“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” Ephesians 1:5
There is something about God that we almost never hear and is rarely ever taught but is clearly shown us in Ephesians 1. God has an eternal purpose. Before you rush past that I want you to stop and think about it for a minute. God has a will and a purpose that he deeply desires to accomplish. This verse calls it the good pleasure of His will.
As a matter of fact this verse in Ephesians says that God predestined us to be His children according to the good pleasure of His will. I want to stop for a moment and talk about the word “predestined”. It’s a word that we are often afraid to even think about because of the endless religious arguments that surround the word. But I want you to take a moment and set aside all the controversy surrounding this Biblical word and just think about the word itself.
The word predestine simply means: to predetermine or decide beforehand. You can think about it this way: if I wanted to build a deck on my house I would decide before hand to purchase the necessary tools and materials to build the deck. In other words I would predestine the materials or tools that I would need to accomplish my goal, in this case to build a deck. To predestine something indicates that you have a plan or purpose in mind. God chose us in Christ Jesus as His workmanship to accomplish His eternal purpose. It says in verse 11 of this same chapter that we are predestined according to HIS purpose who works all things after the counsel of His own will.
Often times the reason we don’t see or believe the fact that God has an eternal purpose is because we are too caught up in our own purposes and goals. If there is one thing that I would say marks this generation more than almost anything else is purposelessness. The great majority of young people are wandering about purposeless and disengaged from life simply trying to make it through the day and be happy. When we see the purposelessness of our generation something rises up within us and says: “we were created for more than that! We need to give this generation a sense of purpose.”
But I want to tell you something that might shock you, there is something more dangerous than purposelessness and that is having a purpose that is not in line with the eternal purpose of God. At least if we are purposeless we have hope that we will come to realize that we have no purpose and we will turn to God for His purpose. But if we get caught up in our own purpose and goal (it may even be a purpose of doing good things) there will be little hope of us seeing our need to pursue the purpose of God. Truly we should not fear failure nearly as much as we should fear being successful in that which is inconsequential in the eternal goal of God.
For God to be able to accomplish His purpose through us He had to make us His children sharing the same life and nature as Him. We all were born of the flesh with fleshly parents but God made a way through Christ Jesus for us to be born a second time but this time not of corruptible seed but of the incorruptible Word of God. (see 1 Peter 1:23) He made a way for us to be born of the Spirit of God. Once we are born of God we are His children by life and therefore share His life and nature. (see 2 Peter 1:4).
As we continue to meditate on Ephesians one we begin to see that that God has done so much for us as believers! He has spoken well of us in the heavenlies, He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world to make us holy and without blame before Him, He has placed us as His children, He has made us accepted in the beloved, He has given us redemption through His blood, He has forgiven our sins, He has given us wisdom and prudence, He has made known unto us the mystery of His will, He is summing up all things IN Christ, He has given us an inheritance, and He has sealed us with the Holy Spirit of promise! Hallelujah for all that He has done for us! But remember he has done all this for us not to just make us good Christians but to furnish us and to put us in a position whereby He can accomplish His purpose will through us
In conclusion, in Ephesians 1:7 we begin see that the Lord decided beforehand to place us as His children to accomplish the good pleasure of His will. God has a will and purpose that He wants to reveal to us and then He wants to fully constitute us with that purpose. What we all need, me included, to really receive this and be brought in line with it, is revelation by the Spirit of God. So I want to encourage us all to pray, as we meditate on Ephesians 1, the same prayer Paul prays later in this chapter that God would give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowing of Him and that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened.
Father, we ask that you would give each one of us revelation by your Spirit of your eternal purpose and that you would cause the eyes of our understanding to be enlightened as to what the good pleasure of your will is and spoil us for any other goal and purpose but your eternal purpose. In Jesus name and through His blood. Amen.