Ecclesiastes 7:7-10 Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart. Better is the end of a thing than it’s beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools. Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
The moment when you surrender your life to Jesus you have a new “end goal”. The end goal for every regenerate believer changes from self-serving to ushering the Kingdom of God in our surroundings. So as parents our end goal is not to form celebrity athletes or moral people, rather our end goal is to impart Jesus in them and pray the Gospel takes deep root in their souls. As married couples, our end goal is not to have the sex of our life; our end goal is to, as husbands, love our wives as Christ loved the church. My wife is not to have some super macho man that will drive her wild at night; rather she is to submit to my sacrificial, tender-loving leadership. So when we talk about end goals, things can get complicated and it’s important that everyone is on the same page. Our end goal is Jesus and submitting to the commands he has given us.
It’s also important to be constantly reminded of the end goal of our church. It’s incredible to be a part of Refuge Point as we have grown more as a multi-cultural and multi-generational church. When my wife and I planted Refuge Point, I never wanted a young white church. I have always said that if that were the case, I would have just joined another white church in our area. Our end goal for Refuge Point is to reflect Revelation 7:9-10 which says, “I saw a great multitude of every race of people crying out ‘Salvation belongs to the Jesus”. (Paraphrase). Imagine a church that is tearing down the walls of racial hostility and is a reflection of heaven!
One of the dangers we often find ourselves in is when we aren’t seeing the “end goal” we say, “The good old days were better than this.” So our imaginations wonder and make up some false reality of what our past used to look like. One of the things we saw when we first planted Refuge Point were some people wanting to see church done the way it “used to be”. We would lovingly point everyone to the simple fact that God is doing a new thing and it is going to look a lot different than the past. It reminds me of when the second temple was being built in Ezra 3, the young men sang songs of rejoicing and the old men wept for “the good old days.” Let us be reminded of what God wants to do in our lives. Haggai gave the promise of The Lord when they were lamenting about the former days, The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.’” (Haggai 2:9) Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.”
God can do more than you ask or think, and it will be better than anything that has taken place in your past. *praise break* No matter your age or race, God is able to do more than you can imagine. Why do we cling to our past when God has a far better plan for our future?
How should your way of living change with the “end goal” in mind?
The way of sense is to get everything now – the way of faith is to get everything in God’s time. The worldly man lives on the present – the Christian lives on the future.