Summary: Understanding God's purposes for my life provides me with daily direction. But to live a purposeful Christian life requires a daily decision.
How tragic it would be to come to the end of life only to realize that I have wasted it. As someone once put it, “How sad it is for a person to climb the ladder of success, only to reach the top and realize that their ladder was leaning against the wrong building!”
Notice the word “careful” in our text. Paul says, “be careful how you live.” Now the opposite of careful is what? Careless! In other words, the Scripture tells us, “don’t be careless.” Literally translated, it means “Don’t just drift through life.” Think it through, know what you’re here for, and “make the most of every opportunity, be wise” and then it says, “try to understand what God wants you to do.”
That is what we’ve been doing in this series. We have been trying to understand what God wants us to do. We have seen how God has five purpose to guide us in living for Him. We were planned for His pleasure, that’s worship, responding to God’s love for us by knowing Him and loving Him in return. We should see worship as our greatest passion. We were formed for God’s family, that’s fellowship, growing in our involvement with and commitment to a local family of faith. Fellowship with God’s family should be should be seen as our greatest pleasure. We were created to be like Christ, that’s discipleship, committing to communing with Christ daily so that we might follow Him faithfully. Discipleship should be seen as our greatest pursuit. We were shaped to serve, that’s ministry, and we serve God by serving others, which should be seen as our greatest privilege. Finally, we were made for a mission, that’s evangelism, partnering with God in being an Acts 1:8 Christian, working together with others believers to fulfill the Great Commission, sharing the Good News so others might become part of God’s family through faith in Christ. Evangelism should be seen as our greatest priority.
Now, having come to an understanding on what God would have us to do, it is important that we see that understanding is not enough. Understanding God’s purposes for your life gives you daily direction. But now you have to make a daily decision. Which brings us to a consideration of two questions that we need to ask ourselves.
1. Will I give God what He wants?
What does God want?
God wants my whole life. There is not a single verse in the Bible, not one that says you can be a Christian and live your life any old way you want to. God wants all of you. He doesn't want 10% of you, He doesn’t want 50% of you. He doesn’t want 99% of you. He wants all of you.
“Give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” - Romans 6:13 (NLT)
Note the words “completely” and “whole body.”
“The only thing Christianity cannot be, is moderately important.” - C.S. Lewis
If it’s really true, then it deserves everything you’ve got. If it’s not true, you shouldn’t be here right now. The only thing Christianity cannot be is moderately important. It’s either all, or nothing. It’s either true, and that fact should determine the rest of your life, or you should just chuck it and go do whatever you want to do.
A lot of people try to sit on the fence. They say, “I’ll serve God in my spare time.” It’s like I have this pie - I have my social life, my career life, my family life, my personal life, and over here I have my spiritual life - as if your spiritual life is one part of the pie. Wrong. God wants the whole pie to be under His control.
“Now, Israel, this is what the LORD your God wants you to do: Respect the LORD your God, and do what he has told you to do. Love him. Serve the LORD your God with your whole being.” - Deuteronomy 10:12 (NCV)
There’s that thought again: “Whole being.” I think it is clear what God wants from us. He wants our entire life to be given to Him. Will you give God what He wants?
2. Will I do what God asks?
What is God asking for? He is asking for first place.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in).” - Matthew 6:24 (Amplified)
Note that Jesus says, “cannot,” not “should not.”