Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I MAKE IT MY GOAL

I am at a point, albeit a different angle of approach than Paul, of saying - "I would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8) There are many factors that contribute to this, like the predictability of my daily life, but I still come to this conclusion.

Before this verse, Paul uses very descriptive language to portray the condition - "For while we are in this tent [body], we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling..." (2 Cor. 5:4) This talk sounds like Paul knew exactly how I felt - "we groan and are burdened". One thing is for certain, God knows. 

After the 2 Corinthians 5:8 declaration, Paul says a lot when he says the word "So". I interpreted that word to mean - since we have not left to be with His Majesty yet. The actual verse reads - 
  • "So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." (v.9) 
If you place my interpretation in the place of "So", it reads - "Since we have not left to be with His Majesty yet, we make it our goal to please Him, whether in the body or away from it."Boy! That got my focus off my problems and paused my desire to leave this world really fast. Did you catch that? First, we are still here, have work to do and it will be good to have the Master find us dispersing "food" in God's house at the proper time when He returns (Matthew 24:45-46). Secondly, our focus, "our goal" is "to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it."

In addition, verse 10 elaborates on this focus. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, says - "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." Meaning that the good works still to be done for The Lord will be judged and rewarded and if I will change my focus, He will take care of my concerns/burdens. How often I forget Christ's invitation - “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." He mentions "rest" twice in this one verse.

In order for me to acquire "what is due us [me]" and to fight off a stagnant lifestyle, Paul writes - "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 12:2) Notice that after your mind is renewed (Greek word is anakainosis meaning renovation) you and I are freed to "test" and "approve" God's will. The original Greek word for test is dokimazo meaning examine or prove. And the original Greek word for approve is euarestos meaning fully agreeable or well-pleasing. You combine these and we find, after renovating our mind, we will be able to prove/examine and observe the fully agreeable will of God.

The Lord informed me that this change in focus - from concentration on the problem to more knowledge of it and more focus on Him, the Problem Solver - all starts in the mind (Ro. 12:2) and allows me to know His good, pleasing and perfect will - and do it. I obviously have more pleasing work to continue and it is good to know should I be called home I will have opportunities to please my Lord and Savior there also - "So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." (v.9)

"Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13:20)