God’s Plan for Man’s Life; Why Are We Still Here?
“And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said, therefore, A certain nobleman* went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Matthew 19:11-13 KJV)
The wise writer of the book of Ecclesiastes tells us that when all is said and done, from cradle to the grave, through all the challenges of choosing between vain things and real things, when all is said and done the whole duty of a human being is to “Fear God and keep His commandments.” This is God’s plan for humanity. It gets better than this. Human beings have failed woefully in this duty. But God’s boundless love continued to reach out to us, making provision for our salvation, as our Lord Jesus came as a human being to live, suffer, and die for our salvation and to rise in victory over sin and death. Thus, whoever believes in Him has access to eternal life (John 3:16).
We now have a new mission to go into the world and “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” So, until Jesus comes again, this is our whole duty. Yes, when we are disciples and we are disciple-makers, we are contributing to creating a community of people who are in a living relationship with God, including trusting Him, fearing Him, and obeying Him (back to the Ecclesiastes 12 passage). God’s plan is to fit us all into His Kingdom while living in this world and eventually to experience the fullness of the Kingdom when our work here in this world is done (Revelations 21 and 22).
If this is God’s plan, then why are we still here? Why does God not simply take those who are His into this joyous eternal home and destroy all the evil, ugly, painful things of life now? The disciples of our Lord Jesus had similar questions about 2,000 years ago during the last week our Lord spent with them before His crucifixion. Instead of responding to them directly, He told them a parable about the nobleman who gave funds for investments to ten people and told them, “Occupy till I come.” They were expected to do business with the investments until the nobleman returns. We saw in that parable what the nobleman did to those servants based on how “they occupied” while waiting for His return. So, we too can ask, how are we occupying till Jesus, our Saviour and Lord, returns? What have we done with what He has invested in us? That is why we are here. First, as disciple-makers, how are we making disciples? Then, as husbands, wives, children, and parents, how are we fulfilling our callings with what God has invested in us? Then, as different professionals (farmers, teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers, pastors, mechanics, social workers, lawyers, administrators, employers, employees, etc.), how are we engaged in these callings to show we are occupying until we are called Home, or until the Lord Jesus comes? If we do all these with excellence, we will be glorifying God. In these ways, we will be God’s witnesses in a broken world until He comes again. Indeed, it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to do exactly this while we are still here in this world.
Rather than wondering why we are still here and when the Kingdom is going to be restored in full, we are called to listen to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ before He was lifted up into heaven, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8). So, wherever we are, we are here because we have work to do as witnesses to the Lord Jesus at church, at home, in our professions, and in the public. Let us be empowered to occupy faithfully and with excellence until our Lord Jesus comes.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for saving us and putting us on our journey toward our heavenly Home. Grant us the wisdom to occupy well in our communities until You take us Home. Grant us wisdom in our different professions and homes to be diligent in whatever You call us to do, to serve You faithfully and with excellence so that people will know we belong to You and will be attracted to You. Thank you for leaving us here for a purpose: to be Your instruments for transformation.