What does it mean to live with purpose? At times, I swear its thumping in my chest, that sense that some how my little life matters. That anything is possible. Other times, from where I sit staring at a pillow fort, a pile of dishes and a to do list that Santa would balk at (okay, slight exaggeration there), purpose seems just a tad beyond my grasp. But what if eternity is laced through my messy bun, baggy sweater day to day?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 speaks to the idea that God has set eternity in the heart of every man. This is huge. We were created in the image of God for fellowship with God and partnership with His purposes. It starts as a God-given thirst on the inside of every human being that truly only God can fill. But then something amazing happens when we taste of His goodness.
Whether it was yesterday or 20 years ago, many of us can remember a time where our life distinctly changed when He found us. Almost always, there is an awakening to purpose. There is an instinct within a heart quickened by Christ that desires to be part of something with eternal weight. It’s beyond us and into eternity.
Before religion interferes, it’s not an instinct to earn salvation or stay in the good graces of God. It’s an overflow of the gratitude we feel at receiving such a gift. Suddenly, we consider the great possibilities of God in and through our lives.
We are simply wired for eternity. We are wired to value what God values. We can spend our whole lives building things with these hands, but as we grow in this walk with God, we want to know that we are investing in things of worth.
Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NASB
It may seem a dreadful thing to think that the work we do will be burned up to reveal its quality. But my friends, this is good news. That means no one here on earth is the judge to the quality of God’s work in your life. We are liberated to value what he values and wholeheartedly follow as He shows us how that looks in our one-of-a-kind lives.
And He doesn’t leave us helpless. He has given us His Word and Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth (John 16:13). We have Jesus, who was the full expression of the Father on earth (Hebrews 1:3), and He showed us what to value. When some thought Jesus should be visiting with important adults, He was blessing rambunctious, silly children. When the law and customs of His time said a leper should not be touched, He reached out to touch the rotting, leprous skin before declaring “I am willing to heal you” as disease was removed and a life was restored. He feasted when some thought He should be fasting. He disappeared into a crowd when many thought He should take His place as king. He drew in the sand and released an adulterous woman into new beginnings when everyone else thought it was time to cast stones. We are free to value what He values.
We are free to wildly obey the call of God in all of its unique expression in our lives without the shackles of comparison or performance.
So when the idea of purpose seems far away, when it’s hard to reconcile eternity with our day to day, we’ll remind ourselves that this is where purpose unfolds.