Monday, October 14, 2013
Discovering Man's (and Woman's) Great End
Have you ever noticed how the hustle and bustle of the world in which we live sometimes interferes with the spiritual side of our life? The car needs an oil change, the kids have three different activities a week, dinner needs making, laundry needs washing; we go, go, go all the time. And the one thing that gets forgotten is our time with God.
I'm just as guilty of it as the next Christian, probably guiltier than most. The sacrifice we make when we don't spend time with God clouds the vision of who He has called us to be. Because He has called each and every one of us to a purpose. Surprisingly, they're all the same purpose. Oh, we might have different dreams, but the person the Lord wants us to be is the same for every one of us.
No one understood this concept better than the Puritans. Oh, they had their issues, but they knew Man's Great End. They were never in doubt as to why God had placed them on this earth, every one of them. Isn't that remarkable?
And because my professor in my Making of a Christian Leader class shared this Puritan prayer with us, I'm going to share it with you. It defines Man's Great End, our great purpose, our entire reason for living. It provides wisdom to Christians, those who lead and those who follow. This prayer reminds me what my purpose is in life, my ultimate purpose being to glorify God and serve others. How easy it is to forget and let our lives get muddled with all of that other stuff going on.
May this simple Puritan prayer influence, inspire, and enlighten you regarding the Lord's purpose for your life, just as it has enlightened me.
Lord of all being,
There is one thing that deserves my greatest care,
that calls forth my ardent desires,
That is, that I may answer the great end for which
I am made –
to glorify thee who hast given me being,
and to do all the good I can for my fellow men;
Verily, life is not worth having
if it be not improved for this noble purpose.
Yet, Lord, how little is this the thought of mankind!
Most men seem to live for themselves,
without much or any regard for thy glory,
or for the good of others;
They earnestly desire and eagerly pursue
the riches, honours, pleasures of this life,
as if they supposed that wealth, greatness,
could make their immortal souls happy;
But, alas, what false delusive dreams are these!
And how miserable ere long will those be that
sleep in them,
for all our happiness consists in loving thee,
and being holy as thou art holy.
O may I never fall into the tempers and vanities,
the sensuality and folly of the present world!
It is a place of inexpressible sorrow, a vast empty
Time is a moment, a vapour,
and all its enjoyments are empty bubbles,
fleeting blasts of wind,
from which nothing satisfactory can be derived;
Give me grace always to keep in covenant with thee,
and to reject as delusion a great name here
together with all sinful pleasures or profits.
Help me to know continually
that there can be no true happiness,
no fulfilling of thy purpose for me,
apart from a life lived in and for
the Son of thy love.