Why Am I Here?

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If we don't have a firm grasp on this question, we can get swept up in a sea of hopelessness.

This question is one that philosophers have debated down through the centuries. Yet, outside of a philosophy classroom, this question becomes oh-so-real when facing a nose-dive economy and when 84% of last year's college grads are now living back at home with Mom and Dad. In times like these, every one of us must have a solid foundation of "why" if we are going to overcome despair and truly live out our purpose. If we don't have a firm grasp on this question, we can get swept up in a sea of hopelessness. 

This is the all-important question of "why."

Why I am here?

Why do I exist?

Why do I even get up in the morning?

To understand why we were made, we first must recognize the fact that we are, indeed, “made.” Created. Formed. Designed. Planned. Fashioned. We are not self-existent creatures. We did not create ourselves. We are the purposeful design of one who is the Creator of all things. The Author of Life. The Holy, Awesome, and Majestic God of the Universe. The Bible says, “God made man in His own likeness.  He made both male and female. He breathed into the nose the breath of life (and) Man became a living being" (Genesis 1:27; 2:7 NLV).

This Awesome Being made each one of us. Mind-boggling, I know. It is incredible to think about the fact that God, who spoke solar systems into orbit, and who holds the universe together by his power, chose to create you and me… uniquely.

But why?

Why did He create us? The Bible is very clear on this point. Every person throughout history was created for the sole purpose of bringing glory to our Creator. Yes, we were created to shine! In Isaiah 43:6-7, the Lord says, “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by name, whom I created for my glory.” 

Did you notice the last part of that verse? God says that we were created for his glory, not our own. We are designed to make His name known, to lift high his  praise, to turn the spotlight on his face. Like stars that light up the night sky, we are designed to shine—to reflect to the world that our God is incredibly glorious.  Author and speaker, John Piper explains this purpose in his book, Don’t Waste Your Life, by stating, “God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying His supreme excellence in all the spheres of life.”

We are created to make God’s glory known, yet we live and struggle against a culture that says that we are the center of the universe—not God. Shining for God’s glory is a radical shift from the cry of the world that says “make much of yourself!” Our education, marketing, and sadly, even our parents have spent years programming our thinking to believe that we (the individual) are the most important person on earth. Self-esteem is the highest virtue. Love of self is the utmost concern. It is not only common, but expected for people to place their needs and priorities above all else.

OUR PURPOSE

This begs the question, can we truly be “happy” or feel “content” if we aren't doing the very thing we were created to do in the first place? I would argue that it is absolutely impossible. This is the fish out of water syndrome. Pursuing our own fame and glory turns the purpose of life upside down and ultimately leaves us completely empty and questioning what life is really all about. 

Rick Warren in his best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life hit the nail on the head with his opening sentence, “It’s not about you.” Ouch! But, as tough as that is to hear, I love his straight-shooting and matter-of-fact approach. He doesn't break the news to us gently. Instead, Warren confronts our celebrity-seeking, me-first Generation with the hard truth—life is not about us. To know the purpose of life, we must begin with God and with the purpose for which we he created us—to bring him glory.

What does it mean to glorify God? 

Glory is the possession of the character, beauty, and majesty that belong to the Lord. To “Glorify” means “ to reflect, show forth, demonstrate and express the image of an object or person so that it may be seen by all.” Therefore, glorifying God is acting like a mirror—reflecting His presence, His essence, His Life and His Name. To boil all of this down to a single, simple, statement… glorifying God simply means making much of Him (John 14:13; 16:14; 17:1, 5).  

Consumed

I spent many empty years pursuing my plan for my life, believing the lie that if I could just attain all the little check marks then I would be fulfilled. Here’s the truth: there is never enough. There is always just a little more to be accomplished, achieved, or acquired. The dogma of our time tells us that through consuming we will find happiness: consuming relationships, consuming possessions, and ultimately through consuming glory for ourselves. Ironically, the secret to life is not found in consuming but in being consumed—consumed by a passion for God and for His glory that overflows our lives like a mighty rushing river.    

 

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