Would you still matter if you could do nothing? Think about this for a moment. What if you could not use your hands, your sight, your voice would you still matter? It is a tough question because we often define who we are by what we do. You will be surprised to learn the your Creator looks at you in a completely different way.
Many years ago now I was challenged to write a personal mission statement. The assignment challenged me and others to define our purpose in life independent of what we could do or what we could accomplish. The above question was used to get us thinking in the right direction. If you have never stopped to do this, it is very difficult to define our purpose in life apart from what we do. When asked about my purpose in life I might respond I am a Pastor, or I might state that I am a husband and father. Now these descriptions are the fruit of my purpose but they do not really define my purpose. These and other responsibilities actually reveal my purpose. So if you could do nothing what would be your purpose? Go ahead and stop here to think a about this for a few moments.
This past Sunday we concluded our summer series, “Realizing Greatness” which was a series of dramatic monologue presentations from 1 Samuel. Over the course of the summer we encountered those that had realized greatness and unfortunately those that failed to realize greatness. I wonder how many of us fail to realize greatness because we have not stopped to consider our purpose in life. Actually it is not my purpose in life that matters, but rather God’s purpose for my life. Two of the main characters in 1 Samuel are the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David. The first, failed to realize greatness because his purpose in life was determined by his own desires and the peer pressure of culture itself. It could be said that Saul failed because he pursued his own purpose for his life rather than his Creator’s. The second king, David, described as a man after God’s own heart, was one that was characterized by fulfilling God’s purpose for his life. Now, I pointed out that David was characterized by fulfilling God’s purpose because like every person there were times that he got off track by living for himself. He realized greatness because he fulfilled God’s purpose in his life.
Over the years I have heard many different variations of purpose statements, but all the Biblical ones have a common thread. It is that we exist to glorify our Creator. And that can be done even if we cannot do anything. And it can also be done by what we do do! I have been motivated by this statement about David, “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep;”( Acts 13:36a) Realizing greatness begins with a heart that is surrendered to God and then unfolds through the things that we do. So I guess the question that I will ask myself, and you need to ask yourself, is “Am I fulfilling my purpose in life, or God’s purpose for my life?” The answer will determine if you realize greatness!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson