GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE
We live in a day when most believers don't really have a purpose. We have agendas, programs, causes, activities, and ministries, but we don't have a purpose. Of course, if you ask most believers if they have a purpose they will say yes. When you ask them what it is, they will proceed to tell you what their church is currently doing. Or they may give you some vague answer such as to do the will of God, or to glorify God. But the will of God is the same as saying the purpose of God, so in effect; they are telling you that their purpose is to fulfill His purpose! But what is His purpose?
Many others will tell you that God's will or purpose is to evangelize the world. That's why Jesus came, to save sinners, after all. Or perhaps it's healing, or deliverance, or to bring restoration to the family, or to this nation, or to the church. Yet none of these things even come close to describing God's eternal purpose. How do I know this? Simple, all of the above answers have to do with time and space. They all take place in creation, after the fall. Yet Paul tells us that God's purpose is eternal.
An Eternal Purpose
"This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out (formed) in Christ Jesus our Lord . . ." Eph. 3:11
Eternal purpose here literally means "purpose of the ages." You see, this purpose, this will, this intention, this plan, has always been and always will be His purpose throughout all ages! Therefore, His purpose existed before there was man, or the fall, or creation. Therefore, His purpose cannot be to save the lost because this purpose is before (and after!) the fall of man. Of course, God does want to save the lost, and heal, and deliver, and all the other things that Christians love to focus on. But those things are not His eternal purpose. He had something in His mind and heart, before any of those things were necessary. He created the entire universe and all realms, visible and invisible, with this purpose in mind. This purpose is what motivates your God to do everything He does. It is the driving force behind creation, and salvation, and reconciliation. It is the reason why the Church exists.
Please take note that God's purpose is singular. He has a purpose, not many purposes. Your God is single minded in this matter of His will and purpose. Please understand that in God's mind, all roads lead to this one single purpose. Everything He plans, and everything He does leads to the fulfillment of this single purpose. "Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." Eph. 1:11b
The Godhead took counsel together in eternity and decided upon a great goal. All of the workings of God would revolve around this great goal. All of His hopes and expectations would move to this one great end. He would not stop until the fullness of His great purpose was realized. God is relentless and unswerving in His pursuit of this glorious quest.
The Importance of Revelation
You and I need a Spirit-borne revelation of His eternal purpose. Why? The answer is simple. How will we understand our purpose if we don't know (by revelation) His purpose? We are not here to fulfill our own purposes. We are here to fulfill His purpose.
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Ro. 8:28
However, we need to see this purpose with our spiritual eyes. We need the Holy Spirit to give us a revelation in our spirits of this wonderful purpose. If we can truly "see" this purpose, it will be branded into our souls and we will never forget it. It will become the all consuming passion of our lives. It will become the driving force behind everything we do, just like it is for our Father in heaven.
The Eternal Purpose Revealed
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory." Eph. 1:7-12
"And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." Eph. 1:22, 23
"To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out (formed) in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him." Eph. 3:8-12
"He is also head of the body, the Church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven." Col. 1:18-20
" . . . a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all." Col. 3:11
These scriptures, along with many more, show us God's eternal purpose. Simply stated, it is to sum up all things in Christ. God has a Person, a Man, who is to be the Center of all things. This Person is His Son. His goal is to have this Person be enlarged so that He fills the universe with Himself. He is to be the all-comprehending and all-inclusive One. He is to be all-encompassing and all-sufficient. He is to be the All in all! All things are to be filled with Him and He is to be the total equation of all things. God's goal is that His Son would be the fullness of all realms. Yes, He wants the Lordship and Headship of Christ to reign supreme, but it is much more than that. All things are to be in Him, and all things are to be filled by and with Him, that is, with His life. "He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things." Eph. 4:10
Do you see the issues here? He is to have the preeminence in all things. The issues are filling, fullness, and all. The fullness of Christ must be expressed throughout the universe and all that He is must be seen everywhere. He is to be the All in you and the All in me. He is to be the All in all of us! The life, love, character, and power of Christ are to permeate every inch of this universe. He is to be the beginning, the end, and everything in between. He is to be the Center and the Circumference. He is to be the end all and be all at all times and at all places. This is God's glorious will and purpose.