Why am I here, what is my purpose? A question we have all asked ourselves and God. And yet I would guess that not many of us have received an answer, or at least one that we wanted. I know I have and continue to ask to this very day. At the age of forty-three you would think I would know the answer to that one simple question, but nope, I am still asking.
I have friends that claim to know why they are here, why the God placed them here now on this earth. I must admit I look at them with a look of bewilderment, I am not sure I can believe them. The question to me is one that will never be answered, I am not sure God wants us to know or to better state it, I am not sure we have to ability to know.
Gods plans for us are not plans in a void, they are plans that include all of creation and all of time. We live on this earth for a limited time, but God does not deal in limitations. We have a more linear understanding of salvation history but Gods understanding multidimensional. We are mere humans trying to understand the pure divine, we are just to limited to understand an unlimited God.
Yet I have friends who will tell me as a matter-of-fact that they know, they have the knowledge or the plans and they are doing Gods work. As for me, I hope and pray that I am doing Gods work. I feel that I am on to His tasks, but I am not certain. I feel comfortable doing what I do, but my human comfort is not an indication of Gods pleasure.
If we read the lives of the saints we know that they often times suffered more than anyone. But they also did not complain or notice there own suffering. So am I suffering and do not know it? I can not answer that question, only God and time know this. Now please understand I do not consider myself a saint, no rather I look at myself as a sinful man, one in great need of salvation.
But here also lies a problem, is my humility genuine or is it the work of the evil one? I pray that is is from God and not from the prince of liars. If we were to look at our lives and take them apart, examining each individual aspect of our lives, we would find that our imperfection was perfect.. That we, a fallen race, can not begin to presume to know the mind of our living God. This is the issue I have with those who claim to know there purpose here on earth.
If it is true, and I believe it is, that God has granted us freewill than our choices here on earth have to be our own. If it is true, and I believe it is, that God uses the evil in the world to create goodness, than the plan or purpose of our lives must always be changing. If our daily decisions are ours to make, than the choice of kind work or action is as likely as a choice of a unkind word or action. Daily we make thousands of choices that affect the lives of people not only locally and today, but globally and forever.
The actions of St. Francis are still affecting us today as are the actions of Hitler. Now both are extreme examples but the concept is no less true. The actions of Jabez affect not only his time but is still being felt today. Don’t know Jabez, to worry lots of people don’t but his prayer offered up to God is still said today:
"Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that Thou would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast [territory], and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!’ And God granted him that which he requested." 1 Chron 4:10
Thousands of ears later an international book is written based on the one small prayer. Did Jabez truly understand his simple prayer would have, bit he truly understand his place in salvation history? I doubt it, I am sure that Jabez may have had a rudimentary understanding that God had called him to proclaim that prayer, but did he know that it would affect lives in the year 2010. I doubt it.
Even the greatest of Gods children could not truly understand the calling that God has given them, Jonha could not have known nor understand the timelessness of his actions. The stories affect on the whole of humanity. The fact that the action itself was placed in time, but the affects are places outside of time.
In today’s world were we have YouTube and Facebook and Twitter we all feel an importance that is not truly there, we feel that our actions and words are of great importance. We have a perverted view of time and place because of the miracle of the internet, time can be lifted, we can see the news of yesterday and of fifty years ago. We know that our simple blogs and other social networking sites will last forever. The digital age has someone retarded our understanding of time and place. I can chat with someone in India and the same moment I am talking to someone in the states. I can Google my name and find websites I created ten years ago and links to my blogs from yesterday.
Jabez and Jonha had not concept of this, they had no false vision of greatness due to the number of hits on their blog sites or the number of friends that follow them on Facebook, they had no concept of prosperity, real or fake, they did what they did because God commanded them to. But they did not know the affect it would have, nor did they the plan that God had laid out for them.
Moses and the story of Exodus is a perfect example of this. Moses did not know the plans of God, he only knew what God told him, to lead His people out of slavery into the Promised Land. Think about it, do you think Moses and the people would have been all excited to go if they knew that Gods plans also included forty years in the desert. I think not, forty years is a generation, the ones who suffered under the whip would never make it into the Promised Land, including Moses.
Moses did not know the plans of God, nor did he ever claim to, rather Moses like Jabez and Johna, just did as God asked of him. And Like Johna, Moses also questioned Gods wisdom in choosing him.
Just think if Moses had even the faintest idea of his part in salvation history, if he was like most in the world, he would have created monuments and alters to his own glory, He would have marked his place in history. If Moses was in our world today, he would have a Facebook account a Twitter account and I am sure a website selling Moses in the desert tour items and a blog or two. Now I am not saying blogging, Facebook, YouTube and websites are wrong. I myself use them to get my message out. But all to often people gain a false scene of importance, a false scene of Gods will in there blogs, website and other social networking tools.
Don’t believe me, look that the number of “famous” people who have done nothing more that made a video for YouTube or write inflammatory blogs. Our society now celebrates nothingness as if it was greatness. But that is another blog, not this one.
So what do I say to those who tell me they know they are doing God’s work. What do I tell them? I simple smile and say, I hope so, I truly do, but I do not assume to know the mind of my God. I pray I am doing His work, but will not truly know until I enter in the His glory. Or at least I pray that I will enter into His glory> God willing!
|The Prayer of Jabez|
r since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
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