Recently, there has been a lot said about this topic, and I feel like much of it has only been opinion and not fact. It is misleading to suggest that we gain true fulfillment by doing those things our evil desire demands. To tell someone, “If it feels good, do it,” will, in many cases, cause him or her much distress and eventually send them to hell. How do you pretend to show wisdom or affection by leading someone in the wrong direction, or how do you make something more agreeable by adding confusion? In the Christian life, you do not determine the purpose you wish to support or represent, and doing so will only cause you division and defeat. You must ask God for His guidance and wisdom as you seek His perfect will for your life. Many books and periodicals have been written not in an attempt to point people to Christ but to obtain an audience or personal following. The only book to emulate is the Holy Bible, and the only person to follow is Jesus Christ; there can be no other authority. The Christian life is all about the one you represent, and that can be none other than Jesus Christ. Jesus takes the entire question out of living and replaces it with pure reason. In an evil world, we only represent ourselves; we are possessed by a nature that is sinful and self-centered.
Although living here, we are not to be a part of this world but are to live wholly unto Christ. Once you have taken the focus off of self and placed it where God intended, you can experience true joy that can be gained in no other way. Joy is not equal with pleasure and comes from an entirely different source. Joy comes from the inside out and is unstoppable while pleasure is experienced on the outside and is only momentary. Joy possesses an abundant energy that is not hoarded but shared with all those around you. Joy is that Spirit of God placed within you by the nail-scarred hand of a forgiving Savior.
While you are separated from your master, you can be sure that life will not be as joyful as it could be. Living for Christ is not a drudge. Even though it can sometimes be difficult, when you are where you are supposed to be, it will be satisfying and fulfilling. The purpose of a life lived for God always travels in the same direction and maintains the same goals and objectives. Unlike a life lived in the world that is always changing directions and is unstable, you have been set on a solid foundation: Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18). As a Christian, to be happy and content, you do not need to continually experiment or try new things. The purpose of a life lived for Christ is to please Him and spread the truth of His life-giving gospel. I am reminded of a song, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.” One of the great old beloved hymns of the past arranged and copyrighted by Albert E Brumley. As a Christian, I really don’t have the time, or I shouldn’t spend the time, to get carried away with this world’s corrupt and perverse lifestyle. That doesn’t make me better than anyone else, only different, different in a way that is positive and beneficial to myself and beneficial to those in my sphere of influence.
The world maintains that there are many different lifestyles; but in truth, there is only one that is truly rewarding and successful. Looking at the moment and failing to see what the future will bring is sure to cause impending pain and misery. You cannot live any way you please and expect the future to take care of itself. Living under the pangs of sin is never justifiable; and, no matter how difficult you think it is to change, that is what the power of the Holy Spirit is all about. If you are to have any future that is to be considered pleasant or desirable, it can only be obtained through a personal friendship with Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God. Without Him in your life, you are doomed to failure no matter how powerful and rich you become. He will not be a friend to this world or to anyone who will not give up those things offered to us by its evil purpose. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God, James 4:4-5. God’s way is not like finding a needle in a haystack; but, to some, it may be as difficult as pulling hen’s teeth.
If you think we all have the same purpose or goal, then why is this evil world in total opposition to the things of God? Why are the things of God being subverted and believers being threatened? If we all want the things that are profitable and rewarding, then why are the things of God seen as harmful and unfavorable? Why has love become a threat and forgiveness now foolish? “‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,’ saith the Lord, ‘and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters,’ saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18). Many do not want to be separate, but the result of following the worldly crowd is complete destruction. To say you will take your chances is to show ignorance or obstinate folly. There is only one chance: accepting the forgiveness of a loving Savior. As we talk about purpose and the abundant life, we must first determine what true abundance really is and then seek a way to obtain it. “And he said unto them, ‘Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth’” (Luke 12:15). Abundance, in its common definition, is having plenty or possessing more than is needed. In many examples, it can be compared with self-indulgence and can be considered self-serving, but, in many instances, it can refer to giving as well as receiving. “I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). In Jesus’ own words, He spoke of how we can gain true abundance when we share our prosperity with those in poverty. If God has promised to bless those of a giving heart, then by our giving, we do not lose but are assured of God’s blessings. If God has told us to give of our abundance, then He must have made us prosperous so that we could meet the needs of others with His prosperity. In the same sense, God must have made the poor intending that they gain from that prosperity. Assuredly, it is all about being thankful: the rich for their abundance and the poor for being remembered. In a true sense, we all are made satisfied by doing what God has instructed us to do, the rich by giving and the poor by receiving.
