One of the things I find stunning in the scriptures is the confidence of Jesus regarding His purpose. I have never chalked it up as, “Oh, He’s the Son of God, so of course He should know…”–although I know this is true. But instead it has intrigued me because we are made in His image.
When Jesus was quickly approaching His arrest and ultimate crucifixion, He said, “Now My soul is troubled and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour” (John 12:27). If He could feel the pressure of that “hour” and still hold on confidently to His purpose, so can we.
I’ve faced many tough situations where it would have been easier to stay in bed, or look for another career. I’ve told God and my husband, “I quit” on more occasions than I’d like to admit, but I’ve stayed the path because I know my purpose. And this has made life sweeter and the urge to press on stronger.
In defining New Testament righteousness, we learned it describes MAN AS HE OUGHT TO BE and the importance of having a FAITH TO LIVE BY. The next facet of righteousness is that man must have a PURPOSE TO LIVE FOR.
You may expect me to give you 7 points on finding your purpose, or 4 steps to living out your goals, but I’m not. Righteousness is more than that–it is our right-standing with God because of our belief in and acceptance of Jesus as our Savior. And after salvation, righteousness takes on more than a position of right-standing–it becomes an action.
In other words, I’m not living for myself any longer. I am a steward of all God has given to me in Christ. This simply means I am responsible for what belongs to another. A steward is accountable. In this case, Christians are accountable to God, who saved them, redeemed them, and desires to use them to bring others to Christ.
With this understanding, we can see why certain men of God made statements like: “My righteousness will answer for me in time to come…” (Genesis 30:33). In this passage, Jacob wasn’t being “self”-righteous. Instead, he was saying, “My [stewardship of] righteousness will answer for me in time to come…”
For example, before our oldest son made a decision in High School to attend Rhema Bible Training College where his dad graduated, I remember telling him, “I don’t care if you want to be a plumber, a banker, or anything else… just as long as you’re a Christian doing it.”
In other words: Your real purpose in life isn’t tied to your vocation. It’s tied to your STEWARDSHIP.
God isn’t going to have a greater reward for one vocation over another. The rewards in life will be the same, based on the same principles, regardless of what you or I did for a living on this earth. King David said, “May the Lord repay every man for his [stewardship of] RIGHTEOUSNESS and his faithfulness…” (1 Samuel 26:23). It is clear in the scriptures you and I can’t “own” our righteousness, but we are expected to be STEWARDS of it.
MAN AS HE OUGHT TO BE is the righteousness of God in Christ. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). In this exchange, there is expectation. The Bible says , “…as He is in this world, so are we” (1 John 4:17b).
So how was Jesus in this world?
Philippians 2:5-10 says Jesus didn’t consider it robbery to be equal with God…but instead humbled Himself. This is a KEY TO OUR PURPOSE. Why do most Christians consider it “robbery” to acknowledge we’ve been made the righteousness of God in Christ? Jesus acknowledged who He was, but remained humble. In fact, after His resurrection, on the road to Emmaus, the Bible says, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).
Can you do that? Can you find yourself in the scriptures?
If you know your purpose, you can!
No matter what vocation you and I are called to, we are to live for Him, according to His Word. The scriptures, therefore, become a map to our purpose!