It is exciting to see the great outpouring of God's blessings on our church here in Montreal, but it is God who is doing it. It is great to see old friends renewing relationships and new souls coming to the Lord, but it is God who is doing it. It is great to see revival taking root in God's children and the freedom that is being given to the Spirit to move in our hearts, but it is God who is doing it. Unless he calls us we cannot answer. Unless he invites us in, we cannot go. Unless he seeks us we would never desire to seek him. So we rejoice in his love, goodness, joy and blessings. It is a wonderful thing to serve him. But now what?
Do we just sit back and hope there are more blessings? After all, it is God who is doing it.
When God rescued Israel from Egypt and called them his people, his nation, his children, he also put a structure in place so he could glorify himself through them. When God rescued us sinners from slavery and called us his people, his nation, his children, he also put a structure in place so he could glorify himself through us. It is called the Church, the Body of Christ, of which we are functioning members, called to a specific purpose. It is time to walk fully in this function.
Each of us has a destiny to fulfill and the last thing we want to do is fail to enter into it. King Solomon had a great destiny but failed to walk in it. 1 Chronicles 17 has a recording of the destiny God had planned for David's son:
I’ll choose one of your sons to be king when you reach the end of your life and are buried beside your ancestors. I’ll make him a strong ruler, and no one will be able to take his kingdom away from him. He will be the one to build a temple for me. I will be like a father to him, and he will be like a son to me. I will never put an end to my agreement with him, as I put an end to my agreement with Saul, who was king before you. I will make sure that your son and his descendants will rule my people and my kingdom forever. (1 Chronicles 17:11-14)
Now God kept his promise to David about always having a son on the throne but note what he said about Solomon: "I will be like a father to him, and he will be like a son to me." What an incredible promise and Solomon started off well in it. God gave him wisdom to be a great King. He subdued all his enemies. There was peace in the land and Solomon had a great relationship with God. But Solomon got distracted. He allowed his head to be filled with other people's ideas and opinions. He lost sight of his destiny, of his relationship with God. He lost his purpose, not as king, but as a child of God.
It is possible for us to walk in a shadow of our responsibility and miss our destiny. It is possible to go through all the motions, use the right vocabulary, to look the part but fail in the most important thing; our relationship with God. Our destiny is for him to be our Father and we his children. If that is in place and our greatest desire is to love him with our entire being, then everything else about our destiny will fall in place. Obedience becomes an easy thing, and his equipping for his chosen task for us flows without fail.
In our church we must submit ourselves to the truth of what Jesus taught: Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him. The first part is all about relationship, living only through Jesus and denying our selfish motives and desires; living his will and his purpose. The second is to step into our calling, responsibility, task, purpose. We have to take it up, bear it, operate in it, embrace it. The last part is to follow Jesus'example, our teacher, the first born of the many who would follow (you and me). This is where we need to go, to become, our destiny, which is great and glorious because it is how Jesus will be glorified through us. No one is unimportant. No one is permitted to be a spectator. No one gets to decide for themselves. No one gets to retire.
It is time for us to accept and understand the structure God has put in for the Church, to allow him to reveal our place in it. It is all laid out for us, to accept and to grow in it. The question is church, will we embrace our destiny?