What if He gave it to you? Removed it for you? Placed you there? Granted your request?
How satisfying would that be? How fulfilling or relieving? How would you revel in the experience of God’s obvious blessing upon you?
In the past year of life, two words have come to be key in my understanding of how AND why God works in our lives. The words are SO THAT.
Spoken another way, God works in YOUR life for way MORE than YOUR life.
Scripture attests to this.
Abraham longed for a child, for an heir. And God responded, but not merely because Abraham’s possessions needed a landing spot after his death nor because Abraham and Sarah’s home would be happier, filled with the cooing and cuddling that an infant brings. No, God spoke of all the nations receiving blessing through this longed-for child. He blessed Abraham SO THAT…
Moses should have been a grateful man. Shrewd scheming by his mother and sister allowed him enough life to learn how to walk. Then compassion in the heart of an Egyptian princess entitled him to a privileged upbringing within the ruling house of an ancient superpower. All of this was far beyond earning; it appeared to gifted, for no obvious reason. Then surprisingly, a wilderness exile helped him escape a murder charge and enrolled him into a forty-year leadership course, under the tutelage of father-in-law Jethro, numerous sheep, and the patient instruction of the desert. And all of this appears to be kindness spent on Moses for his sake until a shrub ignites and the Sacred Infinity says otherwise: “Your life, Moses, has not been about your life. All of this has taken place SO THAT…
The first disciples were terrified. Their leaders had crucified their Leader, and there was no telling how many of them were destined for similar fates. Drowning in despair and filled with fear, they locked themselves away to weather the storm. But the drama of an untimely death was about to be vaporized by the reality of resurrection. Appearing among his followers, Jesus provoked in them a reinterpretation of all they thought they knew. He then urged them to wait in Jerusalem for the further wonder of the Spirit. God made these moves in the lives of the inner circle, with His eyes beholding a whole lot more… than the inner circle. Fire fell from heaven as more than an encouragement to Jesus’ friends. God was moving SO THAT…
By nature, our gaze is narrow. But the tightening of our focus upon ourselves actually serves to rob us, for the glory of what God is up to is typically brightest in the “SO THAT” seen far beyond the borders of our lives.
To be sure, God IS working in your life. But the more wonderful truth is that He is working in your life, not merely for your life. The Holy One is the master of the SO THAT!