What is the purpose of a person’s life?
This is a common question that many people have as we sometimes consider our place in this world. We may ask questions like “Why was I born?” “Why am I living in the world right now?” “What am I supposed to accomplish in my years on this earth?”
Many of you may have these kind of thoughts [as I do], but let’s take this discussion to a much higher plane.
Does God ever wonder about His purpose?
Have God’s purposes changed over the years?
In several of my recent posts, I have tried to reflect J.I. Packer’s* arguments that despite human change as the years pass, God has not changed at all. As humans, we may certainly wonder about our purpose and I have to admit, I have found different purposes for my life as I have aged. Truly today, I am doing things that I never envisioned doing years ago.
But I am a man.
God is immutable. God is divine. God is God.
When we wonder if God’s purposes have changed to reflect the changing world are we trying to make God human when we should not? Surely the world has changed as time has passed. Some would argue that maybe God needs new purposes that reflect what is happening in the world today.
But God is immutable.
He has the same purposes that He has always had since time began.
You might wonder what are the purposes of God?**
One is for us to know Him and for Him to know us. Nothing we can do is a shock to God, for He is omniscient and omnipotent. He has complete knowledge and control which extends into the past, is cognizant of the present and extends into the future. One can turn to Psalm 139 and in those ten verses, one can discern what God’s purpose is when it comes to knowing man. “Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me” (verse 1). “You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me” (verse 5). Some may balk at the idea that God knows our coming and going, but we need His guidance; we need His help.he second purpose is all about love. God loves us; He loves us forever. He expects us to keep His commandments and in doing so, He shows us the way to live the best life we can live on this earth. Turn to John 1, Chapter 5 “everyone who loves the Father loves His Child as well. This is how we know that we love the Child of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. In fact, this is love for God: keeping His commands. And His commands “are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” Of course, reciprocal love for God is not where this stops; God expects us to love our fellow man, “our neighbors as ourselves.”
The last purpose is all about blessing. God blesses us so we may be a blessing to others. To begin the process we must repent of our sins and when we do this, He is ready for us to make a difference in life right now. He wants to bless us and He wants us to be a blessing to those around us. Growth in our faith is called discipleship or in the Methodist church it is referred to as sanctification. As we grow in our faith we should encourage others in their growth. In times of trouble, we are supposed to support others. When the time is right and it is needed, maybe we need to challenge others who need some extra incentive to grow or maybe they even need some correction.
God’s purposes have never changed. He has always sought an intimate relationship with man. He has always loved us and He has always wanted us to love one another. He has always blessed us when we are ready to receive His blessing.
Packer cites A. W. Pink regarding the unchanging purposes of God versus man “one of two things causes a man to change his mind and reverse his plans: want of foresight to anticipate everything, or lack of foresight to execute them. But as God is both omniscient and omnipotent there is never a need for Him to revise His decrees.” God’s purpose is and always was and always will be to bring man into a full enjoyment of the promised inheritance that He expressed in Hebrews 6: 17-18 “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.” God’s intentions have not changed; His purpose has not changed; His eternal plan has not changed.
As Christians we can turn to Hebrews 13: 8 and read Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday and today and forever.” Take that and add to it Hebrews 7:25 where it says “He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them [italics and bolding mine].”
Yes, some may question the purposes of God and wonder how His purposes have stood for all eternity. But when you think about it, rather than this being an excuse not to read God’s word or even to believe The Father, maybe it is really a consolation for all God’s people that He exists to know us, He exists to love us and He exists to bless us.
What a consolation…
*Knowing God by J.I. Packer
**It is very presumptuous to write about God’s purposes, so I went to the “BibleinOneYear website” to access God’s purposes for man and since so many of our purposes overlap with Gods, it felt safe to use the three purposes listed there. I am not sure any man or woman can “pinpoint” God’s purposes…