“My goal is God Himself, not joy, nor peace, nor even blessing, but Himself, my God.”
As we begin chapter one this week, we are challenged to know what our purpose of life really is. This chapter was so relevant to me that I can’t do it justice in this summary! Last week we established that in order to see God, our spiritual eyes must be opened. C.S. Lewis said:
I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun. Not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else.
Seeing and believing are directly related in Scripture, with the emphasis being on believing. When we believe, God opens our spiritual eyes! Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (NASB). When we have a proper view of God, we will see everything else more clearly. Matthew 4:16-17 says, “The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the shadowland of death, light has dawned” (HCSB).
God created us for His pleasure and for His glory (Rev. 4:11 & Isaiah 43:7). Before sin entered the world, man’s world was completely God centered. After the fall of man however, man’s world became completely man centered. Man lost his God-given purpose of life. In order for God to restore man’s purpose, He had to send His only Son to redeem us by His blood. I love this quote from chapter one:
“Redemption, however, was no last minute thought, brought into being to meet an unexpected emergency. No sooner had sin entered the garden than God spoke of One who was to come and who was to bruise the serpent’s head….God thereby revealed that the sad turn of events had not taken Him by surprise, but that there was One in reserve to meet this very situation. Scripture calls Him ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’ (Rev. 13:8), because with God the remedy antedated the disease.”
Now that we have been redeemed by God through Christ, how do we view our purpose in life? This was very convicting to me as I read through chapter one. It’s so easy to get distracted from our true purpose! Roy mentions two things that can derail us from our God-given purpose. These two things are: service for God and seeking an inner, spiritual experience from God. Although these are good things, the focus tends to be on the service or the experience (or lack of it) and not on God! Do you see how these two mindsets totally detract from our true purpose?
This is probably my favorite quote of the chapter:
“We direly need to leave our lusting for ever-larger spheres of Christian service and concentrate on seeing God for ourselves and finding the deep answer for life in Him. Then, even if we are located in the most obscure corner of the globe, the world will make a road to our door to get that answer. Our service of help to our fellows then becomes incidental to our vision of God and, ideally, the direct consequence of it.”
In reference to seeking inner, spiritual experiences, Roy says:
“If we make our purpose in life a quest for these things (inner spiritual experiences), we tend to become occupied with our personal experiences or lack of them. This produces the sad situation of hungry, dissatisfied Christians….. Yet, all the time the One who alone can satisfy the heart is by our side, longing to be known and proved.”
As I close this post, I want to encourage you to search your heart this week and ask God if you truly understand His purpose for you. We can get so caught up in the “doing” that we totally miss out on the “being.” Philippians 3:8-11 says:
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
Here are some things to meditate on throughout this week.
- Day 1: According to Revelation 4:11 and Isaiah 43:7, why did God create us?
- Day 2: What do Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 5:1, and 2 Corinthians 3:18 say about the image of God?
- Day 3: Read Colossians 1:13-22 and Titus 2:14. What do you learn about redemption from these verses?
- Day 4: Read Ephesians 2:1-10 and record everything you learn about our salvation and how Christ has restored our purpose in life.
- Day 5: Read 1 Corinthians 10:31, Matthew 5:16, Romans 11:33-36, 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, and 1 Chronicles 16:29 and record what you learn about God’s glory and glorifying God.
As you reflect on God’s Word this week, prayerfully answer the following questions.
- Have you gotten distracted from God’s true purpose for your life? If so, how?
- Do you tend to seek after service for God or inner spiritual experiences from Him? How do these two “good” things ultimately end up being self-centered?
“Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You. There is no greater thing! You’re my all, You’re the best, You’re my joy, my righteousness and I love You Lord.” Graham Kendrick