God created us to enjoy us and wants everyone to be in a restored relationship with Him. But beyond that, what were you born to do?
God has placed in each of us certain abilities and passions that make us come alive.
I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. ~Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire
What is that task or activity in life that makes you “feel His pleasure?” All of us were given a divine gift to use in His service. Perhaps it is…
- Helping with whatever needs to get done
- Encouraging others with your words personally or with notes
- Teaching children or adults how to grow in their walk with God
- Organizing spaces or programs to make things more efficient
- Sharing God’s love and grace in fresh and creative ways
- Singing songs that bring glory to God and draw others to Him
- Writing lessons or blogs, articles or even books
- Leading a group or an organization towards fulfilling their objectives
Beyond the daily responsibilities of life we need a purpose bigger than ourselves. Viktor Frankl, who survived the concentration camps of WWII, put it this way:
Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
None of us face the kind of hellish circumstances that Viktor and others did, yet we often let circumstances dictate our perspective. And we too easily get bogged down in the daily duties of life. God put each of us right where we are for a purpose.
Are you living out what you were born to do?
If you’re waiting til Thanksgiving night to start your early Black Friday shopping, you’re already late! Three Florida families decided to get a head start on the competition; a nine-day head start.
With the year’s biggest shopping day looming three families pitched tents outside a Best Buy in the Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, Fla. to get a jump on other shoppers.
“You can’t beat some of the deals they have on plasma flat screens and laptops, and you get to buy it in large quantities all at once,’’ Christine Orta, one of the shoppers, told NBC’s Tampa affiliate. “We’re all students, so (you) gotta pinch a penny. It’s affordable right now.’’
Orta and her fellow shoppers plan on passing the time by playing games or studying. The three groups also plan on sharing food and supplies to tide them over to the big day after Thanksgiving.
But this isn’t a new phenomenon in St. Petersburg where local resident Lorie Davenport, 44, and her family and three friends camped out in front of Best Buy the last six years for at least six days before Black Friday, including nine last year. Some would stay on the line overnight while others went home to get a rest and then relieved their friends and family by taking the night shift the next day. Davenport’s family spent $3,000 last year but told The St. Petersburg Times that they saved nearly $4,000.
Last year, she and her husband made a hot Thanksgiving dinner at their home and delivered it to friends who were content to spend Turkey Day in front of Best Buy.
While I think camping out nine days early is a bit ridiculous I can’t help but admire their determination and effort. But it makes me wonder…
What if we put that same kind of passion into our pursuit of intimacy with the Lord?
“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.”
~ Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Some Bible versions use “wellspring of life.” King Solomon offers this nugget of wisdom for at least three reasons.
Because our heart is extremely valuable. Our garbage sits outside all night, at the curb, unprotected. Why? Because it is worthless. We don’t guard worthless things.
Not so with our heart. It is the essence of who we are. It is our authentic self—the center, the core of our being. It is where all our dreams, our desires, and our passions dwell. It is that part of us that most deeply connects with God and other people.
Because our heart is the source of everything you do. King Solomon says it is the “wellspring of life.” In other words, it is the source of everything else in your life. Your heart overflows into thoughts that lead to words and then become actions.
If what comes out at the end of a spring is good, it’s because the source of the spring is healthy. If what comes out is nasty, it’s because the source is unhealthy. The same is true of us in regard to our heart and how we live.
Because our heart is under constant attack. When Solomon warns us to guard our heart, he’s implying that we are living in a combat zone—one in which there are casualties.
Many of us are oblivious to the reality of this war but we have an enemy who is hell-bent on our destruction. He not only opposes God, but he opposes everything that is aligned with Him—including you and me.
When was the last time your heart was attacked? How did you respond?
Check back tomorow for some suggestions on how to guard your heart.
*Adapted from a blog by Michael Hyatt
Have you heard about the new vending machines operating in China? There are only two of this particular kind but the owner is hoping to expand his business in the near future. The vending machines sell live crabs!
No, I’m not kidding and it’s not some kind of marketing prank. The crabs are kept at right around 41 degrees Farenheit so that the little creatures are sleepy and slow to move but still alive. So far, each of the two vending machines averages selling about 200 crabs a day!
I’m not a big seafood eater, nor do I plan to become the American franchise king of live crabs; yet I can’t help but be impressed and inspired by such originality and ingenuity. With enough passion and desire we can still come up with new and fresh ideas.
It’s a new day and a new week. Rather than settle into the normal Monday morning routine and sleep-walk our way through the week; why not ask the Creator of originality and ingenuity to inspire us with fresh ideas and new ways to love Him and love others!
This past Sunday I used a quote by A.W. Tozer to close out my message.
“Before we can be filled with the Spirit, the desire to be filled must be all-consuming. It must be for the time the biggest thing in the life, so acute, so intrusive as to crowd out everything else. The degree of fullness in any life accords perfectly with the intensity of true desire. We have as much of God as we actually want.” ~ A.W. Tozer
Desire really is the foundation of our relationship with God and the last line in the quote is so true – “We have as much of God as we actually want.” Here’s how I see it working in my life.
If life revolves around me and everything in life is going relatively OK at the moment, then I am easily satisfied with a rather small amount of God. At least, until my next crisis hits.
But if life revolves around God and others then I can’t help but be aware of all the heartache and struggle and loneliness that is a part of this world. That awareness overwhelms me because I am inadequate to do much about it. That in turn drives me toward God who is big enough to move and work in people’s lives. And as I pray for their needs I find in myself a greater desire for more of God.
Life is God’s grand adventure and He has so much more for us to participate in than what we realize. But He won’t force the issue. He won’t shove it down our throat. He is waiting for us to desire more of Him. And when we do, He will engulf us with His presence in a way that makes everything else in life seem small and insignificant.
I’ll be honest. I need to see life as less about me and more about God. Even after all these years of following Jesus I still spend way to much time and energy focused on me. But by the grace of God I keep plugging away. So let me ask you…
Does life revolve around you or God… and how much of God do you want?
Ever gone to a large department store and not been able to find something? I’ve been there lots of times. Back and forth… first one area then another. When I finally give in and ask for help I usually learn that it was not there because it is kept some place else. (Heavy sigh!)
If you only look where it’s not then you’ll never find where it is!
I know! I know! Profound insight! (Pause for sense of awe – haha)
I think that’s why so few people in this life every experience real, lasting satisfaction. Because we tend to look for it in places that it can’t be found. God alone is the source of genuine satisfaction. The author of Psalm 145:16 declares…
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
In The Message, Eugene Peterson phrases it this way…
Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures.
The reason we bounce up and down and here and there and back and forth always looking for the next hint of something or someone that will leave us feeling satisfied is because we’re looking where it can’t be found. Only God can satisfy the deepest cravings of our soul!
Where are you looking?