What is our purpose in life? Why are we here, alive, functioning? And why do we frequently feel so disjointed and purposeless–knowing that God loves us and we are precious to Him, but not always quite believing it?
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name…Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.” (1 Chronicles 16:29 NIV)
The simple truth is that we exist because God allows us to. As the writer of Acts says, “…in Him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 17:28a). Yet as time passes we frequently find that many of the things we thought we’d accomplish when we were younger haven’t gotten done. Perhaps we were unrealistic in our original expectations, or perhaps life simply got in the way, but as the years progress and we find an increasing amount of ennui and discontent with what we have done with the time God has allowed us, we need to refocus ourselves on the reason we were created and the One who allows us to continue to exist. So what is that reason–why were we created? Why do we continue to exist?
We were created to worship God and bring Him glory. Not necessarily to do great things for God, although these we do as He allows us to. And certainly not to do great things for ourselves, although God is incredibly generous in the good He allows us to experience as we progress along life’s path. But to worship Him, and bring Him glory–and as we lose perspective, and to the degree that we lose perspective, we begin to increasingly feel purposeless and isolated. So what, really, does it mean to worship God? And what is it that genuinely brings Him glory? Furthermore, is there an inter-relationship between these two?
Worshipping God is recognizing who He is. Many of us think it is going to church–sitting silently and praying, listening to the sermons, and singing hymns. And while we may, indeed, worship God during those moments, true worship is what we accomplish when we recognize who He is and reverence Him for it. It is a Holy Spirit-generated response in our spirits when we genuinely “get it” about God, at least in some infinitesimal way, and are rightly awe-struck by it. It can be generated by a reflection on His character as revealed in His Word or by an admiration of the magnitude of the stars and heavens or the beauty of the colors of the sunset and nature. It can even be a response to something specific He has done in our lives or in the lives of others, but whatever prompts it, worship is a recognition of God’s true worth and glory.
On the other hand, although God is glorious, and there is nothing we can do to make Him more glorious, glorifying God is correctly reflecting who He is to others. It is what we do when we act as He would have us act and love as He would have us love and in every other way let Him show Himself to others through us. We are the means through which those who do not yet know Him and the forgiveness He has won through Christ see Him, yet we are very imperfect. Perhaps we are tired or in pain, or perhaps we are too distracted and preoccupied by the things of this world, but more often than not we fail to realize the cosmic scope of what goes on in our “little” spiritual battles, and rather than reflecting Him correctly to a fallen world, we fail to do so. Yet when we do submit to Him and allow Him to use us for His purposes, we better serve the purpose for which we were created by glorifying our Maker.
Help us worship You for who You are and bring You glory through our lives! Amen.