Summary: Focusing on me will never reveal the truth about the purpose of my life. My Theology Professor at SWBTS told us….you cannot begin with man. You must begin your search for God with God.
Joke: Two men were seated next to each other as they were flying across the US, along with each of their sons. During the flight, they became acquainted and were discussing their respective occupations (something men tend to talk about). One man was an evolutionary biologist at a major university. The other was the pastor of a Baptist church. At some point, their conversation had touched upon the subject of origins, about which they shared few, if any, areas of agreement. Toward the end of the flight, the biologist’s son began acting up and embarrassing his father. The biologist complained to the pastor about his son’s behavior and asked why he thought that his son was behaving so poorly, whereas the pastor’s son was a model of adult behavior. The pastor replied, "My son is descended from Adam, the perfect creation of God, whereas your son is descended from a monkey!"
What on earth am I here for?
1. More and more people in our world are finding a purpose-less life.
1. With an increasing god-less culture, we are led to believe that we have no purpose in life other than to find satisfaction for our fleshly appetites.
2. Viktor Frankl, who endured 3 years of a Nazi Concentration Camp called a purposeless life an existential vacuum.
i. Just as we try to satisfy the inner hunger with more than food, so we also try to satisfy the emptiness of life with meaningful and purposeful thoughts and activities.
3. If meaning is what we desire, then meaninglessness is a hole, an emptiness, in our lives.
i. Whenever you have a vacuum, of course, things rush in to fill it.
ii. Frankl suggests that one of the most conspicuous signs of this is boredom.
iii. He points out how often people, when they finally have the time to do what they want, don’t seem to want to do anything!
iv. People go into a tailspin when they retire; students get drunk every weekend; we submerge ourselves in passive entertainment every evening (television).
4. As Frankl observed people living and dying daily in the concentration camp, he asked the question, -- what is the difference between what drives some people to continue fighting for life, while other people simply die?
i. His answer was: Survivors had some MEANING or PURPOSE -- some HOPE in the future to propel them forward.
ii. You might remember the classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We all need to know our purpose in life. We cannot go on unless we do.
2. In order to Understand the purpose of my life…
1. It all starts with God.
i. “it” is not about me.
1. It’s not about what I want.
2. It’s not about what my dreams are
3. It’s not even about what seems to make me happy.
ii. Focusing on me will never reveal the truth about the purpose of my life.
iii. My Theology Professor at SWBTS told us….you cannot begin with man. You must begin your search for God with God.
iv. Looking inward won’t bring you answers…only more questions.
v. "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools" - Romans 1:21-22
1. The delusion of trying to understand ourselves apart from God will lead us into further delusion.
a. We will only believe bigger and bigger lies and drift further and further from the truth.
b. We will find ourselves trying to “explain” our experiences and feelings with myths and half-truths.
c. It is absolutely amazing what things people believe about themselves in an attempt to explain themselves and their feelings.
d. I am often amazed at how people will believe things like western reincarnation…(which is not what the Hindu’s believe).
i. They “feel” something…a memory or a they have an experience, and they build a fiction to explain it.
ii. Their fiction takes a great deal more faith to believe than God would ever require.
e. And it is all because they began with themselves instead of with God.
2. All of our attempts to “figure it out” fall short if they start with “me.”
2. Romans 8:6 “obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.” (The Message)
3. We discover our purpose and destiny only through God.
1. He is the author. We must start with the one who made us.
2. The bible is the owner’s manual.
i. It tells us why we exists, how life works, what to do, what not to do, and what the future holds.
ii. “It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” (Eph 1:11 message).