What’s the Purpose?

What’s the purpose of my life?

Why am I here?

I’ve had questions like these rolling around in my brain many times in my life. Have these questions ever kept you awake at night?

As I read what God has to tell me in the book of Ecclesiastes, it sounds like a review of some of the doubts and discouragements that have filled my mind at different times of my life.

I’m going to die – we’re all going to die – and it all ends, it all goes away. So what’s the point?

God talks about all the emptiness we can feel here ‘under the sun’ –

  • the emptiness of human knowledge – “the more knowledge, the more grief.” Eccl 1:18b
  • the emptiness of searching for pleasure – what does pleasure accomplish?
  • the emptiness of achieving goals…and then what?
  • the emptiness of working hard….and then leaving it all behind.
  • the emptiness of owning ‘stuff’ and more stuff – chasing after the wind.
  • the emptiness of chasing after money – “Whoever loves money never has enough” Eccl. 5:10a.
  • the emptiness of rebellion – “Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them.” Eccl 8:13a.

That’s a lot of emptiness, isn’t it? Do you feel that emptiness sometimes? I used to before I understood why I’m here.

Throughout Ecclesiastes, God gives me hints about the purpose of my life by repeatedly using the phrase ‘under the sun’ to describe the location of the emptiness. This means that all of this emptiness is true of earth when God, who is over the sun, is not involved.

Then in Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14, God comes right out and says “Now all has been heard: here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

There it is. Fear God and keep his commandments. First , fearing God is living our lives with a combination of respect, honor and reverence for God and submitting our will to his will.

And what commandments are we supposed to keep? Jesus fulfilled all the law of the Old Testament when he came to earth and he left us with these two commandments – “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22: 37-39.

Love God and love others. That’s why I’m here. That’s why you’re here.

Can it really be that simple?

Yes, it can be that simple. Loving God brings his light and grace and mercy into your life and into my life here under the sun. Loving others lets the people around us feel God’s love reaching out through us and it brings his light into their lives here under the sun.

God fills our emptiness and gives our lives meaning and purpose when we focus on loving God and loving others.

Thank you for being so clear about our purpose for being here on earth, Abba Father.

Psalm 108, 2021

My heart is yours, O God, and my soul sings praises to you. Every morning as I see the sun rise, I praise you, LORD.

Great is your love! It fills the heavens reaching to the skies. You are exalted, God, above the heavens and your glory shines over all the earth.

Deliver us, Father. We know you reign over all the earth. Nothing and no one can stand against you, God.

With God on our side, evil doesn’t stand a chance. Victory is our’s.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Psalm 30, 2021

I just can’t stop praising your name, today, Lord! You have lifted my problems and worries off of my shoulders. I called your name and you healed my soul. I used to feel empty and worthless but now you have saved me.

Sing with me, all believers! Praise our Holy God!

God’s anger is focused on the Evil One. Satan is fighting very hard but God has already won the war.

Good news! You and I, the redeemed, have already started our life forever with our Father God.  We are his favorite children!

Yes, we still have struggles and trials while we live on this earth. But, through them all, our Father God walks closely beside us, caring for us and giving us joy.

Most of the time, I feel secure.  I feel like I will never be shaken.

But – sometimes – I feel far away from you, God.  Alone. Afraid. So I cry out to you once again – end my loneliness!  Get rid of my fear! Pour out your grace upon me. Help me, oh Lord.

Yes!  Then you turn my crying into dancing! My sadness disappears and I am filled with joy as I sing your praises!

0 Lord, my God, I will praise you forever!

Do You Feel It?

Do you feel the power of the Holy Spirit living within you? What does this power feel like?

God’s Word tells me that David and his army took back Jerusalem from the Jebusites.  “And David became more and more powerful, because the LORD Almighty was with him.” 1 Chronicles 11:9  David was obedient and, as a result of that obedience, God was able to fulfill his plan for David and establish him as king.

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Isn’t that what you and I want?  Not to be king.  But don’t we want God to be able to use us for his purposes?  We want God’s dreams for us to come true.

