042 | Romans 8:19-25
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
Who are the sons of God? Well, in the last episode we discovered that “that” is talking about us!
I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul says the creation is waiting, and that the whole creation, itself will be set free with the glory of the children of God. Now, this has a very “by-and-by when the morning comes” feel to it and I think it does so appropriately. But, I have a natural tendency to steer away from “when we all get to heaven” theology because God is moving in the now. And I think there are some “now” applications in this passage.
The creation, the earth, the universe, is in so much longing for the sons of God to come to glory, that I believe we have the ability to bring relief and peace to the world by simply coming to know Jesus Christ. When we cross the line of faith, we are revealed to the creation as sons of God. But when we step into the fullness of our purpose (our personal purpose), the creation “obtains the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
It seems like, since I’ve turned thirty, I’ve been having a wrestling match with my purpose. What I worked for from the time I was a young teenager through the end of my twenties, completely unraveled on me... to no fault of my own. I’m sure I could have done things better, but at the core of the matter, I was not only blameless, I didn’t even have my hands on it. My fight for purpose has intensified. Some of you have wondered where the “Grace For Life” episodes have been? They’ve been on the sidelines of me wrestling with my purpose.
I joke with my close friends that I know people looking from the outside of my inner circle, probably don’t think I’m a christian anymore. I understand people’s confusion. I’m not in a church as a staff member. I haven’t been releasing grace for life episodes. People don’t see me in “that way” anymore. Recently, I noticed people have stopped calling me “pastor.” Even a recent conversation with a dear friend, who I hadn’t spoken to in a while, took about 45 minutes in the conversation to finally warm up to... “So I’ve gotta ask… What’s going on?!”
Now, for my own personal gratification and because I paid a lot of money for these cameras, I’ll answer that question for you, in very simple terms.
My purpose is to “help people experience grace for life... through Jesus Christ.” Ultimately, I believe that results in some type of preaching ministry that involves traveling, and a senior pastoral role. BUT… there’s always a but… a few years ago on Thanksgiving Day in 2014, the Holy Spirit confronted me about money. It was encouraging, it was full of hope, but he asked me a question… “What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?” So, Ashleigh and I took that to heart and decided to take full control of our finances in the sense that we want to be completely financially independent from the ministry and by my grace and favor, we’ve done that.
Now that being said, I don’t think it’s wrong for ministers to get paid. Actually, I think the opposite. Your pastor should get paid WELL! In the future, I will receive a salary for ministry purposes. But I won’t ever depend on it again. My life will never rise or fall because I depend on the ministry for an income. And if you’re a minister, I strongly encourage you to fortify your financial situation!
So, why have I been wrestling with my purpose? Because life as I know it has completely changed! And whenever that happens, it makes us realize how far we have left to go. Verse 23 says…
23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Well, in the last episode we read that “we have already received the spirit of adoption.” But it says the spirit of adoption, not the adoption.
I’ve been teaching for years that if it’s gonna manifest in the flesh, it has to start in the spirit. But that means there’s a growing, manifesting, realizing process that happens. That means you have it before you have it, but you still don’t have it, until you… *have it* have it.
You’ve got a purpose. I don’t know what it is, but you do. And that purpose takes time to fully come to fruition. You can’t grow frustrated on the way there. You have to stay diligent and full of hope. The passage ends with that thought. You lean on hope when you don’t see and you wait with patience. Keep going, keep believing and stay patient.
I’m gonna leave you with a thought my wife shares with her business partners frequently. “Work comes before belief.” It’s hard to believe it’s all gonna work out. So, just get started. Find a way and go for it. Once you actually put your hand to your purpose, you’ll start believing it’s possible.
“How can I get started if God hasn’t opened a door?” The “open and closed” door theology is really interesting to me. We’re always waiting on doors to open or close, but we’ve been given the keys to the kingdom. So open, closed, cracked… it doesn’t really matter. We’ve got the keys. You have the tools you need to start opening your own doors! You can start moving into your purpose today!