God’s ways are more peaceful than ours. We can know peace because of our trust in who he is and what he intends for us. He loves us more deeply than anyone else, knows us better, and has a “good, pleasing, and perfect will” for all who follow (Rom. 12:2).
As followers, the weight of the world is not on our shoulders, but on his. Our calling is to faithfulness, not success. This realization makes our challenges more manageable and less stressful. It is our responsibility to hear his voice and do his bidding. The results belong to him. Ours is the trying.
By participating in the work of the Most High God, we become partners with him in his exciting plans. When we are busy conquering the world for ourselves, we inevitably become dissatisfied. Our most ambitious plans cannot match the grandeur of his plans. Multi-millionaires grow discontent with their wealth, rock stars cannot drink enough fame, kings long for more lands to vanquish. In the end, what the world has to offer just is not enough.
When I worked for President George W. Bush in the White House, I had a full access pass enabling me to go anywhere in the West Wing—which is really the power center of the White House. In the beginning of my service, I experienced the thrill of walking through those storied passageways, remembering all of the historical figures who had trod there, from James Madison and Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt. Wars began and ended in those hallowed rooms. The place was brimming with the thrill of history.
But in time, the thrill waned for me. I well remember when the initial magic of the Rose Garden wore off. I was walking through the Garden just outside the Oval Office, typing on my mobile phone as I walked. I glanced up at the Rose Garden and then returned to my phone. Then it struck me: the Rose Garden had become just a garden.
We were made for so much more than worldly designs. Our grandest schemes are pale shadows of his far more thrilling plans. In learning to serve, we grow into the greatness he has in store for us. Only storming the Gates of Hell is an adventure worthy of the eternity he has sown in our hearts. In the words of the song, “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot, God dares us “to move like today never happened before.”
God’s work is not confined to just “winning souls.” It includes that, but it is far more. He cares about every part of his world. He wants to straighten out twisted political systems, heal the sick, lift up the good, the true, and the beautiful, triumph over Evil, feed the hungry, empower the powerless, and set the captive free. His Great Commission complements his creation mandate to steward the Earth, building societies that reflect God’s Kingdom.
Pietistic theologies that reduce God’s concerns to just the spiritual realm distort the all-encompassing message of the Bible to bring everything under the Lordship of Christ. No square inch of the world is beyond God’s concern. He cares deeply about architecture, theater, philosophy, and math. Once we learn the comprehensive nature of the Kingdom, every part of our lives becomes God’s workshop. Worship becomes singing and sewing. Mission becomes evangelism and energy exploration -- and everything else.