“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” (Philippians 1:6 MSG)
What does God, the Master Craftsman want the completed product to look like? What is His plan?
There are things in life that we may never figure out, but there are some things we do know, and need to understand.
1. God’s Grand Design for Your Life IS NOT about You.
If you spend your life in pursuit of happiness you will miss the purpose of living.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9:24-25 NIV)
Life is not about making you happy, though you will find pleasures. It is not about making you wealthy, though you find riches. It is not about making you more beautiful, though you will find the source of true beauty. It’s not even about making it to heaven, though as a Christian you will experience wonders beyond your wildest imagination. Your life is not about you - It’s all about bringing Glory to God.
“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Isaiah 43:21 “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” (Philippians 1:11 NIV)
In an art gallery, is it the finished sculpture that gets the praise... No, it’s the artist, the one who made the finished product gets the honor.
Bottom line: The Craftsman receives all of the glory. God’s work in our lives is to produce a product FOR HIS GLORY!
II. God’s Intent is to make Christians Christ-like.
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2 NIV)
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28-29 NIV)
The world is trying to push us into its mould, but God wants us to be conformed to the image of Christ.
“Until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13 NKJV)
This means a genuine conversion, growth in grace and true holiness. It should affect our actions, attitudes, and affections.
Now think back over the last week to that person who always aggravates you, that family member who hurt you, the boss in work who overlooked you. Can you remember how you acted? Remember your attitude? Did your response bring God glory? Do you see why He wants to make the finished product more like Christ?
We are still human, we still have hurt, and pain, weakness, afflictions, trials, lapses of judgement etc. but we can have holy hearts and maturity in the process. Everyone, even the godliest has to deal with these things.
As God works in our lives, remember His intent is to produce a finished product. He wants us to be Christ-like. We need to be willing to submit to His will so that we are conformed to the image of Christ.
Spiritual growth is not automatic. It takes an intentional commitment. Change takes place because we are willing to learn. We need to unlearn the old ways and learn the new, and keep on re-learning them again and again. This is a process and takes time.
But God has the finished product in mind, when you look at yourself now you still see a work in progress and that can be disheartening at times. You might not like what you see, perhaps you’re even ready to give up because the change is slow, but always remember this, God looks at you differently, He can see the finished product, a child that He can be a proud Father too, a son or daughter that will bring him Glory, a saint of heaven ready to inherit eternity.
So don’t give up! Your still on the potter’s wheel, but in the potters mind He already sees what you will look like when He’s finished!