The Purpose Driven Life (1)

What on earth am I here for?

Sometimes, I question the purpose of my existence. What is my purpose in life? What have I been put here on earth for? Is there a reason as to why I am in this particular spot in life right now? Or has everything happened by chance and the only reason why I exist is all because of pure coincidence? By reading this book by Rick Warren, I hope it will help encourage, clarify and give me a better understanding to my purpose in life.

This book is sorted into 40 days, each chapter meant for its reader to read once a day for 40 days. (HOW COINCIDENTAL IS THAT?! In fact, i’m convinced that this isn’t a coincidence. There has to be a reason why this book and the reason why I named this website after 40 days of Fitnesse both match up.)

Why 40 days/chapters for this book? Let me quote from the preface of this book.

The bible is clear that God considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period. Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days. For example:

  1. Noah’s life was transformed by 40 days of rain.
  2. Moses was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai.
  3. The spies were transformed by 40 days in the Promised Land.
  4. David was transformed by Goliath’s 40 day challenge.
  5. Elijah was transformed when God gave him 40 days of strength from a single meal.
  6. The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave the people 40 days to change.
  7. Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the wilderness.
  8. The disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after his resurrection.

Before we were born, God has already planned every moment in every part of our lives. It is by no accident that anything happens. Everything happens for a reason.

One verse that has touched me deeply is Psalms 139.

Psalm 139 New King James Version (NKJV)
God’s perfect knowledge of man.
139 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

The chapter goes further on, and I strongly encourage everyone to read it. It talks about how even when we are in the depths of our misery and problems and feel that no one else understands how we feel and how hopeless everything seems to be, God understands. In fact, he knows it better than us. He knew what was going to happen, what will happen, even before we were born. Isn’t that encouraging? To know that we have a God that we can talk to about anything? A God who understands and is willing to listen and help us out?

Back to the book. So for the next 3 days, I will try my best to post my thoughts into a 3-part series as I go through the first 3 chapters of this book to give you guys a glimpse into it, and share a couple of things that I’ve learnt and think are helpful for us all. And if you like what you’ve read, why not pick up a copy of this book to find out more?

Chapter 1: IT ALL STARTS WITH GOD

It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than anything we can imagine. Why do so many people question their purpose and existence in life? That is because we typically begin at the wrong starting point- ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like “What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are MY goals, MY ambitions, MY dreams for MY future?”

But focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s true purpose.

Colossians 1:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

We were made by God and for God. We exist only because God wills that we exist. And until we understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead-end.

Many self-help books, even Christian ones, suggest ways to discover the purpose of life. However, they approach the subject from a self-centered viewpoint. They tell us to consider our dreams. Clarify our values. Set some goals. Etc. Sure they often lead to great success. But we have to be aware that being successful and fulfilling your life’s purpose are not the same! We may be successful in life, yet not have fulfilled our life’s purpose and reason why God has placed us here on earth.

Why have we been placed here on Earth?

  • The easiest and best way to discover the purpose of an invention, is to ask the creator of it.

So the only way to answer this question to our purposes in life, is to ask God. How then can we do that? God has clearly revealed his purposes for our lives in the Bible. It is our Owner’s Manual. The one and only true book that does what no other book can ever say or know.

To discover our purpose in life we have to turn to God’s Word, and not the world’s wisdom. We must build our life on eternal truths, not psychology, success motivation, or inspirational stories.

Without God, life makes no sense.

– Andrei Bitov

We were all created to worship something. There is always something that we focus and put on a pedestal in our lives, be it money, fame, influence, material wealth, people etc. If we are not careful, we may one day wake up and realize that the past 40 years of our lives was all for naught.

Day 1: Think about your purpose.

Point to ponder: It’s not about me.

Verse of the day-

Colossians 1:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

Part 1 of 3

Continue reading to part 2.

Disclaimer: I have used and quoted certain portions from the book “The Purpose Driven Life” in this blog post. I have claim no rights to any of the material found in it.

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