You Can’t Fly a Watermelon

Watermelon Rocket

You can’t fly a watermelon to the moon. Its rind is not resistant to exiting and entering the atmosphere. It has no fuselage. No fuel. No propulsion. It was not designed to fly to the moon. That’s not even rocket science!

Nothing works right unless it conforms to the realities of its intended trajectory, or path. This is shaped by both external circumstances and intended purpose. In simpler terms that means something won’t be very good at doing a thing it wasn’t meant to do. A rocket flies because engineers account for aerodynamics and gravity. It was designed to meet the specifications needed to navigate external circumstances in order to reach an intended purpose along a planned trajectory. That is rocket science!

God designed you with a purpose in mind. You were built to fulfill his mission in this present reality. Until your life begins to match that purpose—until your desires, thoughts, and actions pursue His purpose—you will be out of sync with his path for you. Until you begin to do the thing you were meant to do everything else will seem underwhelming, unfulfilling, and incomplete.

What’s your trajectory? What’s your course? That is the path he has laid before you. That’s the destiny he wants to rocket you toward.

Have you known all along and been to afraid to engage? Don’t be afraid. Stop. Turn around. Run toward that burning fire in your bones. God put it there. It’s rocket fuel. His Spirit is alive in you pushing you past the point of your fears into the providential place of his purpose and plan.

Have you been inadvertently bouncing around like a pinball? Tilt the table. Lean into God. Ask for his help. Seek him. Say it out loud. Get a little mad about it and tell him how you feel. He knows already. Reject the apathy and confusion that you may have had. Go to the God who has the unmatched perspective. If you’re stuck let God get you out. He will send you right back on track.

You can’t fly a watermelon to the moon, but you can enjoy the sweet refreshing fruit inside. You can enjoy it’s intended purpose, but only by asserting an external force to reach the delicious fruit inside.

God is the architect of physics. He is the engineer of the principles that actually go into real rocket science. He is also the designator of your design. He planned you. He purposed you. He willed you.

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah was freaking out over the calamity and depravity the Jewish people were going through. Stuff they had brought on themselves through generations of neglecting their purpose. Here is what Jeremiah heard from God…

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” GOD ’s Decree. ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:10-13 ‭MSG‬‬

You get that? God decreed it. His plan for you comes from the same vocabulary as “let there be light” and “it is finished”.

God said it. God did it. His plan. His purpose. Your path.

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Choice & Warning

I came across this passage during my reading time today:

When you enter the land that GOD, your God, is giving you and take it over and settle down, and then say, “I’m going to get me a king, a king like all the nations around me,” make sure you get yourself a king whom GOD, your God, chooses. Choose your king from among your kinsmen; don’t take a foreigner—only a kinsman. And make sure he doesn’t build up a war machine, amassing military horses and chariots. He must not send people to Egypt to get more horses, because GOD told you, “You’ll never go back there again!” And make sure he doesn’t build up a harem, collecting wives who will divert him from the straight and narrow. And make sure he doesn’t pile up a lot of silver and gold. (Deuteronomy 17:14-17 MSG)

I’ve probably read that passage through dozens of times across twenty-plus years of consistent bible reading, but something about it finally hit me tonight. All of the things the people were being warned about were things that they would eventually go on to do. From their desire to be like other nations and have a king, to the foibles of the kings themselves. This passage reads like a list of the problems and mistakes made by Israel.

What does that mean for us? It means we should pay attention. God knows our mistakes before we ever have the opportunity to make them. I believe He gives us the opportunity to make the right decisions. I believe He gives us forewarning.

I’ve been asked this before: if God knows our choices before we make them does that mean there is still a choice involved? Yes, I believe so. I believe that we are granted a free will to act and choose. The option to deny God makes choosing Him all the sweeter.

Choice elicits opportunity for desire. Desire is the fruit of the heart. It reveals what we want to do. It reveals our nature. It reveals who we are.

God knows our choices. God knows our options. He loves us deeply, even when we choose poorly, but it makes the journey of walking life out with Him a continual act of worship.

October 21 – He Trusts God

Matthew 27:39-44

“He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” (Matthew 27:43 ESV)

Jesus was being ridiculed and mocked as he hung upon the cross. Many gathered nearby to hurl insults aimed at Jesus’ assertion that he was the Son of God. The unbelievers present saw opportunity to manipulate the situation for their pleasure. They sarcastically threw Jesus’ identity, mission, and role in his face. Jesus never wavered in his trust for God.

