Our ability to navigate God’s call to more rises and falls on our understanding, belief and obedience to His greater purposes. To understand them, we must surrender to His will (John 7:17).

It is in our hearts – where man believes – that God stores His desires for “greater than” things. These are the desires He will give us as we surrender to His will (Psalm 37:4).

The LORD’s greatest commandment is that we love Him with all our being. Love is more than an emotion. It is a choice that catalyzes our obedience to His will. If we love Him, we will obey His commandments (John 14:15).

To understand the greater purposes of God is to know His heart; for those purposes are His greatest desires. We appropriate His grace for them through the faith He has given us in them. The joy of participation in the greater work of God is found in our obedience to them.

So, how can we know the greater purposes of God? Let me suggest we look at the beginning and the end of His story.

At the beginning, God lost something. In the end, He will get it all back – for nothing will be denied Him (Job 42:2). Many have not considered that this is the plot of the whole story.

God lost three things in the rebellion of mankind: He lost His reign over their hearts; He lost His habitation with, and in, His people; and, He lost intimacy with the children He loves.

Since that fateful day, He has been working to get back the desires of His heart, expressed in the creation of man. In the end, it all comes together.

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:2-4

There are at least three things to note in this passage. First, the preparation of the bride precedes the restoration of all things. Second, God will be with them (habitation), they shall be His people (intimacy), and He will be their God (reign). Third, it is then – and only then – that the people of God will benefit.

This is most important: The order is intentional and revealing. His story is first and foremost about Him and His desires. The same is true regarding His call to more, for each one of us.

If we have prepared our minds to be renewed, we will come to understand, believe and obey God’s call to more – in the context (and constraints) of His greater purposes. More on this later.

Humbly yours and forever His,