True giving does not need to be materialistic for it to be desirable. Giving, like our supreme example, Christ, out of a heart of love and sacrifice can be more desirable than gaining worldly possessions. How do you place a price on true friendship, or how do you exist without the presence of love? I cannot find it rational, no matter how irrational I become, to justify the waste and overindulgence of the wealthy while the poor are in need. In a similar tone, I do not condone the contemptuous spirit of those in need for those who are well-to-do. In any case, I find it well to do what God has required. Do you think God could have made things the way He did so we would need one another? Doesn’t He tell us that we should love one another? (John 13:34-35). God’s whole existence is built on the quality of love. Every life should be lived with a purpose, but if that primary purpose is not to please one’s Creator, then that life is being lived without any meaningful substance or true fulfillment. In worldly measure, having goals or setting a high objective or standard can make your life more productive, but having no eternal thought or desire will leave you defeated. When you have determined that your will and standard of living are the only things of substance, then you have given in to the evil doctrines of this world and are sure to perish. Living the purpose-driven life can only be effective and fulfilling when God is in control and we have given up our aspirations for the desires of Christ. As Christ gave up His life on the cross, we must also give Him our lives in a fervent effort and desire to satisfy and please Him. If we gain everything we desire and forget to meet the One who is the giver of all things, then we have accomplished nothing. Everyone seeks to gain, to have and to enjoy. The only difference is where we go to obtain that enjoyment. This world seeks to provide its inhabitants with those things thought necessary, but its pleasures are only temporal and can give no real fulfillment. To expect this world to provide you with those things that are truly beneficial is to deny reality and expect the unobtainable. I have spent many days in my life with a purpose, not in wanting to please God but to fulfill the desires of my fleshly heart. I make this statement knowing that I am not alone, but I am allowing myself to be a part of what is known as the world. I know that God has promised to forgive me when I sin, but His forgiveness does not give me back those hours I have wasted in total disobedience. When I do not take the time to do those things God wants me to do, or when I waste time doing those things of the world, it is sin. I have heard it referred to as sins of commission and sins of omission. God has a plan for every one of His children, and He expects us to follow it all the way. Once we have given Him our life, it is 100 percent of the time, 24,7. There is no way we can get into trouble or have a problem we cannot handle when God is on the watch. While we are doing what He has required, we will be in His perfect peace. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3). We must have His strength to withstand the world because the world is the enemy of all that is pure, righteous, and holy. We are not to love this world but to love the things of God. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15
The only time I find myself in doubt, afraid and wandering, is when I have allowed myself to be captivated by the things of the world. We are not to be associated with the things of the world because the world can offer us nothing but pain; sorrow; and, eventually, death. God does not want to take away all of our fun but wants to give us true, everlasting joy. “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). How do we equate the pleasures or fun for a season with the joy of everlasting life? Isn’t giving up the pain and sorrows of this world to gain eternal life and joy to be considered favorable? This seems to me to be a mute question when most of the so-called pleasures of this world are short-lived and seldom truly achieved. So many of the things that this world equates with fun and pleasure are habit forming and life threatening. How do we call something fun when we must do it because of a craving or dependence instead of out of our free will? How do you call things pleasurable that eventually destroy relationships and degrade lives? For many, life has come to the point of aversion, and to cope, any method of escape is utilized: alcohol, drugs, anything that can take away the pain of the moment becomes justifiable. I will agree that times can become unbearable, but the only thing this world has to offer is destructive and unprofitable. I have known many families destroyed by the use of alcohol, but I have also seen countless hours being wasted in justifying its use and consumption. I have seen many, young and old alike, dying with organ failure brought about by the habitual use of such stimulants and depressants. I have seen a child going without the necessities of life so their parents could enjoy the “pleasures” given them by the habitual use of such stimulates. A child going hungry can never be justified, in my mind, when the money to purchase those needs was wasted on such sinful ruin. How can we just turn our heads and look the other way, knowing the awful pain and destruction that is caused by our inappropriate and foolish actions? There is a better way, and our forgiving Lord has offered us that way. The ultimate foolishness of mankind is to deny that God exists and, by doing so, accept the destruction given in its place by an evil world.
