In today’s culture and society we hear a lot about purpose. I can remember reading in a leadership book that to not know the purpose of a thing will be inevitable abuse, so understanding our purpose for existing is monumental when it comes to well-being and satisfaction in life. In Romans 8:28-29 it says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Everything you have experienced and have gone through up till now God says He will work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He foreknew us before we were even in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5), and has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus.
The prefix “pre” in the word predestined simply means before or prior to the beginning; destination means where you will end. Putting it together, the word predestined means to set the end before the beginning. God’s purpose for our lives is to be conformed to the image of His Son. This is for everybody because 1 Timothy 2:3- says, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Jesus is the truth. It says this is good and acceptable in the sight (vision, revelation) of God our Savior. God is our Creator and source, not just a resource.
In order for us to begin to understand our purpose we are going to have to begin to see and perceive things the way God sees them, and that is called vision or revelation. These two words are synonymous. This understanding is vital when it comes to being conformed to His image (purpose). Being conformed is a process which the Bible calls sanctification. This word sanctification means to be set apart. The etymology of this word comes from when a king was going to be married. The bride-to-be was to be sanctified before the marriage (wedding). In the process of sanctification, the bride had to learn how to eat at the table, hold her utensils, speak, dress and conduct herself in large gatherings. During the process, some brides would give up and say that the king wasn’t worth it. This is where we need God’s vision and revelation when it comes to sanctification. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” This is what happens: people get saved and baptized in the church and when the going gets tough, when they experience adversity, rejection, betrayal, pain, hurt from an offense, loss of a loved one, divorce or are a victim of gossip, they walk away from the church and say they don’t understand and it’s not worth it. This is where vision and revelation are vital. In Proverbs 29:18 it says, “Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint.” The word revelation means vision (God’s vision); a prophetic redemptive uncovering or to reveal what’s on the mind of God to the church for direction.
When we just look at our circumstances and what has happened to us through our natural physical eyes, and not through God’s perspective (vision), we cast off the restraints necessary that bring revelation, answers and solutions for the difficulties we are going through and that can hold us and keep us in the sanctification process (conformed to the image of His Son=purpose). In John 17:15-19 it says, “I do not pray that you should take them out of this world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of this world. Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word (revelation) is truth. As you sent Me into the world I also have send them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” Don’t allow anything that someone has said, what someone has done or what you are going through cause you to abandon the process (sanctification). There is fulfillment and satisfaction in the purpose. Stay in the church that Jesus is building, that the gates of hell will not prevail against.
The King is coming! You can do this!
The writer is the senior pastor at Russell Road Church, Sidney.