Life in Messiah...It’s Not About Us

       There are many spiritual growth and self-improvement books on the market. These books cause us to look at ourselves and inside ourselves in the hope that we will acquire new knowledge and change.

    One book has received a lot of attention. It’s purpose is to answer the age-old question of “Why am I here?”  I have not read the book, but I did read a brief introduction that the author wrote. Mr. Warren states that “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind or even your happiness.”

    The author goes on in the introduction to say that we “...were born by His    (G-d’s) purpose for His purpose.” That phrase puts things in the proper perspective.

    The L-rd used similar words to reach out to me when I accepted Him in 1982. Only the words were found in a book that He authored, the Bible. In Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 10 we read:

      For we are of G-d’s making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by G-d for us to do.”

     My life had reached a point were there was no purpose anymore. My plans and dreams had all been destroyed. I had lost everything I had valued. I was broken.

    I was struggling with what to do with my life when the L-rd intervened in my life. When I was not able to fix things and admitted it, that was when He could come in and work.

    Over the years that followed there has been periods of intense personal and spiritual growth and other times of inactivity.

    It is interesting to note that whenever I turn the focus on myself, my spiritual life becomes stagnant. When I redirect my focus back to the L-rd and doing His will, positive change occurs.

    It seems that one of the biggest tricks the enemy has in his arsenal is our natural preoccupation with ourselves.

    It becomes our walk with the L-rd and our spiritual growth and our gifts and our blessings. We  claim ownership over those areas….and it usually happens right before we stumble and fall.

    When we start focusing on ourselves, we see our flaws (if we are truly being honest). This may sound like a holy and noble thing to do, looking at our “character flaws” but what it usually does is

move us into focus and squeeze Messiah out of the picture.

    Spiritual growth is not a self-improvement project. True growth  can only occur when we submit unconditionally to the L-rd. Then  He can work in us to make us into the people He wants us to be.

    Most of us are uncomfortable with the idea of a total commitment to the L-rd. We have our own ideas of what is spiritual and how G-d should act. We like to remain in charge to make decisions and veto any directions that He may give us that we do not like.

    How many times have we said “I was called to  _____” (you fill in the blank). It was wonderful in the beginning, but when the task became difficult and we had to sacrifice... or it didn’t go the way we thought it should...suddenly we were not called anymore.

    If we want a life of ease and pleasure, we are not looking to serve the L-rd. If our focus is on  our comfort and prosperity, we will bail out when things become too difficult.

    We cheapen the message of the Word of G-d when we turn it into the latest “get rich quick” scheme. We need to stop treating the L-rd like He is the key to giving us everything we want. That is spiritual immaturity.

    The purpose of our life is much greater than our own personal fulfillment, our peace of mind or even our happiness. The purpose of our life is to glorify the L-rd. 

    Sha’ul reminded the disciples at Ephesus of this purpose:

    “You used to be dead because of your sins and acts of disobedience.  You walked in the ways of the olam hazeh (the world) and obeyed the Ruler of the Powers of the Air, who is still at work among the disobedient.

     “Indeed, we all once lived this way—we followed the passions of our old nature and obeyed the wishes of our old nature and our own thoughts. In our natural condition we were headed for G-d’s wrath, just like everyone else.

      “But G-d is so rich in mercy and loves us with such intense love that, even when we were dead because of our acts of disobedience, He brought us to life along with the Messiah—it is by grace that you have been delivered.

     “That is, G-d raised us up with the Messiah Yeshua and seated us with Him in heaven,

     “in order to exhibit in the ages to come how infinitely rich is His grace, how great is His kindness toward us who are united with the Messiah Yeshua.

     “For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but G-d’s gift. You were not delivered by your own actions; therefore no one should boast.

     “For we are of G-d’s making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by G-d for us to do.”

     Our focus is the L-rd. It is no longer our life. Sha’ul wrote in Galatians 2:20: 

    “When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of G-d had, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

    Our prayer for each person during this season of dedication is the same as Sha’ul wrote in His letter to the Hebrews (Messianic Jews):

    “May G-d equip you with every good thing you need to do His will; and may He do in us whatever pleases Him, through Yeshua the Messiah. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

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