Why Are We Still Here?

Meditation from C. H. Spurgeon

“We live unto the Lord.”—Romans 14:8.

F God had willed it, each of us might have entered heaven at the moment of conversion. It was not absolutely necessary for our preparation for immortality that we should tarry here. It is possible for a man to be taken to heaven, and to be found meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, though he has but just believed in Jesus. It is true that our sanctification is a long and continued process, and we shall not be perfected till we lay aside our bodies and enter within the veil; but nevertheless, had the Lord so willed it, He might have changed us from imperfection to perfection, and have taken us to heaven at once. Why then are we here? Would God keep His children out of paradise a single moment longer than was necessary? Why is the army of the living God still on the battle-field when one charge might give them the victory? Why are His children still wandering hither and thither through a maze, when a solitary word from His lips would bring them into the centre of their hopes in heaven? The answer is—they are here that they may “live unto the Lord,” and may bring others to know His love. We remain on earth as sowers to scatter good seed; as ploughmen to break up the fallow ground; as heralds publishing salvation. We are here as the “salt of the earth,” to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for Him, and as “workers together with Him.” Let us see that our life answereth its end. Let us live earnest, useful, holy lives, to “the praise of the glory of His grace.” Meanwhile we long to be with Him, and daily sing—

“My heart is with Him on His throne,
And ill can brook delay;
Each moment listening for the voice,
‘Rise up, and come away.'” 

My Purpose Dream

I awoke from a vivid, full color and clear dream this morning.  I was speaking with a group of men at a round table sharing with them how to work together.  I began by stating the need to understand that the person in front of them was created in the image of God. In order to achieve success, they must also understand the importance of purpose.   Purpose, I told them would help them to identify the accountant, the builder, the architect, or whatever the role that person was designed to fulfill.  I shared about Adam in the book of Genesis and his purpose.  Rather passionately, I stated God allows us to participate in His creative process.  I stressed the importance of recognizing one’s God-given purpose so that the creative process could occur.   There was agreement around the table as I continued my message.  The smiles on their faces let me know they understood what I was telling them.   Somehow it felt the roundtable location was important as well.  In any case,  I didn’t want to wake up because I instinctively knew that once awake I might allow other tasks to get move up on the cue and my purpose dream would be lost.  So I immediately began to write this blog.   It was clear this was an instructive dream which had to be shared. Because this is not just for me, there is someone out there who is struggling with their purpose.   Now, back to the dream.

I shared with my roundtable group that, “God created us to worship Him and for a specific purpose”.   I related when God created Adam He gave him dominion over the earth, and instructed Adam to multiply and subdue it.  As the process continued, God brought animals to Adam to see what he would named them, and whatever he called them, that was its name.  Adam’s assignments allowed Him to be a partner with God. Well, God named us…we are children of God. We are sons and daughters of the Most High. We are His instruments and servants on the earth. As His children we carry within us the creative seed, the DNA of our Creator.  As the scripture say [paraphrased], do you not know you are a temple of the living God?  What an awesome privilege?

We have the seed of God within us, and as such we were designed to create with God. Inside each of us is the ability to build, to plant, to nurture and grow.  We were to designed to re-established life and to bring God’s light to the world. To bring into existence those things that showcase the Creator God, His works and our purpose.   In order to do successfully, we must understand our relationship to one another, and to God. If we name or create a thing that is what it becomes.  And there is evidence of this taking place daily.  New phases, activities, roles, and discoveries are talked about and shared around the world.

Back to my dream.  I told the group of men that when working together it is important to realize who we’re working with.  We must see the person in front of us as the image of God with direct deposits from our Creator. This individual has been entrusted to fulfill a specific purpose going back to the Creator’s original design.   I instructed them to ask each person they are working with to identify their purpose, and what they really enjoy doing. If the person says, I enjoy working with numbers then you probably have an accountant.  If the person answers, my passion is teaching, then don’t let them be an accountant if they are a teacher. But whatever the function, once it is named or identified that person must be allowed to do that task.  Otherwise, you create chaos instead of order.  Order arises when there is clarity of purpose.  This will prevent confusion, mistrust, uncertainty and wasted effort.  Plus, you won’t spend time building a Tower of Babel, because there is understanding, and recognition of one’s purpose.  The men around the table smiled and nodded in agreement.  Then I woke up.

