According to His purpose
According to His purpose
You know what they say, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. And yet, as Christians who are doggedly serving our great King, seeking His direction and asking for His protection and blessing, how do we accept mistakes? I made a mistake. I mapped out my workload for the summer, from June through August and I knew when I had to take care of the details for several projects. Oh, the production has been excellent, and I’ve hit a lot more marks than I’ve missed.
But, I have missed. How, Lord? How can this be? Was I not diligent in taking care of even the smallest details? Didn’t I go out of my way to ensure that I was working according to the needs of others, rather than expecting them to work to mine? Was I not sacrificing? Was I not sacrificing enough? Honestly, Lord, was there anything more that I could have given?
Yes, it’s been a busy summer and I made a mistake that has really goofed up my timing for a big project. I was closely monitoring that project’s timing all the way. Everything was where it should be. In fact, there was nothing that I could do to make it better. Yes, I could have changed the order of things around. I could have prioritized things differently, but it really wouldn’t have changed anything.
It comes down to this: I made a mistake and things aren’t where they should be, and there is nothing that I could have done to avoid it.
Right now, I have several friends and associates who are looking for work. Through no fault of their own; in fact, I suspect that each of them was doing his utmost for his employer, and yet… through no fault of their own, they are out on their ears; no job and few prospects. They must have done something wrong; made some sort of mistake. Otherwise, how could they be in this situation?
God’s Word – how quickly we forget its power – His Word says in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” That’s from the good old King James, but almost all the popular translations say the same thing.
In my youth, I used to focus primarily on the first part of that passage – “for good, to them that love God.” Hey, that was me. Still is. But, now that second part takes on a lot more prominence, “to those who are called according to his purpose.” His Purpose. Not mine, but His.
Is that why I’ve failed? Wait a minute… Is that why I’ve made a mistake? Because, I wasn’t working or “called” according to His Purpose? I wondered about that for a minute, but no longer. I know beyond any shadow of doubt that I’m where He wants me. Hey, I see His blessings. And, yet I made a mistake that will impact His mission.
Am I nuts? “Impact His mission?” Not a chance. He saw this coming from before creation. He has had His Purpose in it long before He breathed life into the project. He has it well in hand.
I read the rest of that chapter today – Romans 8:28-39. There’s no convenient place to stop reading, so I invite you to read the entire chapter for yourself, but I’d like to share a little more of it out of the English Standard Version: “ And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”… There is more; read it for yourself.
Guys… There comes a point where we have to say, “It is His Work.” I have done… we have done all that is possible, or reasonable. Jesus could have arrived in time to save Lazarus from dying. God could have led me – He could lead you – to do something different. We can put our mistakes down to our weakness as people, but He knows them better than we do. He takes them into account. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect (ya, Matthew 5:28 – be perfect, as He is perfect). He expects us to lean on Him.
Lord, I’m leaning. Take my mistakes and turn them into something that will demonstrate Your Glory. It’s all about You, Lord. I am weak, but in You, I am strong. Lord, place me in the centre of Your Will and may You be glorified. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Howard Pike, Regional Director