I wrote in my Shutter Island Moment that compared to God’s perfection we are all monsters. However, I want to emphasize that all Christians are called to a life of perfection through a friendship with Christ. We are suppose to be different from the world, and our lives should reflect God’s glory. There is a large gap between just being forgiven by Christ and being perfected in Christ. Christians should be on the path to perfection, headed toward Christlikeness.
Many Christians receive salvation through Christ, but they don’t pursue a relationship with Him; therefore, their lives blend in with the cultural norm. Other Christians receive salvation and pursue good-works rather than relationship with Christ. Good works become idols instead of an outward product of an inward fellowship.
As Christ’s disciples, we are called to become like Him. We can not become like Jesus from our own effort. It must be the Holy Spirit working in us (Philippians 1.6 and 2.13). When Christians passionately pursue an intimate relationship with Jesus, their lives will be sanctified (set-apart) and will produce God-centered good works (Ephesians 2.10 and John 17.19).
The question is, “How do we move from being Monsters (selfish nature) towards Perfection (Christlikeness)?”
My first inclination is to say love. If we love Christ enough, we will automatically begin to take on His likeness. However, we could love Jesus in heaven. We don’t need to have this earth and this temporal life to love Jesus. If love would get us from point A to point B, why wouldn’t God just call us all to heaven now?
There has to be a reason Jesus walked this earth and we walk this earth. This creation must serve His purpose in perfecting us.
I write a lot about our Kingdom Purpose. I believe God has an awesome, powerful Kingdom Purpose for each of us. God taught me a lot about His overall Kingdom Purpose and our individual Kingdom Purposes when I did my 7-day fast. If you haven’t read my meditation on what I learned, you can find it at Fast to Feast. During this fast, God gave me one of Jesus’ parables to meditate on, and it was about His Kingdom. Did you know that God’s Kingdom is one of the topics that Jesus discussed most? Why so much emphasis about our Kingdom Purpose?
What I would like to suggest is that God’s Kingdom Purpose is what moves us from Monster to Perfection, from sinful nature to Christlikeness. Let me explain why.
God created this earth and gave us dominion over it (Genesis 1.26 and Psalm 115.16). Jesus uses the Parable of the Talents to illustrate that we will each be given a portion of His Kingdom (Matthew 25.21). Therefore, God obviously has given us a portion of control over this earth for a reason. He wants us to have territory and use our authority to expand it (1 Chronicles 4.10 NIV).
What I’m realizing through researching the Scriptures is that our Kingdom Purpose is essential to our lives on this earth. It draws us closer to God and shapes us into the image of Christ. Sadly, though, many Christians are hopelessly kingdomless. They have no idea why they are on this earth and, therefore, become easy prey for the Enemy. We lose our focus if we haven’t got a focal point.
I’m learning that the more God gives me a clearer vision of my own Kingdom Purpose, the more I draw closer to Him. Because I know that there is absolutely no way that I could achieve my Kingdom Purpose alone. I must keep in step with the Spirit. And this is why the Kingdom Purpose moves us towards Christlikeness — it forces us to commune with God. If you are serving a purpose and it seems easy enough to do alone, I don’t think you’ve reached the height of what God wants to do through you.
I believe that besides ignorance and apathy, the number one hindrance preventing us from achieving our Kingdom Purpose is covetness. The world has it’s own degrees of what is meaningful and what is not; however, this hierarchy does not fit in with God’s vision. We get into trouble when we start idolizing a particular Kingdom Purpose instead of fulfilling our own. Whether we are front-porch disciple makers or TV evangelist, we all have equal freedom to multiply our Talents and further God’s Kingdom.
We each have God’s glory waiting in us in the form of our Kingdom Purpose. We just have to obediently unleash it. This power is the greatest force that will shape us into Christlikeness. Our Kingdom Purpose can only be accomplished if we lean on God, obey His commands and desire Him more than anything. I think that is why in the Bible God many times claims beauty over the ugliness of His children. He knows what they could be if only they strive to accomplish the purpose that He has created them to serve.
What about you? Have you asked God specifically what is your Kingdom Purpose? Has God carved out a territory for you that makes you cling to Him? Do you think it is important for individuals to know that their lives have meaning?
“In accord with his original intent, the heavenly Father has in fact prepared an individualized kingdom for every person, from the outset of creation. That may seem impossible for us. But we do have a very weak imagination toward God, and we are confused by our own desires and fears, as well as by gross misinformation. It is a small thing for him.” – Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy