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TRUST JESUS TODAY
Target Audience: College students and young professionals
This is a chapter in a book on "tentmaking" that I'm still working on.
Understanding God’s Purposes for Your Life
“Lord, what’s in Your heart for my life? What’s your longing for those You’ve brought my way? What’s Your desire for everyone in this messy world?”
Many of us may have asked these questions once in a while. Knowing His thoughts is puzzling for some. But understanding God’s intent and purposes is not as mystical and as difficult as it may seem to be. You can know God’s thoughts and understand His heartbeats. This is so because God Himself has communicated His longings and thoughts to you through His Word – the Bible. He has also given you the Holy Spirit who will guide you into all truth as you read and ponder on the pages of the Scriptures. God speaks and is still speaking. All you need to do now is listen – with all your heart and all your soul. Then, ask Him, “Who are You, Lord?” “What do You want me to be?” “What is it that You want me to do?”
Interacting with God through the Word and prayer in the Holy Spirit grants you a glimpse of who He really is. Knowing Him is understanding His purposes and experiencing His attributes in your day to day existence. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, NIV)
“Who are you, Lord?” you fervently ask.
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin (Exodus 34:6-7 , NIV),” God replies.
“What’s in your heart for my life, Lord?” you humbly query.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then, you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13, NIV)
“What do you long for me and for those You’ve brought along in my life? What’s your desire for everyone I bumped with?” you pursue.
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10, NIV) “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, NIV) “This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3; 4, NIV)
So, what are His purposes? As the One who truly loves you, He is, first of all, committed to your own growth and development in all respects. He seeks after your own welfare and joy. He rejoices over your progress and well-being. As the One who has done everything possible to redeem you for Himself, God makes it His highest concern that you will grow to be like Christ and “… increase in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God and in favor with men.” (Luke 2:52, RSV) That’s why He wonderfully made you, then lost you for a while, but then, redeemed you with the greatest of cost for the praise of His glory. He intends that you will grow in your love relationship with Him. The Lord Jesus points it out what’s in God’s heart for you. He enunciates this divine intent as the first and the greatest commandment. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37, NIV). He wants you to be compassionate and loving towards people. The second greatest commandment clearly says it all. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39, NIV).
In your personal life, you can ask Him, “Lord, how can I love You with all my heart in each aspect of my life?” How He longs for your progress in every respect. How He desires to see your love for Him expressed in different forms. How He delights in such loving responses you’ve got for Him and for those around you.
In your relationships with your loved ones, your family and relatives, your friends and colleagues, your superiors and subordinates, your neighbors and acquaintances, the Lord wants you to be compassionate and redemptive. Loving them and seeking their welfare are God’s purposes for you in your relationships. Seeking ways to bring them to the Lord or draw them nearer to Him is one of the best ways you could express your love to them. So, in your immediate relationships and in your local, national and international spheres of influence, He has intended that you be involved in advancing His reign of love by making disciples of all nations and teaching them to obey everything He has called them to be. (Matthew 28:18-20) How He desires that you be a part in His worldwide outworking of His grace. He longs for you to play a significant role in the advancement of His plans and purposes. He wants you to love Him and honor Him and glorify Him in every aspect of your life. He has given you the privilege of a lifetime of being His representative and ambassador in this sinful and fallen world.
The Triune God is still asking, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8, NIV) You can very well say, “Here I am, Lord. Send me. Use me. Consume me for the praise of Your glory!”
Dearest Lord, thank You that I am precious in Your sight and honored. You’ve loved me so much and You have sought all possible means to draw me near to You. Thank You for inviting me to be a part of You and of Your great plans and purposes. Lord, I love You and I want to love You and know You more. Here am I, Lord, consume me, use me, send me for the praise of Your glory.
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