Have You Lost Sight of Your Purpose?
Once upon a time the government had a vast
scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, “Someone may
steal from it at night.” So they created a night watchman position and hired
a person for the job.
Then congress said, “How can the watchman do his
job without instruction?” So they created a planning department
and hired two people: one to write the instructions, and one to do the
Then Congress said, “How will we know the night
watchman is doing his job correctly?” So they created a Quality
Control department and hired two people: one to do the studies and
one to write the reports.
Then Congress said, “How are these people going to
get paid?” So they created the following positions: a timekeeper, and
a payroll officer, then hired two people to fill the positions.
Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for
all of these people?” So they created an administrative section
and hired three people: An Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative
Officer, and a Legal Secretary.
Then Congress said, “We have had this command in
operation for one year and we are $18,000 over budget, we must cut back on
overall cost.” So they laid off the night watchman.
It is so easy to get all tied up in trying
to make something work that we lose our sense of purpose and direction.
The easiest thing to do in the church, and in our personal life is to lose
our sense of purpose—our sense of direction. When we lack purposeful
direction, we lose sight of God.
Jesus spoke to those who had lost their
sense of direction in the following verses.
1 "Not everyone
who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he
who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on
that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name
drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them
plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” NIV
Jesus teaches us that the easiest thing in
the world to do is to mistake our plans for God’s plans. The saddest
part of this picture is that they didn’t realize they had gone in the wrong
direction until it was too late—much too late.
Live in a Confusing World
We live in a confusing world and that is why
so many are lost in darkness. Our world has gone through
unprecedented change over the last fifty years. Technology has altered our
world more in the last fifty years more than it had been altered in all the
millennia since the very beginning of creation.
This change has gone beyond technology as it has
affected our philosophies, institutions, the church, the family, and the way
we think about ourselves. Traditional thinking has changed, as well our
understanding about ourselves.
This has bred a great spiritual unrest in our
world that seems to tell us that there is something deeper and more
meaningful to be found. We hunger and thirst for meaning and understanding,
for the way we ought to be, for a way to make a difference.
We are doing this instinctively, because as
Augustine said, or hearts are restless until they rest in God. We know there
is something deeper, we know that it has to do with discovering our true
purpose—God’s will for our life.
There is a major question you must ask
yourself if you desire to discover the deeper meaning of life. Am I
following God’s plan for my life, or have I devised my own personal plan for
my life? It is easy to exchange my plan for God’s plan.
One may climb the corporate ladder through the
world’s deceitful schemes. Worldly success may convince the person that God
gave the success, when in reality it had nothing to do with God. The older
we are, the more successful we have been, the more prevalent the idea that
God should bless our plans as if they were his plans.
The unalterable law of God is that we reap
what we sow. If we plan our own direction without God, ultimately we
will reap the consequences. We will not discover the deeper meaning of life
until it is too late.
If we have come to a
place where life seems to be going against us, perhaps it is because we are
going in the wrong direction.
It doesn’t take a big change in direction to throw
us completely out of sync with God. Imagine a navigator on a 757 on a trip
around the world miscalculating his direction by one degree on the compass.
There are 360 degrees on a compass, just as there are 360egrees in a circle,
so imagine traveling around the world being off only one degree. Being off
one degree from where I stand to the back of the auditorium would hardly
seem noticeable. However, if you travel 25,000 miles one degree off course
it would make a big difference in your destination.
Seeing Yourself from God’s Vantage Point
I will never discover the deeper meaning of
life until I see myself from God’s vantage point. We will never
experience the presence of God until we understand ourselves from his
We sit in front of the TV watching those sitcoms,
medical shows, lawyer programs, and all those real life dramas, and only
become more confused as we begin to feel that our world is becoming unglued.
The only way we will ever experience God is
to allow him to walk through this world with us. After all this is
why Jesus came to this world—he came to walk through this world with us.
To be able to walk through this world with God we
must bring our troubles and heartaches to him. You need to be able to come
to him saying, “I messed up again, I went out with the best of intentions,
but I screwed it up.” You need to hear God say, “That’s all right, you don’t
have to be able to walk on water to walk with me. It’s alright if you sink
and hit bottom, I don’t mind helping you back into the boat.
If I could just reach out to connect to God
through his absolute truth my whole perspective about myself would change—my
world would change.
Do you know what God wants more than anything
else? He wants to walk through this world with each one of us—not to censor
our lives but to give us meaningful direction.
16 "For God so
loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in
him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son
into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe
stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's
one and only Son. NIV
There is no way we can discover the deeper meaning
of life until we realize that our bodies were designed to be the temple of
God—God’s ultimate dwelling place. To say our bodies are the temple of God
means it is the domain God seeks to rule. It really that God wishes to rule
this world through us.
Our bodies were designed to be the temple of
16 Don't you
know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in
you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for
God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. NIV
2 Corinthians 6:16
16 What agreement
is there between the temple of God
and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
"I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and
they will be my people."
Who Rules Your Life?
Nothing confuses our walk with God more than
the lust of our fleshly bodies. The lust of the flesh puts us at
cross purposes with God’s creation. Initially our bodies may be crying out
that it doesn’t feel like sinning to me, but the hardships we face when we
give into our lusts says something far different.
18 Flee from
sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he
who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your
body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received
from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.
Therefore honor God with your body. NIV
Doesn’t it seem strange that the world wants
our sexual desires to define our existence? Just watch an evening of
TV, and observe how much of the programming is designed to redefine our
sexuality identity. In fact, the predominant idea in our society is that we
can’t function properly within our traditional ideas of male and female.
In fact, our world feels that it must change
our very nature. We see men who want to subjugate women, and women
who want to emasculate the men. Yet, it is our differences that should make
our relationships exciting.
If we aren’t careful our bodies will dictate
our direction in life.
5 Put to
death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual
immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6
Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.
8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage,
malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each
other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have
put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its
Our earthly nature is busy convincing us
that sexual immorality, impurity, lust, anger, malice, slander and greed are
the natural way to live. This is the way of our world, and sadly it
seems first nature to us. But it is not the way God designed us to live. If
we choose to live this way we reject God’s plan for our lives.
3 It is God's will
that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4
that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is
holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not
know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother
or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we
have already told you and warned you. 7 For God did not call us to be
impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this
instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. NIV
Our bodies seek to be
24 "No one can
serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he
will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God
25 "Therefore I
tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about
your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the
body more important than clothes?
33 But seek first
his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you
as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry
about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. NIV
Much of our work is done to gratify the
flesh’s thirst for more. Yet our work should for something entirely
Do not give the
devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must
work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something
to share with those in need. NIV
1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the
world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the
Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful
man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not
from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away,
but the man who does the will of God lives forever. NIV