You actually are not clueless about your life. Passion, talent, personality, and experience give you great insight to answering WHY AM I HERE. People become full of activity and full of stuff, but empty of satisfaction. Distractions are not necessarily bad things. They are just things that stop you in your pursuit to answer WHY AM I HERE?
(Video) "You didn't ask to be born. You can't get out of dying. What you do in between you do have some say over. Why not choose to live? Why not get a life?" I was recently on vacation in Panama City Beach, Florida. Several of us were sitting on the beach watching my grandchildren play in the ocean. Everyone walked away to go to the pool except for me and one other person who was wrestling with a situation in her life. She recently experienced a tragedy in her life and was in the process of making a life altering decision. I said, "You only get to do this (life) once. Count the cost and if it is what you think you should do, do it."
IF ONLY… So many people squander away their shot at life. They look back over the wasted years and say, "IF ONLY…" "If only I could do it over again…" "If only that had not happened, or this would of happened…" "If only… (and the appropriate excuse)." Why not GET A LIFE now?
POSTPONE. Many people POSTPONE living. They want to live, but keep putting it off. They say, "Someday…" Someday, when the kids grow up…" "Someday, when we get through this situation…" They forget a huge truth. The way you are living today is how you are living life. You can continue to defer, but every day you defer is another lost day of getting a life. Why not GET A LIFE now?
RELINQUISH. Some people hand their lives over to other people. They allow other people to decide their life for them – parents, spouse, kids, friends, boss, even enemies. You end up living up to or down to their expectations. Why not GET A LIFE now?
BLAME OTHERS. Some people blame others for the life they have – parents abused them, job cheated them, spouse ruined their life. Don't you know that we all have setbacks to deal with? You have to decide if you are going to allow them to determine your life, or if you will GET A LIFE. Let's finish watching the video.
When you think about it, Jesus' life really changed to get the life he wanted. It requires a death to your old life and a resurrection to a new life if you truly want to GET A LIFE. That's what being "born again" is really about. Let's talk about a few more reasons why people never GET A LIFE. We mentioned "if only," "some day," "hand it over," and "blame others." I'll mention three more.
FEAR. Some people never GET A LIFE because of fear. They fear failure, or they fear taking a risk. If you are going to GET A LIFE, you must take risks and failure only tells you what will not work.
DISTRACTIONS. Some people never GET A LIFE because of simple distractions. They fill their lives with all sorts of activities, but have nothing that resembles the life they desire.
GIVE UP. Some people give up on getting a life – too old, too tired, too…, etc. The lights go out inside. They continue breathing, but never GET A LIFE.
Do any of these reasons, why people never GET A LIFE, fit you? Do you ever wonder where am I missing it? Do you keep hoping that life will just somehow HAPPEN to you? Do you ever ask or say to your self, "Is this all there is?"
THEN IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO GET A LIFE! Our series will be an invitation to you to take a look at you, and be honest with yourself. Listen, while you are hanging around this planet why not GET A LIFE? THE HARDEST THING YOU WILL EVER DO IS REALLY LIVE.
(KJV) John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it MORE ABUNDANTLY.
What is stealing your life from you? What is God's will according to that verse?
(NIV)John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it TO THE FULL.
(NLT) John 10:10 The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life IN ALL ITS FULLNESS.
If your life is not abundant, to the full, and in all its fullness then you are missing it some place. One thing I know is that it is God's will that you GET A LIFE. He gives you chance after chance and choice after choice to live it more abundantly, to the full, in all its fullness. Think about this: We have more opportunities to have a great life than any humans before us. Yet, we seem so unprepared to really live. Why is that?
Why are we unprepared to really live? IT IS BECAUSE OF UNINTENTIONAL LIVING. Simply look around. Count the people you know living life without purpose, in desperation, and in loud emptiness. Ask them how it is going and they will say something like, "I'm just doing the best I can." They may be busy, but not vibrant. Their lives are filled with stuff, but not full-filled. They leave the table of life unfulfilled and unsatisfied. Nothing "hits the spot" because they do not know what the "spot" is.
