Church Life, The Eternal Purpose

One Body, One Purpose

Let’s begin with a quick recap:

We have been digging into God’s eternal purpose on the blog since the beginning of the year.  God’s eternal purpose, His reason for creating, was to expand and display Himself.  To accomplish this, He created a place where He could dwell with an extended family, in a spiritual house, and could be expressed as a corporate bride for His Son and become a new family, all united together in Christ.  Posts in January focused on God’s house, February shifted to family, and March has aimed to reveal God’s heart for His body.

Today, it’s my turn to focus on God’s eternal purpose, His ultimate intention for His body, which is the Body of Christ.

To accomplish this, I want to focus on focus.  😉

A terrible problem in the world today is “distracted driving”.  Vehicles have incorporated lots of new gadgets with screens and alerts, and most people today carry a cell phone of some kind with them almost all the time.  The dividing of attention between driving and other tasks such as reading or responding to texts, checking directions, or selecting music results in unsafe, distracted driving which increases the chance of being involved in a vehicle accident.

As the demands of life in this world continually seem to increase, and we are all increasingly connected through social media, multi-tasking is becoming more of a way of life.

However, I really don’t believe we were created for this kind of constant multi-tasking.  It brings increased stress and anxiety that has an adverse affect on a person’s health because our human system is increasingly in a state of overload.  Add that to poor nutrition and lack of sleep, and our bodies aren’t a wonderland – they’re a nightmare!

Of course, we can do basic tasks at the same time.  Walking and listening to music, eating a meal while watching TV or having a conversation isn’t too hard.

But try reading a book while you are riding a bicycle.  Or try talking on the phone while walking on a tightrope.  Or try eating while you are doing jumping jacks.

These tasks just don’t work together.  You have to put one down and focus on the other.

It is very difficult to get our brain to divide our attention and focus on two simultaneous but competing tasks.

Other writers on the blog have shared this month about the reality that followers of Christ are His body in the earth today.

But what do we do as His body?  Is His body divided in loyalty and purpose?  Or is His body united in one purpose and one focus?

Based on what I have seen and experienced, I have to say that the body of Christ overall is not acting in one purpose.  Christians seem to be caught up in so many “things”: morality, political influence, end times, prophecy, miracles, signs and wonders, being Biblical, properly interpreting the Bible, evangelism, casting out demons, and on and on.

As Paul asked the Corinthians, “Is Christ divided?”  (1 Corinthians 1:13)

Is Christ (remember, we are His body) divided into factions, segments, denominations?

While Christ’s body may be physically divided today over various matters, I don’t believe His body is spiritually divided.  There is only one Spirit, and He is indivisible.

Paul describes the body of Christ as a human body, in which all parts move in conjunction with the Head (1 Corinthians 12).  In verse 21, Paul says, “The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

In order to carry out the direction, the purpose of the Head, the whole body must be willing to yield to the direction of the Head together.

The question that comes to my mind is this: How can the body of Christ come together and focus on our one purpose, which is God’s own eternal purpose?

I mean, come on folks… how can it get better than being given the opportunity to carry out the best plans in the universe???

Unfortunately, God’s eternal purpose gets little attention in Christian circles, hence our focus on it here on the blog.  I think all the writers here would say that an understanding of God’s driving purpose has revolutionized their understanding of, well, everything.

Walking this path is not easy.  To whom much is given, much is required.  Pursuing God’s purpose requires that we lay down our own self-centered purposes and agendas to follow the King.

Remember, we can only have one focus.  When we focus on Jesus, we have one purpose: His purpose, to have a house, a family, a body, and a home to share and expand the loving community of the Father, Son, and Spirit.

We do not accomplish this by coming up with agendas to conquer, save, redeem, convict, heal, or judge the world.

We fulfill His purpose when we simply yield to Him and learn how to live by His indwelling life – taking our cues from His Spirit living in us.

What does that look like?  It looks like losing.  It looks like love that gives up oneself for the benefit of another.  In His time, He will lead us into when and how to do all those other things.  This is what it means to truly let Christ be Head of the body.

Allow me to close by quoting part of Philippians 2:

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

 

Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Follow the LIFE!

*****
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6 Comment

  1. Reply
    Alison Hardy
    March 23, 2017 at 10:07 am

    “I mean, come on folks… how can it get better than being given the opportunity to carry out the best plans in the universe???”

    Yes! It cannot get better!

    Though He did not NEED to, He DESIRED to have us inextricably involved in the fulfillment of His purpose. Everything we give up for His purpose can in no way compare to what we gain when He gains. He is worthy of all of our focus. Thanks for this, brother!

    1. Reply
      Mark Lake
      April 7, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Absolutely, Allison!!!
      Mark Lake recently posted…Monday Meditations 010: Is God Homeless?My Profile

  2. Reply
    Adam
    March 23, 2017 at 11:58 am

    “When we focus on Jesus we have one purpose.”

    Yes!!!

    1. Reply
      Mark Lake
      April 7, 2017 at 9:08 am

      Someone once told me that when we focus on how to do/be church, we get division. When we focus on Jesus we get the church. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting, Adam!
      Mark Lake recently posted…Quit Playing Religious GamesMy Profile

  3. Reply
    Donna Batty
    March 23, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Beautiful as always brother,….one heart, one spirit, one voice to praise Him, we are the body of Christ.
    Donna Batty recently posted…Transparency and DisclosureMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Mark Lake
      April 7, 2017 at 9:07 am

      One together in Him! Thanks, Donna!
      Mark Lake recently posted…Monday Meditations 009: Build HopeMy Profile

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