Updated: Jun 25, 2019
“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”
1. How much differently do you think you would see your life, and live your life, if you could see everything as God does?
2. Without using “churchy” clichés or stock theological answers, what is God’s end goal – His highest aim – in trying to grow you spiritually?
Two good questions, aren’t they? For example, think about that first one.
If I could see life -- not just my life, but everyone and everything all around me -- the way God does, it would hugely change how I respond to and interact in every situation I encounter. No longer would I tend to be so self-centered and short-sighted, just seeing how some person affects me or perhaps one of my loved ones. No longer would I see only the immediate or short-run implications of a particular moment. I would have a much, much wider horizon -- able to see truly how all the other people involved are impacted one way or another by the situation. Furthermore, I would be able to see the long-term, even eternal, ramifications resulting from the situation.
If I could see all that, I have no doubt I would think differently, speak differently and act differently. Wouldn’t you? And as overwhelming as it might seem to take in all that “input,” wouldn’t it be thrilling and satisfying to think, say and do the very best thing in every situation?
No more “I wish I had thought of ...”, “I wish I had said ...”, “I wish I had done ...”. No more having to go back and ask for forgiveness or setting things right. Wow! How great would that be?! Think of the great peace and contentment that would give!
Thinking about the second question – what is God’s end goal? -- did you find it challenging not to say, “to be like Jesus”? Or maybe something like, “to be sanctified”? Even “to grow to spiritual maturity” lacks a clear meaning for most people, as we’ve already seen.
So what is God aiming at? What is God trying to accomplish in you and me, once we have received His gift of forgiveness and new life through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit? From that point on, what is God’s goal? What is His highest aim in this life? If we would let Him, what would His finished work in you and me look like, this side of heaven?
Over the years, I’ve heard many Christian men express this question one way or another. Often it is this way: “What does God want from me?” And if they can’t articulate an answer in a way that is useful in practice, how can they intentionally pursue it or have any sense of progress toward it? Aren’t they left on the spiritual treadmill (#10 here), with no more strategy than “just show up and hope something good happens”?
Well, I for one have not been content to settle for that. After all, is that what we see in Jesus’ ministry? No! Is that what He means when He says, “Go and make disciples”? I don’t think so!
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, God gave me the answer to this question of His highest aim nearly many years ago. We'll talk about that next time.