There is a pretty well-known business coach for entrepreneurs named Dan Sullivan. He has worked for decades helping entrepreneurs build thriving businesses. One of the things he said that really stuck with me was a short expression, “the ceiling of complexity.” He said that in his experience the #1 reason entrepreneurs get stuck is when they are trying to do too many things at once; complexity becomes the ceiling that blocks them from making progress. And he rightly said, we all have to work at keeping things simple or we will get stuck.
Before I get to part one of <em>God’s Purposes in One Sentence (and yes, though I will say it one easy to remember sentence, I’m going to take a few posts to make my case), I want to say that I have seen in my own life, effective churches, and effective businesses, when we can keep the main things the main things and keep our complexity levels low, we all do much better. This is a very real challenge because the amount of information available to us and being thrown at us is increasing at never before seen rates. Many people feel overwhelmed because the speed of life and advancement keeps increasing.</em
Be diligent to keep it as simple as you can
Einstein said, “Everything should be kept as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That is pretty good advice and is in line with how God set up our lives to function. You have to dig in Scripture, but there are definitely pillar purposes and principles that God has set in place. When you get clear on the biggest ones, then you can gradually learn the nuances of the art and science of spiritual growth and following Jesus.
So, with that longer than intended intro, here is the first part of God’s Big Purposes in One Sentence from my soon to be released book The Purpose Principles or Principles of Purpose.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if an hour, I am ready now.” It is much harder to take a big message and condense it down into just a few words that really communicate its meaning. Companies pay big money to people who can do that well.
God’s purposes are really, really big and so is His message. And as the best of communicators God does an amazing job of telling us what it is in ways we can understand it. He uses a variety of imagery, stories, and statements so we can know what He is up to on a big scale and then align ourselves with Him.
Though there are different ways to verbalize what God is ultimately up to, I think Ephesians 4:10 does it in as succinct, exciting, and memorable a way as anywhere in Scripture.
“He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things (NIV: “fill the universe).” Ephesians 4:10
Let’s break this down just a bit:
The Greek words used here can mean both “all things, and universe.”
1. Jesus descending: Jesus becoming a human, showing us God, giving us God’s words, dying on the cross, experiencing death for all humanity
2. Ascending: resurrection, rising and sitting at the place of ultimate authority over every power ever, now interceding for us, sending the Spirit, working out His purposes in our lives
3. Jesus descending and ascending are the most important acts in the history of our world (Scripture indicates these events also powerfully impacted the unseen world) were done “so that, to accomplish”
4. God filling all things, God filling the universe
Simply stated God’s ultimate plan, His ultimate purpose is to fill the universe.
He will ultimately fill all things with His life, presence, and nature transforming it into the very highest level of existence possible for anything that is created.
I am not saying nature is God or anything that is created is God. But I do believe this and many other Scriptures make clear that God will eventually accomplish His plan of filling everything and since He is incredible what He accomplishes will be much beyond the amazing visible universe we see now. The presence, beauty and wonder of God is what makes heaven, heaven. He is the life, without Him there is no life, there is no beauty, there is no heaven.
What an incredible, God-sized vision! It is so in line with who He is and what He desires for a universe and people that He created out of pure love! God is going to eventually fill all things….and that includes YOU! Eventually every part of you is going to be filled to overflowing with the incredible life of Jesus! It is there in seed form right now and as you learn to follow Him, flow with Him, and be formed by Him you are being filled by Him!
I don’t have the insight to know the details of God’s plans for an entire universe, though He does have them, so let’s stick with the earth right now (big enough right?)
More Scriptures (and there are lots of them) and ideas next time.