Thursday, July 23, 2009

Aligning Our Lives to God's Will

“The places we go, the friendships we embrace, the language we use, the shows we watch, the books we read, the thoughts we entertain—all must be aligned with the purpose to which we are called by God.” ~ Ravi Zacharias, Cries of the Heart

There is importance to the things we do every day. The choices we make about where we go and the people we spend time with affect who we are and what we accomplish with our lives. The decisions we make concerning the every day choices we face either help us or hinder us in living out God’ purpose for our lives.

God has created us for a purpose. So many of us miss out on that purpose because we get caught in the busy-ness flow of life. Discovering the specific purpose of our lives (the general purpose for everyone is to love God and to love people) requires a decision to step out of the current of society to follow Jesus wherever He decides to lead us. The choices we make everyday must reflect our desire to follow Jesus, and thus our purpose for life begins to take shape.

This means we need to become more discriminating in how we live our lives. More thought needs to be put into what movies we watch. Better discernment is needed in who we have as our closest friends. Holiness and purity must flow from our hearts and minds. We will never be able to live out our God given purpose if we remain within the stream of culture.

We need to be different. Not so much different in the way we look, but different in the choices we make. Our lives must be aligned to God’s will, and in the end that will make us different. The prophet Isaiah reminds us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8; NLT). By choosing to follow Jesus and to live according to God’s plan, we will be different because God’s ways are different than the ways of man.

As we follow Jesus our priorities change. Luke records these encounters people had with Jesus.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:57-62; ESV).

What Jesus makes clear is that His priorities are different from the priorities of other people. The priorities of these men weren’t necessarily sinful, but these earthly priorities did prevent the men from making a full commitment to Christ. The Kingdom of God isn’t about houses, jobs, and families, rather it is about doing what King Jesus has asked us to do. It is changing from what we believe to be important to what the King says is important. The entire scope of our lives need to be aligned to God’s will.  This is exactly the way Jesus lived His life.

It is hard to give up the control of our lives and surrender to Jesus. Yet, the way we discover true life is to align our purpose for living with God’s will for our lives. Only by doing God’s will do we discover what it means to truly live.

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