Mankind: The Desire of God

Posted: January 19, 2009 by Josiah Batten in Christian living
Tags: , , ,

This was originally written on the 9th of this month, 8 days following The World Missions Summit

Us:  The Desire of God

Among certain people I’ve noticed there are things that make their heart beat. That is, there are things that excite them. These can be relatively unimportant like a board game, but I’m talking about more important things, things that require the dedication of our lives, things that we internalize as our purpose; things that, because of our very nature, are our desire.

For me I could expound on a few things that I love, preaching, teaching (especially apologetics), helping people realize who they are in Christ. All of these things over-lap with the over-arching purpose of building up the Body of Christ. Building up the Church is what I’m all about. It’s why I will write several pages worth of notes and blogs week after week. It’s why I’m willing to go to any length to equip others, to encourage others, to build them up with the hope that they will have a deeper and more full understand of what it means to walk in the love of God and to passionately pursue His purposes for our lives.

And every so often I wonder what is God’s desire? What is it God wants? The things I’m passionate about are just one aspect of what God wants and desires. I’ve been praying and studying lately, and I just can’t get missions and evangelism off of my heart. Not that I want them off of my heart, but I’ve never been so strongly convicted about it. Thus I’m becoming convinced that perhaps the heart beat of God deals with:
1. Bringing the lost into His family, and
2. Making that family into the fullness of the Body of Christ.

God’s desire is people. Beginning in Genesis we have people in relationship with God, and we have people fall out of that relationship (creatively called “the fall” in theological terms), and from that point on we have God working out His plan to bring us back into relationship with Him and to express His love for the nations through His people.

“Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” -Ephesians 3:2-6, NIV

Paul talks about a mystery, something that in times past had not been known but that now has been made known, Paul talks about an open-secret (Bartel). What is this mystery? Through the Gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members of one body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus. Do you know what that word Gentile in Verse 6 really means? What Paul is really saying is that the nations are heirs together with Israel, the nations are members of the Body of Christ.

It seems very plain to me, then, that God desires to restore the nations to Himself and build them up into the Church that will make known the manifold wisdom of God to rulers and authorities in the heavenly realm (see Eph. 10:3). God desires to bring us back to Him, and then to use us to be Christ’s Body on the Earth. We, as the Church, are to attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (see Ephesians 4:13).

People are the desire of God. All of us that are believers know what God has done for us, we know what He called us out of, what He saved us from; and we know the relationship He has called us into. Should it not greatly concern us, then, that it’s estimated 96% of my generation is going to grow up not knowing Christ? I find it very disturbing that the largest generation in American history will be the most unevangelized, the most unreached. God wants these people to come to know Him just as we’ve come to know Him!

We must make the most of every opportunity we have (Ephesians 5:16). We don’t have the luxury of believing somebody else will do this or fix it. It’s up to us. We can no longer look to the older generation(s). It has largely been their bickering and in-fighting that has led to this mess. I hold no resentment towards them, maybe righteous indignation, but not resentment. What I would urge is that we do as they say, not as they do.

So we must be Christ’s witnesses. We must let His love and His saving power demonstrate itself in us and through us. Look for God-ordained opportunities in the upcoming semester, open spiritual conversations, share the Gospel at every chance; we can not undertake the Great Commission moderately. God doesn’t desire us to live moderately to arrive safely at death, He desires us to live passionately to fulfill His purposes. He desires for us to reach the nations, and it starts right here.

God bless!
Josiah

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