CHRISTIAN WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE
By Dan Luehrs
People search all of their lives for meaning to life without ever finding it; even as Christians. We get saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and we have a great time in our newfound faith for many years. But then things begin to change; the excitement wains, and we look for something else to fill our time and be our purpose on earth. We think, "That church stuff was good for a while, but now I have to get on with my life. There's money to be made, homes and land to be bought, and retirement to be saved for." Christians leave their first love for Jesus to seek something else, not realizing that they are leaving the will and destiny of God for their life. God has put within each human being the desire to push on to greater horizons. Why look for them in God's creation when you could push into knowing the Creator of all things. God is crying out, "Seek Me with all your heart, not My creation!"
These Christians unknowingly have walked away from a greater revelation of Jesus in them by not suffering through their dry times. Nature teaches us that there are seasons we must go through; dry seasons along with rainy seasons. With God's grace we must persevere through them all. This relationship with Jesus is like an on-going marriage for life. A couple that is married for many years begins to think and act alike. Some even say they begin to look alike. Their relationship is not built on feelings or romance, but by choosing to love each other until death. In any marriage, there are the good years and bad, and so it is with Christ. When we begin to think that we have gotten all there is out of this relationship, hold on, there's more to come. If it is a dry season that you are in, there is another rainy season soon to come when you will blossom forth again! We need to realize that God is calling us to seek after Him with all our heart in the hard times, so that we can know Him more deeply. Then we will see that this is truly the highest calling of mankind: knowing Him. Very few choose to do this because there seems to be very few earthly rewards for their labors in seeking after God. In fact, we are rewarded with more trials and tribulation the more we get to know Him. Why is this? Because it separates the half-hearted believer's from those who will press into all of God. If they could see with the eyes of their spirit, then they would see that only what is done by God's Spirit in us will last. All earthly rewards will be destroyed. Why spend your life on something you cannot keep?
"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 4:18).
"Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal" (John 6:27).
Our relationship with Jesus is an on-going relationship that will go on for eternity. When a person first gets saved they are greatly excited. When they get filled with the Holy Ghost, they feel like they have found everything they were ever looking for in life. But, there's more. Our greatest on-going need in life is to know Him. This must be our quest or we will run after anything that fills a need in our life, rather than God. We must ask Him to put a greater desire in us for Himself. If not, we will definitely run from Him, and to other things to try to satisfy ourselves. The days are evil and the devil has packaged everything in this world to be deceptively fulfilling.
"And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
Do you want eternal life? The Bible says "To know Him, is to have eternal life!" To know Him is not to be a one-stop event in just getting saved, but the closest intimacy of two lovers. Our society says that sex is the ultimate feeling of life, but they don't know, and much of the Church does not know, that we can have heaven on earth everyday! How? By spending time with Him in His presence. This will give you peace and joy in the Holy Ghost that you are looking for. Without it, you will one day fall away from Him just as many husbands and wives do from one another because they end up spending more time with other things and people of the opposite sex at work or even at Church that may appeal to them. Satan's main ploy is to turn your heart away from Jesus and make it Colossians toward God. He has his imps studying you to see where your interests are. When he sees that your faith is waning, he uses those things to distract you away from spending time with Jesus. All distractions must be taken away from us so that we can constantly seek Him. If not, we too, will fall.
"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (Philippians 3:7-10).
If Paul gave up everything
to follow the Lord, why would it be any different for us? Many Christians today
have bought the devils lie that says monetary prosperity is a sign of God's
approval. If this is true, then the Mafia and
"For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now" (1 Corinthians 4:9-13).
Paul's quest was not a big
ministry, but instead to be totally
conquered by the living Christ and to have a greater revelation of Jesus inside
of him. This he spoke of in
There must be stumbling
blocks and trials in order to try our faith and for us to grow and mature in
the likeness of Jesus. We cannot get
away from them. "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks
come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes"
(Matthew 18:7)! Paul said in
Paul knew that in order to know Him more, he would have to know the fellowship of His sufferings and to be conformed to the likeness of His death. Who likes to suffer? I don't! But, what can you get out of life without suffering? In fact, for us to be born into this world involves great pain. Not only for the mother, but child has pain when it has to go through great pressure and change from a familiar dark watery world, to an bright and dry one. If you want to graduate from high school or college, a lot of pain and effort has to go into your schoolwork. If you want to be a high achiever in the work place to provide for your family and buy nice things, you will have to pay a great price of suffering. There is also the pain and suffering of those involved in sports and recreation. Many are willing to pay this price because they feel, "The pain is worth the gain!" One day I was complaining to the Lord about how much I had to suffer for His will in my life. He said very clearly to me, "Why is it that you would suffer for your other gods, but you will not suffer for Me?" That shut me up because when I use to race motorcycles I suffered great pains in my body and still do to this day. Now, God asks me to suffer for Him so that I might know Him more. Which sounds like better pay off in the end to you? To suffer for what you cannot keep or to suffer for that which you can?
