Sometimes when I go onto http://www.mapquest.com I will reverse the directions of my trip to get a better sense of the route I am following. This is what we have done together as we looked at the qualities that allow us to match our steps with God. We have reverse engineered the way God works in our lives and I hope you have gained a better understanding of the goals for which we are reaching.
The Bible shows in Romans 8: 28 – 30 that the progression of God’s movement and grace, God’s way of working with us follows a predictable and constant path. It begins with God’s call to repentance as God calls us to align ourselves with him.
Then it moves to a place where God says, “I know how you need to be changed. I know where you are not well. I know where sin has affected you. I know where you have rooted yourself in sin and I am going to lay the axe to the root of the tree, the sword and axe of my word, and you are going to be made whole.”
On top of that, God gives us the Holy Spirit to walk with us and guide us step-by-step to a place where we are called again. We are called in a much more intimate fashion. We are called not only to be saved but to serve and to move forth as a witness and an ambassador of Jesus Christ.
When we do that we become very influential and useful in God’s hand. God says we are salt and light. We are justified and free to move and go as God leads us. There is no hindrance that cannot be overcome by the sufficiency of his grace. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (I Corinthians 10: 13) The weight of sin can be now set aside as we “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12: 1)
God says the end of his work is we are to be glorified. Our lives are to match up with his. “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” (I John 3: 2 – 3) We are to radiate the same life and grace, power and presence that the Lord does.
You see it in Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples. Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14: 12) Watch this glory shine in the acts or practices of the apostles. The authorities recognized it. “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4: 13) The authorities were astonished in the apostles’ boldness and courage. They were astonished that they exercised the power to heal and proclaim the gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The populace also noticed the glory of God that the believers in Jesus carried. “As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” (Acts 5: 15 – 16)
The apostle Paul operates in this glory in Acts 17. The word goes forth in a mighty way to all of Asia through Paul’s teaching. His steps match the calling of God upon his life and Paul finds himself in the right place, in the right way, and in the right time. This match of obedience and opportunity allows the glory of God to reach those with a need without the apostle needing to be physically present. An anointed handkerchief becomes an effective proxy.
I have also witnessed this truth in the present day, in the healing ministry of Craig Marsh where the word of faith heals the sick and where an anointed or prayed-over handkerchief can be sent to someone and as they trust the Lord is present in that person (Paul or Craig) whom God has authorized to send the object, they are healed.
The truth is we are to be glorified. That is the end of all things and that is where we want to begin thinking about the question, “What does God intend for my life?”
First off, God wills for us to match our life with his. We are to glorify God and be glorified by God. We are to have unity. We are to have unity and peace between us and God. That is God’s goal: for us to match our steps with God, to walk in the way of peace. We are to walk in constant connectivity with God. We do not do anything except God is doing it.
This reveals our primary objective. We are to reflect in our actions the actions of God. We aim to be able to say with Jesus, “If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.” Or as the Apostle Paul addresses the church in Corinth, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” We still take responsibility for our shortcomings but we know every action is to point towards our unity with the Lord. This is why Jesus teaches us to be salt and light so that others may see our good works and glorify God on the day of his visitation. If you observe me you are meant to observe what God is doing in the earth.
That is our goal. To be glorified is to have unity between us and God.