It’s no secret—and, sadly, no surprise—that many of us as believers in Messiah still walk with the world. Much of that influence actually takes place in the innocuous parts of our lives—the parts that we take for granted and rarely give a second thought. More often than not, we share the same life-dreams as that of the society around us: career, status, house, significant other, comfort, leisure, security, etc. We exert effort and choose paths to achieve these ends, almost automatically. We’ve been taught to aim at such obvious targets, and we keep on shooting at them without question.
It is from these various areas of our life, then, that we mistakenly derive our identity and worth. We’ve been programmed to think and feel this way from childhood. They told us we needed to do well in school so that we could go off to college; then we could earn the qualifications for our dream job in a field that interests and fulfills us—even better, a field into which we feel called by God. Unfortunately, what this formula basically translates into is this: your personal happiness and satisfaction in life is the goal. If you can do good in the world, and perhaps even please God while you’re doing it, all the better; but ultimately, what you do is not nearly as important as how doing it makes you feel. Job fulfillment, feeling valued, doing things you enjoy, acquiring stuff you want, and having a good self-image is what defines a happy, healthy life…
…but is this what the Scriptures say?
Following forty years of wandering in the desert, on the edge of entering into the promised land, Mosheh proclaimed a vital message to the people of Israel concerning the purpose and meaning of life:
I have caused the heavens and the earth to testify against you today; life and death I have set before you, the blessing and the curse; and you must choose life, so that you may live, you and your seed, to love Adonai your God, to listen to His voice, and to stick close to Him (for He is your life, and the length of your days)…. Deuteronomy 30:19-20, mjlt
The lie that society perpetuates—the lie that we have fully bought into—is that the purpose of your life is more than living for God. This philosophy tricks us into believing we are living for God when all we have done is made a little room for Him in our crowded lives. God is made merely a component of our fulfillment, such that we no longer notice He is barely there.
But according to the Scriptures, God is not just some small (or even large) part of your life—”He is your life,” and there is literally nothing more. Loving God, listening to His voice, and sticking close to Him is more than enough, and when we find our sole purpose in this, we are truly choosing to live.
Now, does this mean that God does not have some specific, perhaps even unique, thing that He wants each of us to do? Is there no particular function He has for us in the Body of Messiah? Are we to have no goals, or aspirations; or to not excel in various areas of life?
Not at all.
What this means is that our personal satisfaction and happiness is not the goal. Rather, our life is Adonai, and we are to do and be whatever He decides—for His glory, and for his satisfaction and happiness alone.
And all, whatever you do, do out of your soul, as to the Master, and not to men, having known that from the Master, you will receive the payment of the inheritance (for it is the Master, Messiah, you serve)…. Colossians 3:23-24, mjlt
The meaning of your life is to be a follower of Messiah. Period. (If you are married, that includes being a godly spouse; if you have children, being a godly parent—the directive is to “you and your seed.”) This is the entire meaning of “He is your life.” “For in Him we live, and move, and be….” (Acts 17:28, mjlt)
Our identity and value as disciples of Messiah is derived not from any career, or title, or relationship, or degree. It does not depend on our paycheck or position. No, happiness and fulfillment come from knowing and loving Adonai our God, and living our lives solely for Him.
What do you think? Share your thoughts below.