What Drives Your Life?

Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor. This is also vanity and vexation of the spirit-Ecclesiastes 4:4

The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder- a waif, a nothing, a no man”– Thomas Carlyle

Everyone’s life is driven by something. Most dictionaries define the verb drive as “to guide, to control, or to direct”. Whether you are driving a car,  a nail, or a golf ball, you are guiding, controlling, and directing it at the moment. What is the driving force in your life? Right now you may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline. You may be driven by a painful memory, a haunting fear, or an unconscious belief. There are hundreds of circumstances, values, and emotions that can drive your  life.

Many people are driven by guilt. They spend their entire lives running from regrets and hiding their shame. Guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories. They allow their past to control their future. They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success. When Cain sinned, his guilt disconnected him from God’s presence, and God said, You will be a restless wanderer on the earth”- Genesis 4:1-16. That describes most people today-wandering through life without a purpose. We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it. God’s purpose is not limited by your past. He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero, and He can do amazing things with the rest of your life too. God specializes in giving people a fresh start. 

Many people are driven by resentment and anger. They hold on to hurts and never get over them. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds. Some resentment-driven people “clam up” and internalize their anger, while others “blow up” and explode it onto others. Both responses are unhealthy and unhelpful. Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past. Listen: Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment. Your past is the past! Nothing will change that. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. The Bibles says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do” – Job 5:2. 

Many people are driven by fear. Their fears may be a result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high control home, or even genetic predisposition. Regardless of the cause, fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out. Instead they play it safe, avoiding risks and trying to maintain the status quo. Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love. 

Many people are driven by materialism. Their desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. This drive to always want more is based on the misconceptions that having more will make more happy, more important, and more secure, but all three ideas are untrue. Possessions only provide temporary happiness. Because things do not change, we eventually become bored with them and then want newer, bigger, better versions. It’s also a myth that if I get more, I will be more important. Self-worth and net worth are not the same. Your value is not determined by your valuables, and God says the most valuable things in life are not things! The most common myth about money is that having more will make me secure. It won’t. Wealth can be lost instantly through a variety of uncontrollable factors. Real security can only be found in that which can never be taken from you- your relationship with God.

Many people are driven by the need of approval. They allow the expectations of parents or spouses or children or teachers or friends to control their lives. Many adults are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents. Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think. Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it. I don’t know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to try to please everyone. Being controlled by the opinions of others  is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life. Jesus said, :No one can serve two masters“. 

There are other forces that can drive your life but all lead to the same dead end: unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an unfulfilled life. Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty, and pointless. Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life. We were made to have meaning. When life has meaning, you can bear almost anything; without it, nothing is bearable. Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. 

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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The Reason For Everything

For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. A-men’.-Romans 11:36 

The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. -Proverbs 16:4

It’s all for Him. The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God. It is the reason for everything that exists, including you. God made it all for His glory. Without God’s glory, there would be nothing. What is the glory of God? It is who God is. It is the essence of His nature, the weight of His importance, the radiance of His splendor, the demonstration of His power, and the atmosphere of His presence. God’s glory is the expression of His goodness and all His other intrinsic, eternal qualities.

Where is the glory of God? Just look around. Everything created by God reflects His glory in some way. We see it everywhere, from the smallest microscopic form of life to the vast Milky Way, from sunsets and stars to storms and seasons. Creation reveals our Creator’s glory. In nature we learn that God is powerful, that He enjoys variety, loves beauty, is organized, and is wise and creative. The Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God”-Psalm 19:1.

Throughout history, God has revealed His glory to people in different settings. He revealed it first in the Garden of Eden, then to Moses, then in the tabernacle and the temple, then through Jesus, and now through the church. It was portrayed as a consuming fire, a cloud, thunder, smoke, and a brilliant light. In heaven, God’s glory provides all the light needed. The Bible says, “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light”- Revelation 21:23

God’s glory is best seen in Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the world that illuminates God’s nature. Because of Jesus, we are no longer in the dark about what God is really like. The Bible says, ‘The Son is the radiance of God’s glory”-Hebrews 1:3. Jesus came to earth so we could fully understand God’s glory. God’s inherent glory is what He possesses because He is God. It is His nature. We cannot add anything to this glory, just as it would be impossible for us to make the sun shine brighter. But we are commanded to recognize His glory, honor His glory, declare His glory, praise His glory, reflect His glory, and live for His glory. Why? Because God deserves it! 

We owe Him every honor we can possibly give. Since God made all things, He deserves all the glory. The Bible says, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything”-Revelation 4:11 Jesus honored God by fulfilling His purpose on earth.  We honor God the same way. When anything in creation fulfills its purpose, it brings glory to God. Birds bring glory to God by flying, chirping, nesting, and doing other bird-like activities that God intended.

There are many ways to bring glory to God, but they can be summarized in God’s five purposes for your life: 

We bring God glory by worshipping Him. Worship is our first responsibility to God. God wants our worship to be motivated by love, thanksgiving, and delight, not duty. Worship is far more than praising, singing, and praying to God. Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving Him, and giving ourselves to be used for His purposes. 

We bring God glory by loving other believers. When you were born again, you became apart of God’s family. Following Christ is not just a matter of  believing; it also includes belonging and learning to love the family of God. It is your responsibility to learn how to love as God does, because God is love, and it honors Him. Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”- John 13:34-35

We bring God glory by becoming like Christ. Once we are born into God’s family, He wants us to grow to spiritual maturity. What does that look like? Spiritual maturity is becoming like Jesus in the way we think, feel, and act. The more you develop Christlike character, the more you will bring glory to God. The Bible says, “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more”- 2 Corinthians 3:18 God gave you a new life and a new nature when you accepted Christ. Now, for the rest of your life on earth, God wants to continue the process of changing your character. 

We bring God glory by serving others with our gifts. Each of us was uniquely designed by God with talents, gifts, and skills, and abilities. The way you’re “wired” is not an accident. God didn’t give you your abilities for selfish purposes. They were given to benefit others, just as others were given abilities for your benefit. The Bible says, “God has given gifts to each of you from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you…Are you called to help others? Do it will all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given the glory”. 1 Peter 4:10-11

We bring God glory by telling others about Him. God doesn’t want His love and purposes kept a secret. Once we know the truth, He expects us to share it with others. This is a great privilege- introducing others to Jesus, helping them to discover their purpose, and preparing them for eternal destiny. 

Living the rest of your life for the glory of God will require a change in your priorities, your schedule, your relationships, and everything else. It will sometimes mean choosing a difficult path instead of an easy one. Even Jesus struggled with this. Knowing He was about to be crucified, He cried out: ‘My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, “Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour, Father, glorify Thy name. God will give you what you need if you will just make the choice to live for Him.

http://www.lucretiacargill.com

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