Why Are We Here?
How can we know the purpose for our lives?
…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.
You've met them or heard of them — men and women of vision and passion. Driven by purpose and a life pursuit. They discover things. They build things. They do important things. Streets, colleges, battleships, cities and awards are named after them. They're fascinating! What makes them tick, and why aren't more people like them?
One reason more people aren't like this may be that the single-minded pursuit of a mission tends to be hard on people. We sometimes call high achievers "workaholics." That makes it sound like an addiction. Addictions are destructive, unlike the diligence we associate with dedicated workers. How can your diligent attention be singularly significant, yet not hurt your friends and loved ones — or your walk with God? Read on to discover three key aspects of an effective Christian life that can make all the difference.
Your own context
Followers of Jesus talk more often about calling than achievement. That puts it into different perspective. You are the hearer. God, your creator and redeemer, is the caller. If He’s your omniscient creator, nothing in your life is an accident. Your resources, experiences, skills, talents and relationships have all been gifts planned and given by Him. It helps to see them as gifts, because then you know you’re responsible to take care of them. Thinking “How God has provided these things for me?” can begin to set you on the right course.
“…let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him…Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called…in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.”
All these quotes are from 1 Corinthians 7:17–24, where Paul explicitly covers questions about marriage, servitude and the Gentile or Jewish roots of these early believers.
God’s work, God’s way
Just as you can get guidance from your own life conditions, you can also do so from things shown to you about God. For example, because God is love, He would not be behind inclinations toward the hatred or exploitation of a group of people. Because God is the Spirit of Truth, He’s not in things that rely on the practice of deceit. Israel’s first king, Saul, thought God would accept his sacrifice despite his incomplete obedience to his original mission. Samuel predicted God would replace him, saying, “…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
God is clear that all His instructions are pure (Proverbs 30:5) and that we have no right to add or subtract from them. (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19) That almost makes it sound as if they are all equally important, so that we have to carefully follow it all and “…do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Yet Jesus had a surprising answer to a teacher of Jewish law who asked, “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” If all God’s words are perfect, how can any have more priority than the other? Jesus goes on to explain this implied question: “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40) They are greatest because they effectively contain the rest. Romans explains, “love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10) God’s great expression of love (1 John 3:16) was sending Christ to die for our sins. Jesus told the Apostles: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
In summary, the reason you and I are here is to bring glory to God, as Isaiah 43:7 says. We do so by telling others to be reconciled to God, as 2 Corinthians 5:15-20 tells us. Because we know Him, we must not go about this in a way that is against what He reveals about Himself in His Word. And because we trust that He created us for a purpose and has provided for us in a way that serves as a guide and a model for us, we cherish our relationships, seeking the best for others instead of taking advantage of them. We leverage our resources, putting His Kingdom first by using our time, energy, experience, knowledge and influence to help others find the way to eternal life. That’s how to live a life of the very highest purpose without missing out on the best God has for you and your loved ones.
Pray this week:
Father, will you help me see and eliminate anything that is standing in the way of reaching the full potential of my life?
Do you sense any resistance to the ideas shared in this devotional? A caring volunteer is available to discuss and pray through them with you!