Signs That You May Not Be Living In Gods Purpose
Before we dive into this point, we need to make at least one caveat. In one sense, you are always living in Gods purpose. God is God and He works all things, including your life, according to his purposes. Nothing can happen without God ordaining it.
Psalm 57:2 says, I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. This is key in understanding Gods purpose for your life. God has numbered your days and will fulfill every purpose He has for you.
However, our choices and actions also really matter. In some ways, this is a mystery we cant fully understand, but that doesnt mean its not true. We can choose to do things that will bring us more joy and give us more of a sense of purpose. Thats where were headed in this post. We want to help you identify those choices you can make to bring more excitement and God-given purpose into your life.
But first, here are 6 signs that you dont have much purpose in your life.
YOURE BLATANTLY LIVING IN SIN.
Lets start with the obvious here. If youre blatantly disobeying the Bible, youre not living in Gods purpose and you will certainly experience a sense of aimlessness in your life. This one is pretty straightforward so we dont need to spend too much time here.
YOU LACK JOY AND EXCITEMENT.
In his book Desiring God, John Piper says:
The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an extra that a person might grow into after he comes to faith.
YOU DONT FEEL MUCH FULFILLMENT IN LIFE.
YOU FEEL STUCK.
Living By Gods Word Means To Follow His Commandments
While the first step to following God is to believe in Him, it is not enough. You need to translate your belief into action. Living faith is a TRANSFORMATIONAL faith. It does not just change our thinking, but it also changes our words and actions. IT CHANGES WHO WE ARE.
If you aim to live by Gods word, it is not enough to just believe what God says. It is NOT sufficient to admire the nobleness and perfection of Gods word. No, thats just playing Christianity. Living by Gods word is not a passive state of life, but it is ACTIVE, DYNAMIC, and ENERGETIC.
Living by Gods word demands following His commandments. After telling the Israelites to remember God and to understand the importance of His words, Moses instructed them to keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him .
God is saying here that we must follow His commandments if we want to live by His word. Learning Gods expectation from us, His will in our lives, and the purpose of our existence should behoove us to follow His instructions.
The Good Life Results From Healthy Relationships Which Result From Doing Good In Our Walk
Let him turn away from evil and do good let him seek peace and pursue it . This quote from Psalm 34 supports 3:8: To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit. You will note that there is something we must turn away from–doing evil and something we must actively pursue–doing good and seeking peace.
A. Doing good in our walk means turning from evil and pursuing peace.
Implicit in 3:11 is the truth that we all have a natural bent toward evil. The word evil is used five times in this paragraph and refers to living for ourselves in disregard of God and others, except as they can serve us. Adam and Eves original sin, which plunged the entire human race into sin, was an act of self-will that sought self-fulfillment in disobedience to the command of God. The new birth does not eradicate that evil bent toward self, as any honest Christian will readily admit.
For example, when Im driving to work and Im listening to the Christian radio station and praising the Lord, and some guy cuts in front of me so that I have to hit my brakes, why dont I instinctively respond by blessing him and praying for his salvation? The answer is the same as the answer for why a toddler throws a tantrum: I didnt get my way and I want my way! In fact, when I analyze my anger, I find that most of it stems from one source: I want my way and I didnt get my way.
B. Doing good in our walk is defined by five attitudes and actions.
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Keys To Living The Good Life According To Scripture
How to live a good life in the eyes of God.
If you are a Christian, scripture is a big part of your life. Not only does it serve as a foundation for your beliefs, it is a resource that you utilize for reference, reflection, and planning.
There are several ideals associated with living a good life. People hear about struggles and setbacks and oftentimes lose sight of the blessings in their life. In many cases, the obstacles, channel strength and perseverance that we didnt know existed. Ideally, a Christian, would turn to scripture and be reminded that hard times are part of life and bring forth unimaginable blessings. Generally, our culture, identifies best with instant gratification however, that is not the reality in most cases.
The keys to live a good life in the eyes of God can be found by doing the following.
Meaning In Life Comes From Knowing God As Our Father
God is not only the author of life, He is our Father. A young child will feel empty and disconnected if she does not know the warmth and love of a father. In the same way, the meaning of life can be experienced fully only when we are connected to our Father in heaven.