I had the opportunity to visit the City of David in Jerusalem several years ago. (pictures)   It’s very hard to try to describe what it felt like to stand within the ruins of David’s palace, looking down over the rooftops of Jerusalem.

It’s amazing to know that my God was David’s God.

The Alpha and Omega.

The Beginning and the End.

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God was with David in Jerusalem.  God’s power was in David, helping him to obediently fulfilled his purpose on earth.  When David’s purpose on earth was done, our Father God brought him home.

God was also with me – when I was in Jerusalem and every day.  The power of his Holy Spirit lives within me, helping me to fulfill my purpose.  I’m still here because I’m not done yet.  When my time is up, Jesus will walk with me into heaven, my forever home.

Amen! Hallelujah!

No Such Thing

There are no ‘good witches’. This is one of the lies that permeates our culture. We all see these ficticious characters in movies and TY shows doing good things for people or cleaning their house with a twitch of their nose.

No one can be a ‘good witch’ because there are two major supernatural forces in our world – good versus evil, God versus Satan. God is very clear in his Word that witches do not get any power they have from him. God does not speak through Ouija boards or seances – he speaks through his Word. So that leaves just one place where witches or any of these things can get their supernatural power – Satan. And Satan is never good.

Satan is the great Deceiver and the Father of Lies. He can make something bad look like it’s okay. He can twist the truth just slightly to make it a very convincing lie. He can use something that looks good to bring about a bad result. Make no mistake – evil intentions lie under everything Satan does.

The story in the Bible of King Saul going to the Witch of Endor is a sad story with a interesting twist. The enormous Philistine army was approaching and Saul was terrified. He ‘inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer by dreams, or Urim or prophets.” 1 Samuel 28:6. Saul was regularly disobeying God at this time, so God stopped answering him. Why give Saul an answer if he’s not going to obey? Sometimes God will stop answering us, too, if we continue to ask but are not listening and obeying.

In the past, Samuel had helped Saul listen and obey God, but now Samuel was dead. Saul wanted to talk with Samuel so he went to the Witch of Endor. The witch did her normal ‘consulting the spirits’ act but then screamed when she saw Samuel appear. Why did she scream? She obviously did not expect someone to actually come back from the dead – she was used to making it all up.

And Samuel wasn’t happy about being disturbed. That makes sense. He was enjoying heaven and suddenly he’s back on earth having to deal with Saul’s fear and lack of trust in God.

Samuel told Saul because he continued to be disobedient, God was going to do what he said – take away Saul’s kingdom.

And the next day Saul and his three sons were dead.

In this instance, God worked through a witch in order to achieve his purposes. But she was not a ‘good witch’.

Don’t be deceived.

Thank you for your truth, Abba Father.

Psalm 57, 2021

Hear my prayers, Father, and show me your compassion.  I will hide myself in your shadow until my fears and worries go away.

I ask that you fulfill your purposes for my life.  I know the angels of heaven are fighting my battles and they will give me victory.

Your love and faithfulness never leave me, Father.

I am surrounded by the evil one who is trying to take pieces of me and devour me.

But I still praise you, God.  May your glorious light shine over all the earth.

My enemy sets traps for me – especially when I am weary and distressed.  The evil one digs deep pits in my path but then he falls into them himself.

I am confident in you, oh God.  My heart sings your praises.  I awake every morning with a song of praise to you.  Thank you for your love and faithfulness which has no end.

I praise you, Father.  May your glorious light shine over all the earth.

Psalm 63, 2021

O God, you are my God.  I am searching for you with all my heart.

My soul needs you.  My whole being longs to be close to you in this empty, weary and very confused world.  I treasure the precious time I get to spend with you.

I have personally witnessed your power and glory.  I praise you for your love which makes this life worth living.

I will lift my hands and heart up to you in praise for as long as I live.  Only you can fill the emptiness inside of me and make me sing for joy.

In the darkest part of the night, I remember how much you have loved me in the past and how much you have promised to love me in the future.  My heart sings for joy as I cling to your promises and feel your arms around me, holding me safe and securely to your side.

The Evil One and his team are all around me, Father, trying to ruin me.  But I know you are fighting my battles, God, and you have already won the war.

