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The Search for the Meaning of Life (Part 2 of 2)

To Play Your Part, Know Where to Start

“For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible,…everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.” –Colossians 1:16 (Message)

Contrary to what you’ve been told and what you want to believe–it’s not about you. It never was and it never will be. The reason why the search for the purpose has eluded so many is because we look in the wrong places. We look for it in our career, our family, our friends, our peace of mind, our dreams and no matter how hard we try it leaves us feeling empty and lost. Why? Because we start with looking within ourselves instead of looking to God. Why do you exist? You were born by God’s purpose and for His purpose. Until we grasp this nothing in life will make sense. You didn’t create yourself, so how can you possibly know what you were created for! You only exist because God wills you to exist. Only the one who created who knows what your purpose is. Your starting point for discovering the purpose of life is turning to God.

Through God we can discover life’s meaning and with it out origin, identity, purpose, significance, and future. Most self-help books offer this about finding life’s purpose: consider your dreams, set goals, aim high, be disciplined, believe  in yourself, and never give up.  While these suggestions more times than not lead to success, they still miss the purposes for which God created you for. Even if you reach all your goals and find success by the world’s standards you still wouldn’t find what you’re looking for. Money, fame, possessions, accomplishments can’t fulfill the longing for meaning in your life and God made it that way so we find true satisfaction only in Him.

So we have two options to consider when it comes to the purpose of life: speculation or revelation. If we speculate we’ll just guess on the meaning of life and hope we’ve come to the right conclusion. The alterative is revelation from God’s Word. If you want to know the purpose of something look what to you usually do? You look at the owner’s manual. In this case, the Owner is God and His manual is the Bible. The verse, Ephesians 1:11, found in His Word tells us: “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,”. God is not only the starting point of your life, He is the source of it. So to discover the meaning of life you must turn to God’s Word, not what the world tells us to find meaning in. So now that we know the source of meaning and where to turn to find the answers for discovering our identity, purpose, significance, and future; let’s look at an analogy of life that we can relate to when looking for the meaning of life:

In many ways, life is like a play performed on a theater. God is the director, writer, stage manager, and coordinator of the play that is before us. The script was written before time began and your part was chosen to fulfill a specific role necessary for the play to run properly. For the play to work well, everyone needs to know their part and what the director, God, wants them to perform. Also, no part is bigger than any other part, everyone’s specific design and abilities is used to carry out the role necessary for the play of life to be performed. You may be asked to take a lead role, a surrounding cast role, a backup role–every role is important in God’s eyes. Another important thing to keep in mind is that there are no tryouts–everyone is part of the play regardless of where they are in life. It’s our responsibility to find out what role we’re supposed to take part in the play of life.

The audience consists of those of gone before us, the heavenly hosts, and God. They are there watching, cheering us on every step of the way. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1. Every action, word, and thought is observed by the director, God, and nothing is ever unnoticed by Him. There is no backstage where we can hide from the audience of God and be unseen, everything is being observed. He already knows the script and what’s to come, so nothing is a surprise to Him. He takes joy in triumphs, comforts us in our pain, and delights when we glorify Him. God is not only part of the audience– He is actively taking part of the play helping us, guiding us, and directing us throughout every scene take we take place in. He is by no means a spectator!

The play itself is a dress rehearsal for the real play–eternity with God in Heaven. How we perform and fulfill our specific role determines our reward when the curtain falls down on our life. We only get one chance to carry out our part, there are no recalls. So it’s critical that we not only grasp who the writer and director of the play of life is, but who we are and what are role in this play is as well. If we don’t know our role then how will be able to fulfill the unique part given to us by God? There are three critical things God looks at when viewing us in the play of life:

Through this play of life, we are given tests on our character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty. There has been many tests already given throughout the lives of people in the Bible: Abraham, Joseph, Ruth, Esther, David, and Daniel. Character is both developed and revealed by tests and God watches how you respond to every problem, success, conflict, and disappointment that you’re faced with. God tests our faith through problems, our hope through how we handle our possessions, and our love through the people in our lives. Tests are often difficult and trying, but God promises to be with us as each test comes our way and through these tests we will be prepared for the more difficult scenes that lie ahead of us.

Not only is the play of life about tests, but also it’s a trust. In taking part of the play, God trusts us with our energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships, and resources that He has freely given us to us to carry out the role he designed for you. We are stewards of everything we are and possess. The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” Psalm 24:1. All the props on the stage are His given to us to carry out our role in the play. He has entrusted everything to us for our care and management. It’s our responsibility to use them to the best of our abilities and give glory to the one who gave them to us. We must treat everything we’ve been given respectfully and honorable for nothing on the stage on life–the props, costumes, equipment, our talents and abilities–are ours. They’re His and His alone.

Finally, the play of life is temporary. Eventually, your role will be completed and you’re be promoted to eternity on the great stage of Heaven. So don’t get too attached to your role on earth and the stage you’re on because it doesn’t last forever. Compared to eternity, this play is very short and brief. It’s just a few seconds long in the whole production that God has in store for your life. As King David prayed “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.” Psalm 39:4. So give each day on the stage of life everything you have and don’t hold anything back because you never know when your final scene will arrive.

In conclusion, remember that the point of being part of the play is not to bring glory to yourself but to God. It is a fatal flaw to assume that your role is to gain material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it. In God’s eyes, the greatest roles are played by people who treat this life as a temporary assignment serving faithfully with what they’ve been given. Everything we do is to glorify the one who wrote the script, gave us parts in play, and made us who we are. The script is not yet complete here on earth, there’s more to your story when you leave the stage on earth. 2 Corinthians 4:18 reminds us: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” When the play of life is over, we’ll finally meet the creator and director of the play welcoming us to the grand stage we were created for–Heaven. It is then that we will hear the words we long for: “Well done, good and faithful servant, now take part in an much greater role I have designed for you on this grand stage that I built just for you! Together we will take part in the script in which every each scene is better than the last one!!”

**Next weekend I’ll be on a retreat, so I’m taking the week off from writing a blog. Starting in the first weekend of May we’ll begin a 6 month look into the different principles of our SPECIAL package: our identity, vision, calling, gifts, past, present, and future. For the first 2 weeks of May we’ll look into what surrendering to God really looks like and entails, and then look into discovering our true identity in Christ. Within a few weeks, I’ll launch both the SPECIAL section and Manual on this website that will add to and complement the blogs that I’ll writing each week. For more information on SPECIAL and the Manual read the information provided on the SPECIAL link on this website. God Bless**

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April 19, 2010 - Posted by | Guest Post Kyle Jackson

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