God’s Purpose is the Process

From My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers:

We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.

What is my dream of God’s purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process – that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.

God’s training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience; we get wrong when we think of the afterwards. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.

God’s end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.

Pastor Lederman opened the sermon yesterday with this quote, and despite the various points throughout the rest of the sermon, I never moved on. I have spent the last year and a half dreaming of finishing school and moving to Papua New Guinea to teach, as if it was God’s end goal for my life. More often than not, I have neglected the joys of the process, of studying diligently, making solid relationships now, and developing my character and faith here. This has created an unnecessary longing and impatience that God has not intended for me. I have often said that it is my goal to live each day to the fullest, but I rarely live that way. Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me in the next six months, year, or two years–however long it takes–to allow me to live “in the moment,” letting each day’s trials and joys bring me closer to my Savior.

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