We hear a lot today about a purpose driven life and this has prompted me to do some thinking. What IS our purpose in life anyway? Why DID God make us? Did He just want some “toys” to play with? someone to boss around? someone to take advantage of? someone to serve Him? Those of you who have children….why did you choose to have them? I asked a friend that question and his response was that life just didn’t seem complete without children. Interesting. The Bible says we are made in the image of God. That being so, could it be that HIS life just didn’t seem complete without children? Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about topic.
Revelation 4:11 “Thou are worthy, o Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Isaiah 43:21 “(Even) everyone that is called by My name; for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
Psalm 8:9 “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet…”
Genesis 3:8,9 “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, ‘Where are thou?'”
From these passages we see that God created us to: 1) show forth His praise; 2) bring glory to Him; 3) have dominion over creation; and 4) enjoy fellowship with Him!! Now, I don’t know about you, but that gives me a very real sense of worth and purpose.
I like this passage I read in the book, Education, pg 173, written by EG White. “In the creation it was His purpose that the earth be inhabited by beings whose existence should be a blessing to themselves and to one another, and an honor to their Creator. All who will may identify themselves with this purpose.” Ever know anyone who is not a blessing to themselves? or others? Ever know anyone who has failed to bring honor to God? I AM that person! My life has not always been in harmony with God’s original purpose for making me. BUT, I can and am choosing to identify myself with this purpose! Praise God! Listen to this: “We were brought into existence because we were needed.” That is really an awesome thought. It is taken from an article written in 1903 in the Signs of the Times, April 22. Here is the rest of the statement: “How sad the thought that if we stand on the wrong side, in the ranks of the enemy, we are lost to the design of our creation. We are disappointing our Redeemer; the powers He designed for His service are used to oppose His grace and matchless love.” Yes, God had an original purpose–and He is disappointed when we fail to fulfill that purpose. He wanted us to reign as His counterpart and representative here on earth. We were to live in such a way to show what He is like. But something went wrong. “.…the serpent beguiled me and I did eat.” Genesis 3:13
So sad. But actually, the sadness began well before Eden. It began in heaven. Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-15 both show the former state of Lucifer, now Satan, as well as his end. It is a very sad story that self-exaltation–the desire for supremacy–caused the downfall of heaven’s brightest and most powerful created being. Revelation 12:7-9 clearly depicts the war in heaven over this issue and the casting out of the devil and all his following angels, now become demons. Can you imagine the heartache of God to have to cast out from His presence His brightest, most powerful and well-beloved angel? The Bible calls the rebellion of Lucifer the “mystery of iniquity”, for there was no reason, no excuse. (1 Thess. 2:7)
But back to Eden. While it is true that Adam and Eve were on trial to see if they would believe and obey God or if they would fall for the deceptions of Satan, it is equally true that God was now on trial (see Romans 3:4). I can easily imagine God’s great heart of love yearning over Adam and Eve with the words from Proverbs 27:11 “My son, be wise, and make My heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth Me.” How God must have longed for His newly created son to believe Him, obey Him, and show that Satan was wrong about His character and His law. But that didn’t happen….and here we are.
Yes, man has taken on a new purpose since the fall of Satan. Now, not only was he intended to be a blessing to himself and others and honor God, he was given the privilege and opportunity to vindicate God in the greatest controversy ever…the war between Christ and Satan. All throughout this war, Satan has used underhanded tactics–misrepresentation, lies, deception, etc. God has used truth and love; the truth about Himself, His government, and His purposes, as well as the supreme demonstration of His love on Calvary.
We are given a glimpse of this new purpose for mankind in the story of Job. (See Job 1 and 2, etc.) Satan had come to harass God and challenge Him once again, and the Lord gave him permission to “test” Job. Satan was permitted to do whatever he could, short of taking Job’s life, to cause him to turn from his allegiance to God. Job voted for God in the face of the loss of fortune, family, and even his health. The heavens seemed as brass over his head, but he still would not be turned from God. A vote for the Creator. Can you imagine what relief and joy that brought to the Creator’s heart! If you can’t, and you have children, just remember how you have felt when your children have chosen to do what is right!
But consider the track record of mankind throughout sacred history! Cain killed Abel…a vote for Satan. Jacob and Esau compete for the birthright….two votes for Satan. Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery….eleven votes for Satan. The children of Israel, after being miraculously delivered from 400 years of grinding slavery, grumble in the wilderness. Psalm 78: 40-41 says that they didn’t believe God, and that they actually LIMITED the Holy One! Wow! We can actually limit God by our unbelief. It has been estimated that there were as many as a million of the children of Israel. Most of them murmured…..a million or so votes for Satan. No! God has not seen the fulfillment of His purpose in creation. And He has been terribly misrepresented by His children.
There have been a few down through time who have stood bravely for the right! Abel, Joseph, Enoch, Daniel, John the Baptist…..and then there’s this story about a man who had royally messed up and yet vindicated God mightily in the end:
“Heavenly beings were witnesses of the scene as the faith of Abraham and the submission of Isaac were tested. The trial was far more severe than that which had been brought upon Adam. Compliance with the prohibition laid upon our first parents involved no suffering, but the command to Abraham demanded the most agonizing sacrifice. All heaven beheld with wonder and admiration Abraham’s unfaltering obedience. All heaven applauded his fidelity. Satan’s accusations were shown to be false.” Patriarchs and Prophets, page 155
Friends, every act of our lives is either a vote for God or a vote for Satan. We either vindicate God or Satan. God is in the business of renewing us back to His original purpose in creating us. See Ephesians 4:23-24; Colossians 3:10; Romans 12:1,2. This means our minds are brought into harmony with the mind of God. If our minds–our ways of thinking–are right, our actions will be too. And then we will be a blessing to ourselves, to others, and we will honor God. Then we will vindicate God in this great controversy between Himself and Satan. We will show that His law is just, that it is fair and that, with His power, we can obey His requirements.
“The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.” Desire of Ages, page 671
“When the fruit is brought forth, immediately He putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. WHEN the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, THEN He will come to claim them as His own….It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:12). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ WOULD come to gather the precious grain.” Christ’s Object Lessons, page 69
It is a most amazing thought to consider that, we can hasten His return! How? By His purposes being fulfilled in us. The original purpose? Be a blessing to ourselves, to each other, and bring honor to God. The secondary purpose? Vote for and vindicate God with each choice, each thought, each act.
THIS is what it means to live a purpose-driven life!