Last week I wrote a letter to a friend of mine who has been going through a lot of changes in her life and searching for clarity on it all. She feels as though things are getting better in her life and she is happy with herself, but the problem arises that through all of this, the passion for God seems to be diminishing. I wanted to share some of what I wrote to her because I am sure she is not alone in this. In fact, this is a reminder that probably all of us can use.
My whole thought process starts with why we are created in the first place. The Westminster Catechism says that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” So we were created first to worship God and then also to find the fulfillment of our joy in Him. And those two things are linked.
What that means is that it is not a mistake that God made us with the skills to achieve what we do and to become the people we are. In His sovereignty, He also planned where we would live and the friends we would make. None of what is going on in your life has happened without God’s working in and through it all (Eph. 1:11). Chances are that most of the time, we just aren’t looking for Him.
In philosophy there is a view which pretty much dominates American culture today called existentialism. It discusses the connection between who we are (being) and what we do (doing). It arises in looking for purpose in life outside of a worldview defined by belief in God. Existentialism teaches that doing defines our being. This means that my worth is determined by my accomplishments so for us to be anything important then we must achieve great things. As such, it is in the little moments when we are defined, such as crossing the finish line first in the Olympics. My fear that I too often we as Christians fall into this system of belief and feel like we must perform or else our value is gone.
To the complete opposite of existentialism we have the doctrines of Christianity that says God created us to be who we are with the talents and abilities and feelings that we have and therefore our being defines our doing. (The same is true when we talk about sin nature; you are first a sinner, then a liar and thief because of that.) To argue the case for Christianity, Ravi Zacharias says of existentialism thought that “the greatest times of despair are when you have just finished doing the thing you thought would bring you the ultimate joy and worth only to find that it didn’t.” That is to the complete contrast of finding our joy and worth only in a relationship with God.
So here was my point to my friend, and my challenge to you as well. As you are exploring this life with all of the good times and bad, remember that none of it is happening without God, but that He is working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). I promise that everything that is going on is an attempt by Him to capture your heart again and to take you to deeper places in the life He wants for you and with you. Just take some time to notice the little things He is doing and situations He is setting up. God loves you and is wooing you. Soak it in and learn to love Him more for it.