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God’s Goal for You Is Character, Not Comfort
By Rick Warren

“Take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (The Message)

Many religions and philosophies promote the old lie that people are divine or can become gods. Let me be absolutely clear: You will never become God or even a god. 

That prideful lie is Satan’s oldest temptation. Satan wanted Adam and Eve to follow his advice and promised them this if they would: “You will be like God . . .” (Genesis 3:5 NIV).

This desire to be a god shows up every time you try to control your circumstances, your future, or people around you. But you’re a creature; you will never be the Creator. God doesn’t want you to become a god; he wants you to become godly, taking on his values, attitudes, and character. 

You are meant to “take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you” (Ephesians 4:22-24 The Message).

God’s ultimate goal for your life on Earth is not comfort but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ. 

Becoming like Christ does not mean losing your personality or becoming a mindless clone. God created your uniqueness, so he certainly doesn’t want to destroy it. Christlikeness is all about transforming your character, not your personality. 

Every time you forget that character is one of God’s purposes for your life, you will become frustrated by your circumstances. You’ll wonder, “Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time?” One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! Difficulty enables you to grow. Remember, Earth is not heaven.

In John 10:10, Jesus promises: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (KJV). Many Christians misinterpret this promise of abundant life to mean perfect health, a comfortable lifestyle, constant happiness, full realization of your dreams, and instant relief from problems through faith and prayer.

In a word, they expect the Christian life to be easy. They expect heaven on Earth.

But God is not your genie or your servant. If you fall for the idea that life is supposed to be easy, you will become severely disillusioned and live in denial of reality. 

Life is not about you! You exist for God’s purposes, not vice versa. Why would God provide heaven on Earth when he’s planned the real thing for you in eternity? 

God gives you your time on Earth to build and strengthen your character—so you’ll be ready for an eternity in heaven.

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Encourage a Graduate in Your Life

Graduation time is here, and chances are there’s a young person in your life who could use some encouragement, along with a little guidance.

Set them up for success with Pastor Rick’s The Purpose Driven Life: Selected Thoughts and Scriptures for the Graduate.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.