Why were we created? This is a good question. Many theologians suggest man was created to give God worship. Personally, I think that is a shallow answer because it renders a shallow understanding of God. Think of it this way, how many parents have children for the express purpose of the child looking up to them? I would say that would be a key indicator of a shallow parent.
God isn’t like that at all. One of the first thing to understand about God is that He is God ALL BY HIMSELF. He is self-existent and self-sustaining. He needs nothing from us. Indeed (heavy stuff alert), He doesn’t need us to love Him because HE IS LOVE.
To understand why we were created, we need to understand how we were created. When God created the environment for man, he spoke to nothing and created something. However, when God created man, HE SPOKE TO HIMSELF! In other words, God spoke to Himself, releasing some of Himself into us!
Genesis 1:26-28 (ESV)
26 Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
Why is this important? Because He created us to be his image (to look like Him) and His likeness (to act like Him, revealing His will, culture, and intent), to rule and reign in this earth realm as He rules and reigns in the heavenly realm.
Let me make something clear here: contrary to popular belief, God needs neither your love nor your worship! What He desires is another matter altogether: God is, in many ways, like many of us parents. He wants to have fellowship and relationship with us and to impact His creation with the essence of Himself. Pure worship is a by-product of relationship; worship without relationship is mere religion.
One of the first assignments given to man was to tend and keep the Garden. It was God’s will that we cared for creation as He did. Next, He gave man the responsibility for naming the animals. This is a key point because God gave man a desire to frame his world with words.
This is all-important because the purpose of a thing can only be found in the mind of its creator. Even though all of creation declares the handiwork of God (Psalm 19:1), mankind insists upon finding answers to its most pressing questions seemingly everywhere outside the mind of God. We turn to Dr. Phil, Oprah, and every other self-help guru we can find. We mindlessly consume their books and media. Sadly, too, this is not only the testimony of the unsaved but Christian folks as well!
And we wonder why we’re so screwed-up!
Like any well-engineered piece of machinery, each of us has a distinct purpose. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made to make a distinct contribution to the world. Every man, woman, and child wants to leave his or her mark on the world – this is an innate desirer given to us by God. When we fail to do this, we are unsatisfied and unfulfilled.
God has fearfully and wonderfully made us complete and pregnant with purpose. Contrary to popular belief, we do not need to find someone to “complete” us. Our ideal mate, indeed all ideal earthly relationships, would consist of someone who complements us; that is to strengthen ourselves where we are weak and to supply strength to the weak areas of the lives of those whom we are in relationship with.
That said, I cannot – nor can any person – tell you your purpose. That is something between God and yourself. However, I can lead you in the right direction. I believe the path to purpose hinges on five basic questions:
- What is it that I do most effortlessly – that is, that it pleases me and I am so passionate about it that I do not struggle in it?
- What is it that agitates or irritates me most?
- What do I feel compelled to speak up about or speak out against?
- What is it that I would do if there were no barriers to me doing it?
- What is stopping me from doing it?
To understand this clearly, let’s look at 5 examples in scripture:
Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as a prince. He was educated and cultured. But, when he saw a fellow Hebrew being abused by an Egyptian, he took a step toward his assumed destiny as a deliverer of his people by killing the Egyptian (Exodus 2:11).
Don’t get it twisted here, I’m not advocating killing anyone! But Moses knew in his heart that God would use him but he stepped out into his destiny – albeit in his own understanding.
But when he hearkened to the voice of God (Exodus 3:2), he learned that God was the deliverer and he was but a vessel to that end. When he yielded to God, the destiny of the deliverance of his countrymen was realized.
Elisha was minding his business plowing his family’s field with twelve yoke of oxen when the man of God, Elijah spotted him and threw his mantle (or cape) upon Elisha. Elisha was so moved by this that he killed the oxen and used the wood from the yoke to have a big barbecue. In doing so, he did two things, first, he celebrated the discovery of his purposes and, second, he was symbolically burning the bridge to his past (1 Kings 19:19-21)
David was considered the “runt of the litter” of his siblings. Even his father did not see him as but a shepherd. However, the shepherd’s heart was instilled in David’s heart and he killed lions and bears to protect the flock (1 Samuel 17:34-37). Also, David knew who he was in God (Psalms 23), so he was able to face down Goliath fearlessly. It was his trust in God, his shepherd’s heart, and his warrior spirit that God created in him to ultimately rule the Kingdom of Israel.
Saul of Tarsus was raised as the legalist of legalists. And, out of his zeal for the law, he persecuted the Christian Church. It was written in the book of Acts that he held the coats of the men who stoned Stephen to death (Acts 7:58). But Saul had an encounter with the risen Jesus on a road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6). The light Jesus brought to Saul’s darkened spirit at first blinded him but God healed him and restored his sight. Saul was so changed by this experience that he was thereafter known as Paul – And God used him to write most of the New Testament.
Jesus was the very essence of God, wrapped in the flesh of a man. Sent to earth to experience life as a man and to show all mankind how to operate in the way God intended. Jesus showed all of humanity how to love, to have compassion, and to exercise dominion in the earth. Jesus was fully persuaded of His purpose and relentlessly prosecuted it. He showed us how to understand the fulfillment of destiny when he said He glorified the Father by completing the work He was given to do (John 17:4). Indeed, when He was at his most agonizing moments – in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he prayed until blood poured out of Him as sweat (Luke 22:41-44) declaring the primacy of Our Father’s will over his own, and on the cross, where he declared before yielding His Spirit, “it is finished” (John 19:30) – that he operated in the rest that comes from fulfilled purpose.
So, what is it you’re created for? What is it you’re called to do? I cannot tell you what it is but I can tell you who can!
Answer the five questions prayerfully and honestly. Then find an accountability partner who will help you stay focused as you spend time with God listening for the answer. Do not share anything personal or incriminating! Commit to a time when you and your accountability partner will come together to discuss your progress. I believe God will reveal exactly what it is you’re created for.
And once you know what it is, move on it quickly – don’t hesitate.
© 2013 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)