Engineering a More Purposeful Life
This blog is primarily for men, but applicable for every true follower of Jesus.
Have you noticed that nearly all the great stories follow the same story line? Things were once good, then something awful happens and someone or something evil destroys that good life, a hero rises up, risk his or her life, destroys the villain, rescues the situation, sets things right again, good triumphing over evil and they all live happily ever after. Think about it! From our childhood fairy tales The Shawshank Redemption, Braveheart, LeMiserables, Titanic, Star Wars, Gladiator and Lord of the Rings, this story line holds true. Why do you think that is?
It’s because all of these stories borrow their power from the Grand Story woven into the fabric of our being. It’s the storyline of the Bible. It’s part of our spiritual DNA! Humans were created in the image of God and every person no matter how far they’ve wandered from God, knows that something is terribly wrong with this world. We long for someone or something to rescue us from whatever, or whoever it is that frightens us, or holds us captive. And every man dreams of being the hero, rescuing others from injustice and evil and winning the respect of our peers. This is the story line of our hopes. Because it’s the storyline of God. Rescued by God for a purpose God sent Jesus Christ to rescue humans from the spiritual kingdom of darkness that holds all of us prisoners. Anyone who wants out can escape. There are only three requirements; believing Jesus is God, admitting that we’ve been disobedient to God and that we’re powerless to fix ourselves and asking his forgiveness, and finally pledging our highest allegiance to him and his teachings. It’s what the Bible calls, getting “saved.” Like the instructions we get on every flight that in an emergency, we are to put on our oxygen mask first, before attempting to help anyone else, the first priority of every person is to secure our own spiritual safety by doing business with God. The spiritual oxygen mask may be hanging right in front of you. Have you breathed deeply of its life-giving oxygen?
Your mission from God Once we’ve done that, and the Spirit of God enters in us, God gives every true believer a mission from God. And here’s the mission: Rescue every person you know, in every way they need rescuing. Rescue the poor from poverty, the alcoholic from their bondage to alcohol, defend the helpless from whatever scares or confuses them, be a friend to people who have no friends, feed the poor and of course, introduce others to Jesus, so they too can be rescued. That is what kingdom living should look like!
Every man is wired by God for three things:
To give himself to a cause bigger than himself, an adventure to live for a greater good. (Life or death loyalty to a king or to a cause.)
To adopt a moral code to live by – a light to follow. Like these;
None live for themselves.
Make God look good.
Do something worthy.
Do unto others what you would have them do for you.
To prove himself worthy when it’s dangerous. Faith is courageous obedience to the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t want men to be religious! He has no interest in domesticating them. He’s looking for men who have the courage to “deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him.” What does that really mean today? It’s being his surrogate – his stand-in, here on earth. To do unto others, that which he would do if he lived in your home, worked where you work, had your friends and saw the wrongs you see, that need righting.
Here’s one of life’s great ironies: A purposeful life is the one we give away for others, a paraphrase of Jesus’ command in Luke 17:33. “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.”
Those of you who have sons or grandsons, is this the spiritual life they’ve seen in you? Is this the life they’ve heard you champion? If not, it’s not too late. Read this blog to them and talk about it. Give them a vision for the Christian life way beyond “going to church” or youth group, as good as these are. Inspire them to live “the mission of God!”
Recommended reading: The Epic, by John Eldredge The Vision and the Vow, by Peter Greig
How following Jesus works in real life.
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