Last month we began exploring the question: Why are we here and what is our true purpose in this world?
Have you ever questioned that or experienced times when you have felt empty inside… perhaps longing for something but unsure of exactly what?
Do you feel close to God; like you truly have an intimate relationship with Him or are you going through the motions of service, feeling disconnected and alone through it all?
In order to understand our value and purpose, this is where we must start. We can go to church every Sunday, serve in various capacities and be the best Christian we know how to be, but life won’t really come to us until we go to the Life-Giver and get to know Him personally.
I’ve experienced seasons in my life when I have felt empty and as if my faith account was completely bankrupt. It hasn’t been because of a lack of faith, however. I’ve seen God do too much to ever doubt His existence. I know through experience that He is fully capable of doing anything but fail.
But I can slip into that place of feeling bankrupt when I consciously or subconsciously decide to spend less time with Him and walk away, not in sin, but in becoming wrapped up in my life and simply doing good things with my time.
It’s then I find myself asking where He went. Truth is, He never went anywhere; I just got too caught up in doing for Him that I lost sight of doing things with Him.
If we are going to understand our value, we first must recognize how incredibly valuable we are to God.
Once we see this and embrace it, we become even more valuable because we step into the identity of who He says we are. It’s been researched and proven that we tend to become who others say we are.
For instance, if a young boy grows up in a family of affluence but has a parent who repetitively tells him he is a failure, accident, mess-up and the like, the chance of that child making poor decisions as he grows which can lead to poor grades, aggression, addiction, incarceration and even homelessness is highly probable. The boy simply walks into the identity that was spoken over him by a significant caretaker for a large portion of his life.
On the flip side, maybe a small boy is growing up in poverty with a single mom but she believes in her son and repetitively tells him what a successful man he is going to be. Maybe she tells him he has the power to be a brain surgeon who runs for President of the United States one day. Regardless of his socio-economic status, he is more likely to succeed and make choices that will lead to better outcomes later in life because of the identity a loving parent spoke over him.
God is that loving parent.
What He says – which far outweighs what anyone else may have spoken – is that you are an irreplaceable asset to this world; one with great value and purpose that extends beyond what your mind can fully comprehend.
That is truth. But to walk in it, we must first believe it.
God created Adam and Eve to be image-bearers of Himself who walked in intimacy with Him. They sinned and messed up something that was intended to be extremely beautiful. God wouldn’t tolerate sin, so there were consequences His children endured. Even so, He was committed to making His plan work even after they messed up. He cast them out of the Garden, but He never desired to cast them out of His Presence. He revealed this by sending His most prized possession to us.
That prize is Jesus.
Jesus who came to show us God in man-form in ways that Adam and Eve could not. Jesus who would restore us back to that original place of fellowship and intimacy that God intended from those first days in the Garden.
Jesus who gives us life and life more abundantly as we walk with Him and begin to see ourselves and others through His eyes. When we come to terms with these realities, that’s when the passion within us begins to arise to adore Him because we recognize that the Creator of the Universe, God-Almighty, our Father, the Most High, thinks the most of us.
And that’s where we begin to understand our value. It’s not until we can understand our value to Him that we can accept our value to the world.
The fruit of this is strategy, solution and change for His glory. The fruit of not embracing our value to Him or this world is nit-picking, arguing and casting blame.
That was the enemy’s plan when Adam first blamed Eve, and it’s still his plan today.
But now that our eyes have been enlightened, we have the ability to break free from those traps and become the change-agents God designed us to be.
It can’t happen without relationship. It’s one thing for us to purchase a building kit for our kids and tell them to have fun making it. It’s another to be able to come alongside them and have fun making it together.
God wants us to wake up each morning and ask, “What can we do together today, Dad?”
Jesus said that He only did what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19). He went on to say later that we would do even greater things than He (John 14:12).
We want those greater things to occur but they are only going to happen through relationship. We can’t walk as Jesus walked and experience those greater things without walking in His footsteps and having intimate relationship with the Father.
Changing the world around us for God’s glory requires each one of us going back to our First Love and asking what we can do together. From there, we ask Him what the strategy is to impact and win.
We have a lot of institutional systems in this world, and I do believe based on scripture many are God-ordained. But they struggle, and many today are failing. Even with the great ingenuity and sophisticated systems in place, the world is dumbfounded. And unless they have Godly wisdom, they will continue going around the same mountains and not getting very far.
That is why there is so often little effect in attempts to even make little change. A church fellowship may decide to provide a weekly meal to individuals in need and, while this is good and brings temporary relief, it isn’t a strategy that typically brings large degrees of lasting change on a broad level. A good work, absolutely; but not a strategy for true transformation.
God allowed Joseph’s brothers to dump him in a place which would lead to his slavery. In his imprisonment, he communed with God and was given the gift of interpreting dreams.
By using that gift during a season of darkness, God allowed Him to become a strategist to bring forth change.
He used the gift he was given – even during a time when he could have been bitter, blamed others and attempted to fight for his rights.
God used his humility and willingness to accept his present circumstance to save a pagan nation (Egypt) but ultimately his own people (Canaan) as well.
If we can remain humble and serve even those who we feel oppress us while maintaining relationship with God, we too can be used to set captives free and bring lasting change to the world around us. The gifts Joseph was given, in even the challenging seasons of his life, were all part of God’s plan to reveal Himself further to the world.
Are we willing to do the same?
In this generation, God is calling us to Him. He wants us to understand our value to Him, love and adore Him and bring hope to the broken who surround us every day.
Our world is in trouble. But, if we will earnestly seek Him, He will give us the answers. He has called us to be a stabilizing force in this world.
We are called, as Adam was, not only for dominion, but also to subdue and bring order. The purpose of mankind has not changed since the Garden. God wants us to fellowship with Him and use the strategies He gives us through that fellowship to be change-agents within this world. Not for our credit, but for His glory. We are to share His wisdom, give God the glory, the credit to others, and we receive the joy. It’s not about us. It’s about honoring Him and walking out who He has called us to be.
We are all called to greatness. Let’s embrace our identity and link arms to change the world together with Him.
–By Barry Feaker with Jessica Hosman
Editor’s note: In Part II of a series, Barry Feaker, Executive Director of TRM Ministries, examines life’s biggest questions, and how we as individuals, the church and the community can provide value and help solve the issues faced by our society today. If you missed Part I, click the link below.