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God's Goal for My Life

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
August 10, 2022 12:00 am

God's Goal for My Life

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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August 10, 2022 12:00 am

Get a clear sense of direction so you can live according to God's will.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, August 10th. Believers often ask, What's God's plan for my life? To really understand God's plan, you need an eternal perspective as we listen to Dr. Stanley explain God's goal for my life. A person who has no goals in their life will drift. Weeks will go by, months and years, and one of these days you'll turn around and look back over your life and say, What have I been doing?

How has my life slipped away? And you'll ask yourself the question, What have I accomplished? What have I really and truly achieved in my life?

And you'll come up very disappointed. No one should live without goals, but those goals should be goals that fit into God's perfect plan for your life. Not only should you and I have goals, but we should ask the question, What are God's goals for my life?

Well, there probably may be many goals that you and I could fit into that category, but there's one ultimate primary goal that God has for your life, my life, and every single one of His children. And I want you to turn to one of the most familiar passages of Scripture and all the Word of God. It is found in one of the most glorious chapters in the Word of God, and that is Romans, chapter eight. So I want you to turn there, if you will, and let's read three verses in this eighth chapter of Romans, thinking in terms of God's goal for your life and mine. And you'll recall that in the twenty-eighth verse, the one that we usually quote when everything is going good, the one we usually quote with some questions when everything is not so good begins by saying, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. And whom he predestined, these he also called. And whom he called, these he also justified. And whom he justified, these he also glorified. Now what is God's goal for your life and my life?

Somebody says, Well, that's easy. God's goal for my life is to save me and get me to heaven. Well, that is a good goal, and I'm certainly grateful that that's one of God's goals, but God's goal for your life and my life is to conform us to the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Now, let's look at that verse for just a moment and ask a couple of questions here. What do we mean by conform? When he uses this word, it means to be made like.

That is, something is conformed to, it's made like it, it's shaped like it. So when we think about the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, we probably think about things like this. Let's say that you pull out a quarter and there is an image on that quarter, George Washington. Or when the sun reflects in a lake, let's say it's a smooth, unrippled lake, and you can see the reflection of the sun in the lake. Or here's a stone statue that's an image of somebody. All of these are created images, but they don't relate to what we're talking about here because we're talking about this kind of image. When somebody says to your son, You look just like your dad. Or someone says to your daughter, You look just like your mom. That is a derived image.

That is an image that came from someone else. That is, you inherited something from them that is a part of you and that is very evident. So I want to remind you that when you and I were saved, the Bible says that we were born again. That is, by the grace of God, you and I were born again into a new family, a family of God. By being born again, our sins were forgiven. The Bible says that you and I became children of God, and we are now a part of the family of God. Now, when God did that, what He did is He sent the Holy Spirit to live on the inside of us, the life of Jesus Christ.

And Jesus says, I'm abiding in you and you're abiding in me. So that all of us who believe us have Christ living on the inside of us and through the Holy Spirit, the work of the Holy Spirit is to live through us the very life of Jesus so that you and I are now to bear the image of the Son of God. Our character is to be like the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. Outwardly our conduct and our conversation, our countenance should reflect that you and I are the sons and daughters of God. And you see, because you and I bear the image of Jesus Christ Himself, you and I should so live our lives that it would be very evident and easy at least to another Christian to be able to detect that we are not like the world. Our character is not that of the world. Our conversation is not that of the world. Our conduct is not of the world.

Why? Because we not only bear the image of the heavenly, that is of Christ, God is in this very moment in the process of making us like Him. Think about that. God is in the very process at this very moment in the life of every believer of making us like Jesus. That does not mean that He's improving this and cutting out the other, but rather now listen carefully because here's the whole key. And this is where we have two whole differences of opinion. There are those who believe that they become more and more like Jesus when they do more and more good works and they give more and more money and they say more and more prayers and they read more and more Scripture.