When you know who you are in God you can trust Him. And the first part of that is simply knowing God Himself. With a cognitive knowledge and recognition of God and who He is to you comes the opportunity to develop an understanding for the implications that reality has on your own life. Implications that can be so profoundly impactful that they anchor your trust to God. That’s the way it was for Jesus.

Once you have came to terms with the identity that flows from God to you—mission is only a heartbeat away. Just as God pours identity into you, He also puts mission before you. Mission is the great purpose for your life. It is you cause. It is God-mandated, divinely appointed. A man on mission will find a level of satisfaction and fulfillment so deeply entrenched in the peace of God that his trust for God will be unshakable.

Identity and mission work together to push you to your role. Identity answers who and whose you are. Mission answers what you should do. Role is the practical application of both—it is about being who you are and doing what you should do.

The mob didn’t understand that about Jesus. His trust lay in a place beyond their mental or spiritual capacity to fathom. Yours can too.

October 19 – Prophecy: With Transgressors

Promise: Isaiah 53:12
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:38

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12 ESV)

Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. (Matthew 27:38 ESV)

Around 700 B.C. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be killed with sinners. Indeed he was crucified between two criminals, one of which came to the faith while hanging on the cross nearby The Lord.

Jesus’ mission was to find and save lost people. He came after the transgressors. All of us fall into that category. It is only because of his redemptive work that we find ourselves looking back on that term in the past tense of the word.

Jesus was consistently seen with transgressors, sinners. He kept company with them regularly. He dined with them. Talked with them. And died with them. He knew his mission. And he accomplished it.

October 18 – Prophecy: Crucifixion

Promise: Psalm 22:16
Fulfillment: Luke 23:33

For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— (Psalm 22:16 ESV)

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. (Luke 23:33 ESV)

The Old Testament king David prophesied about a thousand years before Christ’s birth that Jesus would be crucified. A prophecy that was written hundreds of years before the invention of crucifixion—clearly alluding to the horrible way in which Jesus would be nailed to the cross.

The mere thought of having nine inch metal spikes driven through my hands and feet is horrendous. Yet Jesus knew all along that it was to be his fate. As a kid he must have seen other men crucified. I wonder what passed through his mind.

Jesus did not shy away from that which he had set out to do. He followed through, even as he was pierced through. He knew the promise of Old Testament prophecy, and he embraced the markings of his messianic destiny, even as he secured the promise for our eternal salvation.

October 17 – Compelled

Matthew 27: 32-34 & Luke 23:26

As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. (Matthew 27:32 ESV)

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26 ESV)

When Simon of Cyrene left home with his family I doubt he imagined that he would play a key role in an event that would forever change the destiny of mankind. He was compelled, the text says, to carry the cross. He was forced by armed men already on their way toward savage murder. He had no choice. It was not voluntary compulsion.

I wonder if Simon knew what was happening. I wonder if he had heard of Jesus, or would come to an understanding later. I wonder if Simon and Jesus sit and talk about that day every once in a while.

Sometimes we are compelled. Voluntary or not, take heed of that which you find yourself compelled to do. It could be that you too are caught up in a story bigger than any you ever imagined.

July 31 – For This Purpose

John 12:27-36

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. (John 12:27 ESV)

Jesus could have saved himself. He didn’t have to suffer for us. He had a choice. However, as the Son of God he chose to bridge the gap between Heaven and Earth. He chose to become the mediator. The Way.

As he told his followers, it was “for this purpose” that he has come. Not to be a good moral teacher. Not merely to perform miraculous healings. And not to stir up the religious elite. He came for the express purpose of restoring humanity to the relationship God intended.

Have you ever set out to do something with a purpose? Have you ever let something interfere? I know I have, and often do. The truth is that we’re not quite on par with Jesus. We’re pretty far off the mark.

But he maintained. He persisted. To the point of death. He knew his purpose, he embraced his purpose, and he fulfilled his purpose.

We can find our own purpose in this life. Chances our that the seeds for God’s great purpose for your life have long since been planted in your soul. Look for your purpose, embrace your purpose, fulfill your purpose.