The Ultimate Aim of Our Life
What would be the ultimate purpose of God for our lives? Beyond over reaching heaven having been forgiven of all sins, beyond having victory over sin and becoming humble and holy, and even beyond being involved in the ministry the earnest desire of God about us?
Although there were millions and millions of angles who would obey Him within no time, what need was there for God to transform the formless and dark earth into a beautiful place and create man and say “It is very good” (Gen1:2,31)? Is it there something unique for man compared to all other creatures? Yes, he was created in God’s own image (Gen.1:27). Isn’t it because of that, dear friends, unlike other creatures, man alone can be in fellowship--sweet communion--with God? And of course, this itself is God’s purpose behind man’s creation! Our God, who Himself is love ( 1Jn 4:8:16), created men and women as His own dear children, with whom He can share His infinite love!
The first day itself after the creation of man, it was in the loving communion with man that God found His rest (Gen. 2:2,3). Just like a mother rests with her newborn babe on her bosom! God’s desire was that man, who is His supreme creation, would know Him personally and deeply and have an intimate love relationship with Him!!
But alas! Man’s connection with God was severed with the son of Adam. Although men of God knew God in varying degrees during the old covenant times, w know that it was only when God Himself incarnated as Man in Jesus Christ that man’s connection with God was restored to its originality. Just like a scientist who invented a machine easily rectifies its defects, God, by becoming Man, stands as the answer to all of man’s questions and problems!
How fascinating and amazing it will be if a man becomes an ant to express his love for ants! Then, how much more astonishing it is that the omnipotent, omniscient God became Man to share His incomparable love with man who is but just dust (Ps.103:14)!!
Jesus Desires our Fellowship
Jesus expresses this intense desire of His to His Father at the end of His days in this world: “Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world” (Jn.17:24). His earnest longing is that each one of us might be in His very presence all the time so as to behold His divine glory! His desire is not something that will take place in heaven alone. Jesus desire that even while being on this earth, we, who are really seated in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 2:6), might be able to behold His divine beauty with the eyes of faith, in intimate communion with Him! What a great and sublime love; isn’t it?
Here is an amazing truth: how much Jesus desires the fellowship with His father, that much He desires the fellowship with each one of us also!! Jesus says: “Just as the father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love” (Jn.15:9). In fact, His desire to have fellowship with each one of us is incomparably greater than our desire to have fellowship with Him! The Word of God also clearly says that God the Father loves each one of us just as much as He loves Jesus (Jn.17:23)!! What a wonder; isn’t it? Just meditate on this: God has as much love towards each one of us as there is between two Persons of the triune God from all eternity!!! If only we had realized this……..
It is because He has loved us with an everlasting love that He has drawn us near Him (Jer.31:3). God’s desire for us is not, that we may be burdened with many statutes of holiness, but that we may diligently obey Him out of deep love for Him. Jesus said: “ If you love Me , you will obey My commandments” (Jn.14: 15). When we begin to love Him wholeheartedly, we will soon realize that “His commandments are not burdensome” (I Jn.5:3).
The Aim of Our Race
We know that those who run a race fix their eyes on their destination. Now, what is the destination which we, who run the race of faith, have to fix our eyes on? Jesus, Who is the author and finisher of our faith, Himself is our sole destination (Heb.12:2). In other words, the ultimate aim of our life is not anything or anyone else, but the very Person of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ !!!
It was not without aim that the apostle Paul ran this race of faith (1Cor.9:26). That was the reason why he could finish his race also (2 Tim. 4:7).
We usually advise students to have a sense of destination or ambition in their studies. But when it comes to the matter of Christian life, do we have this sense of destination and purpose? The Word clearly says that we are “called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1Cor 1:9).
The reason for the lack of sweetness in our Christian life is our failure to realize that tasting the Lord Jesus more and more is the real purpose of our life. Perhaps, it may be some earthly matters which distract our focus. When others behave in a manner we do not like, when things happen contrary to our expectations, we should be able to perceive that these are all signals to go closer to Jesus. Yes, each cross is indeed a ‘shortcut’ to a far deeper and cordial fellowship with Jesus Christ!
Is Victory Over Sin Our Ultimate Aim?
