Wednesday, June 17, 2015

DESIGNED TO FLOURISH


God showed the prophet Ezekiel a vision of languishing: a valley full of dry bones.  It was the image of a failure to thrive.  God asked “Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” and Ezekiel answered, “You alone know.”  God did know, and he made them come alive.

I know a man named Tim who was an addict, lost his family, lost everything, found God, gave up his addiction, and got his life back again.  I know a man named Peter who was a tormented slave to sexual impulses, and God got ahold of him and that changed.  I know a woman who hated confrontation so badly she once drove on an extended road trip with her best friend for three days in silence to avoid confrontation.  Today she confronts recreationally.

God wants you to grow!  He created the very idea of growth.  The Talmud says that every blade of grass has an angel bending over it, whispering, “Grow, grow,” Paul said that in Christ the whole redeemed community “grows and builds itself up in love.”

Your flourishing is never just about you.  It is a “so that” kind of condition.  God designed you to flourish “so that” you could be part of His redemptive project in ways that you otherwise could not.  He wants you to flourish “so that” people can be encouraged, gardens can be planted, music can be written, sick people can be helped, or companies can thrive in ways they otherwise would not.  When you fail to become the person God designed, all the rest of us miss out on the gift you were made to give.

-- John Ortberg in The Me I Want to Be


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