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Have You Lost Sight of Your Purpose?

 

Matthew 7:21-23

 

Jim Davis

 

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 studies.

 

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.

 

Matthew 7:21-23

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.

 

We 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 vantage point.

 

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.

 

John 3:16-19

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 God.

 

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

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.

 

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

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.

 

Colosians 3:5-11

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 Creator. NIV

 

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.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

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 predominant.

 

Matthew 6:24-25, 33

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 and Money.

 

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 different.

 

Ephesians 4:27-28

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

 

Conclusion:

 

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

 

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