Here’s another excerpt from The Purpose of Man (Regal, 2009), a collection of writings by A.W. Tozer:
There is another facet of faith for our consideration. That is, we do not believe we are as dear to God as He says we are. We do not believe we are as precious or that He desires us as much as He says He does. The enemy of man’s soul has sold this lie to us to not only beat us down, but to also keep us from the loving fellowship of God’s presence. He cares not a whit for us, but his hatred of God drives him to do all in his power to deny God that which rightfully belongs to Him. If everybody could suddenly have a baptism of pure cheerful belief that God wants and desires us to worship, admire and praise Him, it could transform us overnight into the most radiantly happy people in the world. We would finally discover our purpose: that God delights in us, and longs for our fellowship.
We were made to delight God, to worship Him, to fellowship with him. That is our sole purpose: To delight God. Wow.
“. . . the most radiantly happy people in the world.” That’s attractive! What do you think keeps you from realizing how much God loves you? From fully embracing your single purpose?
From The Purpose of Man (Regal, 2009), a collection of writings by A.W. Tozer edited by James L. Snyder . . . Jen got it for me for Christmas and it has captivated me.
Here’s a little excerpt worth pondering:
What was the real tragedy of that dreadful cosmic rupture forever affecting mankind? The real tragedy in the Garden of Eden was that Adam and Eve lost their purpose. They forgot who they were. They did not know where they were; they did not understand where they came from or what they were here for. They forgot the purpose of their existence. Trying their best to shake off this moral fog, they could not; for no matter what they did, it would not shake. Therefore, hand in hand, they made their way out into the world, not knowing where they were going. Humanity still wanders in this moral and spiritual wilderness.
That spiritual amnesia Adam and Eve suffered still persists today. Man has lost his way, his purpose, and is still trying fruitlessly to fill that gaping hole. But we were created for a specific purpose: to reflect God’s glory through worship and fellowship.
I usually don’t get caught up in the whole new year thing. I don’t make resolutions, don’t think I get a clean slate or anything like that, and I don’t make promises I’m not sure I can keep. To me, each day is just another day in another year. Yes, I’m a pooper like that.
But this year is going to be different. Recently, I’ve been reading a collection of works by A.W. Tozer called “The Purpose of Man” and it’s really got me thinking and re-evaluating my life. In recent months I’ve wrestled with the question of why I’m here, what my purpose is. I’ve committed myself to writing then all but threw in the towel and given up on writing. I’ve looked into furthering my education then abandoned that idea. I’ve been back and forth, to and fro, wandering here and there looking for answers.
And then this collection of writings comes along and suddenly things are getting a lot clearer.
To find my purpose I have to go back to Genesis 1. God made the heavens and the earth; we know that part. He made the sun and stars, water and land, plants and animals and it was all good. God was pleased. But something was missing. There wasn’t anything there that resembled the maker. So God made man in His image and likeness. God made man to be a reflection of His glory. Man, the darling of creation, was made to worship God and fellowship with Him.
That was it. That was man’s purpose. God would meet with Adam and Even in the coolness of the day and walk with them and talk with them. He would fellowship with them and they would worship him and in them he saw Himself reflected.
But then sin entered the picture and man suffered spiritual amnesia. Man forgot what his purpose was. And ever since we’ve been trying to fill that hole with other stuff: work, education, family, religion, sports.
But our purpose hasn’t changed. Our purpose for being here is to worship God and fellowship with Him. To reflect His glory.
Yes, we have duties and responsibilities. Adam had them (rule over the animals, tend the garden, be fruitful and multiply) and we have them (be salt and light, spread the gospel, do good, love one another). But our purpose, the reason we’re here, is different and simple.
So I’m declaring 2014 my “Year of Purpose.” I want to focus on the reason I’m here. I want to focus on worshiping God and fellowshiping with him. I want to make everything I do an act of worship and keep that fellowship unbroken. I want to worry less about how everything will work out, how our family will be provided for, how many copies my books will sell, how many speaking gigs I’ll get, how I’ll perform at work . . . and give the core of my attention to my primary purpose, trusting that if I do that, the details of life will fall into place.
I’ve been gone for a while. Admittedly, I’ve been lost, wandering in the wilderness of indecision.
This was due to a number of factors converging and culminating in a perfect storm of fatigue, burnout, and apathy. I’d had enough and needed a break from writing, and I had no idea how long that break would last. To be honest, even just a few weeks ago I was perfectly okay with the idea of never writing and publishing another book in my life.
And then I went to the Writer’s Advance Boot Camp and something changed. I was refreshed, refocused, revived. I was reminded why I write and over night my vision became clear. (I highly recommend this conference for 2014).
I write because I’ve been called to. I truly believe that. And I can’t abandon my calling.
And now I’m making my way back. I’m not ready to dive in yet but that day is on the horizon and near. I have some story ideas; my passion is returning. Slowly, I’m rebuilding and gaining momentum. But this time around I want to do it better. I want to have a plan, a true vision, and want to be focused on what’s important, on things that really matter, on things that will last for eternity.
This is why I do what I do, and this is why I must come back from this trek into the wilderness. I need to because it’s part of who I am, part of who I’m meant to be.
More on this return and rebuilding will come in the near future. I have some exciting things planned, and I hope you’ll join me.
After all, we have work to do, eternal work.