They do all of these things, which is not true. There's the other whole viewpoint, which is the biblical viewpoint, and that's this. That because Jesus Christ is living on the inside of me, having received Him by faith and salvation, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, day by day, as I submit to the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ to the Holy Spirit is able to express more and more of His inner life in me through me outward in every area of conduct, conversation, and character so that we are not becoming by self-effort more and more like Jesus, but listen, because He's living on the inside and we are bringing body, soul, and spirit, mind, will, and emotion into subjection to the indwelling presence, the more we bring all of this in subjection to Him, the more of the very life and image of Jesus Christ is evident to those people about us. So what that does, it takes the responsibility off of us to get better and better and better, which we can't, and it leaves it where it ought to be in the presence of the Holy Spirit to express through us a life that only He can express. So when we say that the goal of God for every single believer is to conform us to the likeness of Christ, now I want to explain that and then I'm going to ask you at the end several questions. When we say that we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ, let me say two things. First of all, the inner man is being conformed now.

The outward man, the physical being is going to be conformed later. So I want you to turn, if you will, to 2 Corinthians chapter 3. 2 Corinthians chapter 3, and Paul says it here in a very beautiful way. And there's another principle in this verse that I want to bring out. Let's start with verse 16. 2 Corinthians 3, 16. But whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Now look at this. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as from the Lord the Spirit. That is moment by moment and day by day God is in the process of so transforming us on the inside that we are expressing more and more on the outside the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now here's something I want you to remember. What you and I focus on the most is what we become like. What we focus on the most intensely, we become like.

What we think about most, we become like that. So what Paul is simply saying here is as we behold Him, that is God is transforming us into the likeness of His Son, that's His goal. That's God's ultimate goal to make us like Him. Now let me show you how intent God is on this.

Now look if you will in Romans 8.28 and let's look at this in the light of God's goal. He says first of all, and we know. That is we are very certain there's no speculation about this. It's not about what your theology is or where you go to church or what your denomination is or how you feel about those things. None of that has anything to do with this. This is simply the word of God and the word of God says we know this as a divine truth.

What is it? We know that God causes all things to work together for good. Alright, so first of all, here is a certainty. We know something and what is this certainty we know? And here's what I want you to see.

Now watch this. Remember that God's goal is to conform us to His likeness. He says we know this. That God has put His arms around every single thing, every circumstance in our life. We know that God is working all things. That is every single thing. Nothing slips, nothing slips out the bottom, over the top, through the cracks. God is engineering every single event in our life to do what?

To apply to His goal shapers into the likeness of His Son. Sometimes it's sifting. Sometimes it's chiseling. Sometimes it's a sword. Sometimes it's a saw. Sometimes it's a hammer. Sometimes it's a fire.

Sometimes it's sandpaper. Whatever it is, God's working in your life and my life and what He's saying is this. This is the way we ought to interpret every single thing that happens. God has His hands on it.

It's not out of control. It's under His control and He's going to steer that in the direction of shaping and conforming us to the likeness of His Son. That is His goal. It was His goal in eternity past. It is His goal now. It is His goal for eternity future and nothing is going to stop God from accomplishing that goal in the life of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. That's God's goal. He's up to shaping me into the likeness of His image and He's not concerned about my ease, comfort and pleasure. God is concerned about the finished product. Now somebody says, well, but what about all this hurt and suffering and heartache and misunderstanding that I can't figure out? Why does God allow these things in my life? And why does God allow me to be stung and whipped and hurt the way I am?

Well, let me ask you a question. Why do you discipline your children? You say, well, it's because I love them.

Give God the same privilege. You say it's because I'm thinking about their future. That's exactly what God is thinking about. You say I'm thinking about the end product, how they're going to grow up.

Exactly right. Because that is exactly what God has in mind. He's interested in our character. He's interested in the finished product. He knows what His goal is and He knows what the finished product is looking like. And so what's happening?

Here's what He's doing. He's corralling every circumstance moment by moment, day by day. He's engineering and governing and guarding and directing these circumstances in such a fashion.

