Being “circumspect” about my life again and this time the question I am asking is: “Am I still living according to God’s purpose for me?” It is easy to get distracted and start living your own plans and purposes for your life, having started out with God’s purpose in mind, you have lost your way.
Yet, I often hear it said that believers are still trying to discover the purpose of their lives, or what God’s purpose for their life is. Irrespective of whether one has found purpose, life without purpose holds no value.
Ecc 2:17 “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
Without purpose you feel miserable, negative and critical, life feels meaningless. When you have no greater purpose in life, the only solution is to pursue pleasure: “Live now, for tomorrow we die!” Pleasure too is meaningless.
Ecc 2:1 “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.’ But that also proved to be meaningless.”
The greatest enemy to purpose is pleasure.
No one can have 24 hours of pleasure (always being happy). If you live on earth, you will have trouble, storms, difficulty and heart-break eventually. We are not designed for pleasure, we are designed for purpose. That is: God’s purpose, not ours. Rom 8:28
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Nothing in life makes sense without purpose. Purpose is not in riches, or the successful completion of a project, or perfect job. It is not found in a perfect marriage or exemplary family. It is not found in achieving a myriad of goals because what happens after that?
True happiness comes from knowing your purpose. It brings meaning to life; it simplifies your life; it focuses your life; it motivates you; it satisfies you. True purpose, originates with God.
For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. Col 1:16-17 MSG
Our purpose starts in a relationship with Christ:
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” – Eph 1:11 MSG
Contrary to what most people say, the bible defines our purpose as:
- To glorify God and not to glorify ourselves. Rev 4:11 ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were createdand have their being.’
- To bring pleasure to God. Eph 1:9 (NLT) “God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.”
- To be in God’s Family. In which He shapes us and grows us into mature believers. Eph 1:5-6 “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.”
- To be like Christ and to become Christ-like. Rom 8:29 (NLT) “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
- To do good works (and help mankind). Eph 2:8-10 (NLT) “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
- To Reach the Lost. Mark 16:15(NLT) “And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.””
- To spend eternity with God. 1 John 2:25 (NLT) “And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.”
But we tend to embellish God’s purpose for our lives.
We want to add to what the bible says is our purpose and this often distracts us from our original purpose. Embellishment is not necessary, the purpose stands without embellishment. Eg. A cheap, unassuming plastic pen fulfills its purpose by writing. An expensive, shiny, ballpoint pen, which comes in its own little velvet box also fulfills the same purpose. Both get the job done equally well, both are designed for the same purpose, one is embellished, the other is not. We don’t need embellishments to fulfill the purpose that God has for our lives. It is important that we know the purpose of our lives, but embellishments don’t determine our ability to fulfill it.
Being circumspect about my life, I needed to ask myself again, am I still living according to God’s original design and purpose for my life, or have I embellished it?
Father, thank you that you have plans and purposes for my life and that they are good and bring meaning to my life. Help me not to surrender my purpose to the pursuit of pleasure, but to ensure that my life is lived on purpose, for a purpose.Thank you that my life counts for eternity and that it has value in eternity and on earth. Help me not to become distracted with embellishments, but to stick to what Your word reveals to me.