“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
Most Christians are familiar with Pastor Rick Warren’s powerful, life changing book, The Purpose Driven Life. He opens his first chapter with these words, ‘It’s not about you.’ And, in truth, it is not. God did not create us to simply live for ourselves. He did not intend for us to live carefree, fun-filled days with no responsibilities, no obligations, no purpose. He intended from the first for man to work. He set Adam to work in caring for the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:15 tells us, ‘The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.’ Thus, we can assume that as man, and woman, has continued in this practice of work for thousands of years that work and responsibility are part of God’s master plan for us.
So we agree it is not about us, but about God’s purposes. It’s about serving Him and His people,living the Christian life no matter what we are doing, where we are, or who we are with. We are to live ‘Christian’. So here is where the question ‘or is it?’ comes in.
Sometimes it is indeed about us. Not in the selfish, ‘me-centered’ way we often think of this, but in the way we choose to live. We have a choice. God has given us free will so we have choices to make. When we have troubles in our lives, we turn to God, our families, our friends, for help and assistance; in those moments in time it is about you, me, anyone who is in that situation. Because, think of it, if we are not in tune with God’s purposes, His expectations, and His plans for our lives, then we are not effective in doing the work He has called us to. For brief periods of time throughout our entire lives, it becomes about us. And there is nothing wrong, or un-Christian, about that.
In order to serve our Lord, it is imperative that we are whole, settled, equipped, and ready to jump in at His command. We want to be ready, but if we are tired, or ill, or life is just really jumbled up with problems and too much busyness, our judgement, energy, and endurance suffer. Therefore, God is really a-ok with us taking a break, and seeking refreshment and encouragement. In this way, our service becomes more valuable to Him, and the joy that lives within us is able to burst forth in our attitudes and in our smiles, showing Jesus all along the way.
God understands all of this. He created us. He didn’t need us. He needs no one. He wants us! What an amazing thing! Sometimes it does become all about us, but within that, it is still all about Him. He is the reason we live; He fills that place in our hearts that only He can. We live at His pleasure, at His will. In it all, He wants us happy and content, with lives filled with purposes that are the same as His, and with that fulfillment we enjoy in knowing we have given to Him ‘a job well done’!
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, ‘Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ ” Mark 6:31 (NIV)
II Timothy 2:4 gives the analogy of a soldier: “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”
You have fulfilled God’s purpose today, by encouraging me.
Thank you Lili.