PROGRAM W-1761 – Part I
Why am I here? It’s one of those basic questions of life that nibbles around the corners of our minds from time to time. We go through many days on auto-pilot—just following the routine and doing what’s expected. But then come those nagging questions: What’s the purpose? What difference does it make? Why am I here on this planet earth, doing what I’m doing?
If you had to answer that question right now—Why am I here?—what would you say? Could you easily articulate your reason for being? If you struggle with that answer and have difficulty coming up with a good purpose for your life, then you are like the person described in James chapter 1:6, “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James says that “such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:8).
When we have a purpose for our lives which we clearly understand and are committed to, we go about our daily lives with intention, with enthusiasm, with good work habits, and with goals and accomplishments. However, a person who is unsure of why he or she is here is usually one who flounders from one thing to another, doesn’t seem to be highly motivated, and is easily persuaded in various directions. That is a double-minded person—unstable in all he or she does.
Maybe you thought when you got that job, your life would be meaningful; or when you got married, there would be a reason for living; or when you accomplished some goal or reached a certain level, then life’s purpose would be realized. Perhaps you’ve found that it hasn’t worked out that way. Maybe you’ve been singing that old song, “Is That All There Is?”
If this describes you, it could be because you have never really been born from above by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Since he created us, finding any meaning in life will be a futile search until we are rightly related to him by faith. If that is your situation, then I urge you to get that issue settled immediately! Start this New Year right by making sure you are rightly related to God through Jesus Christ. That’s where meaning and purpose begin.
However, there are many believers who still struggle with the question Why am I here? because they haven’t learned or followed foundational truths of Scripture which tell us why we are here. Even a believer can be tossed about like a wave of the sea, feeling like a ship without a rudder, and going nowhere for no reason.
I would like to point out from the Bible why you are here.
You are here because God created you.
A good place to start is at the beginning, so basic number one: Why are you here? Because God created you. You are not an accident of nature or a mistake your parents made. In Colossians 1:16 we read the following:
For in him [Jesus Christ] all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
You are on earth and you are visible—so you were created by him. That’s why you’re here. But consider those last two words in that verse: you were created for him! Not just by him, but for him! To create is to cause something unique to come into being. A creation is something that comes from a person’s own thought or imagination, like a work of art or an invention. When you create something like that, it belongs to you.
Please don’t dismiss this as a simplistic answer. The depth of this truth is life-changing. You and I were created by the Almighty God, and we were created for him—for his purposes and reasons. That knowledge alone brings significance into our lives. But we also need to know the specific reasons for which we were created so that we can be in harmony with our life’s purpose. So let’s look into God’s Word and find some specific reasons we were created.
You were created for his pleasure.
You remember the wonderful movie Chariots of Fire, the story of that remarkable Olympic champion and Scottish runner, Eric Liddle, who was a strong Christian committed to Jesus Christ. His missionary sister was concerned about his running career because she felt he was neglecting his calling and not putting God first. But Eric said to his sister, “Oh, don’t you see, Jenny? God made me fast and when I run, I give God pleasure.”
The King James Version puts it this way in Revelations 4:11: “Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
We are created for his pleasure. That may be an idea that you have never really considered or believed, for it is mind-stretching to think that the God of all the universe would find pleasure in us! But remember, he has created you and you are his work of art. He created you because he wanted to, and you bring him pleasure simply because you are his creation!
I don’t know about you, but when I try to comprehend this one reason for which I’m here—to give God pleasure—I immediately focus on all the things I’ve done wrong which have brought him anything but pleasure. I remember the broken promises, the unloving ways, the times of rebellion, and my selfish motives. I shake my head and say, “How could I bring God pleasure? I’m so imperfect!”
But what you and I must constantly make ourselves remember is that we bring God pleasure because he created us, not because we perform well. While it is true that we can grieve his heart by not allowing him to live his life through us, it is still true that we are created for his pleasure—and that never changes!
God takes pleasure in you. Eric Liddle’s faith was strong enough and simple enough to realize that because God made him fast, his speed brought God pleasure. Can you say that about yourself? You should be able to verbalize how God has created you to bring him pleasure. Maybe you would say, “Because God made me a good listener, I bring God pleasure when I listen and care about others;” or “Because God made me a good organizer, I bring God pleasure when I organize events and run them smoothly;” or “Because God made me a speaker, I bring God pleasure when I give a good talk or make a good presentation.”
It really doesn’t matter how God has created us; we are all very different in our gifts and abilities. But we were each created for his pleasure. It is not pride on your part to recognize how God has created you. Eric Liddle gave God the credit for his fast body, but he also recognized that it was a gift from God to bring God pleasure.
I want to encourage you to realize that God delights in you. I love this verse from Zephaniah 3:17:
The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Don’t you love that imagery of God rejoicing over you with singing? We often rejoice and take delight in God through singing, but to think that he does the same over us. Wow! So Why am I here? Because I was created by the Lord God and he finds pleasure in his creation. Amen! That makes it a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning and find purpose in life!
You were created for his glory.
Isaiah 43 is a wonderful chapter of encouragement. If you haven’t read it lately, I hope you will. Here are a few verses from that chapter:
But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you…he who formed you…“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine…I am the Lord, your God…you are precious and honored in my sight, because I love you…everyone who is called by my name, I created for my glory…” (Isaiah 43:1,3-4,7)
God created you, you are his, he called you by name, you are precious to him, he loves you—and you were created for his glory. Why are you here? To bring glory to your Creator!
When great artists paint their masterpieces, we admire the paintings because of their beauty and creativity. But who gets the glory for the painting? The artist, of course. The painting did not paint itself; we don’t say “Thank you, masterpiece, for creating this beautiful picture for us.” No, rather we say, “This artist is wonderful; this artist is great.” The masterpiece brings glory to the artist.
That’s why you are here—to bring glory to your Creator. The very fact that you have been created shows his power and wonder. Maybe you’re thinking, “But Mary, there’s no way that I can glorify God because my life is a mess. You just don’t know all the mistakes I’ve made and all the things I’ve done wrong. My past is too awful for me to be able to bring glory to God.”
Ah, but don’t you see, the less he has to work with, the more God gets the glory for the workmanship! He is capable of taking a desert and turning it into a garden. He is masterful at taking ashes and turning them into beauty. He is incredible at transforming ruined lives into testimonies of his greatness. Here’s a wonderful passage:
To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)
When your life has been transformed by the power of Jesus Christ, you become a very obvious display for his splendor. It’s as though God decided to clean you up and make you into a strong planting with big limbs so that he could hang his splendor all over you. Then, when people see what God has done for you and in spite of you, who do they glorify? God, not you!
It’s important to note that this passage says we become oaks of righteousness. In order to bring glory to God, our lives must be pure and righteous. If that seems a little frightening to you, I want to assure you that there are other reasons why we are here which address this issue of holy living such that, when you understand what that’s all about, it isn’t frightening—it’s exciting!