Grown-Up Faith: Am I an accident or am I here on purpose?
You are not an accident.
It's hard to get more direct than that: you are not an accident. Genesis 1:27-28 says "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.'"
Not only were we created on purpose; from the beginning, we were created for a purpose. As we wrestled with this question on Sunday, PJ talked about three important points for us to get a hold of:
There is a purpose for our lives.
God Doesn't create accidents or make mistakes.
We should worship and bring glory to the creator.
Everyone's Purpose and Your Purpose
I think it's really important when we talk about life's "purpose" that we distinguish between everyone's general purpose and our individual purpose. It's important that we understand that in one sense, we all have the same purpose: to glorify and worship God, our creator. That is our foremost purpose in life. When we can get a hold of that truth, so much of our lives begin to shift around that. We all have that in common, whether we're fulfilling it our not; we are created to glorify God. And there are some things we all should and shouldn't do in order to do that - I'll call that our "universal purpose."
But this is where it turns: we will each do that in a unique way. How I am called to glorify and reflect God is going to look different than how you're called to do it. So the question becomes, "what is my individual purpose?". How am I uniquely created and gifted to reflect God's image and to glorify Him?
Maybe You Don't know
Maybe you don't know, and that's okay. On Sunday PJ talked about the moment he first stood in awe of God's creation at the Tooth of Time on a Boy Scout trek and understood that there was a purpose and order to this life. For me, it was the moment my mom told me they had not planned for me, but that they knew God had amazing plans for my life. For John Wesley, it was the moment he was "strangely warmed" and knew he was called to something greater.
Maybe you haven't had the moment where you fully understood that you were created on purpose and for a purpose. Maybe you didn't have someone speaking purpose into your life, and maybe you don't understand what it means to be "strangely warmed." Maybe you have spent your entire life believing the lie that you - or even all of life - is a cruel cosmic accident. So let me tell you again: you are no accident.
Finding Your Purpose
If you are ready to begin being intentional about finding your purpose, here are some thoughts that might help.
Create Space I think a lot of people go through life unintentionally creating a belief system. If you don't put time and intention into forming what you believe, you will still have a belief system; it will just be based on whatever the world tells you in the moment is important or how you feel at that particular time. So, start with creating some time and space to really think about this issue, even if it's scary. Be intentional about wrestling with this question: what is my purpose?
Center around God This is a big life question, and it is important that you form your answer around something firm and solid, unchanging. Begin to read what the Bible says about purpose, God's purpose for us, and His purpose for all of creation. Center yourself here in prayer and ask God to guide you. And if you don't know where to start, just begin reading the first few chapters of Genesis and Psalm 139.
Worship God Even if you don't know your individual purpose, you know our general purpose, so begin there and begin worshiping.
One Bite at a Time
If this feels big or you sit down to practice this and it doesn't go like you hoped it would, think of the old adage: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. When God spoke to PJ all those years ago at the Tooth of Time, he didn't reveal his whole purpose for his life; PJ caught a glimpse of the Creator behind the creation and knew there was something more for his life. When I was eight and my mom told me God had plans for my life, I had no idea what that would mean. I'm sure when John Wesley was warmed, he knew he had a calling, but didn't know where that would take him.
In other words, as you begin to seek God's purpose and pray about it, do the next thing it seems God wants you to do. Then the next thing and the next. Eventually, you will begin to see God's hand at work in and through you - all of it as you live into and for your purpose.
Did you miss Sunday's sermon? Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/MuskegonFirstWesleyan/videos/738075663267314/