The true standard is not set by this world but was established by the Lord. The words success and good fortune are never truly recognized when one’s actions doom them to a devil’s hell.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8
True success, found by reading and practicing the revelations given us by the Holy Word of God, is the only way to acquire the proper purpose in life. Without the wisdom of God, we will be forever lost in our sin. Sin does not leave me with a feeling of accomplishment but despair. It does not leave me feeling I have gained anything meaningful but only leaves me empty and unfulfilled. When that bond of harmony has been interrupted between my God and me because of my disobedience, I am left feeling weak and brokenhearted. As I look at life, I know I have been given a choice, and I will be held accountable for all I have chosen. Knowing that I will be made to suffer for my inappropriate actions (sins) has not always deterred me from their occurring, but I have always felt sorrowful and foolish for allowing myself to become unfaithful. Justification of sin never provides true satisfaction, and I have never been made to feel true fulfillment or peace in doing what is wrong. It is never profitable to sin knowing that God has promised to forgive because, in God’s forgiveness, He has also promised to chastise. I have no strength in and of myself, and if I do not let God provide me with His power, I am doomed to fail. All my good intentions and goals become misdirected and meaningless when I do not allow God to direct me. I am not to be the maker of the plan; God is. He already has a plan for my life, and through Him, that plan must be implemented. When I forsake Him and allow this world to dictate where I will go and what I will do, I then become worthless and am certain to fail. Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:14-18
The purpose and direction for my life must be from heaven, for without God’s intervention, I will never see that place above called heaven. Failure is not in the heart of the redeemed, and satisfaction is not in the life of the wicked. To live life to the fullest, we must place our survival in the capable hands of an almighty God, knowing that He will not allow us to be destroyed. Is there anything in this life you are willing to die for? If not, being mortal, you will die having no true purpose or faith. God is the answer for any difficulty we might be forced to bear, and He is the giver of any hope that can be obtained. As I look for a purpose or a meaning in life, I must not look only to those things I can see but to those things given to me by my faith in Him. Walking the path alone is never fulfilling, and, at the end, will only bring me to a place of total destruction. You cannot have it both ways. God has given us all that we need to succeed. Why is it that we choose to dilute His perfection with the garbage and puke of the world? It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, how popular you become, or how much wealth you accumulate; the only purpose in life which will take you to heaven is that purpose found in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
The human spirit is empty and inconsiderate without God’s love to fill and nurture it. All that we have been given is an opportunity to choose, and without centering that choice where God meant for it to be, we will become lifeless and self-serving. Blessings or necessities are all obtained from a loving Lord and without His blessings we will live a difficult, unfulfilled life. Everything in life is dependent upon what you do with Jesus, and without Him, you will be forever lost. There is only one true victory; there is only one true salvation, and that is why Christ came to this earth. Jesus’ life is all about the salvation of man, and without His death, we could not live. It is about time that we recognize this fact and allow Him to do the work He was sent here to do. His purpose is the only purpose that can give us what we really need.
It is truly all about Him.