~ Agathos Church is a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio. This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, What is our purpose? (part 6), by clicking here.
What is Our Purpose (overview)
Since you did not make you, you cannot tell you what your purpose is.
While that statement may seem simple and obvious, it is actually quite profound. It is a “centering” truth. We believe we can determine our purpose and we search after that our whole lives, but we have to go to our maker (or the owner’s manual) and ask Him “what is my purpose?”
If we seek out His purposes for us and then walk according to those purposes, then and only then will we find true fulfillment. When we walk according to our purpose, we realize how perfectly we were made! We would “find the groove” in our life. Rom. 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” You are called according to His purpose! God has a purpose for you:
- To Know and Enjoy God.
- To Glorify God
- To Be Glorified by God
- To Love People. (We are well equipped to love people; it is part of our purpose after all)!
More than Our Basic Needs
Religion is the #1 enemy of every Christian’s life. Truth sets us free from that. After Jesus rose again, He found His disciples hiding in a room and said to them “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” That means we have been sent in the same WAY and for the same REASON as the Father sent Jesus. So why did Jesus come? According to Jesus, the number one reason He came was to reveal the Father – to glorify the Father. To make the Father known to us that we might be reconciled to the Father. He came to reveal the Father so that the Father would be attractive to us so that if we saw Him we would be drawn to Him because He is that good! In other words, Jesus was saying “if you knew how good He was, you would come to Him. So let me show you how good He is!”
In John 14, Jesus responded to Philip’s request to see the Father with “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Jesus’ life was to show the Father. Now, how did He show the Father? Jn 17:1 says “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You'” Jesus understood that the only way He could glorify (reveal) the Father was to allow the Father to glorify Him.
Don’t miss that point! Jesus understood that the only way He could glorify (reveal) the Father was to allow the Father to glorify Him.
We have a mindset in the Body of Christ (as a whole) that God is interested in our needs but not in our wants. It is as if we view God as the cash-strapped manager of an orphanage, promising only 3 meals a day and a roof over our head. We may find ourselves often saying “I know He’ll meet my needs; I trust Him for that. He’s a good God.” But, as nice as that phrasing sounds, what we are really saying is “I believe He is the manager of an orphanage and He will provide the 3 meals a day and a roof over my head.” If that is our mindset, we are majorly missing the reality of who the Father is!
God’s goodness is so radical that it takes the Holy Spirit on the inside of us to enable us to even be able to begin to comprehend the greatness of His goodness! Paul prayed in Ephesians that we would be “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3: 16-19, emphasis mine) The love of God is so outrageous that our head cannot get it! It takes God’s Spirit on the inside of us to have the capacity to be able to comprehend how great His love is! God’s love was is so amazing that He was willing to become as His own creation. Imagine a potter being willing to himself become a pot of clay – because of his love for the clay. And Jesus not only became as His creation, but He died for His very own creation and allowed His own creation to beat Him to a pulp before dying for us. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) Jesus’ death on the cross was a love-demonstration for all of us to see!
Romans 8:32 shares that “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” If God gave us His absolute best (Jesus), will He now withhold anything else? If God was to withhold healing from us, that would be paramount to saying that healing was more important to God than His Son. If God was to withhold relational restoration or financial prosperity in our lives, it would be equivalent to God putting those things on a higher pedestal than His Son.
God wants to provide all things to us FREELY! He is not interested in a self-centered Christian life and neither should we be. Nevertheless, when we put a lot of guardrails around the truth so as to prevent Judas’s, we also prevent the Peter’s, the Paul’s, and the John’s from ever rising up.
God is so outrageous in His goodness towards us that it takes the Holy Spirit within us to even be able to begin to comprehend it! We have a purpose! To know and enjoy Him and to glorify Him! But, how do we glorify God?
We have to allow Him to glorify us! Something that is glorious is something that has been made GREAT! Our health, our wisdom, our lovingkindness, our wealth, our relationships – everything about our life should be GREAT! So great that it draws people to you to say “what is it about you?” “How is it that nothing seems to disturb you?!? Your joy and your peace is unflappable.” People see the power of God on our life. People see the benevolence of God on our life.
