The longer we walk with the Lord the more we will see our end coming into view and we will be able to see the end God has purposed and planned for our lives. Oddly enough these ends seem to be on two separate time lines, but we also have learned for us to be able to come to the end God has planned for us we must continue in Him to the very end. The end place God has purposed for our lives is a place of victory God always intends for us to come into victory, but whether we do or not depends not on God (it is His intention), but on our being able to be obedient to His words to us and move correctly in them. Victory is always the end God has for our lives. Funny how the death of my father has changed some priorities and some thinking in my life, but what has not changed was the truth of having to continue to the very end. Funny how my mortality and the end of my life is more before me as well as the end God has for me. Death is the ultimate equalizer it levels the playing field for us all. This end is spoken about all through the Scriptures; from the very beginning when the “foundations of the world” was laid to the ends of the age and world.

In Romans Paul asks, “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” All of that which has been and will be is first in God. In Him is an eternal purpose known only to Him and to those with whom He will share His heart. He has chosen man to be a partaker of that purpose, so much so that it is His very delight. Even in the beginning, God had in His heart a most blessed end for man. Paul’s words to the Ephesians say it so well: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved: in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3-12) The outpouring of the Spirit had to come through man to man. Just as Adam was the channel for death to enter into the world, so too the Lord Jesus was the means by which the Spirit of God would be poured out upon man. Before the Son’s obedience, those who obeyed the Spirit of God would be the channel for God’s Spirit to touch others. But that effect was limited in its scope. But when the Lord fully obeyed His Father, the Spirit was given to Him without measure. The effect of His obedience is both universal and eternal. Now, through the Son, man can be a partaker of the glory of God’s riches and grace. The question then becomes, “To what extent do we want to partake of those riches?” Will we avail ourselves to God’s will or will we frustrate the grace of God? By faith, we allow God to work in us “according to the good pleasure of His will.” God’s work is being accomplished according to the “counsel of His own will.” On the individual level, our predestination, justification, call, and glorification fit into a purpose far beyond what we can imagine. It is as vast as God Himself is. And despite how high and glorious God is, His love and grace overflow us daily, with the intent of having us be “holy and without blame before Him in love.” It is this abounding given to us, working in us, and working out from us, that causes us to be “to the praise of His glory.” The same selfless love with which He has loved us is now given back to Him by the effectual working of His power in the saint. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:17-19) When the Lord first comes to us, He finds in us a fear of Him, His holiness, and rightly so. We fear Him because He is a threat to all that is related to our self-life. However, His love works to cast out that fear and to cause us to stand before Him. He comes with a heart full of expectations for us, expectations of which we are not aware. So with loving kindness and everlasting love, He assures us, “I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an end and an expectation.” (Jeremiah 29:11) This end has been in Him since the beginning. His love is abounding toward us in the midst of our difficulties, weaknesses, temptations, and trials. As He comes to us, He knows the thoughts that He is thinking toward us. He has sealed us with His Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest, or the evidence, which will keep us in Him until we receive the promise. That promise contains a command, a charge, and a direction to walk in a particular way that would bring us to God’s intended end for us. That end is to be partakers of the divine nature. “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1 Timothy 1:5) and “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13) The word “end” is the point aimed at. God has a mark in mind for us to obtain. The command of God is contained in His Spirit and in His promise. It is contained in the love wherewith He has loved us. The Lord speaks, “This is my commandment that ye love one another as I have loved you.” His words are full of grace and truth, and that grace will be that which enables us to fulfill the command. He gives to us the command which He himself has fulfilled. He is a doer of the word. He did not just love us in word only but in deed and in truth. “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-17) Paul was constrained by the love of Christ to live the way he did and to enable him to abound unto others. This love of Christ is the love of God out from which God abounds to us through the Son. Paul declares, “From henceforth (from now and forever) know we no man after the flesh.” No longer will I live my life to pursue my own desires, but I will follow the leading of the Spirit who will take the things of Jesus and show them unto me. No longer will I know a Christ of tradition, or of imagination, or of the deceit of my own heart, but I will know the true God and His true Christ by revelation. We are to follow the leading of the Spirit and in so doing we will leave the old things of our earthly nature, with all its affections, behind. We will walk into ever greater light and see things as they truly are. All things are becoming new to us because we are discovering all of the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God. The old things become more distant to us and their draw upon us becomes ever weaker. Instead, we are caught up with the mark for the prize of the high calling of God that is in Christ Jesus. When we so walk, God’s abounding toward us is then put into us. Our cup overflows. That is to say God is blessing me above my ability to contain it all. Being so blessed, we are able to bless others out from the abundance of God in us. We give back to Him that selfless love which He first gave to us. That is why the trial of our faith is so precious. Our cheerful endurance in these trials, our offering up our moments of difficulties, our light affliction, becomes the sacrifice of praise which we bring into the house of the Lord. It is given to us to suffer on His behalf. How different those moments of suffering will appear as we stand before Him than they do here and now when we are in them. Those moments given to Him will “be found unto honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” They will testify of our love for Him, and they will be the basis upon which He honors us. May we be patient in tribulation and strong in faith giving glory to God. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:7-9) As I said, the end has a beginning. The beginning comes to us in the form of the word of the Lord to us individually. He has given us days and circumstances in which we can choose to glorify Him out from our hearts. Our love for the Lord is declared with each act of obedience and with each step we take in the will of God for our lives. Those steps, when taken in the will of God, will lead us through difficulties, darkness, opposition, and the overcoming of our own weaknesses. They will bring us unto the fulfillment of God’s purpose in our lives. That end is to be conformed to His image. He alone knows that image and the work needed in our lives for us to be conformed to it. “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11). Paul tells us that we should be “to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.” When His work is completed in us we will carry His glory and that glory will reflect back to Him and His work. When His work is completed in us, we will be at the end of the thoughts God has for us and as we walk in His way God will be able to bring us to the very end of our lives in victory. Take heart my friend the end is just around the bend in the road.