Monday, April 27, 2009

My Purpose, God's Purpose

Does my life matter in this world? Yes, my life matters! Why would God have put me into this world if my life did not matter? God put me here with a specific purpose in mind. As I grow older, I see the story of my life unfolding. It is wonderful to watch God at work in me, smoothing out the flaws, molding me into His perfect child. Since I became a Christian, God has replaced my old heart of hatred and sin with one of love and forgiveness. Today, I struggle with the painful process of remodeling- God is tearing out the old, sinful things and replacing them with new, beautiful things, things that will make me usable as a tool to do His will. God is preparing me for something wonderful. I am not sure what it is yet, but my heart and mind are being made ready for what He has in store for me.

So far in this journey of life, I have had little opportunity to make an impact on the world. At the very least, I have not been as faithful as I should be with all the “small” things. I have been lazy here, or fudged on the truth there. In short, I have to be faithful in my own life before I can really have a true impact on the world.

I have a desire to help the poor. I want to help them rise above their neediness by helping them to overcome the circumstances that have placed them in that position. I want to show them that there is a better way and that if they have the will, there is a way to escape poverty. I want to show them that just because they are a certain color, or their ancestors always lived the same way, or they were abused, or whatever other circumstance that may apply, does not mean that they cannot do great things, that they cannot make something of themselves, or that they have to remain miserable. I want to show them a better way, and give them the tools to achieve it.

I have a desire to teach young people to be self-sufficient. I want to show them that they do not have to rely on the government to help them when they can help themselves. I want to show them that they can control their emotions and desires. I want to help them overcome the stumbling blocks, such as loose sexual standards, violent video games and television, welfare, and many other things, which this society has placed in their paths. I want to urge them not to give up their childhoods too quickly. I want to teach them to respect others, including those who are weaker then themselves. I want to help them understand that they are the ones who must decide to live good lives, and that it is not anyone else’s fault if they do not succeed. I want to be a role model for them, and someone that they can trust and look up to for guidance when they do not know what to do.

I have a desire to change the present political structure of this nation, to help to return it to the Biblical foundations on which it was created. I want to help to reform the government. I want to become knowledgeable about issues both current and historical so that I can vote responsibly. I want to help to educate my fellow citizens about the privilege of voting and about the issues that they need to vote on. I want to help encourage honesty in those in government. I want to encourage Americanism rather than partisanship. I want to be the best citizen that I can be.

I have a desire to be an encourager to other Christians. I want to help them grow in their faith. I want to help them to be bold witnesses for Christ. I want to encourage them to stand firm in their faith no matter what the consequences in this world, because the rewards will be beyond imagination in the one to follow. I want to help them overcome the temptations that Satan sends their way. I want to be someone that they can look to for help in times of need.

Most importantly, I have a desire to lead people to Christ. I want to have the boldness and the delicacy to speak to anyone about my Savior. I want to show my unsaved family members the way to Christ. I want to be a light in this dark world, pointing to the greatest light of all, Jesus Christ.

Yes, I have grand plans for saving the world from sin and injustice. I want to be a social worker, rescuing people from poverty. I want to be a politician, legislating truth and honor. I want to be a missionary, taking the gospel to the “ends of the earth.” Yes, I have plans, but I begin to wonder if they are God’s plans. What does God have for my life? Do I place all of my trust in Him to lead me where I need to go? Do I trust Him to take care of me? I sadly answer no. All of the dreams for my future, which I have so painstakingly laid out, have been apart from God. I have ideas and I run away with them, not stopping to ask, “Is this God’s will for my life?” or praying about it. God may really be calling me into a ministry with troubled teens like my most cherished dream portrays. Then again, He may be preparing something else, even more wonderful for me to do with my life. As I wait for Him to reveal His will, I am preparing for my future. I am going to college, going to church, and making friendships with strong, mature Christians who will be able to help me when I struggle. Hopefully, this is adequate preparation for what God intends for my life.

All I know is that God has something planned for me. I want so badly to know exactly what He wants me to do with my life, but I must wait on Him. Only in His good and perfect time will I be allowed to see His plan for my life. In the meantime, I must pray, read the Bible and seek the counsel of Godly Christians. It will only be through succeeding in the small tasks that God gives me that He will begin to reveal His bigger plan.

I know that God has great plans for me, but sometimes I doubt that He can do anything with me because I slip up so often. That doubt sometimes makes me want to give up. I say to myself, “Why does it matter what I do? I can never get it right.” But then I remember that I must do my best, that I must keep trying, and that God is with me every step of the way. He will lead me. It is only when I give up that I fail. One day everything will be made clear. I pray that God will give me the wisdom to know His will for my life, and the ability to do it. Like the Apostle Paul, I hope to “…run with patience the race that is set before [me], [l]ooking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [my] faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”(Hebrews 12:1-2) When I have finished my race, I want God to say to me “…Well done, thou good and faithful servant...” (Mathew 25:21) I must carry on, no matter how long the road, or how difficult the path, trusting God to provide direction, until I reach the end of my journey.