“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” – Ephesians 1:4—14
“PURPOSE – IT’S ALL IN HIM”
This life, your life, our lives were created NOT for our purpose, but HIS purpose. The Bible declares “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” (Romans 8:28). Kingdom citizens don’t have individual purposes – we all have one purpose – His – fashioned for each one of us uniquely and individually. So, let’s examine purpose from a Christological perspective.
When we broach the subject matter of purpose, we must scale the lofty heights of eternal thought. Eternal thought resides in the eternal God. When we read the epistles of Paul on these matters, it is clear that Paul is being inspired by God and that he is revealing eternal thoughts and wisdom. What Paul shares with us proceeds from special revelation, as opposed to natural revelation. For example, one of the crucial concepts present in the above Ephesians passage is the issue of time and eternity. Many of us get ‘spooked out’ and become uncomfortable with discussions about eternity, because it is outside the realm of time and what is visible. Our finite knowledge doesn’t really want to deal with such things. However, we know as Kingdom citizens that it is the things that we cannot see that are more real than what we can see. Paul writes “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Things “seen” are in the realm of time; things “unseen” are in the realm of eternity. Beloved, this is where you get messed up in life! You somehow believe time is greater than eternity, because time is something you can see, whereas eternity is something you have to sense. Thus, eternal thought can be very weighty and extremely perplexing without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and time. The discussion of time in light of eternity is a necessary discussion for those who desire to live a Kingdom life for God. You will never understand your relationship with God until you understand the dichotomy between eternity and time.
In Ephesians 1:10, Paul makes a very powerful statement in saying, “ … in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”God determines His divine purpose in Himself, and He then administers the purpose over time. For example, Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) but was manifested in the last days or times, for you. Thus, Paul provides us insight into how we understand the eternal mind of God: God ‘does,’ God ‘decides,’ and God ‘destines’ all in eternity. But He reveals in time.
In this text, the “fullness of times” refers to kairos. Kairos is the “fitting season, opportunity or time.” It is God’s timing, season of divinely convenient opportunity. It is not merely the succession of minutes, or chronos (Galatians 4:4). Paul is trying to help us understand that time is measured by chronos(quantity and the succession of minutes) until we get to kairos (the season of divinely convenient opportunity). Think of childbirth. After 9 months or so ofchronos, the succession of minutes, a baby will be born (kairos) – ready or not!
Saints, this means that when it comes to how God works His purpose in you, the most difficult time to deal with for us is chronos. That’s because God is always moving you towards kairos, when He is definitely going to do something, which is unknown to you in chronos. That is a spiritual reality from the eternal, unseen world—no matter how your life looks in time, you will reach your kairos…in God’s time! Kairos has the implication that God will deliver once you get there! In order to walk in God’s Kingdom purpose for your life, you have to trust that God ‘knows what He knows,’ and that you cannot know what He knows because His infinite mind will blow your finite mind! If you can just endure your time and trust His Word and His sovereignty, you will make it to your season of divinely convenient opportunity—in Him.
A Prayer for Today:
Father, we recognize you as the true Sovereign of our evolutionary existence on this earth, and trust the purpose You crafted for us in eternity to be fulfilled in time. We submit to You and give you permission to dominate and direct our time, talents, treasures, temple, temperament, and ties for Your redemptive and spiritual Kingdom purposes. We ask for Your help to stay focused on what You are doing – that which You are blessing, rather than expecting You to bless what we are doing. We love, praise, and exalt the name of King Jesus. All glory, honor, and dominion to You forever. Amen.
A man once said, “When you don’t know the purpose of a thing, abuse of it is inevitable.” How do we as believers know whether or not we are abusing the purpose of our lives? In the insightful series, The Purpose of God, Dr. Carson will teach you that your ONLY purpose is God’s purpose and how to ensure you don’t abuse the life God has given you while you’re here on earth. This series is a must for those who want to know and understand God’s purpose and plan for their lives. Order this life-changing series today!
How do we as believers know whether or not we are abusing the purpose of our lives? In the second volume of this insightful series, Dr. Carson will teach you the difference between careers, talents, gifts, and callings, the three atmospheres through which God manifests His purpose, and more. This series is a must for those who want to know and understand God’s purpose and plan for their lives. Order your copy of this home Bible study guide today!