When anything in creation fulfills its purpose, it brings glory to God
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? But to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8KJV).
Clear thinking about spiritual living and fruitful existence
One of the great challenges for many Christians is to get their head out of the box of performance-based spirituality. For instance, religious legalism results in people trying to bring glory to God by doing religious things. As a result, doing religious things produces religious conformity motivated by expectations focused upon performance, outcome, and conformity, rather than spiritual transformation through grace. Unfortunately, while rigid conformity to what is required may produce results, the results may not be a genuine expression of attitudes born out of spiritual conversion. To be precise, spiritual transformation results in the most effective natural spiritual expression of purpose. Further, when the character of God infuses the heart of the believer with life from the vine, the believer produces lasting fruit (John 15:16). Indeed, when people attempt to be something that they are not, the impression may make an impact, but unfortunately, it will not last long.
For this cause, understanding “what is good” is not the process of developing controlled behavior. Rather, understanding “what is good” is the natural fruit of a character that is holy. When God’s character fills the heart, the evidence will show a changed motivation for acting justly, loving, and with humility. Without a doubt, it is a life experience that is consistent with whom God created believers to be in Him. Think about the characteristics Micah identifies and where the source of “what is good” originates from to produce natural behavior. The truth is that following specific requirements, as a legal stipulation, brings glory to the person. However, when life is lived with a heart tuned to the desires of God; then a believer can be who God created them to be in a spiritual existence bringing glory to God –being the natural, transparent reflection of God’s purpose in the work of grace.
For this reason, the greatest testimony to the rationale of God in creation is when creation surrenders to the unique purpose placed within the distinctive creative design for life. In fact, once surrender occurs, creation is in the best possible position to align with a natural and spontaneous ability to fulfill the greatest level of effectiveness in the activities of creation in a manner that brings glory to God.
Consider the words of the psalmist about the purpose of creation
Worshiping and enjoying God through being whom God created
The words of the psalmist emphatically state that the heavens bring glory to God by fulfilling the natural purpose for the heavens. Further, the psalmist states that the physical presence of the clouds in the sky performing the natural function of clouds are a testimony that brings reverence and worship to the wonder of a creator. The creator, with a rationale and intelligent design called the heavens into existence with purpose and reason. Therefore, worshiping Him is the objective reason inherent within a life of purposeful existence. As a result, when life is a natural demonstration of reflecting His glory through being God’s creation, there is celebration of the reason for existence. When we can settle into a life focused on the person God created and engages life through our unique gifts, the “state of being” turns from earthly, fleshly pursuits to a life of worship that brings glory to Him. C.S. Lewis stated it this way, “In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him” (Lewis). In effect, worship is more than just praising, singing, and feeling, “Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving him, and giving ourselves to be used for his purposes” (Warren, 2002 p.56). Loving God and enjoying him results in a second step in purposeful existence, loving others, as a natural function of purposeful spiritual existence.
Consider how John describes love as a natural manifestation of a relationship with God
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7, NIV).
John expresses a central attribute of God’s preference and character by using, “agápē – properly, love which centers in moral preference” (agape, Strong’s 26). Just as the sky was created to provide an atmosphere that humans live and thrive in, love as a moral preference –choice, between believers enables an environment that spiritual life thrives within. Spiritual prosperity is natural because love is an innate characteristic of God revealed through spiritual purpose in transformational change. Transformation is a spiritual work of God who opens a darkened mind with a novel idea that values the freedom to choose the high road in relationships with others.
Think about this for a moment, “When you learn to appreciate everything around you that is when you have found the true meaning of life. But when you have learned to love another with all your heart, that is when you have finally understood and start to actually fulfill the purpose of your existence” (Testy McTesterson). On the contrary, Christians who choose to live in unloving ways demonstrate the antithesis of God’s moral preference in a way that elevates depravity, which in turn elevates an immoral preference. In effect, living in conflict with the true self in a life of expressing love magnifies the age-old conflict with the natural order of creation that God designed to be released. Consequently, the result of disconnect from the love of God disables man’s greatest potential for existence. Therefore, the great goal of existence in loving and enjoying God is enhanced when believers are so affected by His love that love becomes an outer expression of our innermost relationship to God compelling a life of service.
Becoming like Christ may mean something different than we imagined
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29, KJV). When the mind imagines what it really means to be a Christian, conformity is a word that expresses how some people attempt to legislate artificial fruit. The process produces the external religious substitute for an internal life of transparency and surrender to God. Think about this for a moment, “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life” (Robert Louis Stevenson). Undoubtedly, if a person believes that God created humans through intelligent design; then there is an inherent capability in our makeup that gives physical and human potential. In addition, design implies that there is a spiritual potential that Paul expresses as “conformity to the image of His Son”. The very idea suggests that it is not a materialistic human accomplishment to be conformed to in a set of procedures, but rather an internal process of surrender to a life of servanthood that utilizes development of the gifts that God has given us in Christ.
The affirmation of purposeful existence through surrender to servanthood
When anything in creation fulfills its purpose, it brings glory to God
When a believer comes to grips with the idea that God has created each person with the ultimate goal of being like him, the affirmation resounds a message that says to become, as Christ is to take on the mantle of a servant. Therefore, the object of God’s love characterizes a life of ministry motivated by love for God that brings enjoyment and fulfillment. It is a life-demonstrating ministry loving and serving others with the gift that God has bestowed within a life of surrender. In fact, when the creation surrenders, then a spiritual manifestation of the glory of God causes life to align with the greatest potential for meaningful service. Unquestionably, service is executed in a life of serving performed out of love for God, fellow man, and through selfless service. Without a doubt, the acts of surrendered existence form a doxology of existential activity giving a voice of praise to the works of God through creation.
Consider the words of the Apostle Paul about the rationale of God in His wisdom
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:33-36, NIV).
There is no doubt that, Paul is describing the revelation of God challenging believers to worship God by ascribing a doxology of praise to God the wise creator. In support of Paul’s words, C. S. Lewis says, “In commanding us to glorify him, God is inviting us to enjoy him” (C. S. Lewis 1998, pp. 94-95). Therefore, Lewis’s observation fits marvelously with the first commandment of God. Obviously, both make the point that to love God is to delight in Him and to enjoy relationship with Him. A point well taken affirms that when you love God, you worship Him, for as Lewis observes, “all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. … We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation” (Lewis).
To be sure, when we “believe in Jesus”, we do not just believe facts about His deity or even His resurrection. On the other hand, we believe that He is the only way to God, that His sacrifice is the only atonement God will accept, and that He is the only solution to our desperate need for salvation from the wrath of God we justly deserve. Consequently, real existence –a life of purpose, begins when a commitment to Jesus Christ completely. The Bible promises, “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12, NIV). The personal application is possible to those who believe and are able to receive the intelligent design created by God for a holy life made possible through spiritual transformation.
C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms [New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1958], 94-95.
- How to Live in the Glory Every Day (evangelist91.wordpress.com)
- Contemplative Practices and the Apostolic Church, Part 3: Worship (contemplativechristians.com)
- Oh Glory! (ccalachua.wordpress.com)
- What is Your Purpose in Life? (christianitymatters.com)
- God’s choice of you (dailymedit.wordpress.com)
- This Old Book (fromthepreacherspc.org)
- Father John’s word to clergy (johnmeunier.wordpress.com)
- COTHA, Church of the Holy Apostles, Welcomes Antoinette Chew as Children’s Pastor (prweb.com)