A Hope that Produces a Glorious Purpose

Living Intentionally

What is your aim?  I recently read a devotional by John Piper that posed that question, “What is your aim?”. In it he says, “God’s revealed will for you is that when you get up in the morning you don’t drift aimlessly through the day letting mere circumstance alone dictate what you do, but that you aim at something…Aimlessness is akin to lifelessness.” Living intentionally is easy… on January 1st. But that is usually how far our determination will carry us. Maybe some of you are more disciplined than me and can make it through the whole month of January with intention, hope and purpose. But here in the real world what comes easiest is to react. It is such a human instinct to let your circumstance decide your attitude or even your character.

Then Life Happens

When our lives are full and busy we tend to worry and stress (full disclosure, this is exactly our season in life right now). We are full of excuses when we are worried, “I don’t have enough money to give”, “I don’t have enough time to serve.” We are smothered by the things happening around us and strive for control of it all. When our lives get dark from suffering we tend to doubt and despair. We doubt that God loves us. We doubt the promises of God and the very foundations of truth. When we are suffering we feel like giving up. When our lives are good we tend to find other forms of idolatry. We become captivated by an endless list of idols, worshiping anything and everything that brings us a moment of pleasure. But no matter what season of life you are in today, one thing we all have in common is we don’t know what our year holds for us. What kind of year is this going to be? Is this going to be a year where God shapes us through suffering, or is this going to be a year of rejoicing, or some of each? We don’t know! It is really this uncertainty that makes it so easy to live in reaction mode. Therefore if we are going to live our lives with intentionality and purpose we are going to need stability, assurance, and a hope of some kind.

Looking, Beholding and Believing

GloryThe Apostles Paul and James encourage us to stop acting like children, being  tossed to and fro by the waves of life. One way to stop this tossing is to know where we are headed as God’s children. Just think how difficult it would be to drive without looking where you are heading! We have probably all seen drivers like this on the road and it is not pretty. I mean seriously, some people are just down right scary to watch, with all the texting and makeup applying. All it takes is one person not watching where they are going for there to be serious consequences. On the road of life the stakes are even higher. In my quest for direction and solid ground, God keeps leading me back to Ezekiel 43. In this chapter Ezekiel receives one of many visions from God of God. This vision is particularly about God’s glory. “Behold the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of His coming was like the sound of many waters, and the Earth shone with His glory…The Spirit lifted me up and brought into the inner court: and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”

The Lord met me with this passage about a month ago when I was feeling lost. As many of you know, we moved here from Arkansas about a year ago and now we are anticipating moving again (still in the KC area). At the news of  another move, I went into full blown reaction mode or, as my husband Bryan called it, “crisis mode”. But as I sought the Lord in prayer one morning, He led me to this vision that He gave Ezekiel thousands of years ago. The Lord spoke two simple truths to me through these few verses. The first is that He is coming in glory. “The glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east and the sound of His coming was like the sound of many waters.” If, by grace, you have been given spiritual ears to hear, then listen. Because above the noise and chaos of this world you can hear the coming glory of the God of Israel. In fact, the only thing we can be sure is coming is the glory of God. It is absolutely going to happen! No one can escape it, everyone will see it, and no matter what happens between now and then nothing will stop His glory! Secondly, we can gather from Ezekiel’s vision that all will be brought to light. “And the earth shone with the glory of God.” In this life darkness surrounds us. You may be wrestling with why something happened to you or a loved one, or maybe you have big theological questions you are stuck on. But have faith, brothers and sisters, for in the light of God’s glory everything will make sense. So ask yourself, are you focused on where you are going? Do you even know where you are going? Repent and believe today that He will return and when He does everything will be brought to light. Everything will be righteously judged and, best of  all, we will see Him in all His radiant, beautiful glory!!! If you believe in Jesus He is exactly what you are headed for. Do not lose heart. Keep your eyes on Him for He is the Hope that gives our lives purpose!

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