Where Are We Going? Part I

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 15, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

As Worldview Warriors is going through Romans, a major theme throughout the whole book is the contrast between how we used to live as sinners in rebellion against God compared to how we are supposed to live as born again believers. And one thing Paul emphasizes on is the destination of these two lifestyles. Destination is one of the four key questions that our worldview addresses. Refresh yourself on that before moving on.

Where are we going? First, to know where we are going, we first need to know where we came from. Our understanding of our origins can reveal where we think we are going. I’m not just talking about Creation or Evolution, but also your life story so far. Where you grew up, how you grew up, your lifestyle back then, the choices you made, etc. I cannot answer those questions for anyone except myself. But take a look at where you came from. Take a look at where you are now. Where are you heading?

In our passage of focus this week and next week, Romans 6:19-23, Paul makes clear there are two ultimate destinations: death or eternal life. I am going to emphasize on that more next week, but today I want to zoom in and discuss our short-term destinations and goals. Where are we going? Where are we headed? Nowhere is a possible answer. Do we have a goal we are trying to reach? What are you trying to accomplish with the task or job you are doing right now?

In reality, not many people think about these things. We are asked these questions all the time in school. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I bounced around several possible job descriptions as I grew up. In second grade I wanted to be a teacher. In fourth grade I wanted to be an astronomer. Later in high school I took a serious look at seismology, but that fell through. In college, I went from civil engineering to computer science, but this whole time I really did not know what I wanted to do with that education. A year and a half before I graduated, after attending to the 2009 Urbana Convention, God started me onto the path towards teaching, which is where I am now. At the 2006 Urbana Convention, God revealed to me that part of my destination in life was to be in full-time ministry with youth. And teaching right now very well could be at least part of the fulfillment of that vision.

Most of us have or had this dream of what we want to do, where we want to go. Some of us are making active steps towards accomplishing that dream. Some of us have seen that dream die. Some of us are actively pursuing our dreams or have even accomplished them. Some of us are wandering aimlessly, not even knowing where we are supposed to be going. Some of us are lost, not knowing where to go, or going in circles. Some of our dreams are small; some are big. Some want to be a CEO of a company. Some want to be a professional sports player or a band artist. Some just want to be a Regular Joe, be one of the crowd, and not be noticed.

However, some of our dreams are good, and some are not so good. I’m sure a number of us have sought out a dream we wanted to fulfill and when we got there it was nothing like we expected it to be. Sometimes it is the dream destination that is not fulfilling. Sometimes it is the expectation of that dream that was faulty. A great example would be in sports. Any athlete has their dream of winning that medal, or that trophy, or that cup. Every year, the goal is to be the one on top. Only one athlete or one team makes it. And for a moment it is the ultimate mountain top. But does it last? Can anyone tell you who won the Super Bowl ten years ago? Only the sport fanatics or those who have really good memories can. Was that dream worth it for these athletes?

Steve Lillis, a friend of mine who is a professional billiards trick shot artist, dealt with this dream. He was at the top of the world, one of the best in the game. He pursued this dream. But he did so at the expense of his childhood faith and his integrity. He would hustle, party, and strive for that pinnacle of fame and glory. But in his powerful testimony, he describes how he was in Vegas, and met a famous baseball player playing Blackjack to hide from the media. And that was the catalyst that helped him realize the dream, the destination, he was chasing was full of emptiness. Not long afterwards, he put the game, his idol, his dream at the foot of the cross and let it die. But twelve years later, God resurrected it and he is now closing in on 20 years of using pool as a tool to preach the Gospel, using his trick shots as a visual tool to teach practical life lessons.

Throughout Romans, we see this key concept of being slaves to sin and slaves to Christ. Before Christ, we are slaves to sin. That means our worldview is entrapped by the power of sin and its focus is only on serving self. This includes our dreams and our destination. Paul tells us that sin leads to more sin and more sin leads to death. Many of our dreams do not satisfy and some of them come at a painful cost. The man who works 70-80 hours a week, makes good money, but is never there for his family. He may have his dream job, but what does it really bring him?

Jesus said: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” This brings up another critical part of Christianity that makes it all work: the Resurrection. When we choose to lay down our dreams to follow Christ, yes, they will die. But when we do that, God will resurrect them. It may not be in the same form or picture we had envisioned, but it will be purer and so much better than anything we could have imagined, because God’s plans are higher and better than our plans. We may not like the route God takes us to get to our destinations, but he knows exactly what we need in order to fulfill that destination.

We all know how to make our plans and how to take steps to reach the goals we desire. But we need to know what those goals are and we need to find out if they align with God’s master plan. Next week, we will take a step back and see the big picture. Do our plans and goals have long term consequences we will regret? Or are we seeking to follow God’s plan as best as we can?

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