I struggle a lot with discerning Gods purpose for my life. I get bogged down with guilt over not doing grand things for God. However, over and over He reminds me that his purposes are simple. I like how Oswald Chambers explains this in such simple terms.
“Pour yourself out. Don’t testify about how much you love Me and don’t talk about the wonderful revelation you have had, just ‘Feed My sheep.’ ” (March 3 entry of “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers)
We can get so caught up going to church, doing our religious duties, telling people how much we love God but neglecting to actually “be like Christ”. One of my favorite scriptures gets straight to the heart of what God wants from us. It’s James 1:27 which says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
Both, the devotional reading and that scripture are a reminder to me that regardless of what our gifts or individual purpose is, we all have a mission and calling to fulfill...teach Gods Word, share Gods love, care for orphans, widows, oppressed, broken and poor, and strive to not let your heart and mind be polluted by the world.
We tend to make things so complicated which in turn causes us to not do anything at all. But Gods purposes really are simple to understand, however, in our culture it isn’t always easy to implement because we are constantly taught to focus on ourselves and our needs first. Yet, a constant inward focus sends us on a downward spiral leading to more anxiety and depression.
“If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.” Matthew 10:39
“Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Matthew 16:24
I know it all seems so upside down, but honestly things are upside down on this earth. We must go against what the world and our own flesh tells us. We are taught to do all we can to make ourselves happy yet the endless, ruthless pursuit of seeking earthly things to comfort us, leaves us more empty than ever before.
However, seeking God and pouring your life out to help others...that’s where true fulfillment and joy come from. We should try to ignore how crazy that sounds and just give it a try. Here’s a challenge for all of us, spend a month focusing on giving and helping others and see if our mood doesn’t change. I truly believe we will see how peace and joy can begin to satisfy the longings we’ve been trying to satisfy for a long time.
What are some practical things we can do?
1. Make a bunch of PB&J sandwiches and go hand them out to the homeless.
2. If we have more coats, shoes and clothes than we actually need, find an organization we can send them to overseas.
3. Think of some widows we know of and go visit them, see if they need help.
4. Support an orphanage in a 3rd world country
5. Buy a goat for a village in Africa.
Here’s a cool catalogue of things you can buy with a small amount of money that are sustainable help. https://www.compassion.com/catalog/view-all.htm
Here’s a site where you can sponsor an orphan:
Give your life away and find a true life with purpose!!