle, and if you have not experienced it yet, seek God, seek Christ, and align yourself with our triune God.
God will call you to his service in many ways. He will call you to his service in small day-to-day things and slowly or quickly be preparing you for bigger things. You cannot say “Lord use me as your servant.” and think there will be no consequences. As you do when you pray “may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – exactly how are these heavenly things going to happen on earth if you are not a participant?
Bringing heaven to earth is going to involve you!
We are the ambassadors of Christ, therein lies a responsibility which will more often than not require Godly spiritual intervention.
“Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 (BSB)
If you are a Christ-walker you are His hands and feet. Those are the easy members to engage, the most difficult member to engage in Christ-likeness is your heart, best of all, He greatly assists us with that member of our bodies. It is His promise that it will be changed.
Believe the unshakeable truth about God and have faith and be patient, His timing is perfect.
More on Day 28 – resources by Rick Warren ; http://purposedriven.com/day28/
Dare to test your fruitfulness? Watch this sermon by Paul Washer on “Do You Bear Fruit?”