Catch the Wave
by Larry White 9/12/1990
No one is born as an adult, fully mature and ready to go. It’s the same in the spiritual realm. Christians are not immersed as mature. We are all immersed to be babes “in Christ”. Looking forward to growing “in Christ” and becoming perfect, complete or mature “in Christ”.
Wisdom comes when we start perceiving what this “in Christ” relationship entails.
[Purpose / Goal]
Faith [God’s image - Glory]
(baptism) of the Spirit
God has a purpose for us, which we have not as yet reached. A purpose which he had in mind before he created the world. This purpose is stated in several places in scripture – one is
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
So the purpose is to hold Christ’s image and to share his glory. Well, what does that mean?
Paul says we are weak because of the flesh, and we may not always know what the goal is as we ought, and therefore we’re unable to ask wisely for what we need to fulfill God’s purpose.
Likewise the Spirit also helps our weaknesses: for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The key to these verses is in the last few words; literally, “…because he makes intercession for the saints according to God”. [i.e. according to his will.]
We may not fully comprehend or appreciate the purpose of God for us and therefore remain ignorant of what we should pray for – but the Holy Spirit knows. He knows the deep things of God. And since he dwells in our hearts, he also knows exactly what we need in respect to God’s purpose. Just as the Spirit knows the mind of the Father even so the Father (who is the searcher of hearts) knows what the mind of the Spirit is because he makes intercession for us.
Again, this is in respect to God’s purpose for us in eternity. So we have a growth curve that we are on and the Holy Spirit is our helper along the way.
Well, that aids my understanding somewhat, but how can I know what the purposes of God are so I can pray effectively like Paul says I ought to know? Where is this wisdom had?
The purpose of God for us is manifold and therefore many faceted. There are things we can understand in a limited way – but wisdom concerning the mystery of God is not had by trying to figure it out.
There are some things the scriptures talk about that simply cannot be described. The Apostle Paul in places doesn’t even try. What words would he use to describe something beyond my natural experience? How could I, by words alone, gain an immediate first hand understanding and appreciation for something beyond anything I can imagine?
I tried once to describe the color Green to my son, who is colorblind, a color he cannot see. I cannot make him see Green through words.
Paul does not try. He prays that God would show them, that he would open their eyes and let them see.
“…cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints is, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenlies,”
So, God can open the eyes of our hearts to what his purpose is, and give us an experiential knowledge – (epignosko - επιγνοσκω) a full knowledge, a “put-your-finger-on-it” knowledge that cannot be communicated with words. He can make us appreciate what our hope of glory is by giving us a glimpse of it. And he does this in answer to prayer. It goes without saying that this prayer has to be from a faithful Christian asking in faith.
The next verse is Rom.8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
We’ve all seen a surfer who paddles out on a surf-board and waits for a big wave to come by. When he sees one he races to match its speed and then catches it, and it carries him into the shore. Well, there is a great wave rolling along throughout human history, a bigger wave than of which any one man or any one generation can be aware. It is the purpose of God for man. (“All things work together for good.”) It started before he created the world and it will swell and roll inevitably and inexorably to the shore of eternity and no one can stop it.
It is up to us to catch this wave. God has meaning for your life – God is doing and accomplishing something in the earth. If you love God and come to Christ, God’s purpose will carry you to your ultimate destination, your ultimate meaning and purpose with him.
If you miss this wave, if you miss God’s purpose for your life – you’ve missed it ALL, and you’ll never come to your goal – the reason you were created.
“All things work together for good.” The good here is the ultimate “Good”, that we, for lack of wisdom may not see. You may be persecuted and tortured, but that will not stop God’s purpose – you may be wracked with pain and operation after operation, but that will not stop God’s purpose, the good that he’s working in you and for you.
The purpose of God is briefly perceived in the next few verses that give us an overview of what God is doing in the earth.
For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren: and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
This glory is had by sharing in the image of God’s son which we lost by sin, falling short of God’s glory. It is offered to everyone by God’s calling or invitation. Those who answer the invitation he cleanses in the blood of his Son Jesus, and accounts them innocent and justified from any and every offence.
He’s bringing many sons unto glory. Won’t you be part of that? That is the good thing that you can choose, that will not be taken away from you. Come to Christ and “catch the wave” – it’s the only thing that is really happening in the universe. Begin seeing what God has in store for you.
“He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be condemned.” (Mk.16:16)