Real living – finding the "spot" – requires living intentionally. Intentional living is guided by asking and answering the correct questions.
1. Why am I here?
2. What is really important to me?
3. What is my scorecard?
4. What am I good at?
5. What do I need to learn?
I want to tell you something wonderful. You are God's dream. He created you in his image.
Genesis 1:27 So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.
The context of that verse is that God created the "life" and world he wanted to experience.
Genesis 1:31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way. This all happened on the sixth day.
God created you in his image. That means you create the "life" and world you experience – good or bad. Don't blame it on the devil. You have the power to GET A LIFE.
So – what is your decision? Will you continue to hope that somehow you will "stumble" into the life you want? Or, you can decide to go for it and GET A LIFE. What do you say? WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE? Maybe, just maybe, you will find life.
1. WHY AM I HERE?
What is the meaning of your life? Have you ever wondered why you even ask that question? Cats don't ask that question. Monkeys and apes don't ask that question. Dolphins don't ponder their existence. Only humans have the quest for the meaning of life. Is that a clue to life's meaning?
You are not here by accident. Accidents do not ask for the reason of being. The question proves there is a designer. That is unless you are dumb enough to think you are only an upgrade from an ape or a dolphin. So, to get the answer to WHY, we must find the designer – God. When you find your reason for being here, you will find God in the middle of it.
When I challenge people to discover why they are here, people get nervous. They struggle to answer. They feel they should be able to articulate in detail. Often they invent an answer so they will appear to have it all together. Relax! Do not invent your answer. Discover it! If you will understand that, life becomes an exciting journey full of meaning and mission.
Your life means something special whether you know it or not. God is already at work in you no matter if you can articulate what he is doing or not. Your purpose might be a mystery now, but it does not have to remain that way. I want to help you connect the dots. Discovering your life purpose is a lot like a crossword puzzle. Fill in what you know, analyze that, and it will give you clues to what you do not know. Let's look at some clues.
A. PASSION – You get very excited about some things. These things create energy in you. You get fired up. Your voice might animate. Your eyes might sparkle. No matter how much you are exposed to it, it never loses its appeal. That's passion. For thirty years, I have passionately loved the Word of God. I remember once years ago, I was neglecting my family to study God's word. Judy came into the bedroom where I was studying and said, "Don't you ever get tired of doing that?" I thought and shook my head no. It's been that way thirty years. (It was not that she did not want me to study. She was letting me know I was neglecting our family.) My voice animates. My eyes light up. I am passionate about it.
Passion distinguishes people from the pack. People with passion stand out from others involved in the same work. For one, it is just a job. For the other, it is what makes life tick – abundant, full, and fully filled. Passion is where you come alive.
What gets you excited? What brings you energy? What always captures your attention?
B. TALENT – Many people are naïve about their talents. The reason is that society discourages talent. For example, if a child comes home with several A's and one C, what do we say? Or, if a child spends a lot of time and displays great talent doing something, we say, "You need to stop spending so much time on that and do something else." You will never GET A LIFE by shoring up your non-talented areas. Instead, get better at what you are already good at doing. If God created you with thoughtful design, doesn't it make sense he would give specific talents to go along with it?
What comes easy to you? What do you learn quickly? What do you do that earns you positive feedback? What do others say you are good at doing?
C. PERSONALITY – Your personality is your preferred way to engage with the world around you. Society emphasizes the downsides of personality – too shy, too loud, too critical, too… So, you are shy? What clue does that give you? That means you do not like the stage. You probably enjoy working backstage helping. Think about that. If everyone wanted to be out front, who would get the real work done in the back? So you are critical? What clue does that give you? Well, a lot, but one thing is that you expect perfection and do not mind talking about it if it's not perfect. How many want a surgeon to do a perfect job on you when they open you up? You must understand your personality to GET A LIFE. Do you know your temperament?
D. EXPERIENCES – Your life is not a collection of random acts and chance happenings. You are living out a story. You didn't decide to be born, or when you would show up. You didn't determine what family or ethnic origin you would be. Those decisions were literally made "ahead of time" for you. God wanted you here now.
