Thursday, March 03, 2005

Life with a purpose, but whose purpose are we living for?

Rick Warren's book, the "Purpose Driven Life" indeed contained many good points that Christians could generally learn and practice to achieve a life with purpose. But there's still this drawback that I feel. I feel that many Christians still try to form their own purposes. And of course, many of these "purposes" are good, and some even sound noble, and godly. But is this what God really want for our lives, or is it something that we're just trying to justify to make ourselves feel better?

When Jesus called His first disciples, they just "left their nets" and followed after Him. Even when He sent them out to preach the gospel, He told them not to take anything extra, but rather to go by faith. It's funny how modern Christians today view the call of the gospel very differently. Many of us refuse to budge out of our comfort zones. Can you imagine one day if a pastor would to cry out to his congregation and say, "sell all your properties and be prepared to go to the farthest corner of the world to preach the gospel". I bet the church would probably stone him for making such a statement. Though most of us would not result to such action (stoning), but yet, deep in our hearts, we still feel that the pastor's statement is illogical, insensitive, and maybe, even ungodly cause we feel that we should only go when God calls us to go. This is of course true. There's no dispute in this. However, a question continue to rise in my heart, that is, the jobs that we have now, the homes that we own, the life the we live... has God call us to this?

Jesus made it very clear in the gospels that His follower MUST deny himself (or herself), and take up his (or her) cross daily. Jesus made it plain also when he said that those who try to save their own lives, will lose it, and those who lose it for His sake, will find it. These paradoxical themes continue to ring, not just in the gospels, but even Paul reminds us of it in his letters. But for some reason, modern day Christians find themselves excluded from such a life. It's as though we need that "strong" or "extremely clear" calling of God before we need to give up our current possesions for the sake of His gospel. It's as though the "default" life is --> study hard, get a job, get married, get a house, a car, have kids and make sure u have enough to retire. Unless God calls us, we are naturally called live this "default" life. And the worse part of all this is that unless we seek God, it is very difficult for us to even hear God's calling for our lives. We will be so busy with this "default" life that we wouldn't even know when God is calling us.

Shouldn't the Christian walk be the other way? I mean, imagine if the "default" Christian life is, get equipped in the word, pray, fast, go into the places that God has calls us to go, disciple, preach, heal the sick, etc, and unless God called us to do other wise, we will stick with this default one. Wouldn't the gospel be spread even faster this way? I mean, how often does God call His people to live secular lives anyway? It doesn't make sense to me. And yet, it is so. We justify to our hearts and minds that we are still living within God's will. Go figure....

Why do we still fear when we have the creator of the universe backing us up for everything that He has called us to? I mean, even if we are to lose our lives for His cause, we still gain everything! I bet this was Jim Eliot's conviction when he wrote "He is no fool to give what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose". Jim had a glimpse of heaven. And when he saw it, he wanted it so bad that everything else on earth is not worthy of him anymore. He had a cause. And not just "a" cause, but he had "His" cause.

Satan continues to work his deception among God's people. And if we as Christians are not careful, we will fall into this deception. Therefore, it is so critical that we understand God's purpose for our lives. If we don't, we will end up living for our own purpose, if not, somebody else's (Satan's?)...

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