Not only earthly matters, but spiritual mattes also can make our life burdensome if we begin to see them as our ultimate aims. For example, let us consider the matter of victory over sin. Of course, it is God’s unchangeable promise that we can have complete victory over all the sins of which God has given us light (ie. sins in our conscious area) (Rom. 6:14). But if we begin to see victory over sin as the ultimate aim of our lives, we will soon become slaves of our own efforts, and life will be miserable for us.
On the contrary, victory over sin becomes gradually possible for a disciple of Christ who eagerly desires to be in intimate fellowship with Jesus to be in intimate fellowship with Jesus all the time. Because he would have realized that the close fellowship with Jesus is inexpressibly far sweeter for him, compared to the passing pleasures of sin (Heb. ). So, in the midst of temptations, instead of leaning on his own strong resolution or will-power, he will flee and find refuge in the inward restful communion with his Beloved (Prov.18:10) Then every temptation would fade out and varnish from his mind!
What do we read in Rom 6:22? “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification and the outcome, eternal life”. Yes, sanctification is only the result of being freed from sin and serving God! But which is the aim to which all these are leading us? Eternal life – that is, knowing God intimately (Jn.17:3)! It was about this eternal life itself that Jesus said: “I came that they (My sheep) might have life, and might have it abundantly” (Jn.10:10). Of course, it is this eternal life – or in other words, a deep love-relationship with Him – that Jesus desires to give us abundantly. But how much is our thirst for this?
We read in Eph.1:4 that it was in order to “be holy and blameless before Him” that we were chosen in Christ Jesus before the very foundation of the world. But the meaning of the word ‘holy’ in the original language is “set apart”. That is, when God asks us to be holy, it is not that we might merely abstain from certain sins, but that we might be absolutely set apart for Him and Him alone! That is what we sing in one song:
“….My heart’s one desire is to be holy,
Set apart for You, Lord.”
It is a clear fact that we read even in the first chapter of the New Testament that Jesus came to this earth not only to save His people from their sins, but also to become “Immanuel” for them (that is, to be with them forever)! (Mtt.1:21, 23).
Even taking up the cross is not our aim. Taking up our daily cross is only a means to follow Jesus (Lk.9:23). The cross is only a stepping-stone to resurrection. Our aim is the resurrection life, ie. the glorious, sweet , loving communion with Jesus Christ. Taking up the cross is, in fact, setting aside all those things which hinder us from being with Jesus. It is for the joy of sweet fellowship with Jesus that we have to endure the cross, just as He endured the cross for the joy of being with the Father (Heb.12:2).
Is Serving God Our Ultimate Aim?
Even though bringing others to Christ and establishing them in Him are very important things which God desires from us, even those matters should not become our ultimate aims. When we invite others to Christ (ie. when we share the gospel) what is our aim? The apostle John says: “What we have seen and heard we declare unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1Jn.1:3).
Yes, it is to the sweet, loving fellowship with Jesus which we ourselves have tasted in our lives, that we ought to invite others and establish them in. Therefore, the more intimately we know Christ, the greater our burden will be for others. Then our service for the Lord will be out of exceedingly great joy! Thus our ministry for the Lord and our fellowship with Him will be inseparable. Ministry will not become our aim. These words of Jesus will also be fulfilled in our lives: “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there also My servant shall be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him” (Jn.12:26). Yes, only he who follows the Lord can minister to Him from the very heart.
The Purpose Of Our Transformation
2Thess.2:14 says: “And it was for this that He called you by our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” What is this glory of Jesus Christ? It is nothing less than the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ Who dwelt among us as “the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). The Word makes it crystal clear that we are “predestined to become conformed to this image” of Jesus Christ (Romans ). Have we ever thought of the reason as to why we need to be “transformed into the same image of Jesus from glory to glory” (2 Cor.3:18)
The plain answer is that it is only through transformation that we can enter into a deeper fellowship with the Lord. When we enter into such a deeper fellowship with the Lord, we will begin to have more of His character and nature. When we have more of His character and nature, Jesus will find it easier to share more of His heart with us, and thus we enter into a still deeper fellowship with Him. In this way, our fellowship with the Lord and our transformation will continue in a cyclical pattern. In eternity, even though we will have absolute knowledge about ourselves (1 Cor.13:12), we will never cease to know more and more of our dear Lord Who is forever far beyond our comprehension! Isn’t this the very reason as to why there will never be even a moment of boredom in heaven for all eternity?!!
