Monday, April 5, 2010

Purpose and Passion: Two in One

Everyone breathing air on the planet has a passion to be satisfied.  Everyone also has a created purpose to glorify God.  The Good News of the Gospel is that both purpose and passion are united in one pursuit.

Our created purpose:  glorify God (Isa. 43.7).  We glorify Him when we see Him as He is and enjoy Him for who He is.  Our deep-seated passion:  satisfaction.  We are only satisfied when we are fulfilling our God-given purpose.  John Piper says it this way, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."  They aren't two pursuits, but one.

Some think that satisfaction and glory are angry at one another, polar opposites in the life we live.  Some end up aesthetes who focus on duty and (often drudgingly) accomplishing their spiritual checklists.  Some end up hedonists who pursue satisfaction in every way in every corner of every their hearts, only to find themselves continually empty because they pour the finite into the receptacle of the infinite.  Our hearts were made for eternity (Ecc. 3.11).

Some think that satisfaction and glory are parallel pursuits.  They meet, for sure, but it's a long way off and generally not worth talking about until heaven.  So work work work until Jesus comes and occasionally you get to smile and laugh and enjoy things like steaks, golf courses, sunsets, good wine, the laughter of your kids on the swingset you just built them, etc.  But any satisfaction I draw from those things is disconnected from my purpose.  So much for, "Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise," or "Whatever you do - eating or drinking or anything - do all to God's glory" (1 Cor. 10.31).

But the revelation of the Scriptures and what the Gospel makes possible is the uniting of those pursuits:  glory and satisfaction.  Because of Jesus, I can fulfill my purpose AND find deep delight in God and the life He gives.

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