No one in their right mind would ever calmly reflect, and then form a statement for their life like, “I want to live a meaningless life that doesn’t count for anything.” “I want to live in such a way that when I die, no one will know or care that I ever existed.” “I am striving for a life that doesn’t matter.”
Even though it may get distorted, we were all made with a desire to live for significance and purpose. It is because we were created in the image of God who is very purposeful. God, who is eternal, has called us to live for eternal purposes that have significance in this life, and will echo through eternity. Yet for many Christians, not only do they fail to live for eternal purpose, but have little idea of what God’s eternal purposes are.
We can live for all types of purposes, self fulfillment, career advancement, financial freedom, as well as a host of other things. According to scripture however, if we fail to live for the purpose for which He saved us, we will live in what the Bible calls “futility.” People can be good at making a living but still fail at living a life that has His eternal purpose in it.
Scripture declares that when Jesus purchased our lives it was to get us out of living a purposeless/futile life on this earth, in order to live for His eternal purposes.
1 Peter 1:17-19 And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
The word “futile” means useless, or of no purpose. The writer of Ecclesiastes used the phrase “Vanity of Vanities” over and over as he evaluates life lived apart from God’s purpose.
I once read a poll from George Barna who found that 36% of born again Christians are still trying to find the purpose for their lives. That is a sad statistic, especially when compared to what he found from unbelievers in the same poll. Only 49% of unbelievers are searching for their purpose. This doesn’t take into account those in both camps who don’t give much attention to thinking or caring about living for purpose. Of the 64% of remaining born again Christians who are not trying to find out their purpose, what percentage of them don’t care that much about discovering or living for purpose?
Everyone Is Called to Live for Eternal Purposes
Living for His eternal purposes isn’t some sort of superior state that only a few “Super Spiritual Christians” discover. He is not telling us to live that way, then hiding it from us so we will be frustrated. I have seen many Christian paralyzed when it comes to confidence in knowing, and living for His eternal purposes. While specific aspects of His purpose may unfold in our lives, God has made the overall elements of His purpose very clear for us in His word.
I have heard all to familiar expressions from Christians who are doing little to engage in God’s purposes like these, “I don’t’ know what I am suppose to be doing…God hasn’t shown me His purpose….I am just waiting on God to show me what to do.” In those states there is often a subtle attitude that His purpose is mystically “out there.” It is always elusive, somewhere else but here, or some other time but now.
Along these lines people can mistakenly think, “I only live in a small town and attend a small church, how could I possible fulfill His eternal purpose?” It is important to note that Jesus never traveled more than 65-70 miles from his home town but made, and continues to make a great impact in the purpose of God. He was born in an out of the way place called Nazereth of which people often,said, “can any good thing come out of Nazereth?”
The clear Biblical approach pursuing God’s purposes for our lives goes directly against the “anywhere else but here, any other time but now” attitude. That attitude ends up causing us to “receive the grace of God in vain (with no purpose).” The attitude God wants us to embrace is always a “now.”
2Co 6:1-2 NASB And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain– 2 for He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”-
Three Parts of the Egg of God’s Purpose
There are three clear purposes God reveals in His word that every Christian is to pursue with their life, “right now.” It is kind of like an egg. For an egg to be successfully birthed in the earth, its three parts have to be together. If only one part is birthed the whole thing doesn’t work.
These thee purposes of God are interconnected. You can’t attempt to move in one or two to the exclusion of the others if you are going to move in His purpose “now.” What are the these three aspects of His purpose?
1. Walking with/and following Jesus toward growth/maturity
2. Becoming an active participant in building His church
3. Representing Christ as an ambassador to a world that needs Him
In the coming weeks we will explore in detail these three purposes. Remember from the outset that we aren’t waiting for some mystical happening in order to engage in these three purposes. Nothing, but us, keeps us from moving in these three things right now.
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