Posted by: mikenicholsblog | September 8, 2013

His purpose is the process itself

It was 10:47p.m last Tuesday evening and my flight from Atlanta should have just landed in Fort Lauderdale. Instead, the flight had just lifted off the tarmac in Atlanta.  After leaving the gate once, it was determined that we needed to take another aircraft.  Thank goodness for good pilots and flight attendants that made a potentially aggravating situation tolerable, but I was already tired before I had left home several hours earlier.  A co-worker had even stated that I looked tired (code for ‘you look awful’).  My little late night annoyance reminded me that my plans aren’t in my control, and that my predetermined goals do not always work out. Adversity (in this case, small) is just a part of life.

While waiting to take off from Atlanta the first time, I re-read some profound words from Oswald Chambers’ devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.  Accept these words for your life today!

What is my vision of God’s purpose for me?  Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now.  If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me.  God is not working toward a particular finish—His purpose is the process itself. Later in the same article, he writes; God’s training is for now, not later.  His purpose is for this very minute, not for some time in the future.  We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience.

In my opinion, Oswald Chambers is hitting the nerve of 21st century living.  Even Christ-followers are all about the finish line and accomplishing our predetermined objectives. After reading the above article, I must ask myself, do I believe the purpose of God for me is the process itself? And what about you – can you accept His purpose for you is the process itself?

If we do believe that simple principle, then airplane delays, work interruptions, traffic jams, long lines and even family issues can be seen as part of the process of God working His purpose in our lives.  I personally don’t like delays, interruptions, long lines or family aggravations, but when I deal with them from His perspective, I am letting His purpose be accomplished in me.  The same goes for you. Philippians 2:13 tells us that:

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

The Father definitely has a purpose for you and I, and we have a choice as to whether we will respond to the process of accomplishing His purpose with a calm, faithful and unconfused spirit.

Airline delays and traffic jams pale in comparison to some of the adversity we will all face.  Just a few days ago, some friends of ours experienced a monumental life circumstance.  I literally had no words except, “I care and will pray.”  And when I think of His purpose being the process itself – while thinking about our friend’s situation – I struggle with understanding either the purpose or the process.  But I accept God’s sovereignty and that He is in control of the process. And when life turns chaotic, He also provides grace.

You may be facing little struggles (airplane delays), or you may be facing life altering events.  Wrapping your arms around the fact that His purpose is the process itself may help you with today’s part of the process. Just seek to depend on His power right now, and trust Him for what happens next.


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