Shaped by God’s Eternal Purpose

[Listen to post here.]

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Our lives are primarily shaped by that which we most highly esteem and around that which they most regularly revolve.  We can go through life adopting the values of our culture, being caught up in the whirlwind of worldly pursuits, pleasures, engagements and enslavements, and having our lives ultimately shaped by them, or we can pull back, lift our eyes far above the shallow and empty matrix of this world, and begin centering our lives in and upon that which is of utmost value and of supreme significance.

There is that which is of such quintessential import that the One who inhabits eternity, Who possesses all sovereignty and power, Who comprehends with infinite perfection, Who Loves with impeccable purity and unending resolve is utterly centered upon and rapturously committed to as the unfolding purpose of His existence.  All of His Energies, all of His Genius, all of His Passion are riveted and focused on the carrying out of this ONE THING.

This ONE THING is called in Scripture,“HIS ETERNAL PURPOSE.” (Ephesians 3:11)

As those who have been created in His Image and called to be His Eternal Companion, we also have been called into and unto this ONE THING.  This is the supreme vocation of man.  Unto this we have been fearfully and wonderfully fashioned, and wisely and graciously called.  This is our very reason for existence and our everlasting destiny.

When our eyes are opened to behold this Calling, it is so compelling that it beckons to the very depths of our being, drawing us out and disentangling us from this world’s insidious enmeshment.  With polarizing power it reorients and re-centers our being around that for which our heart and soul were created to find their highest joy and satisfaction in. Our spirit rejoices in its long-awaited homecoming.

As we become ruined by this re-centering Revelation, like a pot on a Potter’s wheel, we begin to become fashioned anew with a beauty and symmetry that transforms a homely, base lump of clay into an exquisite vessel of intention and design.


The very nature of that around which we are revolving begins to shape the character of who we are becoming.

His eternal purpose is immutable.  It is sure; it is unfailing; it is unalterable; it is unstoppable.  Stability, unwaveringness, steadfastness, faithfulness, endurance begin to be formed into the contour of our being.

His eternal purpose is wise.  It is visionary; it is vast; it is all-penetrating; it is all-encompassing; it is faultless.  Wisdom, vision, purpose, intentionality, self-discipline and perseverance begin to mark the nature of our vessel.

His eternal purpose is good. It is love; it is joy; it is peace; it is righteousness; it is hope; it is pleasure; it is glory!  All of the virtues of the Spirit rise up within us as we abandon ourselves to this Supreme ONE “GOOD” THING!

The character of God’s eternal purpose shapes and leaves its impress upon the very character of our who we are as we are drawn to its timeless, transcendent, penultimate-significance and supra-centrality.


Not only is the character of our “vessel” shaped by the nature of God’s eternal purpose, but also its content.

The eternal purpose springs ultimately out of the Love of the Father to the Son.  It is the Supreme Gift of the Father to His Beloved, and in response, the sacrificial Love of the Son back to His Father.  All things revolve around this Divine Reciprocal Love.

It is of and to the Father’s ultimate glory, pleasure and satisfaction that He has placed His Beloved Son as central, supreme and all-sufficient in the outworking of His Eternal Plan.

The eternal purpose of God is comprehensively Christ-centered.  It is fashioned according to Him.  It is focused fully upon Him.  It is filled with Him.  It is fulfilled by Him.  It is for Him.

We who have our lives apprehended by the supreme significance of, and are perpetually revolving around, God’s eternal purpose, likewise, are filled with the content of Christ and His centrality, supremacy, fullness and all-sufficiency.  Christ-centeredness is the substance of our faith, our walk, our talk, our relationships, our serving and our ministry.  Christ is what overflows our vessel.  Christ is what comes out of our pores.

Additionally, in the eternal purpose, the Father’s Gift to His Son is an eternal Companion, a Bride, flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone, His Body, the Church.  So intertwined and inter-infused are the Bride and the Son that they are inseparable.

The eternal purpose is, therefore, in Christ, Church-centered (Corporate Christ-centered.) It could not be otherwise.  The two have become one.

We who are wholly committed to the pursuit of God’s eternal purpose are wholly committed to the Church, the Bride and Body of Christ.  We have given ourselves to the ingathering, the upbuilding, the full-functioning, the unifying, the maturing and the Christ-centered, Christ-manifesting expression of the Ekklesia.  This is the substance of our burden, our passion, our sacrifice, our life’s labor, our highest joys and our deepest travail.

Christ-centeredness and Church-centeredness (Corporate Christ-centeredness) are the two preeminent marks of those who have been apprehended by and have abandoned themselves to the Ultimate Purpose of the Ages.  These are God’s co-laborers; His co-visionaries; His co-emissaries; His co-dreamers.

