The past few posts have dealt with the subject of discovering one’s purpose for living. As I stated, the basic premise of what I share in these postings is that God, as our Creator, is the One to whom we must go in order to understand why we were created. The next few weeks I will share five things which Scriptures say are our purpose for life.
For those who have read The Purpose Driven Life (More recently released entitled What on Earth Am I Here For?) by Rick Warren, this will be something of a review for you. However, I think this is a valuable exercise as it serves as a reminder of God’s plan for each of us. I read this book every 12-18 months in order to keep these lessons fresh in my mind. If you have never read Warren’s book, I hope this will encourage you to get a copy to read.
Today I will list the five purposes and briefly discuss the first. This will be followed by brief discussions of each of the other purposes over the next four weeks. The five purposes for which we were created by God as described by Rick Warren are:
1. You were planned for God’s pleasure
2. You were formed for God’s family
3. You were created to become like Christ
4. You were shaped for serving God
5. You were made for a mission
First, and foremost, you were created to bring delight to the Lord! And how do we delight the Lord? God takes delight in those who truly worship Him, and anything you or I do which brings pleasure to Him is worship. Worship is more about what we do the rest of the week than what we do when we are in church. What we do at our “worship services” means absolutely nothing if we are not living for Christ every day. Worship services are about coming together with like-minded Christians and focusing our attention jointly on our Lord and Savior. This involves singing praises to Him, corporately lifting up our prayers, giving our offerings, sitting quietly before Him, and hearing the Word of God proclaimed. True worship, however, is about living obediently and serving faithfully each day of our lives. It is about a lifestyle of doing all that we do as if it is done specifically for Jesus. And that is what puts a smile on God’s face!
“Smile on me, your servant;
Teach me the right way to live” (Psalm 119:135, TEV)
Living a lifestyle of obedience requires that you and I surrender ourselves to Christ. In a real sense, we are to offer ourselves to God in the same way we place a financial offering in the plate as it is passed at church. An offering of our finances, in particular, the tithe, requires that we trut God fully to show us how to live better on the 90% than we could on the whole 100%. When that trust is extended to every part of our lives it is an act of worship which gives the Lord reason to smile down upon us.
A major paradox of the Christian life is the fact that victory comes through surrender. Christians must come to realize that our lives are stronger when we are weak, because only when we acknowledge our weakness and surrender to God’s purposes will we experience His strength and His power. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said, “The greatness of a man’s power is in the measure of his surrender.”
Make it a daily practice to surrender yourself to God. In 1 Corinthians 15:31 Paul says, “I die daily.” So, remember that the heart of worship is the act of surrendering yourself to God, and it is a daily decision which we must make. Therefore, let it be your daily goal to light up the Lord’s face with a big smile!