Pondering The Purpose Of Life

 

It seems to me that we have completely lost our way.  The young prophets seem to die off and the old prophets get lost in the maze of ministry, the cost of financing huge ministries that are built on man’s rather than God’s vision.  Modern ministries now survive only to ensure that our sons and daughters are left a good inheritance.  The early church was forced to live on the edge and because of that they thrived.  (Acts 2.42-47.)  That is to me the true nature of God.  Once the early Church was accepted as the state religion it began to default and fall into sin.  The first Church did not have this problem.  According to Acts 2 they were constantly together.  They had devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, and to the “breaking of bread and to prayer.”  (Acts 2.42.)  They were together and had all things in common—to the point that they were selling their property and possessions and were sharing as each had need.  (Acts 2.44-45.)  As a result of this and other acts of sincerity and devotion the scriptures record that Athe Lord was adding to their number day by day.  (Acts 2.47.)  There is no doubt that we live in a fallen world—but we are in the world not of it.  (John 15.19.)  Aren’t we?  Where does it all end?  When will the church regain her voice?  Will we recognize the Church’s voice when we hear it?  Will it be valid, not for this generation, but for the calling of God?  This is not a call for the older generation to move out of the way and let the younger generation take their place, this is a call to have us all move out of the way and let God take our place.

 

Then we create more doubt—will we recognize the voice of God when He speaks?  Will we listen to the voice of God once we recognize it?  Will we obey the command of God when it goes against the voice of wisdom and reason that our leaders teach us with?  It is often quoted that power corrupts—absolute power corrupts absolutely.  I first read that reading the works of Karl Hess.  He was quoting others, but the principle is true.  And it has crept into the world of ministry and the Church.  Those with power seldom give it up easily—even when faced with the truth.  Do not be confused, this is not a call to revolution within the Church.  The revolution has already occurred at Calvary.  This is a call to anti-revolution—a call to follow the tried and tested path set out by God from the foundation of the world.  This is not revolutionary—this is the simple wisdom we have lost.  Fortunately, that which was lost can always be found.  The only problem that remains is whether we will recognize it once we find it.

 

We must remember that it is not the mighty things of man that impress God—rather it is the humble things of man that impress God.  After all, He created the universe and everything in it—knowing that, even our greatest achievements pale next to the works of God.  Why then do we spend so much time trying to impress God and each other with our power and wisdom? 

 

Thus, the beginning of everything is to see how small and insignificant we really are next to God—and then to see ourselves as God sees us, the most valuable of His creations.  Next, we must see others as God sees them.  Once we see our neighbors through God’s eyes, then we will have no place to hold onto our prejudices.  You see, eternity judges the actions of this temporal life differently than we do.  We must put on eternal eyes if we ever hope to understand the purpose of life.  An ant cannot understand the history of man—regardless of its brainpower the ant’s span of life is so short that only temporal matters make sense.  Eternity is just too long to understand.  This is the opposite of man’s problem.  Our lives span just enough time that we often come to believe that eternity is not reality.  The things of this life become all encompassing leaving us void without any understanding of who we are and why we are here.  I am not sure this discussion is capturing the entirety of my thoughts so let me give an example.

 

Abraham Lincoln was killed in 1865 by an assassin.  The bullet stopped his life short of its natural end and this has to be considered tragic.  Though Lincoln did not live to old age, and his death was tragic to the temporal mind, he died for something he believed in, something eternal rather than temporal—the freedom of man and the value of America as a nation.  His death helped to seal both of those ideals in the American mind set and indeed in the rest of the world.  Had he lived, it might have been better for him and his immediate family, but what value can we place on the life of a martyr.  His martyrdom increased his value to this country and to the world.  Now every person alive at the time of Lincoln’s death is no longer living.  Even if Lincoln had not been shot he would now be dead.  Does the loss of five, or ten, or even twenty years mean anything to Mr. Lincoln now?  Clearly it does not because regardless of how he died he would now be dead.  What seemed so horrible then was only the quickening of the inevitable.  Lincoln gave his life for what he believed in and thus outlived himself.  Many men and women in that time did not give their lives for something they believed in.  They are just as dead as President Lincoln physically; however, they are deader than he is spiritually.  That is the difference in the eternal and the temporal.  Most of those who lived with Lincoln are forgotten.  Lincoln, however, is still one of the most revered names in all of American and even world history.  He may have understood the difference in the eternal and the temporal, I don’t know, but his life certainly reflects an understanding.

 

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