There you are again searching your news feed on Facebook, reading statuses about that amazing getaway your fourth grade best friend went on through Europe, or perhaps that girl or guy you’ve long had a crush on got married last weekend to another and is posting photos of their amazing wedding. Yet, here you are, broke, depressed, discouraged, and about to give up. It may seem like everyone around you is having the best time of their lives while you are still struggling to find your sense of purpose in this world.
Let’s be honest: We’ve all been in this position before. There are times when life feels like it is dragging by slower than a golf game in mud and while we look at our world around us and see how much everyone else is thriving in their own way, we can often feel inadequate, as if our lives do not matter much. This can lead down a terrible path of dark thoughts, depression, and even suicidal thoughts – these feelings are even magnified greater when you are a Christian.
Being a disciple of Christ is the biggest sense of purpose one can gain in this life, but why is it that even as believers we often feel seasons that are dry and quiet as if the voice of God has slowly faded out into the proverbial horizon? We pray and pray for an answer, and sometimes we hear nothing. We oftentimes hear a lot of talk from our friends and even church sermons about being obedient and waiting on God for Him to finally grant you that one shot to have your “moment in the spotlight”. But have you ever asked yourself that maybe, just maybe, God is waiting on you? I’ll even take it a bit further and ask you this: Who are you focusing on glorifying, yourself or God?
It’s Not About You
This is a difficult concept to grasp in an age where we have been taught that pride is a virtue (contrary to what God says in scripture, it’s really not). As Christians we have been called to live for our Father’s glory and not our own. We need to begin by asking God to forgive us if we are thinking more about what wants and desires we have in our hearts and ask Him instead what it is that He wants and desires from us. Remember, when we decide to hand our lives to the Lord, we need to do life on His terms and not on ours.
Stick To The Script
When one decides to give their life to God there must be a building of that relationship, and with every relationship must come trust. You need to trust God that He knows what He is doing, where He will take you, what kind of people He will allow in your life, and even remove from your life. This is not to say that we have our free-will taken from us, but when we decide to hand our reigns to the Creator of the universe there is an element of control that must take place. God has a plan and a purpose for everyone of our lives, but outside of that there is really nothing much other than moral relativism. Ask the Lord to guide you in a discerning manner to what He wills for your life and I guarantee you that with this you can never go wrong.
Do Not Covet Your Neighbor
Maybe you didn’t get to go on that fancy trip, or didn’t have the “game” to land your “dream” girl or boy? Maybe you don’t even have enough money to get that brand new game that your friends keep raving about day after day? God asks of us in scripture to not covet anything that our neighbor possesses. Remember David and Bathsheba and how that ended? Coveting can lead to pride, and pride can lead us to sin, and sin will ultimately lead us to unnecessary suffering. When we covet we are actually dishonoring God by speaking to Him with our hearts and saying, “What you have given me is not enough. In fact, it’s not even good enough for me.”
Have you ever rejected or have been rejected after trying to give a well-meaning gift to someone you care about? Imagine if we did the same to our Father in heaven and how much grief He must feel? Be humble and thankful for everything that you have, and be thankful for the things that you do not have (there is a good reason as to why God may not have allowed it into your life). It is better to gain nothing than to lose everything with God, and what more can we want out of life when we have a friend in Him?
Build Your Treasures Up In Heaven
As the old passage in Matthew 6:19 goes, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal […]” There’s a reason why Jesus makes this strong point to his audience during his infamous “Sermon on the Mount”. Everything will eventually end. In a fallen world nothing will last forever. Be it money, cars, houses, marriages (whether through divorce or death), God has plainly spoken to us of the fact that this world and everything in it will find its demise, and it is all to make way for His coming kingdom. Instead of trying to invest your life in vanity, use your skills, talents, and passions to build not just your treasures up in heaven but also yourself and others up in Christ. You may not get to do everything that you want in this life, but what is this life compared to the wonders that an unending lifetime with God will hold? The earth will be a jungle gym compared to the cosmos of eternity with the Lord.
Devote Yourself To Devotion
As Christians, when we begin to lose our sight of purpose in life, there can be many factors that can contribute to this. Perhaps the biggest one is our lack of devotional time with God. Prayer and scripture reading/studying are the most important tools in a believer’s life. It is how a believer finds and maintains their identity and purpose while on this earth. Jesus states in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” When distractions come and we begin to negate this important facet of our lives we can come under attack from many different things including depression, anxiety, sadness, anger, and yes, even spiritual oppression. As I briefly mentioned at the end of one of my previous points, being outside of the will of God is the equivalent of walking in a sun-scorched desert without water or proper direction – you will not last long and it is a very dangerous season to be caught in.
When we ignore God, we ignore our purpose, and what good is life if we have no motivation to live out our purpose? If you feel like you are in this position in your life right now, ask God to forgive you of any sins you may have committed and get back into His word. Find a solid bible-believing church if you aren’t already attending one and formulate a daily schedule to spend time in the word and in prayer. It also helps to find a great group of godly men and women to fellowship with. Christianity is not a “lone wolf” journey, it is a path that, while it can be lonely at times, is meant to be travelled with friends.
What Are You Waiting For?
We pray and we pray. Then we pray some more. We continue to wait on God, but have you ever thought to yourself that maybe God is waiting on you? We have become a culture too accustomed to comfort. We want much, but seldom do we go and get much for ourselves. We can spend the rest of our lives walloping in a “victim” mentality, or we can ask God to strengthen us to go out into the world to put our talents to good use. Meet people, share the gospel with them, visit places, churches, and ministries, serve in a ministry, serve the poor at your local shelter, write a book, learn an instrument – the list goes on. When we let the enemy along with our own flesh overcome us with thoughts of inadequacy, we not only rob ourselves of the grace and joy God wants to bless us with, but we also rob others of the joy and blessing we can be to them. Somewhere out there someone is praying for an answer from God, but what if that answer is you?
Do not delay yourself any further and go out there and extend the kingdom of God here on this earth. Maybe then you’ll have some great pictures and statuses to share on Facebook that will inspire your friends and convict others to move out of the lie of their own inadequacy.
Nestor Arce is the editor for the Christian Living section of Geeks Under Grace and periodically contributes to the Movies section. He is currently busy trying to watch "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" 37 more times.
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