Carol Round

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”—Colossians 3:17 (NIV).

More than once in my lifetime, I’ve heard people say, “You must be a woman on a mission.” They were referring to my hurried pace, whether walking down the school halls where I taught for 30 years, or through the halls of some other institution where I’ve served.

Others, including my now deceased father, would say, “Carol, you need to slow down.”

Serious, I would reply, “I will slow down when I’m in my grave.” Now, my aging body has had the last laugh. While I’m still a woman on a mission, my steps no longer keep pace with my desire to hurry through life, to have it all and do it all.

Maybe that’s because my priorities have changed. It’s no longer about what I desire, but what God wants for my life.

What does God want for us? First, God wants us to trust in His Son as Savior and Lord (Philippians 2:9–11). Second Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord . . . is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Second, God wants us to “become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). He wants all of His children to be like Jesus. To do that, God refines us, chipping away at our flaws that prevent us from becoming who He designed us to be (Hebrews 12:7; James 1:12). And sometimes, it hurts.

When the Israelites’ complained they didn’t know what God wanted from them, the prophet Micah said, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

We make things complicated when God’s desire for us is very simple. Man adds rules and creates laws, causing frustration and killing the joy found in following Christ (2 Corinthians 3:6).

In Matthew 22:37, Jesus tells us “to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” In Matthew 22:38, He adds, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” These two verses reveal the essence of our mission.

God isn’t a puppet master, pulling strings to force us to comply with His wishes. Through an intimate, loving relationship with Him through His Son, our Heavenly Father wants our obedience to stem from a heartfelt desire to be pleasing in His sight.

To please God requires us to be fully committed disciples who are willing to give absolutely everything for Him. He is worthy of just that; however, there’s not a person in this world even close to being worthy of His love. But, God does love us. He’s our Creator, our Sustainer, our Savior and our King. Everything we have comes from Him. Our mission is to give back what He has first given to us.

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