Monday, August 30, 2010

Seeking Purpose

by Donna L. Watkins

Each of us has a purpose and destiny and that's what we seek to find when we get saved and accept Christ as our Savior and Lord. Sadly, many churches don't lead us down a path of discipleship. There seems to be more interest in numbers (members) than there is in doing what Jesus told us to do before He departed this earth ... make disciples.

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Woodland Waterfalls - Table Rock State Park, Pickens, SC
Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."

God's focus is on making disciples, not converts and mega-churches. If we aren't taught the basic foundations of the spiritual walk we will be in big trouble when the storms of life arrive. Jesus told a parable about foundations comparing a house built on a rock compared to a house built on the sand.

If our spiritual foundations are not solid, we will wash away when the storms and waves come into our lives. God has provided enough grace to pass through all storms if we have built our house (spiritual life) on a rock.

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Goose Near Tallahassee, FL
We are to be people of destiny, but we seem to live empty lives with continual battles that turn us inward and self-centered just trying to stay alive. Why is this? Is it because our foundations are built on sand? Many churches have become more focused on entertainment rather than Bible teaching and expounding on the meaning of Christ's death on the Cross for us. If we could but understand all that God has done for us, we would fear (reverence, respect and honor) the Lord and have wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). We would be able to see God as a holy and loving God who desires all good things for us.

Consider this review from Jim Graham on how he sees the current cultural attitudes toward God:

• There is a decline in the west of Biblical teaching. Tradition has resisted truth and human prejudices have replaced divine precepts.

• Disparagement of Biblical leadership. Theocracy (God-honoring) is replaced by Democracy (pagan-based) and worked out in a very human way. God's authority has been replaced by human approval.

• Lack of interest in those who are living and dying without God. Church focus on maintenance rather than vision. Visions for the "church gathered" but becomes vague about the "church scattered."

• Disparity between what we believe and how we believe. We want to be impeccable in our doctrine, but often we're inconsistent in our doing. Demand accuracy in preaching, but often display arrogance in practice.

• Dependance on the wrong things. Sometimes we depend on the building, political correctness, clergy or denominations.

• There's a defective understanding about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We tend to view Him with suspicion rather than surrender. We resist Him so often in so many areas of our lives rather than receive Him. We define Christianity by laws rather than the vibrant pulsing life of God by His Spirit.

• The church seems largely to have disappeared from the workplace. We've displayed a false and unbiblical dualism by dividing the sacred from the secular. So Monday morning has been separated from Sunday morning and our lives have become compartmentalized.

• Devaluation of worship. We've reduced it simply to singing. Singing is part of worship, but worship is about submission and surrender. About relationship that I have with God my Father as a result of God my Savior and my Lord.

• Disregard for prayer. Prayer is not me bringing God into my world to solve my problems. Prayer is God taking me into His world to serve His purposes. Prayer is not me getting God to do what I want. Prayer is not God getting me to do what He wants. Prayer is me getting God to do what God wants.

• Dishonesty in our commitment. We often make a profession in songs we sing that are not quite true and often lack integrity, and so often our honesty is impaired by the stuff we address to God.

Have we been deceived with the mentality that spiritual programs and business-by-the-book principles will take care of the hurting in our churches? Many churches are being run more like corporations than a place to meet with our God. Where is the worship and reverence of the "old" church? The "new" church seems to be more focused on the newest self-help workbooks, songs that move the crowds, and an atmosphere that you've walked into Barnes & Noble to enjoy a couple of hours of sit-down entertainment with your cup of coffee. Why do we think self-help books will fix us? Only God can dig deep into our souls to clean up the mess that life makes of us as we grow up and live life in a fallen world.

If the devil can keep us in religious workbooks trying to fix ourselves, he knows we have no hope of looking outward, since we are so focused on looking inward. When Jesus walked this earth, He didn't improve things, He fixed them. He's the same today and forever more. Only Jesus can fix us. Every thing else comes with a bit focus on improvement, rather than true healing. I heard one speaker last year who said he didn't go through a 12-step program, but had a one-step program with God touching His life and making him a different person.

That's what God wants to do for each of us, but I believe as long as we bury ourselves in all the methods, programs and fixes available for human nature to apply, we will not find our way to healing with 1,000 steps. All the while, the devil will continue to give you lots of ideas and rabbit trails to keep you from totally recognizing that life is not something we can do without Jesus. We must have God's mercy to get through it in peace and joy. Read The Book. All that is in there is true. We read something that seems to be impossible and chalk it off. After awhile the belief will be built up that the Bible isn't accurately interrupted or everything in it isn't for today. We justify our own way of living because it's the easy way out.

Easy or divine? Which way do you want it? I want to find God's true destiny for me and spend the rest of my days glorifying and honoring Him in all His glory.

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen us with power through His Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. And I pray that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-18).

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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