What Am I Doing Here?

What would change if we all set aside ourselves and faithfully, obediently chased after our purpose to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?

Purpose can feel elusive. People spend their whole lives trying to figure out their purpose on this earth, only to look back and wonder where the time went. Everyone is desperate for their life to count for something, and that feeling is natural. Humanity is created on purpose for a purpose, yet searching for meaning in and for ourselves only leads to feeling empty. Because we are created beings, we must find our purpose from and in our Creator - He is the only one who can answer this question for us.

Here’s our starting point - if you don’t believe this first, then the rest won’t make sense:

God has a purpose for your life that is both intentional and good.

Galatians 1:15-16a (ESV) shows God’s intentionality in salvation: “ But when He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son to me, in order that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…” The primary thing that I want you to pull from this scripture is that God saved Paul for an intentional purpose (i.e., preaching Him among the Gentiles).

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) speaks to God’s goodness in our salvation and overarching purpose: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God has a good path already set up for you. Your role is to walk in it and faithfully follow where God leads. 

So we’ve laid the foundation that God does, in fact, have a purpose for us, but that then begs the question: What is our purpose?

Growing up, my parents had our family memorize catechisms, which are simply summaries of Christian truths laid out in question/answer form and collected in a book. I will never forget the first question in the book - I would like to say that’s because it is so important and foundational, but honestly, I just never got very far past it while memorizing, haha! That first question and answer are:

“What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

In other words, the ultimate purpose of humanity is to glorify God and enjoy Him without end. That’s it. That is the purpose for which we were all created. Seems simple, right? Just kidding, I know that is pretty vague (and it’s supposed to be!), so let’s break down the two parts mentioned in that definition.

Glorify God

Glory is one of those words that we use in church, but the actual definition can be a little hard to nail down concisely. Here are some of my attempts at it:

God’s glory is:

  • The physical, emotional, and spiritual display of who God is
  • All of God’s character shining from Him
  • The radiance of the true and the good (God)

It is His goodness, justice, kindness, mercy, truth, and so much more - it is who God is, the very character and essence of God, shown for all of us to see. 

God’s glory is beautiful.

And Scripture is clear that we are made to glorify God because He is the only being worthy of it:

Romans 11:36 (ESV): For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV): So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Revelation 4:11 (ESV): Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.

A devotion I read by John Piper a few years ago completely changed how I think about glorifying God. In it, he compares the image of a microscope making a small thing look bigger versus a telescope making a big thing look as big as it really is. He sums it up here:

“There is nothing and nobody superior to God. And so the calling of those who love God is to make his greatness begin to look as great as it really is. That’s why we exist, why we were saved, as Peter says in 1 Peter 2:9, ‘You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.’ The whole duty of the Christian can be summed up in this: feel, think, and act in a way that will make God look as great as he really is. Be a telescope for the world of the infinite starry wealth of the glory of God.” (John Piper, How to Magnify God)

Our whole life is an act of worship to point people to see and experience God’s glory. That’s our purpose.

Enjoy Him Forever

This is the second part of the catechism after glorifying God. When you look up the word “enjoy” in the dictionary, there are actually two pieces to it: 1st - To take delight or pleasure in something; 2nd - to benefit from.

In the specific context of our purpose being to enjoy God, I would apply that definition to mean we rejoice in His character and live in His blessing

Scripture speaks to the idea of rejoicing in God over and over again:

Isaiah 12:2 (ESV): Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and will not be afraid; for the LORD God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.

Philippians 4:4 (ESV): Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice.

Revelation 21:3-4 (ESV): And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And there are so many more.

As Christians, we are able to have a relationship with the One who created and sustains everything, the One who is worthy of glory. We are so blessed to see God, know him, and call Him Father. We get to enjoy Him for all of eternity spent in His presence, as He is both the object and the source of our enjoyment.

I don’t know about y’all, but that gets me fired up! How amazing!!

So here’s the cool thing tying all of this together, glorifying God and enjoying Him, are intertwined. You can’t enjoy God apart from glorifying Him, and you are glorifying God by enjoying Him. They flow from each other. 

John Piper is also well-known for his quote, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” And how true is that? This means that our purpose in life is not attached to what we do - career, family, friends, hobbies, etc. - rather, it is attached to the spiritual and eternal. Because of this, we can fulfill our purpose and find joy and contentment in whatever season/situation God has called us to. 

You don’t have to feel the pressure of doing something world-changing with your life in order for it to have purpose. You just have to be faithful in glorifying God and enjoying Him where He has you. Because ultimately, that’s the reason we're alive; that’s our purpose.

As you go about your day, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What would your life look like going forward for you to passionately pursue a life that both glorifies and enjoys God? What areas in your life would that change? Whose life around you would be changed?
  2. What would change if we all set aside ourselves and faithfully, obediently chased after our purpose to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?

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