The Point of Purity Podcast


Episode #158 - Life's Purpose

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Episode #158 - "Life's Purpose"   



Transcript

You were designed by God to glorify God. It was programmed within your very DNA since the moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb. True purpose and meaning to life cannot be found in fame or fortune, people or pleasures, power, or prestige. The obtaining of a sense of direction and significance comes only as you choose an intimate, personal relationship with God and walking in obedience to His commands all for the purpose of bringing praise and glory to Him alone.

Welcome to the Point of Purity Podcast! I’m your host Steve Etner – author, National Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry and this is Episode #158 . In this episode we begin a new mini-series on discovering how our thinking impacts our doing. This week’s Episode is entitled “Life – What’s the Purpose?”

Have you ever paused long enough to consider not just what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it? Have you ever asked yourself where your life is heading? Maybe the job has stalled out; you’ve been passed up time and again for that promotion and you’re certainly not getting any younger. Perhaps you’re struggling trying to stay ahead of the bill collectors while fighting that ever-growing brick that lies so heavy in the pit of your stomach as the property taxes are coming due and the credit card debt is mounting. Or possibly your day consists of cleaning up after the kids, doing laundry, cleaning up after the kids, vacuuming, oh, and don’t forget cleaning up after the kids again; only to be repeated day in and day out. Routine has led to boredom, lethargy, and apathy. “What’s the point?” you ask. “There’s got to be more to life than this, right?” The answer is a resounding “yes!”

In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, we see the story of a man named Solomon. You may already be familiar with that name. After all, he’s the guy who asked God for a boatload of wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-15). He’s the guy who had King David for a father (2 Chronicles 1:1; 1 Kings 2:12). He’s the guy who wrote the books of Proverbs and Song of Solomon (Proverbs 1:1; Song of Solomon 1:1). He’s the guy who built a magnificent temple to God (1 Kings 6). Oh, and he’s the guy who had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). Not so sure about the wisdom in that decision.

Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon embarks on this massive quest to try to find meaning and purpose to his life. He tries to find satisfaction and fulfillment in money, possessions, relationships, and even pleasures. He runs the whole gambit. Yet, no matter how hard he tries, how much money he puts into the bank, how many things he accumulated, how many friendships he developed, or how many different types of pleasures and passions he pursued, he could not find true meaning to life through any of those things.

In fact, at one point in his search, he grabbed his quill and some parchment paper and proceeded to pen these words, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NIV’84). Later he writes, “When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11 NIV’84 compare with 2:17, 21; 3:19). Can you relate to this? Have you felt the monotony of life grinding ever onward, leaving boredom and dissatisfaction in its wake?

Near the end of his life, it finally dawns on him that he had wasted the majority of it searching in all the wrong places and looking for all the wrong things. He realized he had put the emphasis upon self instead of where it truly belonged – God. Everything he chose to pursue only brought him a temporary, fleeting gratification at best and tended to be more of a nuisance than anything else. As a result, Solomon makes this one, final, powerful declaration, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV’84). In short, this is what Solomon was saying, “I squandered my life, my strength, and my resources searching long and hard, far, and wide, trying to find meaning and purpose to life and here is my conclusion: True and lasting meaning and purpose, satisfaction and fulfillment is found only when we focus our entire being around glorifying God.

Solomon’s affirmation is just as true for us today as it was when he originally penned those powerful words. We have been created by God for one purpose alone: to know Him and live a godly life that brings honor and glory to Him in everything we think, say, and do (see Isaiah 43:7; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). This Biblical truth is at the foundation of everything you will ever hear in this podcast.

You were designed by God to glorify God. It was programmed within your very DNA since the moment you were conceived in your mother’s womb. True purpose and meaning to life cannot be found in fame or fortune, people or pleasures, power, or prestige. The obtaining of a sense of direction and significance comes only as you fulfill the intent of your Creator – discovering an intimate, personal relationship with God and walking in obedience to His commands all for the purpose of bringing praise and glory to Him alone. Fear God and keep His commandments.

