David said in Psalm 19: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his
handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is
no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."
God has made Himself known in nature. I have become conscious and aware of the fact of God's
existence. All around me there is a witness. The voice of God is speaking to me and telling me
of the fact of Godand it cannot be denied.
Recently, as I was looking through volume "E" of the encyclopedia, I started reading about the
eye. I became fascinated with the facets of the human eyethe muscles that control the
movements, the methods by which the pictures are taken at 18 impulses per second and
impressed upon this vitreous jelly substance, vibrating the message into the brain so that I get the
images and the color distinguishing. I was amazed at the intricate nature and the complexities of
the human eye. I was just overwhelmed!
The description of the human eye spoke to me about the wisdom and creative genius God has
exercised in creating this human body. For me to think that the eye "just happened" is
impossible. It's incredible design and function gave me a very powerful testimony of the fact
that God does existthe fact that God made me, using infinite wisdom in the creation of the
Man becomes conscious of God through the universe about him because "Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." The universe speaks to us of the fact of God's existence. But once I become conscious of the fact that God does exist, make that acknowledgment, and realize that God has created me as the highest order of His created beings that I can observethen I begin to wonder about the purpose of creation.
"God, if You have created me above the animal kingdom, if You have created me with these capacities and these abilities that I possess, why did You create me?" What is God's purpose in creation? More specifically, what is the purpose for my life? Do I die like a dog to rot as a log? Or did God have a real reason when He formed man out of the dust of the earth, breathed into him the breath of God, and man became a living soul?
What Does God Require of Me?
Why did He create me? These questions become of primary concern and interest. Does life have a meaning or not? Is there a purpose for being or not? Is there a reason behind it all? Why does life seem to be so empty and unfulfilled?
Psychologists tell us that the neurotic problems of man begin with a basic frustrationthat awareness, that inner consciousness that there must be something more to life than what he has yet experienced. Every man is conscious of an emptiness within his life. There must be a reason for living beyond what he has already discovered. There must be something more than just this! Like the song, "Is that all there is?"or is there more?
In searching for the answer, I turn to the Word of God. It declares that God definitely does have
a plan and a purpose for my life. God created me with a design and with a purpose in His mind.
I'm not here by accident. My life isn't a "fortuitous concurrence of accidental circumstances."
God has His hand on it all the way along. God has a reason, a plan, and a purpose for not only
my life but for your life as an individual, for not only the overall population and mankind in
general but for individuals as well.
God has a plan and a purpose for you, and He created you with that plan and purpose in mind.
The greatest and the busiest life apart from God is empty. To try to live apart from God's plan is
utter futility. King Solomon lived a satiated life. He describes it in Ecclesiastes 2: "Whatsoever
mine eyes desired I kept not from them" (v. 10). He did absolutely everything that came into his
heart and mind. He glutted himself, looking for something that would be fulfilling, that would
meet that deep, inner need.
For my own good, for my own well-being,
for my own sake of sanityI must discover
Gods plan and purpose for my life.
Solomon indulged himself with life. He sought for wisdom and applied himself until he became
the wisest man who ever lived. But fulfillment didn't lie there. So he indulged himself with
pleasurebut it wasn't there either. Then he began to pursue great works and possessions. He
began to build monuments after his namebut fulfillment wasn't there. Then he sought it in
wealth, but it wasn't there. He sought it in sex, but it wasn't there. After satiating himself with
all these thingsno fulfillment! He finally came to the conclusion, "Emptiness, emptiness,
always emptiness, and vexation of spirit." He said, "I hate life." It was empty!
If you leave God out of your life, you're destined to end up with an emptiness within that cannot
be filled by anything. You can try to fulfill yourself with other things, but they'll never fill the
real need within your life.
For my own good, for my own well-being, for my own sake of sanityI must discover God's
plan and God's purpose for my life. What does God want of me? Why did God make me? What
does God require of me?
In Deuteronomy 18:13 we find that God requires this of me: Moses, in making a summation of the law, the commandments and the judgments of God, declared, "Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God." What does God require of you? Perfection. Jesus said the same thing, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48).
What does it mean to be "perfect"? Let me ask you this: "What does it mean to be imperfect?" I
understand that much better. The root word of "sin" means "missing the mark." The root word
of "perfection" comes from "hitting the mark." To be perfect means to absolutely hit the mark,
to be exactly what God wants you to be.
When I read in the Scriptures that God requires me to be "perfect" with the Lord my God, I immediately realize that I have failed. Standing in the consciousness of the ideal of Jesus Christ, I'm aware of the fact that I'm a sinner. I've missed the mark!
God requires that I be "perfect."
Immediately, I realize that I've missed the mark.
I'm a sinner. What do I do now?
When I stand with my fellowman, I get a different consciousness. I say, "I know I'm not perfect, but at least I'm not like they are!" I can always find someone whose face is a little dirtier than mine, and I take comfort in that fact. "I know mine isn't clean, but did you see how dirty his is!" We look at our lives the same way. "I know I'm not totally clean, but at least I'm not as dirty as someone else!"
Jesus said that in measuring yourself by men you do err (Luke 18:9-14). 1 must measure myself
by the ideal in Jesus Christbecause if I want to know why God created man, if I want to know
the purpose of the creation of man, I cannot look around and find it. I must look to Jesus Christ,
for in Him I find God's ideal fulfilled. In Christ I find what God intended when He made man
and placed him on the earth.