Where lies our Joy
The more we know our blessed Lord today, the more will our spiritual joy abound, because “in His presence is fullness of joy and in His right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalms ). Jesus earnestly desires that our joy will always be completely in Him and Him alone. That is why when Paul exhorts us to rejoice, he says, “Rejoice IN THE LORD always” (Phil.4:4). If our joy is not in the Person of Jesus Christ, it is impossible to rejoice always. Whatever we glory (boast) in, other than the Lord Jesus, it is totally abominable in the sight of the Lord (Lk.16:15; 1Cor.1:31; Gal.6:14).
On one side, like carnal people it is possible for us to glory in wealth, splendour, dignity, honour, fame, positions, occupation, education, intelligence, eloquence, natural talents, health, beauty, familial heritage, properties, possessions etc. But on the other side there is a greater possibility for us to glory, like soulish Christians, in our church denomination, spiritual leaders, church meetings, doctrines, Bible knowledge, spirituality, spiritual experiences, Christian ministry, sufferings and sacrifices for the sake of Christ etc. Both are as intolerable and abominable to God as “smoke in His nostrils and a fire that burns all the day” (Is.65:5). Truly spiritual people are those who rejoice in Jesus and Jesus alone, ascribing to Him all glory even while testifying the great things He has accomplished in their lives. Yes, our joy has to be hidden in Christ in God (Col.3:3), so that no one or nothing can take it away from us! (Jn.16:22). And may Jesus alone be our destination!
What Jesus Himself Said
Once when one of the scribes asked Jesus what commandment was foremost of all, His reply was very clear: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark -30). Can it ever be clearer than this that God’s primary desire from us is our wholehearted love for Him!
Only if we love Jesus wholeheartedly, can we truly and completely obey Him and thus enthrone Him as the King in our lives. God being King in us is the real
Will we not take heed to if Jesus Himself says only one thing is necessary in Christian life? But what was that one thing that Jesus told Martha? Yes, that one thing is earnestly listening to the voice of Jesus in loving communion with Him (Lk.10:38, 42).
The apostle Paul also says he does only one thing: “One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”( Phil.3:13,14). What was the aim of his race? The 8th verse tells us that “knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” was his sole aim. He is not talking of any intellectual knowledge, but of personally and intimately knowing the Person of Jesus Christ. The prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, about which we read in v.14, is also nothing other than the personal knowledge of or intimacy with Jesus Christ.
The singleness of desire sung by David and Asaph was also for none other than God Himself. (Psalms 27:4, 73:25)
The Other Side Of the Coin
We all know that Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor.15:3). But that is only one side of the coin of truth. We read of the other side of the coin in 1 Thess.5:10, “Our Lord Jesus Christ died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.” Yes, it was for us to have inseparable, unceasing fellowship with God that Jesus was willing to be separated from His father for three hours on the cross!! How little have we understood the sacred, loving heart of Jesus, Who suffered separation from His Father, crown of thorns, reproach and curse, in order that we may have fellowship with the Father, crown of life, glory and blessing…
Let us draw still closer to this beloved Lord Who is full of lovingkindness, mercy and grace. He says, “The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John ). Let us heartily confess and repent of all our drawbacks and failures and be entirely cleansed by the precious blood, and gently lean on His bosom, eagerly listening to His voice full of love and compassion… and as the song goes, “rest in the arms of His embrace.”
Yes, Jesus Himself is the ultimate aim of our life. May He alone be our heart’s desire. Then, instead of spending each day rather monotonously, we will have our hearts gripped by this sense of destination. Let us learn to do each and every thing in His presence, in loving communion with Him. It is only by the power of His love that we can obey His words.. As we sing in one song:
“Lord, I’ve come to know
The weaknesses that I see in me
Will be stripped away
By the power of Your love.”
If we surrender to Him completely, Jesus will fill us with His pure, divine love, and holding our hands, will cause us to walk in His statutes (Rom 5:5, Ezek 36:27). Thus, as time passes, even if ‘thousands and ten thousands may fall all around us’ (Psalms 91:7), we will be steadily drawing closer and closer to our ‘Destination’…