Many years ago, just after I had completed my seminary training, I came across a little book entitled “Destined For the Throne.” The author was a man of high integrity, but of very low profile. In fact, this was the first book that he published and I believe he was near 75 years of age when he completed the manuscript.
However, that little book forever changed how I perceive the purpose of my life. As one rather well known Bible teacher commented in his recommendation:
“This book challenged me to see the church in all her glory: where we have originated, where we are going in God’s eternal purposes. It ties intercession into the why of our existence. I was left with a desire to be who I am in Christ.” Malcolm Smith
As I look back over the past four decades it seems impossible to me that so much time has transpired and yet I feel I have only begun to understand the full implications of the thesis of that little book.
Fast forward to just last month when I read words of another author who restated the same conviction in very simple and memorable language. In his reflections on the purpose of life, Dallas Willard wrote that we are “in training for reigning.” Indeed, his conviction was essentially the same as what Dr. Billheimer had proposed years ago.
The purpose of our lives is to prepare us to reign with Christ Jesus throughout all of eternity. Although the exact nature of this assignment is still unclear, it has something to do with the New Heaven and the New Earth that the Lord promised to establish at the end of the age and it is very clear this is both a physical and spiritual reality.
The “training” that we are called to has everything to do with our relationship with Christ. It has to do with learning to pray in such a way as to know the heart of God and come into agreement with Him concerning whatever He puts on your own heart and mind. That simple and intimate prayer then leads us to a life of full obedience and a genuine delight in being an ambassador for Christ wherever we go.
This past week, two of my dear friends had been confronted with the very difficult reality that someone that they care for deeply, in one case a friend and in another case a family member, are facing the possibility of this life coming to a close.
What does one say to a person that brings comfort and assurance and even hope in the face of life’s greatest uncertainty? Well, if a life’s been centered on learning to serve God and to partner with Him in the things that matter to Him, then it is not difficult to simply say that this life is just “the end of the beginning” and not the end of all that matters.
Thankfully, Jesus has made that relationship so amazingly within reach that a simple prayer of surrender can bring us into a place of preparing for an eternal future of reigning with Him. However, for those of us who may have been blessed with such a knowledge of God for many years, we have had the opportunity to be greatly prepared for an amazing destiny of reigning alongside of Jesus for eternity!
On this Mother’s Day weekend, I’m particularly thankful for the incredible influence my Mom had on leading our entire family to discover a personal relationship with Christ and not simply just a religion with His name on it. Her devotion to the Lord grew in passion and intensity over the years and I know that her prayers for all of us in the family helped to guide our steps and lead us all into the place of discovering God’s purpose for our lives each and every day.
So thank you, Mom, for planting the seeds and watering them and being them to help see the harvest that God’s grace has brought. I have no doubt that you are now reigning with the Lord and one day we will all understand more perfectly how God worked His plan for each of our lives because we made ourselves available to Him.
That’s my purpose for today … to continue to train in order to reign.