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This is a question we are all likely to ask ourselves at some point in life. What are we living for, and even more specifically, who are we living for? Are we living for our legacy? Our dreams and passions? Our next paycheck? The next weekend?. What gives a sense of meaning to our life? What gets us moving in life?
LIVING FOR ME
As I continue my journey with the Lord, the more I realize how meaningless it is to live for myself. When we are living for ourselves, all we think of is our goals, dreams, legacy, desires, etc. Life becomes centered on us. Is there anything wrong with setting goals and accomplishing them? Not at all.
The problem comes in when it becomes the sole reason for our existence. Ask King Solomon, and he’ll tell you. “I made my works great; I built myself houses and planted myself vineyards. I made myself gardens and orchards. I made myself water pools. I acquired for myself male and female servants. I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also, my wisdom remained with me. Whatever my eyes desired, I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure. For my heart rejoiced in all my labor. And this was my reward for all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled: and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.” ~Ecclesiastes 2:4-11
Do you notice how much the word ‘myself’ is mentioned? He did all those things with himself in mind. He was living for himself. He did all those things to please himself.
King Solomon was in pursuit of wealth, popularity, wisdom, and all manner of pleasure and he shows us how each of them ultimately ended in disappointment. After pondering for a few chapters he finally offers his conclusion, “Fear God and obey His commands, for this is everyone’s duty” ~Ecclesiastes 12:13
It appears that Solomon abandoned any hope in worldly pursuits and decided that glorifying God provides the only lasting meaning in life.
LIVING FOR PEOPLE
This particular way of living seems very noble. But unfortunately, it’s not. Some of us live for our families, making them proud is the reason we do what we do, others live to prove themselves to those who looked down on them, while others live to please others and receive some praise and honor in return.
What will people think? What will people say? How will people respond? People will know I am gifted; People will see me and appreciate me. These are some of the questions and statements that run in our minds when we are living for people.
Paul wrote and said, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” ~Galatians 1:10
Paul knew that there was vanity in seeking to live for others by trying to please them. Even if he showed us how hard it is to please human beings when He said, “John came neither eating nor drinking and said, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” ~Matthew 11:18-19
We will never be able to please people, no matter how much we try. Living for others will leave us disappointed and heartbroken. Our part is to love them and point them to Christ but never to please them.
Some pride themselves in giving their wealth to the needy but have no desire for a relationship with God.
While those deeds are noble, it becomes meaningless when we’re doing something to soothe our
own ego or gain a reward in the form of praise.
John said, “I do not receive honor from men” ~John 5:41
The apostles did not ever seek glory from men as they spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. They did not do it to be applauded or recognized by men.
They did it all for God joyfully, expecting no reward from men. “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so, we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. For neither at any time did we use flattering words as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness-God is our witness. Nor did we seek glory from men either from you or from others” ~1 Thessalonians 2:4-6
LIVING FOR GOD
The only one worth living for is the one who created us and breathed His life in us, our Father in heaven. He is the one who knows His purpose for our lives and how to fulfill it. I remember a time when there was a purpose revolution happening, and everyone was teaching about finding our purpose. I went into my secret place with the Lord and asked Him to reveal my purpose to me. He has begun to point out things that I already loved doing, and it felt like a confirmation to me.
However, many years later, I felt like the Lord ask me if now I wanted to know His purpose for my life. It completely changed how I view purpose; it’s no longer my purpose but rather His purpose for my life.
It’s not about me but about Him and what He wills to do in me and through me. Jesus said it best, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me” ~John 6:38
God has a purpose for each and every one of us and for everything that exists. He has a plan of redemption, and we are all part of it. We may play different roles just as the different parts of the body, but when we align ourselves to do His will, we are all working towards one bigger picture.
What God has begun in Christ, He will bring to fruition. Christ came to destroy the works of the enemy, and he started by preaching the good news of the kingdom of God and saving humanity through His death.
And resurrection. However, He is not yet done until the enemy is finally thrown into the eternal fire, and as we live for Him, we get to partner with Him in His plan to redeem all creation.
It’s not about us and the reward we will get but about every knee bowing and every tongue confessing that Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior, is Lord of all! It’s about seeing the Lamb glorified. Oh, what a beautiful day it will be when we are in the multitudes which no one can number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, crying out with a loud voice saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Who are we living for? What are we living for? Is it to see Christ glorified in our lives and in all creation, or is it to leave a legacy for ourselves or to please others?
One thing I know for sure; only living for God offers eternal fulfillment and true satisfaction. I want to invite you, can we do this together? Let’s love God with all that we are because He first loved us. May our food be to do the will of our Father, which we find clearly written in His word and as we commune with Him in Prayer.
Living for God not only satisfies our souls as children of God, but it is also something we enjoy as we do. The Holy Spirit will continually produce a Joy in us that rejoices even in tribulation and a peace that is unshaken even in difficulty.
My prayer for all of us is that we will surrender entirely to God and give our lives to live for Him alone, to love Him, and honor His word. With the Holy Spirit’s help, may we walk faithfully, live worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus, loving one another, and partnering with God to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God loves you so much, and so do I. God Bless.
Originally posted 2021-05-30 12:36:58.