Discovering why we were created and knowing our purpose on this earth are the two things that will significantly alter the way we live. It’ll change the way we approach life, view life, and live life.
Perhaps one of the most affirming and transforming passages in the Bible is found in Ps 139:15-16. The psalmist declares, “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all are written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
We were conceived in the mind of God long before we were born. All our measurements, each intricate detail of our lives were then written in a Book and at the time of His choosing, we were brought forth into this world. When God created us, He formed us in His image. As we see in the Garden, He also created a perfect environment in which we could be nurtured, until sin marred the image of God in man. Before that, Adam and Eve walked with God in a perfect environment where God curated a plan for their lives in the most perfect way.
But discovering the purpose of life is a serendipitous journey of revelation. Granted, it’s not always easy but when we find it, it brings definition, clarity and meaning. In Isa 64:8, the prophet says, “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” In Rom 9:21, Paul further clarifies our significance when he wrote, “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for dishonour?” How important it is for us to be chosen as a vessel of honour, not dishonour.
Many people live day after day aimlessly, without discovering their purpose in life, only to awaken one day to realise that life has passed them by. They often wander aimlessly in life until they meet someone who’s discovered their purpose and living life to the full. Hopefully, that would jolt them out of complacency and bring purpose.
As parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our children discover this reality. It cannot be left to a child to decide on how they want to live life. As parents, we’ve the responsibility to train them in the way they should go and the promise is, when they’re old, they shall not depart from it. We’ve children to share our lives with, and for us to be a part of their lives. However, if they ever completely turn away from us or God, the sadness is in knowing what could’ve been realised in them.
Another aspect of this parent-child relationship is poignantly portrayed in Hosea 11:1-11, where God expresses Himself in this manner, “When Israel was a child I loved him… I taught Ephraim to walk, Taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them. How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred.” As wonderful as God is as a father, Israel still refused to obey and we can see this great agony in the heart of our heavenly Father. And essentially, you can be the best father and still have a wayward child.
It’s revealing to see how God feels the way He does, and for us to call Him, “Abba Father”. Does this perspective and manifestation of God’s heart bring greater light to help us understand John 3:16, where Jesus declared, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” This plan for us to live with God for all eternity has always been in His heart. In His house are many mansions and Jesus has returned to prepare a place for us. His longing is: where He is, we will be as well, forever.
Our options are limited after we die. It’s either heaven or hell. Someone said that hell is God’s prison without any possibility of parole. And the choice is ours. Where would we rather be for the whole of eternity? If you don’t believe in the afterlife, you’re going to believe it very quickly, that I promise. This life is just a dressing room rehearsal for the real life that’s to come. This life is a probationary life. No human being should ever spend an eternity in hell. It was not created for mankind.
It was the great mathematician, Pascal, who said that it should be better to wager that there’s a hell, and find out that you were wrong, than to wager that there’s no hell, and find out that you were wrong. We’re essentially spirit beings going through a short human experience. The real life is the life we live after we’ve expired. It was the great English preacher, Richard Baxter, who said, “Speak to your people as to men that must be awakened, either heaven or in hell.”
It’s my earnest prayer that you’ll discover this amazing Saviour.
Pastor Daphne Yang