So, as I look at Jesus Christ and stand in His presence, the presence of this ideal, I realize and
must confess that I'm a sinner. I've missed the mark. Even when I wanted to hit it and did all in
my power to hit it, I still missed. I've failed God. I'm a sinner. I realize that immediately. I've failed in fulfilling the purpose of God for man. Is there any hope for me? Is there any chance for mea sinful, failing man?
The word "gospel" means "good news." The Scripture says that the disciples went everywhere
preaching the good news. What "good news?" The good news that there is help, there is hope the good news of God's love for sinning, failing, rebellious man who is missing the mark. The "good news" is that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"(John 3:16).
God's ideal requirement for me is that I be perfect. I've failed. What about me now? What does God require of me now?
They came to Jesus one day and asked, "What must we do to do the works of God?" This is a question of perennial interest.
God's good news is that He has provided for our failure. God has accepted the responsibility of
the guilt of my sin and my weaknesses. Jesus Christ took upon Himself my penaltyall my sin
and all my missing of the mark. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one
to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus, taking
my sin upon Himself, died in my place. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.
God provided for my failure, for my sin.
What Must I Do to Do the Works of God?
Jesus said, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:29). That's simple enough, isn't it? God required perfectionI missed. What does He now require of me, the imperfect creature that I am? He requires that I just believe on His provision of love in Jesus Christ and that I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. This is the work of God: that you believe on Him whom He has sent. It's so easy that anyone can do it. "You mean I can do it right now?" You bet you can!
When I believe in Jesus Christaccepting Him as my personal Lord and Saviour, realizing that
He took my sin and my failures upon Himself and died for me, that redemption covers me as a
personal individual, and I say, "O Jesus, I believe and accept and take You now as my Lord and
Saviour"what happens? Jesus comes into my life with a vital power. The Scripture says, "As
many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on his name" (John 1: 12).
Jesus comes into my life with powera new dynamic, a new force. This new power begins to
change me. He takes away my old nature bent toward sin and constantly missing the mark, and
He gives me, instead, His new nature. He declared of Himself, "I do always those things that
please him [the Father]" (John 8:29).
Jesus Christ gives me the nature that helps me do those things that are pleasing to the Fatherthose things I couldn't do because of the weakness of my flesh, as I'm just a miserable failure.
Christ now begins to give me the power to make those necessary changes so I can start hitting
the mark even as God desires that I do.
God requires that I just believe
on His provision of love in Jesus Christ
accepting Him as my personal Lord and Saviour!
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are
become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus imparts to me that new nature by which I can now become
perfect and hit the mark!
Now, I have no intention of giving you the false concept that I'm saying, "I'm perfect." Far from
it! Every time I say, "Lord, there's nothing to this one. Let me show You I can hit the mark," I
miss it. Every time I try in myself and I'm not yielding to those forces of His Spirit within, I still
miss the markand I'm still stupid enough to keep trying in my own self. But I've found that
every time I yield to that power and dynamic of His Spirit within my life, He puts me right on
target. I can hit it with His power and help as He dwells within me. His nature is fulfilled within
me and I become more and more like Jesus Christ.
Paul the apostle, writing 30 years after his conversion on the Damascus Road, said, "Not as
though I had already attained, either were already perfect" (Phil. 3:12). This great saint is
saying, "I'm not yet perfect. I'm still missing. Not as muchpraise God for that!" There are
those glorious times when I yield and I'm hitting the bullseye. God is teaching me the lessons
day by day of my absolute need for Him and the absolute necessity of turning everything over to
Him. God's ideal is being fulfilled in me through the power of Jesus Christ. My failures are now
taken care of. I'm on the right path. By holding on to the hand of Jesus and receiving His power
and strength, He is guiding me. Along with Paul, I'm pressing towards the mark for the prize of
the high calling of God which is in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).
"Be ye therefore perfect." Don't let that discourage you. Of course you can't be perfect! But
yield yourself to those forces which will give you that new nature in Jesus Christ, enabling you
to fulfill God's ideal requirement. God hasn't given up on His ideal requirement. As I hold on to
the hand of Jesus Christ, one of these days I'll be standing right in the presence of God, the One
who created the whole universe.
As God looks at me with His searching eyes from which nothing is hidden, I'll stand there in the
bare nakedness of my beingbut, praise God, He's going to see me in Christ absolutely perfect!
Why? Not because Chuck Smith is perfect, but because Jesus is able to keep me from falling
and to present me faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24). If you
believe on Jesus Christ and yield to the power of his Spirit within your life, one day He'll present
you faultless before the throne of God.
If you believe and trust in Him, the work of God is already at work in your life helping you to hit
the mark that He has set. If not, salvation is very simple. All you have to do is say, "Lord, I
know I've failed, but take over and help me. Lord, I turn it over to You." If you within your
heart at this moment will do that, then He'll take over. He's just waiting.
Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in" (Rev. 3:20). He's standing at your heart's door right now. He's knocking. He's
waiting. Will you open it? As the Spirit of God is speaking to your heart, will you say, "Okay,
Lord, I give up. Take over. Make me what You want me to be." It's just that easy. Won't you
do it now?
You don't have to go forward at an altar call, you don't have to be singing. All you have to do is
decide within your heart, "Lord, I turn it over to You." And He will give you that power to
become a child of God.