a third killjoy in life is having no real purpose at all. if you’re just drifting, if you don’t know where you came from or where you’re going and why you’re here, of course you’re not going to have any joy in your life. you’re just going to cruise on autopilot through life, substituting happiness for joy – short-term pleasure for joy. we all need a cause greater than ourselves in which to live for. that is what brings us joy. living for yourself does not bring joy.
when paul is writing this letter to the philippians, he has literally lost everything. he’s old. he’s in prison. he’s in poor health. he’s lonely, living in a dungeon in rome, chained to a roman praetorian guard 24-hours a day. they’ve taken away everything from this guy. he has no friends, no ministry, no freedom. he even has no privacy, since the guard is chained to him 24-hours a day.
but there is one thing that they could not take away from paul – his purpose in life. so paul says in philippians 1.21 (niv), for me to live is CHRIST. i live for CHRIST.
in 2 timothy, another book he wrote at this same time, chapter 1 verse 3 (lb) he says, my only purpose in life is to please HIM.
if you want to have a joy-filled life, if you want to get out of the dumps and into the joy zone, you need to get in line with GOD’s purpose for your life. you need to make that statement where you say, “GOD, i give myself to YOU and i want YOU to put YOUr purpose in my life.” when you begin to live the purpose for which you are made, all of a sudden life makes sense and all of a sudden the joy goes up.
romans 6.13b (lb), give yourselves completely to GOD – every part of you – to be tools in the hand of GOD to be used for HIS good purpose. i love that, to be tools in the hand of GOD…
i dare you to pray the most dangerous prayer: “use me.” that’s the most dangerous prayer you can ever pray.
i prayed that prayer when i was 20 years old but i had no idea of the adventure i was in for. if you want to experience the joy that is beyond explanation, pray the prayer, “use me, GOD,” because there is no greater thrill in life to feeling GOD use you in the life of another person. nothing even vaguely comes close to the thrill of being used by GOD. i want to tell you from experience that if you get usable, GOD will use you. GOD is looking for people who will yield themselves to HIS purpose.
and let me tell you, HE’s still using me at 65.
just a thought from the front porch…