Both the character and content of our lives are shaped by that which we most highly esteem and around that which we most regularly revolve.  God has created us for, and is calling us unto, that which HE most highly esteems and around that which HE eternally revolves.  Will we answer His Call?  Will we satisfy His Heart?  Will we embrace our Everlasting Destiny?

It begins right now…

Our Deepest Convictions
Christ the Center – Pt. 1: “Centering the Clay”
The Eternal Purpose (a manuscript excerpt)
Affirmations (1) – The Eternal Purpose, Christ, and the Church

About David

Following Him who is the Way; learning of Him who is the Truth; living by Him who is the Life. - John 14:6
This entry was posted in Audio Posts, Christ-Centered Spirituality, Spiritual Dynamics, The Ekklesia, The Eternal Purpose of God and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Shaped by God’s Eternal Purpose

  1. Tobie says:

    Thanks David. WHAT A BLESSING!!


  2. I love what you have written here, David. I love all of it – but I’m especially fond of this…

    ‘The very nature of that around which we are revolving begins to shape the character of who we are becoming.’

    That is so true. And, of course, it’s true whether we are revolving around Jesus, or self, or anyone or anything else. So let’s choose to revolve around the One who is the Centre of all things.


    • david bolton says:

      Thank you, Chris, for your affirming comment!
      And now I must tell you, I am especially fond of how you Brits spell “center”…”centre”. 🙂
      Love to you from across the Pond!


      • 🙂 One of my favourites is that you say ‘envision’ where we say ‘envisage’, we also have the word ‘envision’ but mean something slightly different by it. Winston Churchill famously said that we were ‘two great nations divided by a common language’!


        • david bolton says:

          Thanks for those insights, Chris. My roots go back to Bolton, England, so I love your country and its language.
          Your comment also reminded me that I used another word in this post that I believe has a different meaning here in the USA than in England: “homely.” Here it means “plain and unattractive in appearance”, while in England I believe it is closer to meaning “hospitable”, “gracious”, etc…
          Quick story… my wife and I were married by a wonderful man of God from Scunthorpe, England, David Longstaff, and while he was “Stateside”, he was invited to speak at a Women’s Aglow meeting in the area. He innocently began his talk with them by telling them what a privilege it was to be invited to speak to “such a HOMELY group of women.” You can only imagine the looks and mumblings among them as he proceeded with his talk! 😦
          So, it is very good to know these things as we communicate with one another cross-culturally, isn’t it?
          Take care, my friend!


  3. jimpuntney says:

    Thank you once again David for eloquently expressing the truth, blessing to you and yours!


  4. jimpuntney says:

    Reblogged this on Treasure in Jars of Clay and commented:
    David Bolton eloquently expresses God’s loving purpose, enjoy.


  5. Lloyd Bowden says:

    David, nice work here. You’re perfecting the art of asking hard questions.
    Thank you


    • david bolton says:

      Thanks, Lloyd. It’s all in love you know!
      And, by the way, I have you to thank for the word, “quintessential” actually being in my working vocabulary. Think Nick’s Place lamb gyros! You used “qu…” in describing them to me once years ago. I certainly agree. Been a fan ever since. 🙂


  6. Don says:

    Your first paragraph mentions lifting our eyes. Earlier this week I was reading Col. 3:2, “Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth.” It reminds me of the chorus of a hymn:
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.


    • david bolton says:

      Thank you for sharing that, Don. I was thinking of those same lyrics, actually, as I was finishing up the prior post to this one, “Our Deepest Convictions”. It beautifully applies to this one as well. Thank you for bringing it to light.
      Colossians 3:2 is also a favorite verse of mine!


  7. Jennifer says:

    Wow…very very good. I completely agree. I must say, reading your posts is a bit like reading Watchman Nee, Francis Shaeffer or C. S. Lewis :-). Deep…must have my thinking cap on tightly while enjoying what you share (that is meant to be a positive comment). My simplified way of sometimes describing having my focus on Christ as my center is to say, “Keeping eye contact with Jesus.” I so often catch myself losing focus on what is most important and I have to lift up my eyes and refocus. Thank you for the beautiful potter’s wheel illustration…I am finding it very helpful.


    • david bolton says:

      Thank you, Jennifer. I am humbled and blessed by your comments!
      I like your thought of “Keeping eye contact with Jesus.” It reminds me of what Jesus said, “The eye is the light of the body. If your eye is single, your whole body shall be full of light.” That is really what it boils down to…Keeping our eyes FIXED on JESUS!
      Blessings, my sister!


  8. Pingback: Isten örök célja által kiformálva – David Bolton | keskeny út – narrow way

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