Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days Of Strength In Scripture: You Have A Purpose

I came across this passage (known as the Sermon on Mars Hill) in my scripture reading today:

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,
that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.'” - Acts 17:24-28

This is the apostle Paul's response to the Greeks in Athens after observing the objects of their worship, including an altar with the inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD'. My understanding is that the Greeks did not want to risk offending any of the gods by leaving one out, so they just covered their bases with a generic label. This led Paul to give them a description of the God they didn't know.

As someone who believes that every single individual on earth has a god, whether known or unknown, this passage struck me as an incredibly wise explanation of God and a beautiful, straightforward presentation of the simplicity of the gospel.

Some of us believe in the God of the Bible, some of us believe in only one god with many paths to him, some of us believe in many gods, some (and possibly most) of us believe ourselves to be gods, and some of us would just rather not commit to one, lest we make the wrong choice. Human beings are all over the place when it comes to our approaches to deities, but what this passage points out is something that we all have in common – He knows each one of us deeply and intimately, so much so that He knows what we need in order to come to a place where we begin to seek Him.

He alone is sovereign. He alone gives life. And His relationship to humanity goes so much more beyond just some guy in the sky arbitrarily making things happen on a whim. He promises so much more. I should never take for granted that precious divine trait – I not only have the opportunity to know Him, but also to be close to Him.

The Orchestrator Of All Things wants me to seek Him. He wants YOU to seek him. He cares about who we are and how we fit into the story. If you're like me, you may not always find that truth to be easy – that we each have a vital role to play in God's plans. Who am I? I sometimes ask. Yet I believe we all desire to know God and be known by Him – that is where the desire for purpose and meaning within the human heart comes from. What strength it can give us to know who He truly is and that we matter to Him more than we ever could have imagined.