It was a powerful dream.  And as I am writing this I am also recalling conversations and interactions I had this past week, especially with close relatives and friends.  Our pastor preached a Mother’s Day message with the subtitle of Just Do It.   All this information I received was confirmation about the importance of understanding what is your purpose.   Many of us are sitting around a table waiting for someone to tell us what is our purpose.   And the only way we can truly be fulfilled is to know our purpose and to Just Do it.  Apparently, location is also important.  This message can’t be confined to just one area.  It must be broadly shared.  Real Estate agents tell us all the time location is crucial.  Well my friends keep this mind as you move about.  Expand and share this purpose message beyond just close friends and relatives.  There is a whole world out there waiting for you to share and show them how to Just Do It.   And let them know to go directly to the source-Our Creator for guidance, directions, and to obtain the critical answer to the question of what is our purpose.  Who better than God?  Only He knows why He created us.

As you begin to live out your purpose, always remember those you meet everyday are sitting around a table waiting.   Share with them how truly unique and awesome they are.  Let them know they carry the image of God within them.   In my dream, I told my roundtable group to say the words out loud (There before me is the image of God).  As I did, I was reminded of the power of the spoken word.  Practice saying the same phrase, so you will be ready when the time comes, speak a word into the life of some wandering soul.   This powerful affirmation counteracts the snares and traps of the enemy. It brings God’s transformative power into the atmosphere, identifies purpose and cements our relationship with God the Father.  It brings order out of chaos.

Take this message and share it.  Have faith that when you acknowledge others, believe the purpose seed has been planted, and their purpose journey has begun.   For once purpose is realized the door will open guiding them back to our blessed Creator.

On Purpose

While doing some spring cleaning, I came across this brief statement written (adapted) by my husband in 2003.

On Purpose

By the time I leave God’s great Earth, I hope the world would know that I truly existed. I may be invisible throughout my lifetime, to many.  I may presently shout out loudly, but with the softest of sounds.  My large shoe size may make only the smallest of footprints. My actions may often times continue unnoticed, but my contributions and impact are discovered, however small.

I have noticed throughout life that abundant and visible doesn’t necessarily equal fame and fortunate.  I have learned that a list, regardless of how tiny, can become a devastating feat.  I now understand; no matter how many attempts are made, I cannot please everyone.  I ‘ve come to know a great number of people well, only to find strangers amongst my closet friends.

No, I didn’t come close to inventing rocket science.  I didn’t make strides in the discovery of blood plasma.  I cannot say truthfully if I possess the wherewithal to create something as simple as a stop sign or a flashing yellow caution light.  Nor do I have the capacity to conduct great symphonies or preach dynamic sermons like the great masters before.

What can I possibly leave behind for all to bear witness to?

I can leave a legacy of strong will and good character.  I can leave my mark of kindness and humility on humanity of my time here on Earth. I can generously leave my true spirit of joy and inner peace.  I can share my hopes, dreams, challenges, failures and success; and above all, I can share my faith and love for God.  My Purpose.

I wanted to share this message, because right now my beloved husband is spending his day off mentoring a young man in the Big Brother/Big Sister Program. He is doing what he does best “On Purpose.”

