2 Thessalonians 1:11
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.” (NIV)
“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power.” (NKJV)
I find this particular scripture encouraging.
First it indicates that God has given me a purpose–The NKJ even calls it the good pleasure of His goodness–as if the assignment of purpose on my life brings him deep pleasure. It’s the kind of pleasure a husband has over his wife. He enjoys her beauty, the softness of her skin, her caress and touch, her respect of him. These bring him great joy–the kind where words are unacceptable as descriptors–simply the bursting of pleasure from deep within the heart. When the Lord assigns purpose to my life his heart bursts with pleasure.
Beyond purpose is a calling. I am not simply given an assignment to complete in life, He has called my name. “Robb, come over here. I’ve called you by name.” The purpose gives direction, the calling involves intimacy. How boring would purpose be without the calling? Probably much like I experience now. Get up, go to work, do your job–this is purpose. Granted, purpose from the Lord involves more pleasure (you know you’re doing it for him). But when he calls you!! When the King of all creation calls you by name and says, “come over here!” Oh the depth of intimacy. He’s not simply assigning a job, he’s calling into covenant. He’s not simply granting a direction, He’s offering to take the journey with you. Purpose without the call leads to mediocrity.
The third encouraging mark of this passage is best illustrated from the NKJ. God will fulfill the work of faith with power. I can’t help but be drawn back to acts when Jesus told his disciples that “the Holy Spirit will come upon you with power.” Two parts here: the Holy Spirit will come on you, and there will be power. I used to long to be powerful and might–influential if you will. Now I just long to be immersed in the power of God. Power to get up and pray every day. Power to overcome fear. Power to love my wife more. Power to be a better dad for my kids. Having the purpose is good. Hearing the call is satisfying. Operating in the power of the Holy Spirit guarantees success. Do you get it? The purpose gives direction. The call ensures intimacy while the purpose is completed. The work of faith with power is the completion of the purpose not by my own strength but in the power of the Holy Spirit. This one verse covers what so many long for in life–purpose in life–but what so many don’t realize is they need the call of God to ensure all is done with love, and the power of the Holy Spirit to promise that the task will be completed.