God’s pattern throughout the Old and New Testament is to set His people free, but it was always for a single purpose. In Exodus, He sent Moses to set His people free so that they could worship God (Exodus 9:1).
We are forgiven and set free so that we can worship and enjoy our God forever. This is what we were designed to do. We place expectations on ourselves of what we could, would, and should do for God if we really had our act together. But our expectations are not necessarily His. Jesus lived with one mission: to do the will of His Father. He called us to do the same. It begins with loving God, then loving others.
We sometimes complicate God and all He wants from us or for us. But He just wants us.
The word holy means to be set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively His. It’s easy to feel burdened by the importance and urgency of the mission of God. To some degree that is not all bad. However, the mission of God is so simple: to love God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
You might ask, But what about the Great Commission? Isn’t our mission to be making disciples? I contend that if we truly love God and truly love our neighbor, then we will desperately want them to know Him. Therefore, we will make disciples.
In the Old Testament there was a concentrated focus on holiness. Holy sacrifices, holy days, holy seasons, and holy food. One of the religious codes was keeping holy instruments in the temple. What made any of these things holy was that they were set apart by God, for God’s purpose. God blessed the Sabbath and made it holy (Exodus 20:8-11). He set it apart for His purpose—for us to be with Him.
And I believe that is the point here—that we exist for one solitary purpose: to love God with all of us and in turn show His grand love to everyone He puts in our paths.
But too often we bow to the pressure of needing to show God’s love before we have even experienced it. We move out into the work before the relationship. We start with “doing” for Him instead of starting with “being” with Him. In John 21, when the disciples got to shore, Jesus didn’t immediately give them marching orders. He cooked them breakfast. They ate. Talked. Perhaps laughed and told stories. The plans He had for them would come later. After the meal, He would call Peter to feed His sheep. Days later He would commission all of them to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). But first they had breakfast.
Are you “doing” for God? Or are you doing life with God? He never meant for us to go it alone.
"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, 'Let my people go, that they may serve me.'"
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
"After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, 'I am going fishing.' They said to him, 'We will go with you.' They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, 'Children, do you have any fish?' They answered him, 'No.' He said to them, 'Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.' So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.
That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, 'It is the Lord!' When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, 'Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.' So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' Now none of the disciples dared ask him, 'Who are you?' They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Feed my lambs.' He said to him a second time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Tend my sheep.' He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, 'Do you love me?' and he said to him, 'Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.' (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, 'Follow me.'"