from our partnerLightWorkers Guest
written byAddison Bevere
The whole point of new creation is for us to become children of God, partakers of His otherness (holiness), reflecting His life to overwhelm the darkness in our world. The goal isn’t just for us to “make it to heaven one day.” When we make “getting to heaven” our only aim, we deny ourselves the power, calling and promise that God has made available in this lifetime. I believe this is why so many Christians struggle with discouragement and a lack of vision for their lives.
We were created for an eternal purpose, a purpose that reaches into our temporal lives and infuses them with meaning. “Beloved, we are God’s children right now…all who focus their hope on [Jesus] will always be purifying themselves, just as Jesus is pure” (1 John 3:2–3 TPT, emphasis added). One reason many Christians aren’t walking in freedom from sin is because they have no hope (or they have a lack of hope).
People perish from a lack of vision or hope (Prov. 29:18). I’m sure you’ve heard this idea before, maybe in a vision meeting or corporate setting. What’s interesting is we find this verse sandwiched between two verses on correction. Solomon is challenging us to have a vision for something greater than us. You’ll never welcome correction if you can’t see beyond your current being.
We need God’s Word and the people in our lives to remind us that there is something greater than we have known, seen or given ourselves to.
Our hope, that vision, is ultimately found in Jesus. That’s why in Hebrews 12, immediately following a commentary on Jesus’ glorious death, we find the idea of God disciplining us because He loves us as sons and daughters. The writer even says that we are illegitimate children if our lives lack the tension that comes with discipline.
God’s saving purposes extend beyond conversion and into our very real, everyday lives. God doesn’t save us just from a metaphysical hell; He saves us from the hell that our sins create in the present. Don’t try to tell me that sin doesn’t have consequences now that you are “in Christ.” Spend a week stealing, cheating, gossiping, lying, abusing and so on and see what kind of prison that creates. God’s grace saves us from the eternal, penal ramifications of sin and it empowers us to step into life now.
God uses a vision of who He’s created us to be to create tension in our lives, a tension that comes from knowing there’s more to life. We’re told to “lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely…looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:1– 2). In Jesus, we have both the example and the empowerment.
When we fail to die to self and embrace our true nature as sons and daughters, we experience the Lord’s discipline. This discipline leads us to Him. It is “for our good, that we may share His holiness” (v. 10). God disciplines us because His love won’t allow Him to be casual about the sins that steal our vitality.
So many Christians see Jesus only as their Savior, the One who put them in right standing with God. And this is undoubtedly true. But it doesn’t stop there—that’s merely the beginning.
In Jesus, God revealed that we are destined “to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that [Jesus] might be the firstborn among many” (Rom. 8:29). Jesus lived a fully human life, free from the bondage of sin. And that is God’s intent for us. Until we realize that ultimate aim, we will learn obedience in pain (Heb. 5:8).
Please understand that I am not suggesting voluntary austerity or pain. Rather, I’m making the point that God cares more about what’s happening in us than what’s happening to us. Don’t get me wrong; He cares about both. But like any good parent, He doesn’t compromise our future by pacifying our present.
God cares about what happens to us now. He wants us to experience life in its fullness now. He’s given us grace to rise above sin now. There are people who need to see God’s holiness revealed through us now.
That’s why this battle against sin is so important.
We overcome sin through humility: “As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life” (Gal. 5:16 TPT). Before Christ, the aim was to manage sin by not breaking the Torah. But now that we are reborn with God’s Spirit—the Spirit of Christ—we can soar above the power of sin.
Addison Bevere is a man who appreciates the simple things in life—time spent playing with his four kids, late-night conversations with his wife, interesting words that no one uses, a meaningful day of work, and, of course, a good book. Addison is also the COO of Messenger International, an organization that impacts millions of people in over 150 countries through its various initiatives, and the cofounder of SonsAndDaughters.tv. To learn more about him, visit AddisonBevere.com.
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