Where Are You Going?
By Bernard W. Schnippert
Where are you going?"
My daughter Crystal, during her younger childhood, heard that question more than once from me. But she probably doesn't remember it, because she was asleep!
You see, Crystal had a tendency to sleepwalk. Every now and again, after she had been in bed a few hours, but before her mother and I turned in for the night, Crystal would awaken - or, rather, partially awaken. Then she would stumble into the hallway and meander into the family room where we were sitting. There she would mumble some nonsensical sentence that only a sleepwalking child can mumble and only a parent can even begin to interpret.
After a while, as we would hear her start her ramble down the hall toward us, we would call out, "Crystal, where are you going?"
Of course, she never really could answer our question. She didn't know where she was going, for she was half (or maybe three quarters) asleep. She just mumbled some sleepwalker's gibberish and then, having been told to go back to bed, she would amble down the hall to her room and finally settle in for the night.
Have you noticed that some people tend to live their entire lives like that - seemingly half asleep, bumbling around as if in the dark, never really knowing where they are going?
What about you? Do you know where you are going?
Where Christians are going
Sad to say, many people don't know where they are going. If you are one of these - or even if you are not - listen carefully. The Bible makes plain exactly where all true Christians should be going. The apostle Paul declared, "Therefore, leaving the ... elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection" (Hebrews 6:1).
His point is this: Once we, as Christians, understand the foundational points of doctrine in God's truth, we have something
important to do. Or, rather, we have somewhere important to go - to perfection!
Paul was not the only one to give this advice. Jesus Christ Himself was even more firm, making a direct command: "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
You have probably read this command before, but have you ever wondered why God wants us to be perfect? The answer is found in the second half of the verse just cited: "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
We must become perfect to be just like our Father. Our Father is God. Our destiny is to become His spiritual children and therefore part of the God Family. If our destiny was to be something less than a child of God, then perhaps we could be less than perfect. But it isn't, and we can't! It just wouldn't do for one of God's children not to be perfect.
Clearly, perfection is impossible to attain in this life. Everybody knows that; therefore some don't bother to try. But realize this: One who accepts mediocrity in this life will never attain perfection in the next, for the very faults God wishes him to overcome are the ones he chooses to tolerate in himself. And those who tolerate sin are unworthy of eternal life and its perfection! God simply will not give eternal life to such a person.
Those who seek for perfection, on the other hand, will find it. They will not find it now, of course, but in the Kingdom of God. For it is the very attitude of settling only for perfection of character that God requires before He will give the gifts of eternal life and perfection!
Working toward perfection
Don't be deceived. Perfecting yourself means work. It means analyzing yourself and your life, finding the difficulties, sins and errors in your way and, with God's help, replacing them with His character. It is tough. It is at times agonizing and humbling, discouraging and tiring. It is, quite frankly, the toughest job you will ever love! For although tough, it is addicting, exhilarating, invigorating, stimulating and overwhelmingly joyful and fulfilling!
Practice make perfect - or, rather, makes for perfection!
Our goal is to go where no human but Christ has truly gone before - on to perfection. We will not get all the way there ourselves. We all know that before we leave. But in leaving for the destiny of perfection, and in striving to get there, and in holding on to the goal, we will in the process develop the character that God demands of those He will finally make perfect.
That's certainly where I want to go. How about you? Where are you going?