Where are We Going?
January 22, 2011
Consider these questions for a moment. They are three of the most vital questions you can ever ask concerning your life: Where are you going? Why are you going there? How will you know when you have gotten there?
What is your answer?
Most people don’t know. Most people have no idea where they are going or even if they are going anywhere at all. They certainly have no idea of how to know when they have “arrived” or “gotten there.”
Thinking about this on the most physical level, most people would think it ludicrous to head out on a trip not knowing the answers to these questions, yet this is how most people treat their lives! Most people just do whatever is in front of them; whatever comes their way. They do not even imagine that they might have some power to determine the course that they are on, or the ability to change that course if it is contrary to everything they believe they are meant to be or meant to accomplish. Instead, most people just drift along, almost never realizing that their life is passing and being wasted and squandered, because they never stop to consider: “Where am I going?” or, “Why am I going there?” They never even get to the third question – how they know if or when they have arrived, and what they are supposed to do once they have gotten there. They have no goals; and even if they do have goals, they have no strategies to achieve or accomplish those goals.
At the beginning of this New Year, I would like you to look at these questions and consider them with me for a few moments. Just think about this: How much time have you given to considering, “Where am I going?” “Why am I going there?” “How do I know when I have gotten there?” Do you realize what it means if your answer is that you never think about these things at all? It means that (even as a Christian) you are floating around without direction; that you are just sort of drifting until you die. You may have a certain vague idea about a direction in which you wish to head, but these ideas rarely interfere with your general drift through life. So let me ask you directly: Where are you going? Why are going there? What do you plan to do if you get there? I believe that these are fair questions which can help you. I also believe that these are wonderful questions to consider as you begin a new year.
Jesus’ life was filled with purpose. He told His parents, “Did you not know I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:45). At the end, He “set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). Then, facing the cross, the essence of the question the disciples ask Jesus is: “Where are You going?” (John 13:36). Jesus answers the question of His disciples by saying that “Where I am going you cannot follow.” Jesus knew where He was going, even though at this point He doesn’t specifically spell it out to His disciples. Moreover, Jesus goes even farther than their question, because He answers my second question. He answers by telling them why He is going when He says that He is going in order “to be glorified.” Jesus goes on by assuring them to: “not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust in Me. I am going to prepare a place for you… you know the way” (John 14:1&4). It is at this point that Thomas in frustration and confusion interjects in John 14:5, “Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” and Jesus answers, giving them, and us, direction for now and direction forever. How can we know the way? Jesus answers: “I am the way” (John 14:6).
Jesus is the way for us. That means Jesus is concerned for where we are going. He is also concerned for what we are doing when we get there. So, He gives us the strategy for our journey in Him in John 15:26-27: “The Spirit will testify about Me… you must also testify.” Where are you going? If you belong to Jesus Christ, you are going… TO BE A WITNESS! Jesus then says immediately following this: “I have told you all this so that you will not go astray,” that is, “so that you will stay on track on the run home; so that you will persist in being my witnesses, and not give in to the pressure to deny Me when people attempt to harm you because you believe in and testify about Me.”
We come into this world for a very short season. Psalm 39:5 says that “each man’s life is but a breath.” We too, like the disciples, are confused about where we are going and why. We are confused as well about what our purpose is when we finally get there. Do not worry. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, if you have a personal relationship with Him through faith, then there is nothing more vital to your life than that living relationship. Christ is on the finish line waiting to see you through even the worst, the most difficult miles of your race (your life). He is urging you on. Don’t forget: Christ is on the finish line, but He is also with you every step along the way – even through the difficulties and confusions. You just need to “keep your eyes fixed on Him” (Hebrews 12:2) because, as He says, He is the way.
How do you do this? How do you keep your eyes fixed on Christ? You do this as you study His Word, as you meet with Him in prayer, as you obey His commandments, and as you help your brothers and sisters in Christ to accomplish this as well.
As you run your race, remember what winning this race is all about. It involves opening your heart to the hearts of others. It means speaking of the love of Christ to the souls of others. It means showing care and concern for the people God brings into your life. It means knowing that the gospel, which saves souls through you, involves you actually being used by God to touch the souls of lost people everywhere.
In His infinite love, God calls you to speak that gospel, to share that gospel, to live the gospel, and to prize Jesus above everything and above everyone else… because He alone is worthy to be praised and worthy to be prized. This is what the journey is all about.
By the way, this journey is called "a race" (Hebrews 12:1). Well, it’s really a marathon. Train hard. Run strong! Enjoy it all (even the hills).