Ephesians 1:11 Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and ALL THINGS HAPPEN JUST AS HE DECIDED LONG AGO.
The truth is that God knows where he wants us to go. In fact, God is coming back from where we are going. He knows the challenges you will face. He has a plan and gives you what you will need for the next part of the journey.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The plan includes the future. However, we understand the most about the future by looking at the past. Experiences in your past directed you to where you are today. It could have been a bad situation as easily as a good situation. It could have been a failure as much as a success. Experiences drive our lives to where we are to go. Experiences are not coincidences. Experiences connect the dots of life. Look for God's hand. It's amazing what we do not see when we are not looking.
What experiences, positive or negative, brought you to where you are today? Do you see God's hand/plan in those experiences? Are the dots connecting?
You actually are not clueless about your life. Passion, talent, personality, and experience give you great insight to answering WHY AM I HERE.
CHALLENGES – There are challenges to discovering "Why you are here." Let's list a few.
A. DISTRACTIONS – We fail to realize how many things distract us from our mission to GET A LIFE. For example, if you are a multitalented person, you might struggle with focus. You do too many things well. Other people place demands on you. This robs you from focusing on your life because you are helping them with their lives. Their problems consume us and often it is problems we can't do anything about.
People become full of activity and full of stuff, but empty of satisfaction. Distractions are not necessarily bad things. They are just things that stop you in your pursuit to answer WHY AM I HERE?
What distractions constantly seem to interrupt what you truly love doing?
B. TEMPTATIONS – We all face temptations. We have bad habits. Some face drugs, alcohol, food, etc. However, have you ever thought how "customized" your personal temptations are? Do you realize your personal temptations are designed by darkness to derail your getting a life. Also, few people realize that the timing of the coming of their personal temptations is related directly to the timing of their success.
John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Heaven opened and Father God identified Jesus as his Son. The Spirit of God came upon Jesus and remained. Jesus stood at the brink of his ministry, success, and why he was here. The very next event was the devil tempting Jesus in an attempt to derail his life's mission.
Matthew 4:3 And WHEN the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Notice the power of the personalized temptations of the devil. That would not be a temptation to anyone else. No one else could turn a stone into bread. It was a personalized customized temptation for Jesus. But, also connect the timing of the temptations. It says, "WHEN the tempter came… Your temptation experiences are not only powerful to use on you. They are also TIMED to derail your getting a life. What temptations do you battle most often? When do you seem most vulnerable?
C. INADEQUATE EXPOSURE – It's been said by several people that if Life Gate church was in a large city, Life Gate would be a huge church. Though that would be nice, the doors have never opened in that area. I want to convey the thought that there are some things you cannot do without adequate exposure. It would be silly for me to think Life Gate could be a 20,000 member church when our city is only 6,000. Do you have adequate exposure to get the life you want? What can you do about it if you do not?
D. INADEQUATE FEEDBACK – It's not good when people tell you that you are good at something when you are not. Perhaps they didn't want to hurt your feelings, etc. Good feedback will help you identify your talents and life's mission. The single most important key to getting good feedback is you. You must convince people, you know love you and you trust, how serious and important it is they tell you the truth. How you respond to their critiquing will determine if you continue to get good feedback. If you are defensive or blame others, you will terminate your good feedback. If you take their advice, when appropriate, you will continue receiving valuable feedback. Who gives you truthful good feedback? How do you respond?
THE SMILE OF GOD – In the movie, Chariots of Fire Eric Liddell, the great Scottish runner and his sister Jenny are having a conversation about his call to be a missionary. Eric wanted to run in the Olympics. Eric said, "Jenny, God made me for a purpose: China. But, he also made me fast. When I run, I feel his pleasure." It made God smile when Eric ran.
Revelation 4:11 "You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created."
When do you cause God to smile? It is when you know what you should be doing and you are doing it. When do you feel most alive? When do you feel most helpful? When are you YOUR BEST?