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thoughts on big stuff, like sovereignty and purpose

September 16, 2010

more and more i see that God does all things – that all things are from Him, through Him and to Him. to really comprehend this is a big deal. not only to get it, but to trust it. it changes perspective. the way i see missions. the way i see relationships, discipleship, obedience in sharing the gospel. everything.

in general i think we love strategy. we like to think about the best, most efficient ways to accomplish the goals we have. it’s good too. because most of the time it helps us to evaluate why we do what we do. are the things i’m doing today fitting in to the bigger picture of what i desire to see accomplished? it helps us think about purpose, effectiveness, intentionality. it seems it’s even part of being made in God’s image. in the same way that we love, create, reason etc., we also prepare and do. as our Creator plans, we too have a desire to plan.

in ephesians, paul reminds us that God has always had a plan to unite all things in Christ. this was and is His plan. the order of what God had created, ourselves included, was broken when sin came into the world. but before the world even began God has always had this plan to once again unite all things. to unite them in Christ. throughout history we see this perfect and good plan being unraveled until finally it was fully made known to us in Christ, by his death and resurrection. His plan of grace. His plan to make His name known and to ultimately receive glory.

this morning i was reading a blog post by matt green. in reflecting on the lack of laborers going to places where the gospel is hardly proclaimed he says, “The pragmatic human response to this dynamic is to work harder, to pour more resources into the battle, to excoriate those who sit on their hands. But the reality is that, even if everyone gave to the point of poverty and obeyed to the point of death, the results would be fruitless apart from a sovereign work of the Spirit to draw the lost to the Father.”

what a truth.

God does all things. we don’t just sit back and watch; we’re given clear commands to take part in His purpose by proclaiming the truth of the gospel. but God draws people to Himself. by His Spirit God mobilizes a generation/nation/church/people group to go to all nations and make disciples. not my strategizing, methods, knowledge, personality, effectiveness, enthusiasm, or ability. He’s given me these things to support His work, but not to supplant it.

do we continue to plan that we might achieve a greater goal? i think so. planning how i intend to disciple a group of young women here in botswana keeps me accountable to the task that God has called me to. thinking about how what i do this week will make a greater impact is important. strategy is a good thing and i must be faithful with the work God has given me. but do i lose heart when i think things aren’t going as they should? get discouraged when discipleship takes time? figure out how to just make things happen when i want to see the end goal realized? definitely not. instead i remember that we are on a narrow and difficult path, humble myself before the purposes of God and trust that all things truly are from Him, through Him and to Him. it has been and always will be the best way.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Meg permalink
    September 17, 2010 1:16 pm

    um…literally my thoughts this week. seriously. apart from him we are nothing. it’s funny how simple discipleship is, and yet how much we complicate it…most of the time for our own glory. because we want to do things in our time so as to be most efficient and productive. wow, God doesn’t operate on the same mindset. and b/c of that, we are constantly brought to our knees, having to acknowledge that He is the only one who can make seeds grow. love this post, will probably read it bunches of times. ps – i’m workin’ on a response to your email :)

  2. Cara Maddox permalink
    September 17, 2010 3:37 pm

    This was a great post. I love that quote so powerful. Plus, my new SWI class for this semester is on mentoring; it is good stuff. Happy Friday to you to you!

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