The problem is that in order
to know Him more we must die to self. This is the only way to have the life of
Christ manifested through us. Self does not want to die; it wants to be exulted
above God and others. The flesh-nature wants to be the center of all the
attention. This is why most Christians will not push into knowing God more,
because it is such a high price to pay, with seeming little earthly rewards. Because they are so earthly bound
they cannot see the greater reward of Christ. I must emphasize that God will
not let you into the deeper things of the Spirit
unless you show the willingness to pay the price. Why would He reveal
spiritual truths to anyone when they will just cast them to the ground anyway,
allowing Satan to steal them? Jesus said to the
How can we buy gold from Jesus? By paying the price of following Him wherever He goes. It takes great faith to follow Jesus and to pay the price of obedience in all things. Sometimes you may wonder if it is really all worth it; but it is! Peter said: "That the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7). When Jesus returns in great glory to appear in His people, He is going to appear in those who are waiting in readiness and those who have paid the price through their fires of testing and suffering. Your faith tried by fire is the gold or the God-nature that Jesus is referring to in Revelation 3:18. Is your faith being greatly tested? Don't waste your trials. Submit willingly, joyfully, and gratefully to the Lord every area of your life.
THE HIDDNESS OF GOD
"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).
We must search for God with all our heart. When we do, He promises that we will we find Him! What do you search for with all your heart? Money, fame, pleasure, knowledge? Many times what we seek for is hard to obtain. If it is "easy come, easy go," it does not keep our attention for very long. The hunt or chase for something is what keeps us intrigued about and motivated to attain it. For example: Rich people tell us that having a million dollars is not what's fun: it's in making the million that is the fun. And so it is with God. He makes it challenging for us to find Him. We don't find Him in prayer the same way each day. Sometimes He is just there when we open our mouth in praise and His presence just falls upon us in great glory. The next day you wonder, "Where are you God!" Somehow you feel like God has left you because you do not sense His presence. But then the next day He shows up in a whole new way again. That's why I hate formal religious man-led church services; you know how everything is going to turn out. But when the Holy Ghost is leading the service you don't know what He is going to do next! Now that's fun! If a fisherman or hunter went in the exact same place everyday and got their limit of game it would become boring because there is no thrill of the chase or hunt involved.
When I first got saved, I was praying about buying some books to help me study the Bible. These books were going to cost me one hundred or more dollars. Now, if I needed to spend that much on my motorcycle it was no big deal, but spending it on books bothered me! So that day I took a nap and I had my first prophetic dream. I dreamt that I had a buried treasure in my backyard. I got out my shovel and pick ax and I dug up a treasure box full of coins, valuable stamps, and other things. When I awoke I asked the Lord about the dream and He said, "The tools that you used to dig were like the books that you need to buy to get the deep treasures out of My word."
"He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies" (Psalms 18:11). God hides Himself and makes us seek Him as lost treasure. "Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures" (Proverbs 2:2-4). What earthly treasure can possibly compare with the Lord Himself?
Many times when God leads us, He leads us through very dark places that seem impassible; if we were to worry about it, it would drive us to insanity. But God knows how to care for those He is leading. It is a wilderness journey that we walk through to destroy all confidence in ourselves. Only the brave in heart and those deeply in love with Him will be able to move forward, because the wilderness will separate all the half-hearted believers from the true.
When someone labors for a wage they expect
a return in money for their hours spent working. But if they did not obey the
instructions of their boss in doing the job correctly, they may not get paid. Only if we are obedient to our Lord can
we expect to get any reward or repayment for our labors for Him. God will repay
you for all your labors for His sake: "Whatever you do, do your work
heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward (repayment) of
the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve" (Colossians
3:23-24). "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense (repay) every man
according to his deeds" (Matthew 16:27). For I reckon that the sufferings
of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed "in" us"
"When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory"
"And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 2:14).
"Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" (Titus 2:13).
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (Ephesians 1:18).
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself" (Philippians 3:20-21).
The greatest payment anyone can receive from Jesus is to have a full revelation of the Him in his or her life. Paul said, "So that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:7-8). What are you seeking after that could compare to the experience of the full revealing of Jesus in you? "When He comes to be glorified "in" His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed for our testimony to you was believed" (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Oh my friend, seek Him, seek Him, that you may not be ashamed in the day of His revealing in you!
Very soon the Lord is going to have a people come forth into the earth with the very seal of the name of God upon them. Revelation 7:3 says, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads." “And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1). Many think that this is taking place in heaven, but it does not say that. These are the ones that are coming forth in Christ's likeness upon the earth to do the greater works of God. Notice they are marked on the forehead. The forehead is the place where the mind is and they are marked because their minds are fully the Lord's. They desire nothing but to be holy and pleasing unto Him. God rewards them with His Name. Think about it, what’s in a name? God’s name is His character and likeness. Man was created in the likeness of God and now this is being restored to His people in the earth that have come through great tribulation.
Jesus had the seal of the Father upon Him, "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal" (John 6:27). We, too, must be sealed with the name of Father God upon us, so that we might do the works of God. Wow! What a destiny we have in Christ if we stay faithful to Him!