To be all you can be

Psalm 138:8 “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me.”

Have you heard the popular slogan for the U.S. Army: “Be all you can be?”  It’s similar to a saying we frequently hear at high school graduation ceremonies: “You can be anything you want to be!”  The truth is, however, that we can’t be anything we want to be.  It’s good to have high ideals and goals in life, but there are limits on every one of us, and while we might reach for the stars, we might not ever really reach them. 

But let’s think more about the statement “Be all you can be.” Do you realize that that statement is only true if you are a believer in Jesus Christ?  As the promise from the verse above states on behalf of the children of God “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.”  Of course, the God Who made us has the highest possible purpose in mind for us.  But apart from a relationship with Him, we can neither know nor fulfill this purpose. It’s certainly nothing we can do on our own.  For us to “be all we can be” on our own, we run up against the fact of our own human weaknesses – and we all have many of them.  But when God works in our life with His supernatural power, what we even think is possible can be far exceeded.  Listen to the words of Ephesians 3:20-21 that say just that – particularly as the King James Version so wonderfully states it: “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” 

So, do you really want to be all you can be?  Well, this verse says God can do what we can THINK. More than that, He can do what we can ASK or think.   But there’s more. He can do ALL we can ask or think. But not only that, He can do ABOVE all we can ask or think. But there’s more, for He can do ABUNDANTLYabove all we can ask or think.  But God’s Word still isn’t done, for it says He can do EXCEEDINGLYabundantly above all we can ask or think! And how does He do this?  Only by His power that is at work in us. 

But note that it isn’t this life only to which this verse speaks. Notice that it says that God can do this “throughout all ages, world without end.” In other words, God’s purpose for each and every believer will be fulfilled throughout all eternity.  What God has in mind for you and me who know Him is far beyond anything we can ever get our minds around in the here and now.  It’s an eternal purpose, and it’s a divine purpose.  It’s the very purpose He began in our lives when we were born of His Spirit and became joint heirs with Christ.  From that moment on “it (was) God who (has been working) in (us), both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). It’s the highest purpose a human being can ever be called to. 

Paul put it this way as he looked at his life both in the here and now and in eternity: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Obviously, it is only a Christian that can ever say such a thing.  You see, the highest purpose for any human being was demonstrated in the life of Christ.  It was Jesus and Jesus alone Who gave His life for the salvation of the world. His was one perfect life, the only such life that was ever lived. When we put our faith in Him, He comes to live within us by His very Spirit. It’s an awesome thing. 

However, as we all know, while we live in this flesh there is a battle going on, for “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).  Further, “The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17).”  But as we “walk by the Spirit, (we) will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). That’s the life of a believer that begins the moment he or she believes. However, one day that struggle will end, at which time “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me” in absolute perfection. For you see, one day soon we will see Christ and the following promise from 1 John 3:2 will become a wonderful reality: “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He (i.e., Jesus) appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as he is.”

So again, do you really want to “be all you can be?” And who wouldn’t want that?  Well, if so, there is only one way – and that way is to put your faith and trust in the only One Who IS the Way, and Who is also the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

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