At various times in life people seem to get around to questions like, "Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why did God create me?" These are great questions, and in exploring them people have found purpose and fulfillment in life. The problem is, I don't think it happens to enough people, and truth be told, I'm not really all that sure very many people ever get there. The reasons we do not get there can be varied, but on the whole I think there is one in particular that will ring true for more than most.
I've been on a spiritual walkabout this past year. I had felt the Lord pulling on my heart for quite some time when finally I resigned my position at my home church in March, and after finishing out the year for transitional reasons, I left my home church in December 2011. I thought I would immediately begin the task at hand that I had felt the Lord put on my heart, but something happened. It was as though I had been running full steam as fast as I could in one direction, and then suddenly the power went out in my life. It reminded me of a time in school when a lot of the kids in class were being too noisy and the teacher could not get their attention. Instead of getting loud, she walked over and turned off the lights in the classroom. The class obliged her by immediately going silent and looking around.
That's how I felt spiritually, too. There was all this noise and commotion in my spiritual life. I was all about getting things done, moving to the next task, and working feverishly to finish to begin the next. The leap had been made out of my home church to begin something new once again, and in all the noise that was going on in my spiritual life, God turned out the lights. I stopped everything I was doing, and everything went silent. Then, in the deafening silence, came the questions, and to help me answer them came The Accuser.
The Accuser pointed to everything I had ever done bad in my life. Every sin, every improper thought, and every selfish motivation was brought front and center to my attention. Than came the last questions "How could God ever use someone like you? After what you have done, how could you ever even think God would ever use you?"
I must admit, I was thrown. For so long I had been going through the motions of what I thought a Christian should do, it never occurred to me that maybe I was not qualified for doing these things in the eyes of my God. Shame filled my heart, and I began to search deeper into the depths of my soul for answers, for something in me knew that The Accuser had only painted an incomplete picture of my life.
Months passed as I wandered in what felt to me like a spiritual desert. My family and I visited church after church, but to be honest, in nearly every one of them I merely saw mirror images of myself. Hollow people without purpose, saved by grace and on the way to heaven, but only present in church to fulfill some internal obligation or pressure of guilt. Some wore masks of smiles and expressed joy with words and expressions, but I found very few with the internal joy and peace that radiates from them and fills a room.
As I visited churches, I was not sure where all this was going. I was so sure of what God's plan was for my life at one time. I had all the right plans and all the right intentions, but now I stood wondering why the lights went out. As time passed, even The Accuser had fallen silent. Months went by, and then at a moment when I felt I was most alone in my spiritual wilderness, God began to speak once again to my heart. This time, in complete silence, I was able to really listen.
I was reminded that I am God's son. As God's son I am here because God desires a relationship with me. My purpose in life is to simply be God's son, and enjoy that relationship with Him. In the end, He created me to be myself, and no one else. If I would simply do that, then I would accomplish God's purpose for my life. God then took me back to the picture of my life painted incomplete by The Accuser. I did not want to go there. I resisted. I tried to look away, but when I walked upon that picture, I realized God had finished the incomplete painting of my life. From corner to corner and top to bottom it was covered solid in red, for the blood of Christ had covered it all.
As I looked upon my life God spoke. "Where is your Accuser now?" There was silence. I now see that my life had always been one of Christian busy-ness, and one that almost always neglected my relationship with God. It turns out, this also is the answer for the problems people face in life. Trying to do what is right is not the answer to what is wrong. Getting back in a relationship with God should be our first priority. When that happens to an individual, personal revival is the result. When it happens to a congregation, church revival is the result. When it happens to a nation, a great awakening will occur.