Everyone wants to be a hero… to make their life count… to do something with their life. I’m no different. I tend to dwell on this theme of significance, as does this generation that I’m tasked to minister to. There is something God-given and God-inspired at our very core that desires to matter.
Sadly we search for significance by pursing pleasures in this world, gathering ‘toys’, seeking prestige, positioning for power and the list goes on and on. We miss that our significance is found in Christ alone – in a person, but I would argue in our pursuit of Him as well.
In 1 Timothy 4:10 Paul writes “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”
That verse is incredibly challenging to me in my journey. My pursuit of Christ will not be easy! Living a life that matters will be filled with toil and strive. Why do I do the things that I do? Why do I want my life to matter?
I continue on in the pursuit because in it is this unbearable weight of His presence. This overwhelming thought of being found in Christ and made like Christ makes me want to smile, cry, rejoice, feel crushed, rejoice and mourn all at the same time.
The thing that is disturbing to me about making our goal = significance is that our very attempts to matter and achieve oftentimes fight against the very simple truth that Christ simply wants us to pursue Him. Period. Be found in Him. Period. I’m learning that it isn’t that He doesn’t care about the results or the goal, but that He is the result and the goal!
A lot of our heroes of the faith that loved our great God and King and were obedient beyond the norm didn’t quite get the goal they were probably hoping for:
* Moses spends his whole life with grumbling, whiners and dies without getting to walk into the promise land.
* Samson suicide bombs the Philistines and when the dust settles he is dead and the Philistines still rule over Israel.
* David’s son rapes his sister and leads a rebellion against David, dethroning him for a season.
* Jeremiah ends up in exile with the rest of the country after repeatedly getting beaten for preaching what God commanded him to preach.
* John the Baptist is beheaded by a pervert who gives his head to a 15-year-old stripper.
* Peter is killed, reportedly crucified upside down.
* Paul is killed in Rome but only after he spends his life (with thorn intact) being beaten, rejected, lost at sea, and consistently dealing with people coming in behind him and destroying what he built.
I read it this way recently, “If your hope is set on anything other than Him, how do you survive when it goes bad? If He is the goal, the treasure, the pursuit, then those things are fuel that presses you into His goodness and grace all that much more. I am not saying they are pleasant or enjoyable but only that if He is your goal you will find your faith sustained.”
My I be found obedient and passionate in the pursuit of a God who is more faithful in pursuing me than I ever could be in pursuing Him! Soli Deo Gloria!