God made you for a purpose. Are you living it?
You are the light of the world. A town build on a hill cannot be hidden.
- Matthew 5:14
We get this one life.
One life to shine.
One life to share.
One life to live and love and be who we were created to be.
Do you need to hear that? I do.
God made you (and me) for a purpose. We know it deep in our hearts, don’t we? We know our lives matter, that they are for something. But, sometimes we get off track, and we start to think that everything is mainly about us, that we are in fact the bright light of the universe—our purpose is for us, for our own thriving, our own way. Thankfully, God has graciously laid the truth out for us in his book. And, when you boil all of it down, all of the stories, the poems, the history, the laws and the proverbs, all of it is pointing to one simple reality:
It’s all about God.
He is at the center. He is the Light, the Creator, the Treasure. He is the joy and wonder of the universe. But, along with that sobering truth is this mind-bending fact: God loves us sacrificially and in total. And, his great joy is for us to love him back and love others. This is our true purpose. Our purpose is not for our own sake, but for God and for others. It’s the upside-down secret to our thriving, our joy, our hope, to being who we are made to be. We are mirrors, not lights. And we are most happy and fulfilled enjoying the light of our Lord and reflecting that light for the benefit of others.
Bask in the light.
God is the source of all light—all purity, all knowledge, all goodness. And, he so wants for us to live in his light. He gives it to us freely in Jesus. God made his light shine in our hearts so that we might know him, love him, and live lives that are a joy-filled response to his grace. Without him, our light goes dim. We sink back into darkness and lose our way. So we must daily bask in the light of our God, allowing him to expose our dark corners, to illuminate our minds to the truth, and to enliven our hearts to love. We do this by reading our Bibles, praying, living life with other believers, listening to the Spirit, meditating on God's word and so on. If we aren’t spending time in the light, we become dim.
Reflect the light.
This is what our verse is all about. When we are spending time in the light, we cannot help but reflect it. We can’t hide it, it just comes out of us. When we spend time with God considering his great love for us, we cannot help but share that love with others. We’re moved to forgive others out of the forgiveness we have been given. We are patient, because God is patient with us. We cannot help but treat others as we have been treated. That kind of sacrificial love is other-worldly. That kind of sacrificial love is other-worldly, it's a bright light drawing people to Jesus.
How do I know these things?
My knowledge is not just ethereal head knowledge, but a daily reality. Each morning I battle against laziness and self-sufficiency. I know I should be reading God’s Word and listening to him, letting him work in my heart. But oftentimes, I just don’t do it. And, when I don’t, when I’m not seeking Jesus in my day, I’ve got nothing. My patience wears thin, my words are not life-giving, and my focus is myself instead of my God and others. It’s just true. However, when I’m basking in the light of Jesus, my heart is soft, my mind is fed, and my words and actions reflect my Lord. I cannot create light, I can only reflect it. I know, I’ve tried to make light on my own. It’s not possible.
I am merely a mirror.
What do you do to “bask in” God’s light?
What holds you back from meeting with God each day?
How does your heart and attitude differ when you spend time with God?
Natalie co-founded Dwell with her sister, Vera. Together, they're committed to helping others connect with God each and every day. Natalie also hosts our weekly podcast, Dwell Differently. She and her husband, Jason, live in Chicago with their 5 kids, where Jason pastors First Free Church.