What Really Matters

Intro:

What is the most important thing about your life and purpose? Is it your relationships, job, health, or sense of self-fulfillment? What really matters? Why are we easily distracted by seeking to fulfill ourselves? Join me as I explain why that finding your purpose and calling is what really matters. We will consider several quotes from Oswald Chambers.

God’s Call to Become Like Christ

True, abundant life is only found in Christ Jesus. All things and people in our lives will pass away. Our loved ones will die and leave us behind. Even the most durable objects break and age. Our health fades as we age. Inflation and stock market plunges deplete our savings/investments. We will experience joy, love, and hope in our lives as well as grief, sorrow, and troubles. What matters the most–is it my own happiness and satisfaction? What is the purpose of it all? One of the harder things in life is dying to self and seeking to bless others instead of seeking my own desires.

Our purpose is found in God’s call to repent and believe upon the name of Christ Jesus. God calls lost humans to believe and trust upon Him. What matters is that God saves us and makes us new in Him. God freely offers grace and mercy to all who would call on Him to be saved! The purpose of life is to receive God’s grace and share this wonderful Good News with those around us!

Our fallen world tempts us to seek out our own personal comfort, wealth, and happiness. We want above all else to be comfortable and untroubled especially by or with others around us. Society is full of self-improvement gurus and religions to make us “better people.” There are many books available on self-development and personal improvement.

Our enemy the Deceiver seeks to lure us into a trap of bettering ourselves through education, career changes, new relationships, ideas, etc. None of these things are bad in their nature, but they can become idols and distractions when we seek to obtain them more than we love God and our neighbors. The human heart is easily deceived and led astray by contemporary thinking.

Chambers explains (A Life of Pure and Holy Sacrifice) :

“His purpose is not the development of a person— His purpose is to make a person exactly like Himself, and the Son of God is characterized by self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts.”

God saves us to transform us! No one who encounters God is ever left the same. This is the testimony of scripture! God changes and renews human hearts. Then He works to redeem others through the renewed hearts. He takes a young shepherd boy named David and makes him into a mighty king of Israel that set the standard for every king that followed for generations. God transforms a vicious persecutor, Paul, into an apostle who wrote most of the New Testament Epistles (letters). David, Paul, and many others serve as examples for individuals whom God radically changes and uses for His glory and advancing His Kingdom.

The Gospel accounts explain how Jesus called ordinary fishermen and tax collectors to be His disciples. These men bravely faced death and gave their lives to proclaim His Good News. The Good News of Christ was better than life! Thus they died as martyrs instead of denying Christ.

What really matters in life is what God “pours through us”. Chambers compares us to grapes:

“God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us.

Grape juice and wine requires that the grapes be squeezed or crushed. There is a process and our lives can make us sweet or bitter depending on how we react.

God Pours Through Us to Refresh Others

God uses broken pots to water the surrounding soil. What the world considers to be successful and what God considers to be successful are different.

“Our spiritual life cannot be measured by success as the world measures it, but only by what God pours through us— and we cannot measure that at all.”

Remember Mary of Bethany who anoints Jesus with the costly perfume. The Disciples considered her act to be wasteful, but in God’s view she did a great thing. She uses a very costly perfume (cost a year’s wages) to anoint Jesus prior to His death. She does this as an act of love. She willingly giving to Jesus. Her love for Jesus moved her to act. May God give us such a love for His Son!

https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-anointed.html

When Mary of Bethany “broke the flask…of very costly oil…and poured it on [Jesus’] head,” it was an act for which no one else saw any special occasion; in fact, “…there were some who…said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil wasted?’ ” (Mark 14:3-4). But Jesus commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion, and said, “…wherever this gospel is preached…what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Mark 14:9). Our Lord is filled with overflowing joy whenever He sees any of us doing what Mary did— not being bound by a particular set of rules, but being totally surrendered to Him.

Living for Christ: Not Living for Self

We, as modern Americans, tend to seek self-fulfillment. This is a trap of the enemy when we seek this above all else. Careers, wealth, health, relationships are blessings that God graciously gives to us. Yet, none of the things can fulfill us or even deeply satisfy our longings. Chambers poses this question to us:

“He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”— and hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. Now is the time for us to break “the flask” of our lives, to stop seeking our own satisfaction, and to pour out our lives before Him. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?

He warns us in “Pouring Out the Water of Satisfaction”:

“You can never set apart for God something that you desire for yourself to achieve your own satisfaction. If you try to satisfy yourself with a blessing from God, it will corrupt you. You must sacrifice it, pouring it out to God— something that your common sense says is an absurd waste.”

Chambers uses the narrative of David pouring out the water that his men had brought to him in 2 Samuel 23:16-17. Why did David pour out this water before God (gave water as a sacrifice to God) instead of drinking it? David honored God as his men had risked their lives on a dangerous mission to get him water from Bethlehem:

“Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. 17 And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it.” NKJV

David thus gives us an example of how to react when God gives us something that we shouldn’t keep for ourselves:

“As soon as I realize that something is too wonderful for me, that I am not worthy to receive it, and that it is not meant for a human being at all, I must pour it out “to the Lord.” Then these very things that have come to me will be poured out as “rivers of living water” all around me (John 7:38).”

Chambers then explains how even good things can corrupt us:

“And until I pour these things out to God, they actually endanger those I love, as well as myself, because they will be turned into lust. Yes, we can be lustful in things that are not sordid and vile. Even love must be transformed by being poured out “to the Lord.””

Self-fulfillment and actualization lead us to become self-centered and selfish. Like dragons who hoard piles of gold and treasure (think about Chronicles of Narnia The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Eustace, and the Lord of the Rings: The Hobbit Smaug

We become hoarders instead of a source of blessings for others. Like a grumpy old dragon we rest ourselves upon the pile of accumulated things daring anyone to come near and steal them from us. It’s interesting to note that dragons usually hide their riches in lonely, dark caves far away from others. Eustace turns into the dragon when he stumbles upon a dead dragon on a pile of treasure and harbors “greedy, dragonish thoughts” in his heart. It takes Aslan’s intervention and painful claws to get Eustace back into a child again.

Old Smaug had nested on his treasure pile for so long that his chest was covered with diamonds and jewels. He was a source of terror and destruction to all. He laid “waste” to many areas as he raided villages and collected his plunder. Smaug is a clear reference to greed, lust, and how such things lead to desolation and destruction.

The Solution–Pour it Out Before God!

Chambers explains how we become bitter:

“If you have become bitter and sour, it is because when God gave you a blessing you hoarded it. Yet if you had poured it out to Him, you would have been the sweetest person on earth. If you are always keeping blessings to yourself and never learning to pour out anything “to the Lord,” other people will never have their vision of God expanded through you.”

May God overflow your life and guide you as He flows through you into the lives of others! The most important thing in life is how that God blesses others through our lives! As God flows through your life, you shall experience a deep joy and sense of peace that will transcend all things!

Published by leestanfill@yahoo.com

Just a pilgrim walking each day with Jesus and hoping to encourage others along the path.

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