Direction for Our Lives
John W. Follette
When God formed man and breathed life into him, He placed within man an objective for his life. This “objective” is like a prize that is placed before us as a goal to be reached.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
Some make heaven their goal; others make a ministry their goal and focus their prayers and efforts on their work. Whatever we may do or accomplish in life, all this is never to be the “goal” to which we are to attain. Rather, it is the means by which the Lord causes us to come through to the “objective” that He has placed before us. As a present reality, this objective for our lives is calling out from deep within us, to stir us to attain to it. Thus, Paul prayed,
“…But I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12
All of the “things” that we do for Jesus are splendid, but we are not to become so involved in them that we lose our perspective and sight. These things will eventually pass away, therefore, we must only become involved enough to get from them that which the Lord intends.
In a schoolroom there are many books to study. But these are not the education we seek; they are merely the collateral that helps to produce it. We receive our education by becoming a reacting agent, and allowing all these factors to play upon us. It is like our ministry, for through it, the Lord is doing something creative within us.
He will never ask us how much work we have done for Him, but He will ask what has that work done within us. All this will be registered upon our immortal spirit, and will do something within these marvelous beings that we are, so we will not be the same as we were when He first saved us. There is to be within us a progression; our spiritual development and growth toward spiritual maturity. I am saved, but how far have I come into this process of “becoming” that which Jesus desires me to be?
If heaven or my ministry is not to be an objective, then what is to be held up before me, toward which I can focus my living?
“Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31
“And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” Colossians 3:17
“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever.” I Peter 4:11
The Lord has placed before us the “glory of God” as the “objective” that will require all that we are and have, to be submitted to Him. To glorify the Lord fully was the first vocation which was placed upon man when God created him.
We are to “glorify God” in all we are and do. God made man and placed him in a garden, “set apart” to bring glory to Him, not to help Him do something. Man was made to glorify God. But we are born sinners and come short of this. Sin comes from a Greek word which means, “to miss the mark,” the failure to do that for which it was made.
The “arrow” (man) was made, and pointed to hit the bull’s eye (the glory of God), but it has missed the objective for which it was designed. This is sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Why are we sinners? Because we have come short of the glory of God, the thing for which we were made.
Whenever God does not receive the glory that should come to Him, we sin. Man was made for a “mark” called the “glory of God.” How then are we to glorify God? If we are willing to abandon ourselves in the very root of our being to Him, God will take us into His possession. He will cleanse us and bring us into an orientation around Him, instead of around our ego - “I.” We are born egocentric, therefore, He has to bring us into a new orientation. He says, “Bring all that you are to Me; I desire a fresh, unhindered possession of the totality of your being.”
After God formed Adam, He placed the benediction of His approval upon him, because He was well pleased with the arrangement which He had made - our being “limited and dependent.” But, Adam was innocent and had not yet functioned. The instrument was there, but it had not yet moved out where it could glorify God.
The Lord says, “I will now push you out into an arrangement here on earth, and make a new law in the realm of your spiritual living (Genesis 2:16-17) - the law of testing and proving. This is the only way to develop and bring you to a place where My glory may be released.”
Our nature is a gift. We become a partaker of the divine nature purely on the basis of a gift. He gives us salvation, but He cannot give us a Christian character. We have to “build” it; We are to grow and learn to subject our “ego” continually to all the arrangements which God has placed in our life activities, to release us and set us free for the real thing that He desires.
As we do the will of God, He is automatically glorified, for He is glorified whenever His will is done. Whenever God acts in a creative mood, it is to His glory. He made the heavens, and these declare His glory. What is our objective in living? It is to glorify God. How can we do it? By accepting the will of God in our life pattern. Therefore God, knowing who and what we are, places within our pattern of life all the material that is necessary to reshape, recast, and make over that which He desires us to be.
“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.” Romans 8:28
He can “take” the most disturbing thing in our lives and turn it to praise God and make it become the means of glory.
“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.” Romans 8:29
God’s objective is that through all the things that He subjects us to, He is conforming us to the image of His Son. He is approaching us because of His Son and what He sees in Him, He is tracing upon our spirit, that we may be “conformed to His image.” For one day He will take us, not just to heaven, but to be eternally associated with the Son.
When we see this, we will be able to accept the trials, the discipline, the testings and provings; for we see that this is the will of God, and through it, He will trace upon our immortal spirit, the image and likeness of His Son.
Only then will we find the satisfaction and fulfillment for which we were created, and only then can we render the glory that is due Him.