Josh Eley is in Year 2 of the Send SFL Residency Program at Family Church.

To recover and pursue God’s design – nothing has been more essential for our existence as human beings, yet more shirked because of our nature. Throughout the Bible we see this reoccur time and time again. God made us in His image, thus mandating us to live according to His purpose, His design. Yet despite our best efforts and intentions, we fall. Romans 3:23 states, “we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” One of the fundamental truths of Scripture is that we fail at living out God’s design for our lives, yet by His grace we are given a chance to recover. Not only to recover, but to actively pursue His plan crafted by His hands.

Though God’s love is limitless, God’s self-induced ability to tolerate sin is not. This makes the recovery and pursuit of God’s design, and the means by which we get there, the single most important decision in one’s life. As you have read in the 3 Circles and in earlier writings, the catalyst to make it to the recovery and pursuit stage is repentance and belief. Once we have repented and are now pursuing God’s design, we must ask, “What is God’s design for us?” I take caution here because it is all too easy to fall into the trap that God’s design is individualistic. What I mean by this is that His design should not be mistaken for God’s personal will for our lives (i.e. what occupation we are going to pursue or what house to buy and where). God’s design must be understood in the universal application.

God’s design is for us to live in harmony with Him, to worship Him, spend time with Him, to see to it that no one strays from Him, and to place Him above all else in our lives. God’s design for His children is to exist in an unbroken relationship with Him. The time we spend in recovery and pursuit of His plan is supremely rewarding because we are actively engaging in a relationship with Him. We are worshipping Him and striving to garner a close walk with Him. However, it is in this stage of trying to walk closer and closer with God that we are the most susceptible to attacks by Satan.

Since we all fall short of God’s glory – we all sin – we consistently vacillate in and out of the recovery and pursuit stage of our walk with Christ. Fortunately, God gave us His Word by which we garner our standard of living and discover how God wants us to grow closer to Him. It is important that we don’t become complacent in this stage, but recognize that our walk with God is ever growing and evolving. For this to take place, we need to be actively spending time with Him, reading, seeking and meditating on His Word. With these truths to guide us, we can experience nothing more fulfilling than living God’s purposeful design.