“The glory of God is man fully alive.” –St. Ireneaus
We all know what code red is… Essentially the highest state of emergency. Something critical has transpired, and whatever you were doing at the time of the incident becomes null and inconsequential due to the overriding nature of the emergency transpiring.
All very dramatic and thematic… but so very true. This is code red for the current state of the human condition. Namely- clueless-ness. We are here on this planet and we have no idea why.
That’s a problem.
We don’t know what purpose itself is (much less our own individual purpose), nor do we know how to find it. Through long years of trial and error, plus some lengthy observation we have more or less discovered what it is NOT… but in a world so stock full of miscellaneous features and paths, we are not necessarily closer to discovering what it is.
Cause: a person or thing that acts, happens, or exists in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result
Purpose: Why we are here (for personal/philosophical use this will be our definition).
“Ohhhhhhhhh so you’ve single-handedly unlocked the key to humanity Josh?” is what you’re saying I’m sure…
You be the judge.
Let’s uncover hopelessness for a minute…
Having a driving passion in your heart, but being unable to execute it. That would incur hopelessness yeah?
Feeling isolated in the world- as if you are the only peculiar one out here.
Having faith in God through Jesus Christ, but not seeing any of that ol’ biblical power manifest.
Working hard- “grinding”- with minimal accomplishment on the other side of it. Spinning your wheels almost.
Resignation to a situation- accepting the plateau of any current state.
Not being able to escape the hollow emptiness that sneaks up on us when we’re not watching.
Hopelessness is veeeeery depressing… And it’s not that understanding life will put an end to any one of these things- but it will set life in order. And once order takes place, impact changes. Which means that perception and action have also changed.
Let’s get into it.
“a person or thing that acts, happens, or exists in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result” + “why we are here” = a person or thing that acts, happens, or exists in such a way that why we are here happened as a result
We did. That is to say… YOU did. You- happened. Your mother and your father met, consummated, and boom- here you are. And the instant your flesh made contact with earthly oxygen, the entire planet was forever changed. Forever altered. Why? Because YOU happened and YOU are a powerful being. There is no such thing as a meaningless purpose. Because you are here, you have purpose and that purpose is good. It means something- something important.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them… And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” -Genesis 1:27,31 (KJV)
So you see? There you have it…
But the secret to this dynamic “what” actually preludes birth.
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” –Jeremiah 1:5, the Lord speaking to Jeremiah (KJV)
You were what you are before you came to earth to be it.
That’s just a little bit… spooky right? A little nuts?
But should we be surprised? LIFE is crazy. LIFE is spooky. And the ones who have had the most glaring impact are the ones who have dared to indulge in a little crazy acceptance of self. In Jeremiah’s case- he was a prophet. Was that all he did? Was that all he was? Of course not- but it was the staple holding the leaflets of his identity together.
Yours might be different. You were formed, known, sanctified and ordained as- writer, singer, painter, musician, teacher, preacher, armor bearer… the ordinations are endless. And yet, in and of themselves they are not fullness- they are what holds fullness together. You happened in a very particular way before you got here- and once you were born you were charged to “happen” all over again essentially. Just in different circumstances, and by different means.
Your happening stimulated your purpose.
Why We Are Here
So… if we were made good, and we happened first in God’s hands then again in the cradle of the earth… What we are here for- is to BE.
No, no- stop. Pause. Let it happen… Let it sink in.
You. Are here. To be.
Everything that you are, everything that you can do, every dream, every passion… you’re here for all of it. Naturally, then, the easiest deception to fall for is belief that gifting equals purpose. Not so. Gifting never equals purpose. Ever. Remember- identity is the staple holding all of those leaflets together… the leaflets are your gifts, talents, passions, ideas, etc. Alone it is worth nothing. It is from the lump sum of clay that a priceless vase is formed.
Holding back profits nothing. You can neither progress nor learn from a restrained lifestyle. Let’s say that you are a hammer. You loosely know the difference between screws and nails, but are not totally sure. As the wielder of you (the hammer) strikes, you pull back your force. Pulling back your force renders you completely ineffective as a living individual. It is better to hammer fully and be corrected, that you may hammer in excellence next time, than not to hammer at all.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” –John 10:10, Jesus to the Pharisees (KJV)
There is so much packed into this one statement, but that will have to be saved for another time. What I want to highlight is the latter part. “… that they might have life… have it more abundantly.”
As with anything else- an entity begets itself. Abundant living comes from abundant living. Live full out. Be.
The Matter of Glory
Simple deduction reveals that abundant living- a complete, full hearted embrace of the identity staple holding the leaflets of our created essence together- glorifies God for the basic fact that it was His plan all along.
Thus the reverse, must also be true. Neglecting to do so glorifies God’s number one opponent- Satan. Satan doesn’t want us to do that. You’ve heard the saying “All that’s required for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing”? Same deal. All that’s required for empty living is for you to live as someone else. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.
We need that staple. Desperately. Saved. Unsaved. Walking with God for years. Freshly turned atheist. Without that identity staple, the leaflets of all the rest of who we are will be left blowin in the wind… Or worse- stapled with a wrong identity which will lead us to mis-apply the contents of the leaflets.
So where do we get that staple from?
“Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father [God], but by me.'” –John 14:6 (KJV, brackets added)
It is simple then.
BE- Live as hard as you can, with all of the instinctive and revealed knowledge of who you are (irregardless of any other factors). There is no gain in holding back- that in and of itself will work against you. Live hard, being you.
PRAY- Come to God humbly, in the name of Jesus, asking that He reveal your identity to you. That He show you the centerpiece of whom He crafted you to be- what your pre-ordained, hand depicted image is underneath which everything else is drawn into alignment.
The combination of these things will yield the unimaginable. This is not a lure into “religion.” It is an invite into the most wholesome,fulfilling life possible- the one that you crave deep down in your soul. You’ve only got one life to live.
“The glory of God is man fully alive.” –St. Ireneaus
Are you living for what really matters?
… or are you waiting for life to run out to try and squeeze some matter into it?