If you’re like most people you probably have a sneaking suspicion that there is more to life than you are currently experiencing. Your time has been stretched beyond recognition and you barely have a moment to yourself. You pander to the daily grind only to hope for the weekend and for some sort of respite from busy-ness, only to have your “free” time taken up by yard work, working on the vehicles, the kids sports games and shopping. Grocery shopping, clothes shopping, electronics shopping etc etc. And when you’re not “busy” you are glued to either the television, the computer or your mobile device. Before you know it, Monday has arrived…and the cycle begins again. And again. And again.
Before you know it another year has passed and as you attempt to make your New Year’s resolutions you wonder, “What did I really do that made a difference this last year?”
Now before you go and get all depressed on me, stop. First you need to recognize that there is nothing you can do about the past. It is done, finished, no more. You can learn from it but you can’t dwell on it because it will suck the life out of you (if you’re like most people). what we really need is a clear picture of the future or at least a clearer picture. What really matters to you and gives your life purpose? Whether we realize it or not, each of us has a purpose and call from God on our lives. The great commission wasn’t just for the disciples. It was for all who would call themselves followers of Christ. Each of us needs to find the very heart of God for our lives. What is it that God has placed within you that causes your heart to burn? What are you passionate about and how can you bring that to a fruitful realization?
Each of us needs to find the very heart of God for our lives.
There are many examples from Scripture of ordinary people that God gave meaning and purpose to in His call to them.
David wrote, “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
“the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves” Luke 7:30
Jesus was handed over to be put to death “by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge” Acts 2:23
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-21
If we really want to live a life of purpose, according to Timothy we have to rid our lives of the motives that are destructive and unhealthy and devote ourselves to God’s purposes. When we are firmly established in God’s purposes then we are ready to do good works. Where the difficulty lies at times is in the process. We like to think of things as a two step model: Get rid of the “ignoble”, live by the “noble”. But life generally doesn’t work like that. It’s more of a process of refinement where God shows us moment by moment the futility of our own efforts and reveals a better way, a deeper love and greater joy in living out His plan.
God created us to be instruments for noble purposes, holy, useful and ready to do good works.
I was living in a highrise in the midst of downtown Edmonton where I became friends with an elderly gentleman who loved to sit around and talk. We would talk about all sorts of topics ranging from Politics to Movies to Faith. One of his favorite sayings was, “the box waits for us all”. At first I thought it was kind of morbid, but the more I heard him say it, the more it put urgency in my bones. I don’t want to “wake up” one day and find out that my life didn’t really matter.
In John 14:15-17 Jeus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.” Jesus has called us to live according to noble purposes, obeying everything He commands. Not out of duty, but out of a love relationship. After making this demand of those who “love” Him, He provides a way for us to live according to His high calling – the Holy Spirit. Jesus never expected us to live our a life of obedience as if slaves to the Master’s will. That’s why He sent the Spirit of truth to be with us! So we could live out a life of loving relationship with Jesus Christ and a life of obedience empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus laid out two noble purposes for us that are to be the pivotal points of life:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matt 22:37
2. Love your neighbor as yourself. Matt 22:39.
What a simple way to begin living out God’s purposes in life today. If we were to focus on only these two purposes, we could be assured that when we reach the finish line we’ll finish with satisfaction!