I have been given a Purpose

I Have Been Given a Purpose

 

For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. —2 Cor. 5:4-6, NASB

Reading this gave me chills. I was doing a search to Biblically define life’s purpose. I was thinking more along the lines of the Westminster Short Catechism—“to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Don’t get  me wrong—I think that’s a correct statement, but this verse jolted me right out of the here and now, out of the practical applications that we all crave, and into an eternal mindset. What is God’s purpose for me? Did you see it up there? Right before the pledge, which is the Spirit, we have a statement of intent. He prepared His people to be ‘swallowed up by life.’

Isn’t that glorious? SWALLOWED up by life! LIFE! Not just pinched by it, not nipped, not tickled by it. But swallowed. Completely.

My everyday living and doing varies. Today I’m on my own, which is very rare in my busy household. But today, God’s purpose for me is life. Tomorrow, all four of my children will be around, we’ll be hanging out together at a horse show, and then we’ll come home hot, sweaty and smelling like an arena. But in all that, God’s purpose for me is life. In several days I will see a friend I haven’t seen in a decade. I’ll meet her sweet family, spend several days reacquainting our lives while we revisit sweet memories of the past. And in all that God’s purpose is life.

Not that I will fully know it. Paul said that we groan as we look forward to leaving what is mortal in exchange for the eternal. But in the days in between longing and fulfillment, I get to look forward to it. Imagine it. Rehearse it. Life. Eternal life.

Because He has prepared me for that very purpose.

Note: Please join me in continued prayer for our lovely friend Susan. The process of moving has her occupied again this week. We’ll look forward to her wisdom another week.

I am Invited to Live

I Am Invited To Live: A Joint Post

And this is the promise that He has promised us–eternal life. ~ 1 John 2:25, NKJV

From Jen

Eternal life. Sometimes I think this is an obscure promise—one that is hard to see, hard to comprehend. But I think I’m looking at it wrong when I think that this promised life begins at death. Where does that leave me now?

I love the outdoors and crave adventure. I love the buzz of adrenaline when fear and excitement collide and pulse electrically through my veins. The thrill of challenge sets my heart to a thundering pace lets me know that I’m alive—and not boring. So, I’m sitting here wondering, am I to wait until death to embrace life?

Is the Christian life supposed to resemble that of Rapunzel locked in her tower—waiting for life to begin? Or is there another picture—one that looks to the life after death while embracing the life here and now?

From Susan

Absolutely!  It just takes a different definition of death and life.

Death is separation.  Physically, it’s the separation of the soul from the body.  Spiritually, it’s the separation of the soul from God.  So, there’s four combinations:

Option one: spiritually dead, physically alive.  A person can walk around this earth, get a job, have kids, and go snowboarding, all while rejecting Christ.  Dead while breathing.

Option two: spiritually alive, physically dead.  I went to a funeral recently for a vibrant believer, a man who had accepted Christ’s sacrifice for his sins.  His soul was separated from his corpse, but alive with God in heaven.

Option three: both spiritually and physically dead.  That’s what happens when a car accident or cancer kills you before you’ve asked accepted Jesus’ gift of forgiveness.  If you don’t allow him to take your punishment for your sins, you die physically, still responsible for everything you’ve done wrong.  And since sin separates you from God, you don’t get to go to heaven, where God is.  You have to go to hell.  Terrifying.

Option four:  physically and spiritually alive.   This is what Jen is talking about. I was physically born, squalling and pink, dead in my sins.  But, the moment I gave my life to Christ, the moment I allowed him to take the punishment for my sins through his death on the cross – that was the moment I was ‘born’ as a Christian.  That’s the moment both kinds of life were mine.

I’m sitting in my office typing a blog.  Check. I’m physically alive.  My soul is singing with a victory Christ has recently wrought in my personal life.  Check.  I’m spiritually alive.

Life. Abundantly.