Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)
TITLE: Fulfilling The Plan Of God
By Doug Laird
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The first and last recorded words of the Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, prior to His resurrection, reveal that His entire life was centered upon completing the Work that God the Father sent Him to fulfill.
When He was twelve years of age, He was separated from his earthly parents for three days and thought to be lost during one of His family’s annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. His frantic parents eventually found Him in the temple engaged in deep conversation with the teachers who were there.
In response to Mary’s displeasure for the way that Joseph and she had been treated, our Lord replied, “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house (Luke 2: 49 NIV)?”
Mary did not have omniscience enabling her to know of anything that had not been disclosed to her. It was not the location, but the purpose that Jesus was speaking of. These were the first recorded words of our Lord while here on Earth.
His last words on the cross confirm that He had completed the Work He was sent to perform. “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (John 19: 30 NIV).”
The fulfillment of the Work that He came to perform was always the priority of His life while here on earth. If we are to be His disciple, we must do the same. No thing or no one can be allowed to take the place of God or the things of God in our life.
To the dismay of many of His initial followers, He chose not to address many of the social, racial, and political issues that dominated the lives of the people of His day.
Paul spoke of having fulfilled his work and of his preparedness to leave this world (2Tim. 4: 6-8). In order to have done this, he also had to remain focused and not be needlessly distracted by the issues of this life (Luke 21:34/Luke 14: 26/2Tim. 2:4/Luke 8: 14).
If we are to fulfill the plan that God has for us in this life, we must identify and execute both the general and individual plan that God has designed for us.
His general plan calls for each member (1Tim 2: 3, 4) of the human race to be “born again (John 3: 3 NIV).” His individual plan calls for us to identify, develop, and exercise the spiritual gift (1Cor. 12:4) that God the Holy Spirit (not us) has selected (1Cor. 12: 11) for each one of us to function in during our post-salvation spiritual life.
It matters not where we are or what we are doing. If we are living the Spirit-filled (controlled) life, He will arrange the events of our daily lives enabling us to execute His plan. If there is a need to change anything in our personal periphery, location, function, or circumstances, He will do so according to His timing and purposes.
Family, friends, career, wealth, and health are all matters that we must attend to, but none of these are to be given precedence over the spiritual calling that God has given to each and every soul that is born again.
Satan, through human reasoning, rationalization, and even religion, is more than glad to encourage us to seek fulfillment in this life in ANYTHING other than the true plan of God that gives purpose, meaning, and definition to each and every day that God has given us to glorify Him.
The true spiritual life has nothing to do with the promotion or satisfaction of selfish goals or desires. The spiritual gift that God has given each and every born again believer is for the glory of God and for the service and/or edification of OTHERS (1Cor. 12: 7).
What we must ask ourselves is when the post-salvation road we have chosen comes to its end, will we be able to leave this world KNOWING that we have fulfilled the purpose(s) that God created us for and hear these words upon our arrival in Heaven, “Well done, good and faithful servant (Matt.25: 21 NIV).”
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