When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, God adopts us as His children and a cry comes out of us: Abba! Abba is the Aramaic word for father. A better English equivalent might be daddy or papa.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father!
To live as orphans apart from the Father in heaven is to miss out on a significant part of the meaning of life. When we know God as our Father, we can learn to trust and receive love. We can also learn to be corrected and led on a better path because God cares for us .
Its clear from what Jesus says in the Gospels that God is not after a religious devotion, but a personal relationship. God is not after about enforcing His list of dos and donts. God is after our hearts, as a Father would want from His children.
If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.
Jesus shows us exactly how God is a Father to us. Although we cant see God with our eyes, when we see Jesus actions and words in the Bible, we can know God as He reveals Himself to us.
And in the verse just before that, Jesus makes an astounding claim.
When We Know God as Our Father
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Living By Gods Word Means To Humble Yourself
Christs answer is a direct quotation of Deuteronomy 8:3. The whole eighth chapter of Deuteronomy is about Moses instructing the nation of Israel to remember the Eternal their God.
SO HE HUMBLED YOU, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
From this verse, we can read that if you want to live by Gods word, you need to first humble yourself. If you are not humble, God will first need to humble you through trials and hardships. He will test and humble you before He can use you for His purpose.
Why is humility so important? Because humility is required for complete submission to God. You cant live by every word of God if you are full of yourself. You cant live by every word of God if you are filled with pride, arrogance, and conceit.
Humbling yourself does not necessarily mean thinking less of yourself. It is the recognition that you are nothing without God. It is the ability to see the awesomeness, majesty, and power of God and yet, He is loving and caring at the same time.
Sometimes, God allows us to be hungry so that He can feed you with manna. We need to first humble ourselves so God will lift up .
The Good Life Results From Healthy Relationships Which Result From Doing Good In Our Talk
Do you want the good life? Peter says , Refrain your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile . Our lips must back up the good deeds in our lives if we want to enjoy the good life. Peter brings out three aspects to doing good in our talk:
A. Doing good in our talk means not retaliating when we are verbally abused.
Verse 10 supports Peters command in 3:9, that we are not to retaliate when we are insulted, but rather to give a blessing instead, which means to speak well to the other person or to bring good to them. This principle runs counter to the world . The world says, If someone abuses you verbally, you dont have to take it! Stand up for your rights! Assert yourself! Let them know that you have more self-respect than that! But God says, If someone insults you, bless them. Say something kind to them in return. Jesus said, Bless those who curse you pray for those who mistreat you . I know its not easy, but its what God commands.
B. Doing good in our talk means refraining from deception.
I realize that there are difficult situations where it is hard to be honest. Do you tell a dying relative the truth about his condition? Or, in a not so serious, but just as tough situation, what do you tell your wife when she asks, Do you like my new hairdo? You pray for tact and wisdom at such moments. But I argue that truthfulness is always the best policy. Deception hurts healthy relationships and doesnt please God.
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B To Follow Jesus You Must Hate Your Life In This World
You ask, Am I supposed to become a monk, take a vow of poverty, wear hair shirts, have no contact with the outside world, and spend hours singing Gregorian chants? Is it wrong to enjoy life? What does it mean to hate my life in this world?
To hate our lives is the same thing as denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily to follow Jesus . It means that we must daily repudiate a self-centered life. It means living for Gods glory and His purpose by submitting every thought, word, and deed to the lordship of Jesus. It means moment by moment seeking to love God and love others for Jesus sake by saying no to my inherent selfishness and pride. Here are two things to consider about hating your life in this world:
1) Hating your life in this world is not the way to gain eternal life, but rather a characteristic of all who have eternal life.
2) Hating your life in this world means dying to selfishness in order to love others for Jesus sake.
Maybe by this point youre wondering, Why would I want to die to myself and live for Christ and others? That leads to:
What Role Does The Bible Play In Our Lives
What does the Bible mean to you?