I rejoice in you, God.  All who know the Truth know you.  Liars will be silenced.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Psalm 34, 2021

God is good – all the time!

I will share this great news with everyone I know.  They all need to hear this – there is no one and no thing that compares to the LORD!

Say it with me – God is good, all the time!

When I talk to God, he answers me and takes my fears away.

The light of God’s love shines out of us, his children, and we are never ashamed.  When we are lost in a pile of problems that we created, we can call on God who rescues us.  His angel protects us and sets us free!

Try him and see!  God is good!

My Father God is a safe haven and a provider for me and for everyone who has faith in him.  Those who look strong on the outside grow weak and empty on the inside if they don’t have faith in God.

God’s children have everything they need.

Listen to me –

respect and honor the LORD and you will live a life filled with good days.  Stay away from lying and all evil.  Be a peacemaker.

God watches over those who do what is right.  He hears our cries.  God is always close to the brokenhearted.

But God turns his face away from those who do evil.

When we have faith in God, we will still have trials but God walks beside us every step of the way – giving us peace and strength.

The wicked get what they deserve.  The LORD condemns anyone who opposes the people who love him.

God rescues his children – he is a safe refuge that is always available to us.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Caving In

Or should I call it making the ‘popular’ choice?

In 1 Samuel, Saul disobeyed God by keeping some of the ‘stuff’ that they took from the Amalekites after defeating them.  When Samuel pointed this out to Saul, Saul rationalized the sin by telling Samuel that they did this so they could give the best of the sheep and cattle to God.

Samuel then tells Saul,” Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD?….Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:22,23.

Well, THEN Saul admitted that the real reason he kept the plunder was because he was afraid of how his men would react if he destroyed it all like God wanted him to do.

The bottom-line in this story is Saul didn’t trust God.  He didn’t believe God had his back.  He got all wrapped up in being a hotshot king that everyone looked up to and he didn’t want to put any of this hero-worship into jeopardy.

So Saul made the ‘popular’ choice rather than the obedient one.

Do I ever do that?  Do you ever do that? Are we ever more concerned about what other people think than what God thinks?  Do we fail to take the more Godly position on issues sometimes because it may not go over well with others? 

We probably all do, sometimes without realizing it.

If my goal is to be obedient to God, I’m going to need to make what God thinks a higher priority than what people around me think.

Pleasing God trumps popularity here on earth – every time.

Please help me show my love for you and faith in you by obeying you, Abba Father.

Do Whatever Works for You

Sounds good – let’s all do whatever works for us.   Then we’ll all be happy.

Or not.

“In those days Israel had no king: everyone did as they saw fit”. Judges 21:25. This is how the book of Judges ends.  It may sound good until we scan back a couple of chapters and realize what they thought was ‘fit’ to do. 

Family members were stealing from each other.  They obviously thought this was an ok thing to do.

Family members were kidnapping each other.  They thought this was ok as well.

Family members were killing each other to the point that they virtually annihilated one of the 12 tribes of Israel.  I wonder how they could possibly think this was ok but they did.  They could rationalize anything. Their moral judgement was quickly spirally into total chaos and confusion.

Because they had no compass.

Sounds familiar? Our current culture has many of these same issues. Why?

When I base what is right and wrong on what I think, I’m in trouble.  Then I’m just like these Israelites – doing what I see fit and letting my standards waiver in whatever direction the wind is blowing.

God has been very clear to you and me on moral boundaries. His Word to us is full of direction and guidance. I might not like all of it. You may not agree with all of it. But that doesn’t change his Word to us.

This picture of the Umbrella of God’s Blessing sticks in my head and reminds me that one of my main goals in life is to stay in line with God. When I obey God and follow the compass he has given me, I am placing my life under his umbrella of blessing. When I don’t obey God and just do what I want to do, I am stepping out from under his umbrella. I can’t expect God to bless my decisions and life when I’m not obeying him.

It’s my choice and I choose to stay under the umbrella – every hour of every day.

What do you choose?

Dear Father, I desire to walk in your path of truth.  Please guide me so that your moral standards are what ‘fits’ me best.