The world is getting noisier by the day. Each week seemingly brings a new fad, and with several things competing for our attention, many of us seldom find time for quiet contemplation. Even when the surroundings are tranquil, there’s often a cacophony of noise inside our heads, typically including genuine concerns for ourselves and our loved ones, what Jesus calls “the cares of this world” [Mark 4:19]. While I am not advocating asceticism, our cares can often narrow our perspective and paradigms. On the other hand, God sees the macro and micro picture in each life with infinite understanding. He also desires His will to unfold on earth as in heaven. If this is true, what’s on His mind? More importantly, if you’re a disciple of Jesus, are your concerns the same things on God’s mind?
I must confess that I’ve only recently begun to contemplate this question. Previously, it was a passing thought that received little or no consideration. But now, as I embrace the revelation that God created me to fulfil a role in His divine plan, I’m becoming increasingly interested in finding my place in His agenda. In his second letter to the Church, during his discourse on Jesus’s return and judgement day, Peter reminded the faithful about a revelation in Ezekiel’s prophecies: “God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked” [Ezekiel 18:23]. God doesn’t want anyone to perish [2 Peter 3:9]. Hell and the lake of fire, the second death [Revelation 20:7-15], is for the devil and his rebellious cohort, not men and women created in the image of God. So, the Father offers us eternal life through the saving knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent into the world [John 17:3].
Ezekiel revealed that the death of an unrighteous person pains God. Sadly, people die daily without seeking forgiveness for their sins and putting their faith in Jesus. A loving God can’t be indifferent to such tragedies. Consequently, the Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” [John 3:16]. God made an incomprehensible personal sacrifice to save humankind from sin, hell and eternal death. Not that God needs a visual reminder, but even today in heaven, Jesus still bares the scars before the Father as He intercedes for us. Elsewhere Scripture tells us that God’s mind is full of us [Psalm 8:4]. No other creation has this privilege.
In as much as we can understand the thoughts of an infinite God, we can state with certainty that the salvation of souls and those saved individuals embracing a personal, intimate relationship with Him is paramount to God [1 Timothy 2:3-6]. If that is true, how aligned are our thoughts with God’s? What’s foremost in your mind? These are uncomfortable questions for many of us. If we’re honest, we spend more time thinking about money, career progression, children, relationships, fame, power, and things of such ilk. Our preoccupations may not even be ungodly, but we should probably reconsider them if they aren’t consistent with God’s agenda. For one, pushing aside a pursuit that will echo in eternity for anything that won’t matter to your destiny when you die is unwise [Mark 8:36].
It takes revelation to live with an eternal perspective [Psalm 90:12]. Recently, I’ve been reading autobiographies of men and women who caught that revelation and gave their lives to turn many to righteousness [Daniel 12:3]. Some of these individuals reportedly covered over 250,000 miles (!) on horseback to evangelise multitudes and preached about ten times each week during their ministry years. They saved thousands of souls, transformed communities and left a legacy of the Gospel in nations [Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:5-17]. These men and women spent their lives on what was essential to God. Like Paul, they preached in favourable, unfavourable and even life-threatening conditions, underwent hardships and persecutions for the sake of others because they loved and obeyed God, and like Him, wanted to save as many as possible from eternal damnation [1 Corinthians 9:22, 2 Corinthians 11:16-33].
Scripture charges us to imitate their example in serving God’s purposes [Hebrews 6:12]. On reflection, God’s plan to expand His kingdom is straightforward. First, present the Gospel to individuals without faith in Jesus [Romans 5:6-11, 1 Corinthians 15:1-9]. Then, bring those who repent of their sins and submit to Jesus as Lord and Savior into the Church, and equip them with the whole counsel of God’s word and His life applicable principle until they reach maturity [Matthew 28:20, Romans 10:9, Ephesians 4:11-14]. Send them out into their communities with the power of the Holy Spirit as ambassadors of God’s kingdom to practice what they’ve learnt, transform their spheres of influence through the love of God, and pass on the Gospel to others [Matthew 5-7]. Repeat until Jesus comes.
Every believer has a crucial God-ordained role in that cycle [Ephesians 2:10]. We should be actively involved in one or, better still, all three parts of that cycle. In truth, other people’s destinies depend on us identifying and playing our role. So, unsurprisingly, the devil will do all he can to keep us distracted and ignorant of God’s word and our purpose [Hosea 4:6, 2 Corinthians 4:4]. He’ll also fight us as we pursue our kingdom assignment and become preoccupied with God’s agenda [1 Thessalonians 2:18]. But God will always lead us in a victorious procession to triumph as we serve Him if we stand firm and remain faithful [Isaiah 41:10, Ephesians 6:10, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 2 Corinthians 2:14].
God designed us to manifest our innermost thoughts [Proverbs 23:7]. So, what occupies your mind? Will you step into eternity confident you played your role in advancing God’s kingdom [2 Timothy 4:7-8]?