We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT
We are different even though we seem like others. We are human, but we fight against the flesh, to be like Jesus, Human, but of God too! This is similar to the saying, “We are to be IN the world, not OF the world”. We are to be different. God’s purpose in choosing Israel was multifaceted, as with everything God does, He is OMNIPURPOSIVE. The Bible gives us many reasons why God chose Israel, it had nothing to do with Israel, it had to do with God. Hear the Word of the Lord: “The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:7-9) One of the main reasons He chose Israel is to create a people, who were different from the rest of the World. God wanted Israel to be a model nation, a group of people through whom other peoples could learn vitally important lessons. God wanted Israel to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Other nations would see that when the Israelites obeyed God, they were blessed (verse 5), and when they disobeyed God, they would be punished (Deuteronomy 28). Moses reminded the Israelites of this important concept prior to their entering Canaan. “Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess”. God wanted Israel to live in such a way that others wanted what Israel had. That they would want to know what is so different about these people? God wanted them to look to Israel as a model, and then decide to follow the God of Israel, the ONE true God: Jehovah, Yahweh!
Leader, hear the Word of the Lord; “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?’” (Deuteronomy 4:5-7). An important point to note is that God intended for Israel to serve—be a servant—to God and to be a blessing to other nations. See Genesis 12:3. Unfortunately, Israel forsook God, yet because of their opportunity to serve God, they often wrongfully thought of themselves as superior to other peoples- pride and arrogance became idols. They apparently overlooked God’s warning that they needed to obey Him and keep the covenant they had made with Him in order to be a “special treasure” to God “above all people” (Exodus 19:5). I believe we are CALLED for similar purposes. Our life is not about us, it is about God. Our purpose of being created is to glorify God. Hear the Word of the Lord: Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”. (Isaiah 43:7, Genesis 1:27) Everything God does, he ultimately does for His name’s sake, for His glory (Psalm 19:1-4, Psalm 23:3, Ezekiel 20:9, Ezekiel 36:22-32, John 8:50, John 12:27-28, John 17:1, Romans 1:5, Romans 11:36, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 1:15-20). I am asked all the time to help people find their purpose. People spend their wealth, their pain, their time, their heart, body, and soul working to find out their existential purpose. “Why do I get up each day, do what I do, go home at night and do it again and again and again…?” Your purpose is to GLORIFY GOD! As I help people overcome habits, or set goals, I have to ask many questions. One of the great questions of conflict resolution, in goal-getting is, “What is holding you back?” Once we can identify this enemy then, we can do proper battle, and become victorious.
Conduit, the one common enemy of all people who fail to fulfill their mission and GLORIFY GOD, is because of removing God from the Pre-eminence of our lives, to something tangential, or something complimentary to our lives. God does NOT want to be a PART OF OUR LIVES, He wants to be the REASON for our lives. If GOD is not our reason for existing, if He is NOT our FIRST and LAST FOCUS, if He is not our FIRST LOVE- then we are ‘missing the mark’. Jesus’ complaint to the Ephesus church was just this point. But I have this (charge) against you, that you have left your first love (you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me). (Revelation 2:4) If Our Purpose Is to Glorify God, Then Our Purpose Is to Follow and Reflect Jesus. Jesus was extremely focused when He walked on the face of the earth incarnate. He was ALL about His Fathers business! Jesus glorifies God the most because he makes the invisible qualities of God visible better than anyone else ever could. Colossians 1:15 states, “The Son is the image of the invisible God,” and Hebrews 1:3 explains, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” John 1:14, 18 (ESV) adds that “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. . .. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, He has made him known.” What we know about God is what we can see in the face of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6). What others know about Jesus, could be what they see in the face, hands, feet, Heart, Bruises and Scars of you! It is time to check your throne. Is God, is Jesus on that throne? Or have you replaced it with someone, or something else? Proud obstacles that keep people from knowing God would be our idols. Living in a way that we desire, crave, fear, work for, elevate anything\anyone above the level of love, focus and desire for God- is going to play a part in keeping others from knowing your God. Is it time to do an inventory? Is it time to consider that you need to remove some Idols from your heart, or your mind? God has given us an incredible opportunity to REPRESENT HIM, to get credit for activating, some of His chosen. How are you doing in your primary existential task? Today, it is time to surrender and give Jesus the reins of your life, so He can use your life, to bring life to others- THROUGH HIM! Hear the Word of the Lord, 2 Corinthians 2:14-16: But thanks be to God, who always leads us triumphantly as captives in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. 15For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16To the one, we are an odor of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life. And who is qualified for such a task? Only Jesus! Look up for the Kingdom of God is at hand!