And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.  Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.  And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian.  For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.  Acts 7:22-24

I know what it is like to have a sense of calling and purpose, only to be frustrated by the process.  Whenever we step out and try to fulfill something that God has put in our hearts in our way and in our timing, our peace and joy goes out the window.  We lose contentment.  We can become disillusioned, perhaps as Moses did, when knowing he was both called and gifted, at forty, stepped out into his destiny.

There is a lot of focus on destiny in our times.  Purpose and identity are both prizes that both the world and the church seek.  It can be especially prevailing in the beginning of a new year, such as now, just days into 2019, as people companies, such as gyms, cash in all the New Year’s resolutions made and invested into, only to often last just a few weeks.  

Pulpits will be used to declare vision for the year.  These can be encouraging and focusing.  I have shared some of these words myself when I pastored a church.  But they can also be misleading.  You see, our purpose in this life should not drive us.  It is not to destiny that we have been called.  It is to a person.  To Jesus.

When we understand that, we can be content no matter our circumstances.  It we lose all, we can no there will be another day, and yet find peace in the person of Jesus.  If God asks us to surrender a profitable business or growing church in order to spend more time with Him, or reach out to a smaller less reached group of people, we can do so without discouragement, because we are called to obedience above measurable success.

I want to do a series of blogs tracking the progress of Israel through their exodus from Egypt into the promised land, but just as Moses will learn in his forty years of seclusion before he actually steps into his role as deliverer, and just as God longed to teach Israel in their wilderness wonderings, and so God wants us to understand, the journey was never about the Promised Land.  Hopefully that doesn’t shake your own Promised Land theology too much…or maybe it needs to…because…it is so often what we focus on.

My wife said something pretty profound a few days ago.  While I could say it was something I already knew, it was just the way she said, and perhaps the timing.  It packed a punch and has stuck with me.

One of the problems with the western church is that we can be so powerless, because we are focusing on works.

Good and evil.  This has been a real obsession with the human race for over 6000 years.  God’s focus is the tree of life.  That life is found in a person.  Jesus.  It is understood by pursuing a revelation of His love.  It comes through continual revelation of the power and completed work of the cross.  

In Hebrews 3-4, we read that eventually the Israelites did enter into the Promised Land.  It was not under Moses’ leadership, but Joshua’s.  But we also read that though they entered the land, they never entered into God’s rest.  That is the goal.  Rest comes through abiding in Christ.  That is what we are called to.  Intimacy.  The Promised Land was to be the natural blessedness and results of being in intimacy with the living God.  The deeper we go with God, life can only get better and better…because that is who He is.  He is good.  All the time.

So…if you want something to set your vision on in 2019, set the eyes of your heart towards seeing Jesus.  To pursuing Him and the knowledge of Him.  In western culture, knowledge comes by primarily observing and processing information.  In eastern culture, the culture the Bible was written, knowledge must be experiential.  

May you experience Jesus in deeper and more honest ways!