I asked this question in a Sunday School setting this past week and we launched into a pretty neat discussion. For starters, we mentioned some of the typical answers: Scripture is God-breathed,The Bible is Gods holy word for Gods people,For many the Bible is without errors or contradiction you know, the typical Sunday School answers.
It was interesting to ask this in a group setting because we all tend to have our own bias ways of reading the Bible that we pretend arent bias at all. We gave space to admit our biases and even laugh at them a little.
Have you ever heard or uttered phrases like, a plain reading of Scripture or a biblical view on marriage, parenting, relationships, sexuality, creation, science, war, etc.? The funny thing is that we can all come up with different and even conflicting answers when we approach the Bible in this kind of way. We all have our ways of twisting and turning the words of Scripture to say or support pretty much whatever we want. And more times that not, we do this in order to strengthen an argument and prove someone else wrong. But we rob the Bible of its enormous richness whenever we use it as a means to attack others or just to prove them wrong.After all, the Bible is not an encyclopedia or dictionary. All of the answers to every question ever asked cannot be found in the back of the book.
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Biblical Passages About The Purpose Of Life
Now that I have told you the purpose of life, it is time to prove that claim right from the Bible, the ultimate source of all truths and fact.
Lets go back from the beginning of the creation of man.
So God created man in His own image in the IMAGE OF GOD He created him male and female He created them .
Right in the very beginning, God has planned that we become like Him. Of all the created living organisms of God, it is only man that has given the privilege to be created after the image of God.
Our first parents were given their first test of obedience. There are two unique trees in the garden. One is called the Tree of Life and the other is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil .
Right there, God has given man the chance to be immortal if they eat the Tree of Life. However, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. From that moment on, sin entered the world. Sadly, the penalty of sin is death .
Even in the Garden of Eden, God wants Adam and Eve to pass the test of obedience and give them immortality and to be part of Gods family. However, they have sinned and to redeem them from the penalty of sin Jesus has to die for all of us .
A To Follow Jesus You Must Not Love Your Life In This World
Note three things about loving your life in this world:
1) Loving your life in this world means living with this life only in view.
Thats what Jesus means by in this world. Its to live as if this world is all there is, so get all the gusto you can now. Its to live for your best life now. Thats the stupidest title for a supposedly Christian book that Ive ever heard of! Did Jesus enjoy His best life now as He endured the hostility of sinners against Him and went to cross in His early thirties? Did Paul enjoy his best life now as he suffered beatings, imprisonments, a stoning, shipwrecks, and frequent dangers for the sake of the gospel ? Did any of the martyrs enjoy their best life now as they had their heads cut off or their bodies burned at the stake? If that book is telling you how to have your best life now by laying it down for the sake of Jesus and the gospel, Amen! But if its telling you how you can have health and wealth and a comfortable lifestyle now, then its completely opposed to Jesus teaching!
Jesus told about a man who was enjoying his best life now. He said to his soul , Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said to him , You fool! This very night your soul is required of you and now who will own what you have prepared? Jesus concluded , So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
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Ways To Regain Your Purpose
In his classic book The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a poem that included the line, Not all who wander are lost. The same applies to you. Even though you feel like youre wandering without any true purpose, that doesnt mean youre lost. You can regain your sense of purpose and discover what God has for your life.
Here are 6 ways to discover Gods purpose for your life.
GO TO GOD IN PRAYER.
Again, lets start with the obvious. If you feel purposeless, ask God to give you wisdom and direction. James 1:5 states, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Thats incredibly good news. God wants to give you a purpose. He wants to bestow divine wisdom on you. Its not like God is holding out on you to make you miserable. He desires you to have a joyful, ambitious, purposeful life. Ask God for purpose and expect Him to give it to you.
DIG INTO GODS WORD.
The primary way God speaks to us is through the Bible. This means that one of the first things you should do in your search for Gods purpose is to start digging into scripture. Now, you wont find any verses that tell you to become a dance instructor or painter, but you will begin to understand the heart of God.
DETERMINE YOUR GIFTS AND STRENGTHS.
DETERMINE YOUR PASSIONS.
BRING OTHERS INTO YOUR LIFE.
TAKE A SOLITUDE RETREAT.