John 14:12-14 says “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” Jesus healed multitudes and even stopped a funeral procession to raise a young man from the dead!!!
Greater works than these will you do!
We are qualified and called, by Jesus’ own words, to do the same He did – and more! Jesus loved everyone. He never left love – even when He made the whip of cords and drove the money-changers out of the temple. He was coming against a system that would stop people from coming to and knowing God. We should similarly be against any such system. We will do greater works than Jesus because Jesus went to the Father (which meant we would receive the Holy Spirit). “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (Jn 14:14) Why would Jesus do this? That the Father would be glorified! One way we can glorify God is by getting answers to our prayers. His answers improve the world and show His goodness! Our lives being blessed by the Lord causes people to see the goodness of God. Don’t be religious in your thinking about the Father and your relationship to Him! God wants to bless His children just like – and more – than we want to bless our children! (see Matt. 7) Don’t complicate it. He is a good, good Father!
Take the best parents you can think of on the earth and consider how they raise their children. Take that picture and multiply it by 1 billion and you are close to touching the shoestring of your heavenly Father’s goodness! He wants to bless us and in our being blessed we bring glory to His name and we draw people to the Father through us.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (Jn 15:7-8) Getting our desires met glorifies the Father! When we abide in the Word such that it abides in us, our hearts become purified by the Word of God and our relationship with Jesus. For example, Jesus refused to allow James and John to “call fire down” on a people group. Jesus will not answer some of our prayers / desires because they are not in-step with Him. God will never answer a prayer that will undermine your destiny.
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Cor. 1:20) God is going to answer our prayers to glorify Himself through us!
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 Jn 5:14-15) We read this and think “a haha! There’s the catch.” But, when we understand His will, we realize that it is anything that is good and right! We don’t want anything that is not according to His Will! “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Pe. 1:3) God will not answer a prayer for God to support an adulterous request. God will not answer prayers that are inconsistent wight the destiny He has called us to!
A lot of times we are fine with talking about God glorifying us as long as it is only about “spiritual things.” Starting talking about money and people back-pedal. But look at Haggai 2. “‘I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (v. 7b-9a) God has done this before. He “shook” all the gold and silver from the Egyptian people and had them give it to His people. Haggai 2 speaks of the same thing happening again. Prosperity is part of God’s glory but it needs to be in alignment with God’s will. Physical healing (being in divine, perfect health) is part of God’s will for us. He wants us to walk in His blessing and His character! God wants to bless you in every single aspect of your life – don’t get religious in your thinking. Your life has to be aligned with His. This is not building a personal empire, this is about a person who’s heart is aligned with God – who wants to see a dying world come to know a loving Father!
To that person, God is saying take the limitations off of me and let me bless you!
God wants to bless your life! Deut. 8:18 “He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant.” God wants to bless us to establish His covenant here on earth! God wants us to be a powerhouse of blessing everywhere we go!
Jn 16:23-24 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Jesus wants your joy to be full!!! That means that there is no more room for joy! We were created in His image and likeness – we were made for greatness!
We will never be God, but we were created in His image and likeness . . . we were meant to glorify Him and to reflect them. The flowers are still beautiful like when God made them, the mountains are still majestic like when God made them, the birds still sing their thousands of songs, the bees still pollenate the flower and make honey, the blue whale (up to 400,000 pounds!) still moves with majestic grace through the waters! All of these creatures still reflect the glory of God – for He made them all! But the creature that has the greatest capacity to reflect the true glory of God is the one He made in His image and in His likeness often refuses to reflect His glory! Let it not be so with us! God is crying out to His children: “Follow me and let me bring you to the place I created you to be. Allow me to glorify you that you would properly reflect me!”
We have an assignment from God to get answers to our prayers. We have an assignment from God to have the love of God flowing out of us, that we would have the financial wherewithal to bless all those around us, to pray for the sick and see them healed! “Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You!” (Jn 17:1) That’s the model. It is our job to be good stewards of what God blesses us with – to bless others with it!