Christian Living
The Folly of Self-Fulfillment and the Reality of Redemption in Christ
Mar 3, 2021
heaven awaits


On our earth today, 7.8 billion human beings currently live and breathe. These men and women have been told by our culture that, if they want it badly enough, they can find purpose, identity, and worth out of their short lives. And so they try with all their strength to manifest purpose, to create self-identity, and to manufacture worth. They are like children at the beach trying to stop the waves—and they give up and stumble in the sand.

The path of self-fulfillment is exhausting. There is always more to do. There is always something to improve, something to change, something to fix. And it all rests on your small shoulders in a cold universe.

What a privilege to align our lives with God's will.


But there is another way. Instead of trying to manifest your will into the universe, you can align yourself with the will of the Creator of the universe. Instead of trying to make something of your life on the earth, you can ask what God wants to make of you. Instead of making promises you know you will break, you can wrap yourself in His promises that will never break. Instead of dying under the strain of self-fulfillment, you can find the greater fulfillment of dying to self and living for God's mission—a mission that will instill your life with more meaning than you could ever have imagined.

This is the hope and certainty we have as followers of Christ—our lives matter, for "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son" (John 3:16). The author of Hebrews puts it this way in his letter: "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf" (Heb. 6:19-20a). Just as Abraham believed God, aligning himself with the Lord's purposes with faith and patience, so too, can we—and with even more reason. For we have seen God's past faithfulness to Israel recorded in His Word, and we see that very Word made flesh—Jesus going before us both in death and in new life, the firstfruits of an incredible promise already blossoming in our hearts.


God's promises are not static; they are at work today, bringing us to a glorious eternity. Through His Spirit, God is pushing us onward, propelling us and empowering us to participate in the advancement of His Kingdom around the world, an ever-expanding family united by our Savior. One day soon, we'll together experience full redemption at Christ's return—when God makes His dwelling with us, His people across time and space (see Rev. 21:3). What a privilege to align our lives with God's will for humanity. But we'll miss out on this exhilarating experience if we vainly seek to make our own way. Let us rather give in to the force of God's will and rush headfirst into the glory He graciously bestows as we follow His way.

We ride the waves of God's promises by fulfilling Christ's commission and His command. We take steps to make disciples of all nations (see Matt. 28:18-20). We strive to love our neighbor as ourselves (see Mark 12:31). In short, we do the works He has prepared in advance for us to do (see Eph. 2:10). This can look like crossing the cul-de-sac to engage in conversation with your non-Christian neighbor. Or mentoring a young believer over a cup of coffee. Or packing up your home to help make disciples in another country. Or supporting fellow missionaries and ministries around the world. There is not a three-step plan for this. But there is a starting place.


Perhaps you have tried putting "self" at the center. Perhaps you've been reluctant to give up your own story for God's story. Maybe you've believed that to forge your own way would establish your importance and increase your value. If this is true of you, you are probably exhausted, struggling to hold onto hope. If this is you, stop fighting. You don't need more willpower or a better plan or stronger shoulders. You need a Savior for whom not even all the sin of all the world was too heavy to bear at the cross.

In the 1960s, three men went hurtling into space, headed toward the moon. These astronauts were exceptional men, to say the least, but being exceptional was not enough to get them to the moon. It was the 10,000-pound Saturn V rocket that propelled them off of our tiny planet and into the history books. If they had not been aligned with the power of this rocket, they never would have left the earth.

In the same way, God has made clear His mission for us. He calls us to align ourselves with that mission and let Him lift us to places more glorious than we can even fathom. As we do, we find meaning, purpose, and identity we could never manufacture on our own. We become not only a part of history but aligned with the true end of all history—the building of God's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. And it all starts with turning our eyes from ourselves to our Savior.

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