For most of my life, before and after salvation, I spent it seeking validation from the world that I was making a difference and had value. I was deaf to God’s whispers that my value is in the purpose for which He created me (to glorify Him) and it’s not my actions that make a difference but His. Oh, my actions were and are needed, but not for the reasons I was doing them.
I spent years performing to please God and man and when my actions no longer pleased man, I questioned my reason for existing. Even as a Christian who could recite verbatim the scripture that proclaimed I was perfectly and wonderfully made, when man was not validating my actions (my perceived reason for existence), I felt useless. I questioned whether I ever made a difference in the world and if I ever could.
At a time when I was feeling more beaten down, defeated and slandered than ever before, I questioned why it was even necessary to try so hard to ‘be’ a Christian. I found my thoughts wondering what the reason was for working so hard to be the difference in the Kingdom of God when others who were not trying at all were facing much less strife and challenging times. God loves me no matter what, so why try so hard.
I wish I could say that overnight I was enlightened and quickly moved from ‘so what’ to ‘praise God’, but I didn’t. I lived in the land of ‘so what’ for several years. I didn’t denounce my faith in God, but I stopped drawing near. I call it “The season I walked away from the table”.
At first, I felt relieved and enjoyed this new attitude of assumed grace. I didn’t become rebellious in nature, I just wasn’t feverous in my efforts to draw near to God. However, over time, I began to notice my life lacked joy. Oh…I was happy, but my soul lacked fire. A dear friend of mine has a saying that described it best… “If that don’t light your fire, your wood must be wet!”
If I was a pile of wood… my wood was wet.
The story of my journey from wet wood to ignited wood is one for another day, but I can tell you that on that journey my longing for joy grew and I became increasingly aware of how much I missed it and needed it. God pulled me back into His word, and this time, with eyes that were no longer looking for ways to prove my value and validate my reason for existence but instead were seeking Him and only Him, I learned a truth I had been missing.
We are created for one purpose.
To glorify Him.
For so long I ‘served’ God with the idea that He created me to serve Him as if I needed to prove my worth, believing that the bigger my acts of service, the more He was pleased with me. Unfortunately, this attitude of service also comes with an attitude of pride, and pride seeks to steal glory from God. When we serve God with a self-declared purpose of making a difference in the world, we seek to receive the glory that belongs to Him, putting us in direct conflict with why He created us.
May I be so bold as to say we don’t exist to make a difference in the world. That’s why God sent His Son – and only He makes a difference in this world. Our purpose, the reason we were created, is to point the world to Him and say “Look…God is making a difference here, and here and here…. and He wants to make a difference in your life too.” God created us to do the work that needs to be done, not so we can say, look at me, but so we can say, look at God.
As I pound the keyboard typing out these last few words I can hardly stay in my chair. I want to jump, shout, sing and dance as I’m consumed by the overwhelming joy and freedom in this truth. My wood is no longer wet and blazes with the joy of living a life on purpose with purpose.
God and only God can make a difference and we are blessed with the purpose of bringing glory to His name as He does it through us! And even more exciting is the fact that because we were created for that very purpose, to glorify God, our soul is fulfilled – completely satisfied when we live each day for His purpose, on purpose.
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done. –Psalm 105:1
And this is why I’m passionate about the message of this blog. It’s a message of freedom. Freedom from the shackles of needing to prove to the world why we exist; freedom from the oppressive spirit that says our reason for existing must be validated by the world; freedom from the exhausting cycle of seeking fulfillment.
With this freedom, we are empowered to live an intentional life determined to glorify God wherever He places us, doing whatever He has asks us to do in the here and now. So, let’s explore together how this freedom allows us to say no to what is not from Him and yes to what is. Let’s learn together how to lose the distractions that pull us from our purpose (to glorify Him) and be empowered to see how even in the small things we have a giant purpose. In doing this, we will experience the joy of a completely satisfied soul.
Here on purpose for His purpose