Monday, February 20, 2012

Purpose Is Discovered, Not Defined

From the first stories in Scripture .....cooperation with God, and mankind's cooperation with one another has been a source of contention and division to be sure. But it "is" His plan, and when executed selflessly, with His will and glory in mind, has been the vehicle by which His will and glory are modeled to a fallen world in need of His gracious salvation.

Christianity without community is reduced to self-centric religion, and community withoutcooperation is defeated before it begins. "Faith without works is dead!" (James 2:26) It is true.... there are no Lone Ranger Christians. At its very essence, the triune God-head is, by definition, community and is cooperative. You and I, as God's creation, are designed to work together, with cooperative purposes otherwise difficult or nearly impossible to accomplish by any one of us. And if we "do" accomplish a goal on our own is often short-lived, likely short-sighted, powerless, and at risk of being purposeless. Andy Worhol's "fifteen minutes of fame" would surely apply to God's people who neglect the power of cooperation.

God's design is communal, certainly not to the neglect of individual time spent alone with God, but a spiritually balanced life should consist of open-ness to God's defining / refining of individuals, and their motivations for doing. Then, doing should be accountable to, sharpened by, and acted in correlation with others like-minded; all that with flexibility in mind, so as to do what the Holy Spirit encourages in a time of need. No plan we make, even corporate, will be perfect. It is true... "no one ever did anything without first doing something." Yet, there is no greater area of responsibility than Kingdom-work! Plan with care, handle with thoughtfulness, then execute with boldness ...trusting that He "equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13:21 ESV) Our purpose needs no defining! Purpose needs discovering! God defines our purpose in life, and it is exemplified through Jesus Christ' earthly work, gratified through His sacrifice to secure our salvation, and certified by His resurrection!

In all of wise Solomon's frustration with the uselessness of toil, and the vanity of progressiveness, he recognized the inherent, essential, value of cooperation.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV)

Leaders need followers, and planners need executors. Set out on the adventure of your lifetime! Discover the section of Christ' community body that best fits you, surrender to Him, jump in, go to work, and live out His purpose in your life. There is no human endeavor more satisfying. You'll have reason to get out of bed in the morning. You'll rest well at night.