Do you realize that the eternal God of the universe has an agenda for your life? Many of us may already know that God has a “master plan” for the world, but often we struggle to discern how our unique purpose fits into His greater plan.
To give us some clarity, I’d like to invite you to go back to the beginning of creation and then to the first century where we’ll discover what God’s agenda has been all along for all people.
It all started when God created humankind in His image and ignited the greatest love story ever. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin and its consequences entered the world, God had grace for them.
At that very moment, God began an unstoppable wave of grace – one of reconciliation, redemption and atonement. He clothed Adam and Eve who were still in their guilt and shame and set them outside of the garden because He didn’t want them to eat from the Tree of Life and stay in their sinful state forever.
God’s “tsunami wave” of grace continued with Christ, who paid for the sins of all people, once and for all. The next wave followed as the Holy Spirit came to live inside of all believers, empowering them to carry out His grace to everyone on Earth.
In the book of Acts, chapter one, we begin to see this wave beginning to build. Before His ascension to heaven, the risen Christ instructed His apostles: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
From this passage, we can more clearly see God’s agenda: First, that his apostles would finish what Jesus began to do and teach on Earth. Second, the apostles’ focus would be a global agenda, not a national or political one. And third, the assurance of their success wouldn’t depend on their strength, but on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the certainty of Jesus’ return.
But God’s agenda wasn’t just for the apostles in the first century. It is also for us today in the 21st century. Each of us is called to build up and carry out God’s unstoppable wave of grace by being a witness of Christ.
So how do we accomplish this calling? Here are four guidelines to help us follow God’s agenda:
- Be confident in Jesus’ presence and purpose. Most of us have a self-image problem. Often we say, “I can’t do that!” or “I’m inadequate.” But, like the apostles, we need to have confidence in the person and purpose of Christ.
- Be clear on your calling. Every believer is called to be a fulltime missionary, bearing witness to Jesus’ supernatural life – even if it’s in our own neighborhood or workplace. Our agenda, like that of the apostles, is global. We’re to live a life that reflects love and holiness so that others can see Christ in us.
- Be dependent on the Holy Spirit. The best way to stay connected to God is through prayer. When we cultivate a lifestyle of prayer we will more clearly see His promises and plan for our lives.
- Be obedient. There are times when God speaks very clearly about something, but there is a tendency for us to put off doing what He wants us to do especially if it requires personal discomfort. Don’t put it off! Just take the next, first step. God will give you the grace and strength you need.
This week, we are beginning a new series called Unstoppable. This series is draws from the book of Acts and will help you recognize how God’s plan unfolds in your lives and in the world around you, as well as how to avoid the “grace stoppers” that can destroy God’s work in your life. It’s my prayer that through this series each of us will discover our specific calling and be motivated to take steps of faith, both large and small, to change our world.
Keep Pressin’ Ahead,
Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip