In Job titles? Dream jobs? To your talents? Desired position that you really want to acquire at work? fame? how much LIKES you get when you post something on FB, instagram, tweeter or what have you? Or How much money you make? Possessions, Financial status? What people say about you? How cool you are to your friends?
Before we were born, God has appointed us already what our mission in our life is. He has placed it in our hearts. In Jeremiah chapter1: verse 5 Here's what God said to Jeremiah. “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." He who has ears to hear, let them hear. The question is, are you going to evade your soul's purpose why you are here? just like how Jonah evaded God's assignment for him to preach in the city of Nineveh for repentance? ( Jonah chapter 1)You all know the story, how he tried to go to the opposite direction and got on to a ship heading to Tarshish instead of Nineveh. And look at what God appointed for him, a sea creature just for Jonah specifically, by the way, it was mentioned to be a big fish, it's not mentioned that it's a whale according to the scripture. My side comment to the big fish is: it was measured to his body specs so that when he is swallowed by it he will not die but just enough room for him to be humbled and enough size to transport him to his destination that the Father Almighty had prepared for him. In fact it made him prayed inside the belly of the big fish. Jonah eventually humbled himself and told the people in the ship he is on, to push him off to the sea so that they will not be continually hit by the storm. The key words are: he humbled himself, Humility comes first before obedience. As CS. Lewis said (author of Chronicles of Narnia) As long as you are proud you cannot know God . That is also why I think God made Moses to climb up Mount Sinai before giving him the tablets of the Ten Commandments. So that when Moses have come face to face in the presence of the Almighty and All powerful God he has been humbled by the mountains. When I was years younger, back in the Philippines I had experience climbing mountains in a place called Laguna and it is very humbling, in fact in the middle of our trek, going up, we were all so tired carrying our backpacks with clothes in it and camping gears and our food, that we would get lost and all of us will argue and fight which is the right way, to get to the waterfall which is our final destination. Because we would have to go through a long trek to get to it, 2 hours or so may be 3, plus it's elevated. As we go on a little further, less and less arguments happen because we are all tired, so tired you have no energy to argue. I guess that's when humility kicks in when you stop arguing. I am also thinking, God could have given the tablets to Moses without having to climb up to Mount Sinai.
I believe that if we rest our identity in Jesus Christ we can never go wrong. The stress of consistently carrying our job titles, posessions, fame, talents, dreams and personal aspirations IS very taxing on our health, and can cause distraction in worshiping the Lord. Because the Pride and Ego attached to it will eat us up in the end. Here's a scary thought; what if you get all the things in life that you want and you still end up NOT being happy, what now? When we were in kinder we say when I get to be in grade 1...then we will be happy ... when we get to be grade 2, then when we get to be in grade 3 and so forth … we will be happy....when we get to be in high school we will be happy...eventually halfway to our college years we say …..when we get a job we will be happy...when we get a nice car we will be happy.....when we get to have a gf of bf we will be happy.....when we get married we will be happy...when we get a house we will be happy....when we get a child we will be happy …..and then for some, unfortunately, they will have to say....when I get divorced, I wll be happy....There is no assurance of happiness that this world can give. The reality is when we get there it just vanishes away, that passion of that new thing is just a mirage, isn't it. It doesn't satisfy. Except the happiness and peace that the Lord Jesus Christ can and is willing to give. He said in John chapter 14: verse 27 I give you Peace not as the world gives. His peace has eternal perspective and to think, this world is quickly passing anyway.... Like Jonah we should be very sensitive of our “big fish” so to speak, the one that will take or draw us to our Savior.......i wonder, Who amongst us in here will NOT be humbled inside the belly of a big fish for three days?.... Our big fish could sometimes come in a person we just met accidentally, who will help us change our perspective positively, to some losing job, to some getting divorced, to some death of a love one, to some freak accidents or illness or any poignant situation that you can think of, that evokes sadness and regrets can be the turning point of our life. Remember, you are the one who will make that turn to the right path, because you will have to decide, not the situation itself, situations will only appear to be a suggestion to you, in re-aligning yourself to God. Why? Because you have your own free will, your free will is whether you will connect with God or not. Sometimes the “big fish” in our life is so evident and obvious but we completely ignore it because of our pride and ego or how we let our flesh dictates us to continue on living our old ways. God knows how to create certain scenario in our life that will catch our attention. So if we think we haven't encountered our big fish yet, may be, just may be, we are not really paying attention.
So I am suggesting to each and everyone of us including myself of course. To rest our indentity with the Lord Jesus Christ. As His follower and servant. I can assure you there's no false hope in Him. Just keep on exploring the scriptures. The whole bible is a pretty good and solid evidence that there is a loving God. And so, I acknowledge the importance of putting on the full armour of God as it reads in Ephesians chapter 6: verses 13-17 …..13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, 15and having put on the breastplate of righteousness and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace 16 in addition to all taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God..... So in effect, putting on the full armor of God is an illustrative way of talking, in putting on Jesus Christ, Isn't it? He is our helmet of Salvation, He have said I am the resurrection and the life to Martha the sister of Lazarus whom he resurrected in John chapter11: verse 25. He said that Resurrection and life is not an event it is a person, it is Him. He is our breastplate of Righteousness according to Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 3: verses 21-23 or in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21. That our faith in Him is our righteousness of God. He is the belt of truth in John chapter14: verse 6. I am the way the truth and the life. So each time we deny the truth , each time we lie, we injure Jesus Christ because He is the Truth. He is our shoes of peace of the gospel, He is the peace that surpasses understanding in Philippians chatper 4: verse 7. He is our Sheild of faith, the author and perfector of our faith in Hebrews chapter 12; verse 2. and Sword of the word, the word who became flesh and dwelt among us in John chapter1: verse14. So whenever we pray for the full armour of God, we pray to put on Christ Himself. But wearing the full armour of God is not enough if we are not battle ready. Ready to engage face to face with our weaknesses, temptations and doubts.
It is a decision, and it is not something that you should take it lightly. You have to understand the minute you made that decision, it is not going to be easy. Also, it does not mean we are not going to falter. Fight a good fight of Faith as apostle Paul have said, it is a struggle. Because we will be focusing more on the condition of our spirit than of our physical body. Before, our priority is our flesh. Now, it is our spirit. Before, we ignore and deny our spirit to satisfy our body. Now, we ignore our flesh a little bit more. It's a big jump! but it's worth it because the payoff will make it worthwhile. In John chapter 6: verse 63 Jesus said: It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life..... So, it is not about us anymore, it is all about Jesus Christ. Even the content of our conversations, the topics we discuss with our friends and the way we evaluate it, you will be amazed how it will slowly change and more so, even the content of our jokes will begin to change too. It has to! because our awareness will be different. As it was said by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8: verses 6-8 for the mindset on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace, because the mindset on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
And so to sum it all up. What is the greatest pursuit in life? It is Knowing God. What is the greatest achievement in life? It is Serving God. If we still cannot figure out our purpose in life like I do, I think a good starting point will be serving God. I am not saying do not pursue your dreams, I am just suggesting not to forget your true identity, or maybe we can weave ambition with meaning together. Because the scariest thing that could happen to us as Christians is when we get to see face to face Jeus Christ himself and He will tell us... you are a phony! I do not know you!...isn't that scary?...So therefore having said all the characteristics of the full armor of God as putting on Jesus Christ. If we really are an obedient follower of the Lord Jesus and truly understand it, we will never become a burden to ourselves (in the form of addiction), we are not going to be a burden to our family and to others. For when we know the Truth, the Truth will always set us free.
Let us Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, We thank you for continually loving us inspite of our sinful ways. Forgive us from all of our sins. Create in us the heart and mind that you have planned for us even before we were all born. Help us in not allowing ourselves to mis-manage our time, the Enemy may not make us commit a sin when we are strong with the Holy Spirit but he will atleast convince us to waste our time. Instead may we serve you... nameless, faceless and selfless. Help us in building a life that will last forever according to You through your Son Jesus Christ. Remain to be our Protector, Provider and Counselor through the Holy Spirit. In this we pray, submit and proclaim in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha Mashiach), the Alpha and the Omega (Aleph V tav), the I am that I am (Ehyeh asher Ehyeh), the Good Shepherd (Haro'eh Ha Tov), Jesus of Nazareth (Yeshua Ha Notzri). Amen