Most of us have wrestled with questions of purpose and meaning at some point. For some, we may have allowed the distractions and attractions of this world to get us off track from our true purpose in life. It’s easy to understand how this can happen, especially when we fail to keep Christ front and center in all we do. The Bible however, reveals to us three areas we are most susceptible so that we can realize and resist misprioritizing them in our life:
Pleasures: Who doesn’t enjoy pleasure? Often times, these are those gifts in life that bring smiles to our faces, and joy to our hearts. However, if we aren’t careful we can quickly become addicted to them. For pleasure is a temporary rush that needs constant refueling. Therefore, we can inadvertantly become pleasure seekers – never truly satisfied, and instead remaining in a state of constant pursuit for the thrills in life. Thus, in time, we require higher and higher doses in a vain attempt to gain a sense of meaning and purpose. However, in Christ, He finds pleasure in giving us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). So, we don’t have to go out seeking them. For when He gives them, they come as a gifts to those who already know where true pleasure lies – Jesus Christ.
Possessions: We all know the negative impact materialism can have in our lives. Even for the most committed Christian, the allure of bigger and better is an easy distraction because it doesn’t come with the claws and fangs many temptations do. Even though possessions are harmless in and of themselves, they can serve as indicators to the priorities of our heart. We see an example of this when the rich young ruler walked away sad after Jesus informed him he must rid himself of his riches and follow Him if he truly desired to find what he lacked (Luke 18:22). Clearly, this doesn’t mean we are all to be financial paupers, but it does reveal Christ’s desire to be paramount in our life. And if He isn’t, He will lovingly reveal it to us. For it’s not a matter of what we possess, but Who possesses all of us.
Power: The desire for power is a basic desire of man. We have gone to wars over it and fool ourselves into thinking if we only have more of it, all our problems will fade and we can use it for good. Perhaps, but a problem arises when we consider what we’re doing and have done with the power we have been entrusted with now. For those faithful with the little they have can be trusted with more (Luke 16:10). So, the amount of power isn’t the problem. It’s again a matter of how faithful and fruitful we are with what we have today.
Application: “Meaningful Territory” – Ephesians 6:12
When we read the Bible, we see example after example of God’s people taking new land. We see Israel given new land when they walked in faith. We see Jesus entering places and healing people in forsaken areas and we even see demons begging not to be sent away from certain territories. Therefore, we can quickly begin to see how powerful the concept of territory is. There is enemy territory, but it’s not the people of a territory who are the enemy. For this is a spiritual battle. Therefore, as God’s people, we are sent into darkened lands to bring light. We are sent to areas stricken with blindness to bring sight and we are sent to rescue enemy lands for God’s Kingdom. This means everywhere we go, our priority is Christ and sharing His truth so that we are blessed by the opportunity to participate in meaningful expansions that are expanded for His glory, His honor and His Kingdom.