Welcome to week three of our series “Discover Me”. This week we address the issue of “What drives my life?”
A young man in his twenties wrote, “I feel like a failure because I’m struggling to become something, and I don’t even know what it is. All I know how to do is to get by. Someday, if I discover my purpose, I’ll feel I’m beginning to live.”
In the bible, many people expressed this sense of hopelessness. Isaiah complained, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Job said, “My life drags by – day after hopeless day. I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.”
Someone said “The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without hope, life without a purpose."
But the fact is, God says “I know what I am planning for you…‘I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)(NCV)
So let’s begin here. My life is guided, controlled, directed, driven by something.
What is the driving force in your life right now? Now, qualify your answers by putting it into one of three distinct categories. Fact, Faith and Feelings. My drive to produce money and save it would fit into the “feelings” category. Saving money made me feel safe, self-sufficient, it brought identity.
How do you qualify the driving force in your life right now?
At some point in our life, most of us have been driven by feelings, especially in the early years of our walk with Christ. Think about what you read on social media, what you hear on the news, even your experience at church can often be driven by feelings. Today’s culture values emotion much more than fact or faith. “If it feels good, do it.” “Follow your heart.” “Be good to yourself.” “If the chemistry is right, go for it.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. Feelings and the emotions behind those feelings are God given and healthy. Excitement, fear, laughter, joy, sadness, grief, anger, romance are all biblical and proper emotions. But when emotions trump faith and fact and drive our life there are problems.
W.A. Criswell, a famous Baptist preacher said after fifty years of marriage, “Sometimes I loved my wife so much I could just eat her up. Then the next day I wish I had!” What brings strong emotion to your life today can leave you unmoved a month from now. But facts remain a solid foundation for our Faith and purpose.
In Ephesians Chapter 3, we see this expressed in the life of the Apostle Paul as he writes to the early believers in Ephesus to address an issue that had certainly become emotional. For the purpose of our focus this week I want us to look beyond the issue Paul is addressing to the deeper revelation of what a life driven by faith and facts looks like and here is what we are going to unpack this weekend.
Knowing what I am here for brings meaning and drive to my life.
Paul says, “I’m driven, based on the fact that I received God’s grace when I didn’t even realize I needed it and what God has asked me to do I now know I was born for. I was created for this. Fulfilling this purpose is so important to me that I’m in prison for it because it’s not popular. It runs against the grain of this worlds thinking and those who are in power right now.”
Being driven by Fact and Faith simplifies my life.
“Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, my purpose given to me by God (in other words, this is what God wants me to do) is to preach to you the unsearchable riches of Christ and to make plain to everyone this truth.” Paul decided where he would live, when he would move, where he would focus his efforts, how he would spend his time by answering the questions “Does this activity help me fulfill the purpose God has given me for my life?” “Does this activity help expand the Kingdom of God?”
Paul understood this and so He continues his prayer for us in verse 18 “I pray that you may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…..that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” “I pray that you will engage this fact with the faith that you have that God may be filled with all that God has in store for you - the fullness of God that brings peace, assurance, confidence, hope.”
Purpose that is driven by faith and fact always produces passion. I used to believe, and was even taught that what I should do in life, even in the kingdom, is what I ‘feel’ some passion for. There is that word “feel” again. If I feel passionate about teaching, I should teach. If I feel passionate about children I should work with children. But here is what I’ve discovered. God’s purpose comes before feeling, and God’s purpose, when engaged, will produce passion and drive.
So what drives your life? We are all driven by something? How do we move from being emotionally driven to being driven by fact and faith? Paul gives us the answer in his prayer for us in verse 20: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us….” It’s God! His Spirit that is at work within us.
You don’t want to miss this weekend as our men will be taking a courageous next step as part of our worship service in Resolving to Men driven by Faith and the Fact that God has a purpose and plan for our life.