Sacred versus Secular

Prophet, priest, preacher, pastor, nun, clergy, deacon, missionary, minister, reverend…all titles when spoken or read brings to mind roles devoted to the “sacred“.  Work or activities thought to be set apart from everything else.  The doctor, lawyer, corporate executive, dishwasher, cook, mechanic, receptionist, or teacher is involved in “secular” pursuits. These are relegated to the “other” realm.  One group is sacred, holy, the highest of all endeavors.  The “other” is lower, common, valued but certainly not on the same level as those involved in God’s work.   “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”…,and God said “it was good”.   Our creator, the maker of all there is and every will be, engaged in work and called it good.   He used, of course we don’t know how, his eternal glorious matter to “create”, to bring into existence that which did not exist previously.  When we are engaged in “work”, we are also creating that which is good, and had not existed before, or at least not at same level, nor in same way.   One is holy, and one is not.  One is for God, and the other is for man.  To quote Eugene Peterson, “Separating life into distinct categories of “sacred” and “secular” damages, sometimes irreparably, any attempt to live a whole and satisfying life, a coherent life with meaning and purpose, a life lived to the glory of God”.   Work is not just what we do from Monday to Friday with an hour or half hour lunch break, or whatever the schedule may be. Work is about the “sacred creative process” of using everything, our very “eternal matter” and bringing into existence the “good”.   Our engagement into the seamless activity of vocational sacredness links our divine gifts into a symphony of harmony unto God.  There is no fragmentation, or “great divide”.  There is wholeness which combines our minds, bodies and souls to Him.   We received from him, and through our work, we give back to Him.

Be reminded, it does not matter your occupation, rank, profession, career, or job, for as God made us for Himself, our work life is a consecrated extension of our entire life.

God, thank you for allowing us the privilege of using our work life to bring honor and glory to you. Amen.

Purpose

God told the prophet Jeremiah that before he was formed in his mother’s womb He knew the thoughts He had for him. God had set Jeremiah apart to be a prophet. He was purposed for a very particular assignment. An assignment with an expected (good) end. It is amazing to think how much God loves and wants for us. That even before our first heartbeat, God already has the best possible plans for us.

Throughout scripture you find stories of real life people who discovered their purpose. Whether it was to lead a nation, birth a king, warn individuals, provide protection, or bring salvation to the world, there was a specific, glorious purpose. Whether you call it destiny or purpose, you should take comfort in knowing God has it already laid out. His plans for us are the very, very best. Each plan specific and carefully designed only for you.  When you are feeling down, uncertain about the direction of your life, seek the Creator. Ask God, what are your plans for me? Help me to find them, Lord. And also say to God I am willing to do and go wherever. Then re-purposed “you” into the divinely designed vessel by God for an expected end.

Clarity

Scripture Luke 2:41-51

When Jesus was 12 years old, he remained in the temple among the religious leaders listening and asking questions.  When his adopted father and his mother came looking for him and inquired why he had remained behind. His reply, he had to be about His father’s work [paraphrase]. Even at a young age, he was totally clear about his mission. He was engaged in the work of God. And just what was this work, and why was it so important?  It was the inner work of clarifying who God is, and why we should believe in Him.

Jesus is still engaged in this work. He is still listening, addressing questions to our hearts.  This major work involves clearing out the debris and filth of the sin that so easily besets us.  Think about it, as beloved children of God, we too are called to listen to the sweet voice of the Savior, to inquire, to seek Him, to ask questions, and then bring the light of the message of the gospel to the whole world. It is a courageous act.  Just as it took courage for Jesus to remain behind and stay in the temple listening, and teaching those much older than he the truth of God.

Thomas Kinkade, the painter of light wrote in his book “Lightposts for Living: The Art of Choosing a Joyful Life” about the day when he choose a difference path that the one his teachers told was the way to go. He said, “Suddenly I realized that the self-centered, self-serving artistic approach I was being taught was just the opposite of what I wanted my life and my art to be about. And at that moment a different philosophy began to form itself in my mind, one that has driven my life and career ever since.”  He realized his art was not about him, but about the people who would be touched by the gift. Thomas Kinkade made a decision, and became clear about his purpose.  And the world has enjoyed his gift, and will for many years to come.

Jesus came because he was clear about his direction and purpose.  His purpose was clear-salvation for us. Are you clear about your purpose and direction?  Are you about the Father’s work?
I hope so.  The world needs your light.

Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy