Intelligent design is a scientific theory which seeks to find purpose in the universe. ID proponents believe chaos did not create the world we live in, but rather complex patterns exist as a result of a specific cause. The same can be said for the life of a Christian. Random things don’t just happen to us – they are part of a higher, more well-thought out plan than our own.
Our design doesn’t come by accident; it comes from a life lived for the truth of The Gospel. There is a difference, as in the days of Jesus’ Earthly ministry, between those who merely follow, and those who seek to be a disciple. There is always a catch, though and if salvation in Christ is a gift – discipleship has a cost.
The cost of following Jesus is that we can’t trust our own understanding of the way things work. The mark of a disciple is a surrendered heart. We must chase hard after Jesus’ priorities and swim upstream against the current of the age, while most of our friends and neighbors will just go with the flow.
People don’t want to give up the illusion of control. Jesus articulated this in Luke 14:25-33. It is one of His more difficult teachings to apply. He seeks to make sure we know what we are getting into – because living on His terms is often counter-intuitive and very difficult. This is paralleled in John 6:66-69, when many of those following Jesus stop because they don’t want to do it His Way.
That is why it is so hard when bad things happen to understand where God is. Doesn’t mean Christians have it all figured out, but as disciples, our security comes from knowing His Sovereignty. It comes from our hard-won belief that He will work it all for the best – His best in His way.
When you view dramatic examples of those called to foreign mission work, pastoral-ship, or even popular lay ministries, it is easy to get fooled into thinking God has a bigger plan for them. But the reality of what Jesus is saying is that we are to put every part of our life behind the call of The Cross. It is the choices made in the quiet of our lives that give us the endurance we need to continue doing things His Way. It is about how we raise our children, run our business and spend our time and money. Indeed, just speaking one word about our hope in Jesus is an act that reveals our choice to live as a disciple; to live a life designed by Another.
In the end, disciples of Christ experience higher purpose – greater revelation of intelligent design – and that makes all the difference. As Ruben P. Job puts it:
“The twelve discovered that…it was a no-brainer to choose to follow The One who alone could give the gift of constant companionship with the living God in this world and the next. In a world like ours only a life fully given to God can find fulfillment, security, a deep and abiding peace, and the intimate companionship of God. That is exactly where I want to live. How about you?” (When You Pray, p. 76)