As I travel through this 40 day journey I am amazed at the basic information I should know in life that I don’t know. I guess if I had been raised attending church regularly I would know these things. I don’t fault my parents for not taking me to church. I fault myself for not learning about church until I was in my late twenties.
Today I will complete one full week of my journey and each day I spend reading and listening to Rick Warren on his audio presentation I feel my eyes open. My mind is absorbing every detail like a sponge and daily that imaginary light bulb goes off above my head light in the cartoons.
Many people look within themselves to find their purpose trying to discover on the inside what they should be doing with their life. Others take the self-help approach by studying techniques to find their purpose only to end up creating a purpose. There are those that take a philosophical approach which leads them to speculate about their purpose by overthinking.
There is only one method of finding the purpose for your life and that is through God. The book says you need to turn to your Creator for the answer as to why He designed you and for what purpose. It also says you have to read your owner’s manual which is the Bible. The Bible tells you how to live a righteous life and walk on a straight path. The simplicity of this blew me away. Reading one book and talking to God would find my purpose. Could it truly be that simple?
I also am learning how much I matter to God. I don’t think many of us really recognize how much God loves us. We know He loves us but do we truly recognize His love? He loves us so much that He cares about every detail of our lives not just our good moments. He cares about every moment. He planned every one of my days before I was born, not just a few or random days but every day and He did it long ago. Also He made me to last forever. I will live this life and then move on to my eternal life. I realized my purpose is to work for God’s purposes here on earth and the only way to fulfill His purposes is to get to know Him.
In order to find your purpose you must also find your personal peace. In the Bible there is a reference to “Jehovah Shalom” which means “I am the God of Peace”. You must set your mind to understand that God wants us to live with personal peace. There will be ups and downs but you can remain at peace during these times if you remember a few things.
Remember this, you will have circumstances in your life that are uncontrollable, people who are unchangeable as well as unexplained problems. The sooner we understand that we have no control over these three things the sooner we will find peace. Allow yourself to let go of control and trust only in God to guide and correct these three times. I know this is a biggie to let go of control and you will never totally be free of trying to control things but peace comes immediately when you hand everything over to God. You only control yourself and God controls you if you let Him.
The easiest ways to give up control is to be obedient to God and you can do this by doing simply by reading the Serenity Prayer-the FULL Serenity Prayer. Most of us think it is a few lines of prayer but it is not. It has been shortened over the years. Here is the full prayer to pray.
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
When I read the original prayer I feel so complete and more understanding as I giving up control. I hope you do too. Read it several times slowly to hear each word not only in your mind, but in your heart.
I have also learned that hope is essential to life and God is the source of hope. Remember this short message, “You need hope to cope and God is hope.” The way to get hope is to remember this; God is ALWAYS with me. He never leaves my side. His presence is constantly watching over me and guiding me along the best path. This bible verse is short, to the point and a great one to put on your bathroom mirror to never forgot how near God is to us.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8
Another important point is that God is doing good things in my life and His purpose is working in me. I try to sit silently and get to know God more deeply to see these good things in every situation, even the bad ones. Sometimes we get too busy or are multitasking so we can’t tune into God and know these good things. Slow down. Relax and sit still.
We are living in a broken and damaged world today. Our views of the world tend to be negative and depressing. Our media outlets have become slighted, cynical and driven by sensationalism with their stories instead of stories peppered with happiness and kindness. We are influenced daily by these views and they tear our lives down and pull us away from God. Ideas have consequences so our ideas need to be pure and Bible based. Jesus said in the Bible, “you have heard it said, but I tell you this-” This means your are hearing things from others but Jesus has instructed us on what is true.
There are several ways to form your views and in the US these tend to be the ways we develop our views by using one of the following ideologies.
The first is by materialism ideas such as “The one that has the most toys wins.” Some think that if you have a lot of money (or credit to buy things) and buy lots of “stuff” that shows your success. They think that having more gets you farther in life. Not true.
Another thought is, “I have to think of ME first.” which is individualism. Worrying only about how the outcome of every situation will effect you causes for a very shallow life. It also causes much anxiety and worry because you will always be focused on you and what will happen to you. If you need a good example of individualism, here is quick clip you can watch.
There is another thought process called hedonism. This is when you have the idea to do only what feels good for you. This is a very bad idea path since it usually has bad consequences and takes in many of the deadly sins like lust, greed, etc. When you follow this thought process you usually shirk responsibilities, party, you’re out of control and put your own needs ahead of any Bible processes. You can read about the bad effects of hedonism in the Bible.
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
I also need to mention the idea of pragmatism. Pragmatism is when you practice the “whatever works for you” approach. This is anyone who claim that a proposition is true if it works satisfactorily. Meaning if it has worked in the past then go with it, why change what isn’t broken as your guide to decisions and views? This idea keeps people stagnant and in the same place. When you only do what you know, you are limiting yourself to one place in your thinking.
Next lets look at the idea of those that think God doesn’t exist or matter. This is called naturalism or atheism. These people who think the world was created spontaneously with no Divine intervention. Amazing how all the perfect things in the world can just randomly appear and work for the good of all without Supreme help. That’s a head scratcher to me. Even great cosmologist and physicists like Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein had to concede that there had to be a creator to make all this happen. They only said said it briefly but I am including it in this blog. Although they did not have the true understanding of God because of their immersion in science and probability they did say this:
I want to know how God created this world.-Albert Einstein
If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would know the mind of God. -Stephen Hawking
Lastly the idea of humanism blows me away. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasized by common human needs, and seeking solely rational ways of solving human problems. There is no room or regard to God in this idea. It is all human based on human needs and thoughts. I am human and in no way do I think I have the answers.
Lets now visit the one and only ideology we should use to form our views and that is theism.
Theism is the belief in one God as the transcendent creator and ruler of the universe. This is the correct method of ideology. Believing in God and knowing God is and as our Creator is what we are to know and trust when forming our views in this world. Not only will theism cause us peace, joy and happiness but it also shuts out any enemies that may prey on us since they know we have the Almighty and Powerful Father watching over us.
Before I end this blog I want to reinforce what the Bible tells us on how to form our views and practices.
Be careful what you think,
because your thoughts run your life. Proverbs 4:23
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. Proverbs 29:18
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
I am so grateful you are coming along on this journey with me. This book and walk is taking me places I have never been and placing God so deeply in my heart every day. I pray that you gain knowledge from this blog as I have learned a great deal this past week.
May God bless you and give you peace in your heart.-LoLo