They come out for our good every single time. That's how intent God is on conforming us to His likeness. Now let me ask you a question. If God goes to such minute, intricate, sovereign detail in His whole scheme of things, in His personal interest and intervention in your life and my life moment by moment, day by day, to conform us to the likeness of His Son as His goal, surely you and I ought to seriously consider that our goal, our number one goal in life would be to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. It's His. And listen, if it's His and He's all wise, He must know something that we don't know.

How much He knows we don't know. So look at that verse. He says, we know that God is working all things together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who call upon His purpose.

And I want to say again, isolate the difficult hardships and troublesome, tearful times, sorrow and loss. No, there's nothing good about that. Nothing good about this. Nothing good about that and that. But you put it all together and when God gets through with it, even the worst fits so perfectly into His plan, He can say I am working everything for your good in order to accomplish my goal.

Now, God's goal in your life and my life is to conform us to the likeness of His Son. So what did He do? He didn't start when we got saved. He started in eternity past. He foreknew us. He predestined us. He called us. He justified us. Four divine links and a divine chain welded together by the hand of a sovereign God. Now if you want to know how blessed assured God wants us all to be, listen to this next word.

I love this. Listen to what He says. He says, whom He predestined, these He also called. Whom He called, these He also justified. Whom He justified, now look at this. Whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Now look at this. Eternity past, foreknown, predestined. Eternity present, called and justified.

All past tense. Glorification is that moment in time when God completes His whole redemptive plan for us which not only deals with the inner man, the soul and the spirit, but also the outer man, the body. When we are made into the likeness of Jesus Christ outwardly in substance of body. Now my friend, if you have a problem with eternal security, what in the world are you going to do with that verse? He didn't say I'm going to glorify you if you do certain things. God says you have been foreknown, predestined. You have been called.

You have been justified, declared righteous. And because all of those things, the fifth link in God's divine chain welded by the sovereign hand of God is that He says you have already been glorified. That is as far as God is concerned it is a finished deal.

It is a finished contract. It's all done in the mind of God and the issue is that the timing is such that it has not come to completion on our behalf, but in the mind of God it's all done. Now we can't go through any more verses here, but verse 31 and 39, you know what those verses say? They're just a reaffirmation of just what I've said.

And that is nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God. Why? Here's the reason.

Watch this. Because in this divine chain, link number one, He foreknew us. Link number two, He predestined us. Link number three, He called us. Link number four, He justified us. Link number five, He has already glorified us.

Now think about this. God's great eternal purpose, not daily purpose, eternal purpose, eternity past to eternity future, what is it? His goal is to bring you and me in the inner man into the likeness of Christ, character, conversation, conduct. In the outer man, one of these days, in the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Now I want to ask you a question. If that is the goal of an all-wise, sovereign, omnipotent, loving God, if that is His goal for your life, what is your goal for your life? Don't you think it's wise to consider that on your goal list, whatever is presently number one should, beginning right now, become number two. And you should write at the top of your list of goals to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Can anybody give me a reason that that should not be the first goal of your life? Think about it. One last time I want to repeat it. In eternity past, before you were ever thought in the mind of your parents, before you were ever conceived, in eternity past, before Genesis 1, 1, God foreknew you. God predestined you. As time came, God did what? He called you.

He justified you. And now, as God looks into eternity future, He sees there'll be a moment in time what is to Him an already divine reality. He already knows the split second when your body is going to be conformed to the likeness of the body of Christ. Now friend, I don't know how you can turn down that kind of a God when He loves you enough to have done so much.

And think about it. How else could He have expressed your worthiness, His value of you, His love for you, His desire for you, than to place you on the same level, not equal to, but on the level with the Lord Jesus Christ to make you like Him? Do you understand why at the judgment there's going to be rejection? Because, my friend, you've got to stumble all over grace and wade through it up to your nose to get to hell. God has done everything in His infinite power to get your attention, to tell you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. If you die and go to hell, it'll be because you chose to reject the infinite love of a loving Father. Thank you for listening to God's Goal for My Life. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by, InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-13 15:46:01 / 2023-03-13 15:53:27 / 7

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