Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thoughts About Purpose

I am reading a book by Dr. Dale A. Fife called The Secret Place.  I first encountered this book in 2002/2003 when I did a one-year internship in Texas at Teen Mania's Honor Academy.  I found this book in my advisor's room.  I asked if I could borrow it and, upon my advisor's approval, I began to read this wonderful book.  I would have very interesting experiences as I read, which drew me back to my advisor's room to borrow this book over and over again.  Now, as an adult, I am reading this book again and it's just a marvelous experience.  Each morning as I rise to read, I feel as if I'm having a fresh encounter with the Lord all over again.  Each morning, there's new understanding or a revelation that refreshes me, opens my eyes, challenges my mindsets, and renews my excitement about life and my appreciation for the privilege of having a relationship with God and being able to know Him.

The thing that blew me away this morning was a short statement I came across as I read.  The statement is as follows:  "Death is not cessation of life. (See Hebrews 9:27.)  Instead, it is the release of life to a different dimension, an eternal dimension."  As I read, I had a mental picture of a person "dying" here on earth -- their life here on earth ending and their body going to the grave, but (their spirit) going on to another world...a place unseen by the physical eye.  All of a sudden, it was like everything I had ever been taught about death -- how we are "just passing through" this life; and how we are simply "living for the next life" -- all made sense. This statement and accompanying understanding totally rocked my world.  I finally began to see life as one long continuum, instead of just a few years here on earth.  I finally understood -- for real, and not just out of mental consent -- that my life -- our lives -- are not limited to a few years here on earth.  Life is eternal.  It does not end.  We just live a few years of it in one dimension and the remainder of it in another.

This revelation/understanding really made me think about my life here on earth... life on earth really is only a blink of an eye compared to eternity -- a speck on the entire timeline of life.  This newly received understanding also made me wonder...what am I here for...?  If I am only here for a few years and then I pass on into eternity...into another dimension, what is the purpose of being here on earth in the first place?  Why not just exist in that other dimension from beginning to end?  Why even make this pit stop here on earth?  These questions reminded me of something the Lord told me a few years ago, "You are here for my purposes."  My only conclusion is that we are here for a purpose or purposes beyond ourselves. We are not here merely for ourselves. We all are here for His purposes.  There is a reason we are alive.  There is a reason breath is in our bodies.  We are on earth for a reason, for a purpose or for several purposes.  The way we discover those purposes is to look to God our creator, the one who created us and has given purpose to every life.

I think it is great that, while we have the opportunity to live here on earth, we also have the opportunity to know the One whom created us, AND... He gives us purpose.  That's simply amazing.  "How do I know what my purpose is?" you may ask.  I would say, first -- seek God.  HE created you and knows what He had in mind when He created you. Develop your relationship with Him. In that relationship, He will speak to you and lead you in the way you should go (Psalm 32:8).  Second -- look at the things you are naturally gifted/talented at doing. Often times, these things are sign posts that can lead us in the right direction or reveal to us things that God has placed in us. Look at the thing you are naturally interested in and drawn to. Is there something you've been doing since you were a child? Is there something others keep asking for your assistance with? (Writing, math, building something, fashion, computers, etc.)  Third - Pursue your interests, but allow God to lead you in your pursuits.  Seek the Lord and obey Him -- even when it does not make sense.  Following Christ leads you directly into your destiny.  You cannot go wrong when you are following Him, for He knows the plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11). We can be assured that God loves us, created us, desires a relationship with us, and desires us to know Him and the plans He has for us. His plans for us are GOOD.

Jeremiah 1:5a NLT
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart..."

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." 

Psalm 139: 16 NLT
"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

Psalm 38:2 NLT
The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.