Have you ever felt stuck in a rut? I feel like there have been times in my life that I get into a routine and do my day-to-day things, but I feel like it just isn’t enough. I just don’t feel satisfied with where I’m at OR where I’m going. There is so much pressure at this time in our culture to always be busy or always be pushing for the next “best thing”. Have you ever just looked at your life and all that you are doing and said “Why am I doing all of this?” When you don’t know the reason why you are doing something it is hard to stay motivated.
It isn’t always a bad thing to ask yourself these types of questions. We always want to be checking ourselves and making sure we are on the right path. I believe God has called each one of us and has a purpose for us in life. But I also believe that we all have the free will to choose whether we want to do what God has called us to do or not. I know that there are times when I look around at my simple life in Maine and ask “is this what you want to be doing Lord, because I’m not sure I’m making that much of a difference.” We go about our days; wake up, go to work, prepare meals, exercise, raise a family, meet with friends, have some pets, watch TV, read books, and grow old. And at the end of our life, whether it is 20 years or 100 years, we all end up returning to the dust that we came from. Just like the author of Ecclesiastes who finds that life is “meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” (Ecc 12:8), I have searched and searched to find an answer for this question “What’s the point?”
A common verse that is used to answer the question about what is our purpose in this life is at the end of the book of Ecclesiastes. The author discovers the meaning of life to be to, “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecc. 12:13). That seems pretty simple right? Respect and be in awe of God and all that He has done for you and keep His commandments. I can do that right? Well…its not as easy as it seems. There are so many distractions and things that lead us astray in this life that it is often hard to stay on track. We often lose sight of the goal ahead of us. I have found that in order to fear God and keep his commandments whole-heartedly I want to know WHY. Why should I fear God and keep his commandments? Why should I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? Why should I love my neighbor as myself? Why should I keep putting myself out there for God when it seems like all I get paid back with is persecution?
When times get tough, which they often do, we have to know why we are on the path we are on or we will quit. If we don’t have anything motivating us, then it is so easy to just give up, and that goes for anything in life. If we don’t have a firm goal and reason for eating healthy and exercising than it is easy to give up on a diet. I have a friend who has been pushing herself so hard to be healthier and eat better, but and her main goal isn’t to lose 15 pounds; she wants to teach her daughter healthy habits at a young age. Talk about motivation! Whenever she is having a rough day and wants to quit, she can look at that sweet girl’s face and say this is why I’m doing this. That is concrete motivation. She is pushing herself out of love for someone else and there is nothing more pure than that. This is the kind of concrete motivation that we need in order to follow God and what He wants for us in our lives. If we don’t have a definite goal or anchor than it is easy to get swayed from our paths.
The book of Hebrews talks about this very thing. In chapter 6 it states, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have show him as you help his people and continue to help them. We want each one of you to show the same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure” (Heb 6:10-11). The Bible states it very clear right here. God doesn’t forget the things that we are doing now. He sees everything that we do for others and we will be rewarded for it in the future. This verse also talks about hope. Hope is SO important in staying on track. Hope is what keeps us going when nothing else can. The opposite of hope is despair, doubt, fear, discouragement, pessimism. These are not the things that I want leading my life! When you are in despair you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. You give up. If you have ever been in a race or even in a long car ride, you know what its like to see the 1 mile marker. Knowing that you are close to the destination gives you that last surge of energy to make it. Thankfully, we HAVE that mile marker and the light at the end of the tunnel. It is Jesus Christ and what he did for us. He made our hope and our final destination concrete. We know that if we believe in him then we will be saved and spend eternity with God. (Rom 10:9-10). There is nothing more reassuring and motivating than that.
There are so many reasons to stay true and focused on God. God knows that it is hard for us to stay focused so he filled the Bible with verses to help us see what our future holds. The Bible is full of verses that talk about our future life with God and Christ. The book of Isaiah alone has so many wonderful things to say about the future with God; Christ will rule with justice and righteousness, the animals will be at peace with each other, there will be feasts and an endless supply of food, there will be no more death, we will all have perfect bodies and minds – we won’t have any aches and pains, we will all live in harmony with each other. Sounds like a pretty amazing life to me. The Bible is full of verses that describe our future life with God, and these can be used to help us stay firmly planted with God.
So what is the point of living our life for God? Why do we keep doing it even when we don’t want to?
I do it out of thankfulness to Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for mine.
I do it out of obedience that God knows what is best for me.
I do it out of respect to my Creator God.
I do it out of trust that there is a bigger picture that God can see that I can’t.
I do it with faith that I am saved and I will have everlasting life with God and Christ in the next kingdom.
I do it by the hope that the future kingdom will be the perfect kingdom that God speaks about where there will be no pain, no death, no sorrow, and no tears and I will get to see my Dad again.
I do it because I want as many people that I come into contact with to get to experience and be in that kingdom with me.
We all have to find the thing that speaks to us and helps us stay motivated for God. It has to be personal and something that is concrete in our minds or we will lose sight of the end goal when we come under pressure. The point is that God loves us and wants to best for us and we can be sure of that!