9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. – 2 Cor. 5:9 NLT
The ultimate goal for a Christian is to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God. This doesn’t mean that all of us have to be involved in the traditional full time ministries. It does mean that God expects us to use the abilities and the resources He has placed under our control to glorify Him. It means that whatever position we are in that God has made us a steward over that part of His world and His business. We are accountable to Him for every second and every cent we spend. The time and the money are gifts from our Father and He expects us to use them to glorify Him and further His Kingdom. Besides the purchases of those things necessary for living, we need to be sure that the why, when and where we spend time and money brings glory to Him. As we spend more time with just us and God meditating on His Word, we find that our wants and desires begin to change. As we focus on Jesus, the worldly things become less important and pleasing Him becomes our heart’s desire. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. We don’t need to know the whole plan, we just need to walk in faith trusting Him. We can take the next step knowing that the path leads to an eternity with Him.
3. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. — Proverbs 16:3 NIV
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands. — Psalm 90:17 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
16 Here’s my instruction: walk in the Spirit, and let the Spirit bring order to your life. If you do, you will never give in to your selfish and sinful cravings.
–– Gal. 5:16 Voice
Once a baby learns to stand alone, then it is time for the baby to practice toddling. You know those first shaky, unsure, unsteady steps. The baby will start, maybe make a couple of steps and fall. The baby needs someone there to catch him/her so he/she is not harmed. It is a struggle and it takes a patient parent to watch as the baby falls over and over. A good parent realizes that if the child never falls, he/she will never learn to walk by themselves. It is the same in our spiritual walk. First we crawl, then we learn to stand and then we start to take a few, unsure steps. But never fear, just like an earthly parent is there to catch the toddler, God the Holy Spirit is there to catch us. But just like the toddler, we will never develop strong spiritual legs if we are not allowed to try and fail. Just as the toddler must be encouraged and learn to keep their eyes on the goal and not on their feet, we too must keep our eyes on the goal and not on our failures. We need to be Jesus conscious and not sin conscious. The Holy Spirit will always be there to catch us, encourage us and cheer us on in the rough times. Just as a child takes time to learn to react to his senses so that he/she can stay balanced, we must learn to listen to the Holy Spirit to keep our lives balanced. He will keep us on the path and away from those things that would do us irreparable harm.
20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. — Eccel. 7:20 NIV
Verses like the one above are meant to encourage us not to give us an excuse to “do it my way”. Mr. Sinatra was a great singer, but the writer of that particular song had some bad theology. We all fall, but we don’t stay fallen. I am encouraged by Paul whose claim to be the “chief of sinners” could be contested by some of us in today’s society. He clearly knew who he was, Whose he was and where he was on his journey. He lets us know that he is not there yet, but he is on his way and he is determined to arrive there.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. — Phil. 3:12-14 NIV
”Forgetting what is behind” is the example Paul sets for us. That is a hard thing for humans to do. But, if we don’t practice that, then satan will use those memories of our failures to condemn us and make us feel unworthy to approach God and ask for His forgiveness. If we allow this to continue, we will soon become beaten down with guilt. Condemnation is from the devil, conviction is from the Holy Spirit. Rebuke satan and his condemnation. Accept the conviction of the Holy Spirit and ask for His forgiveness. Accept that forgiveness and “press on toward the goal to win the prize”.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
— 1 John 1:8-10 NIV
No, we are not perfect, but we are being perfected day by day.