Have you heard the phrase “Begin with the end in mind.”? In the world of strategic planning it is a great question and a very helpful process. But a recent post in the Global Conversation by a member of the Lausanne Blogger Network (Pete Houston from South Africa) has me questioning this very sensible idea.
Pete’s article is focused on challenging the ideas behind the Prosperity Gospel by showing that God’s great promises do not mean earthly prosperity but are focused on eternal reward.
But even if we are not caught up in the prosperity message, this desire to know how things will end and control those ends is pervasive. I’m stuck between a feeling that I am responsible to control the ends and the sense that this job is really God’s.
We all have been in projects that started well but had no clear idea of what the end result would be. We know that those projects self destruct along the way wasting countless resources and the energies of many workers.
At the same time the Bible is clear about who controls the ends of our lives, this earth and the story of creation. I wonder whether our desire to define the ends in our lives is an example of how we are created in the image of our Father in Heaven.
The challenge for us is to be good stewards of the work God has set before us but to know that the ultimate ends of everything in our lives is in the hands of God.
Now let’s apply this idea to the upcoming Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. Most people participating at the event, at a GlobaLink site or via the online discussions have clarity about the movement and the ideas we are discussion. However, we don’t know where God will take us through this process.
Are you holding tight to the ends that you expect or are you open to how God might change and grow you through the process of interacting with the Cape Town Congress?