Solomon’s father, King David, wrote in Psalm 112:1 that the man who fears the Lord and delights in His commands is blessed of God. In other words, when you are doing all that God created you to do, then and only then are you truly happy, fulfilled, and satisfied. God “requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees ... for your own good.” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NLT compare with 1 Samuel 15:22; Proverbs 21:3; and Mark 12:29-31). It could not be any clearer. When you daily choose to walk in humble obedience to God, bringing the glory and praise due your Heavenly Father, Savior, and Friend – as you were created to do – you are fulfilling your purpose. That is when you will find lasting joy, peace, and meaning in life.

The question you must face here is this: Deep down in your heart of hearts do you sincerely want, long for, desire, and crave a life characterized by godliness? Do you want to live in a way that truly glorifies God in everything you think, say, and do every moment of every day? Let’s assume, for the moment, that your answer is, “Yes! I want to live a life that in every way reflects God. I want to daily be, think, do, say, and feel in the ways God wants me to.” My question for you then is this: What are you doing right now to achieve that goal? What plan of action do you have in place to pursue that purpose and whom have you asked to hold you accountable? As the saying goes, there’s no better time than the present.

Simply wanting something isn’t going to make it happen. For example, as I sit here and record this episode, I want to be 15 to 20 pounds lighter. Or do I? Unless I choose to change my daily life habits and consistently adhere to a specific diet and exercise program, losing that weight isn’t going to happen no matter how much I think I want to. In fact, if I’m not careful, just the opposite could happen. My “want to” is actually a “won’t do” because I “don’t do” what I should do.

I may think I want to be a godly man. I may be under the impression that I long for every thought I think, every word I say, and everything I do to always glorify my Heavenly Father. However, unless I choose daily to make some spiritual lifestyle changes and adhere to a specific spiritual “diet and exercise program,” it will not happen no matter how much I may claim I want it. To be godly certainly begins with a strong desire for it, but you must also have a plan and then actually put that plan into motion. So again, I ask you, what are you doing right now to pursue godliness?

Godliness does not automatically happen for the Christian. The moment you were saved you did not become instantly godly. Nor does godliness come easy. Take a close, hard look at your spiritual life to date. Have you periodically tried to be godly only to find that you failed once again in your self-righteous attempts? Truth be told, there are times when we fail to succeed even when our desires are genuine, and our efforts are sincere. We definitely want to do the right thing. We want to glorify God in our daily lives, yet we tend to fall short of our goal.

Whether it’s the Summer or Winter Olympics, it really doesn’t matter, my wife and I enjoy watching the athletes compete. We appreciate seeing the competitors doing things that we could only dream of doing. I can only imagine what it would be like to glide effortlessly across the ice or soar through the air after zipping down an ice-covered hill at break-neck speeds.

I guarantee you that not one of those athletes who stand on the winner’s podium, no matter their sport or discipline, age, gender, or country of origin, woke up one day and said on a whim, “Hey, I want to go compete in the Olympics!” They didn’t suddenly contact the airlines, buy a plane ticket, hop the next jet over to the Olympic venue, and stand in line to compete.

Before they ever placed a foot on those starting blocks, before they ever stepped up on to the spring board to swim the 100 meters, before they ever flew over the uneven bars, and before they ever did a triple lutz or a quad, they began their journey to the Olympics with an intensive, intentional training program. They shed blood, they sweat buckets, and it took them years to achieve their goal.

The athlete who is training for such an event not only sets up a plan on how to achieve their goal, but they also surround themselves with the right equipment necessary for the task. In the same way, if we are going to train ourselves to be godly, we need the right equipment. In his second epistle, Peter writes, “[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV’84) Don’t miss this. God has already provided us with everything we need to be godly and to consistently live that godliness out in our daily choices and behavior. That power comes through our knowledge of Him as revealed in His Word.

Notice that Peter states it is God’s “divine power” that provides us with everything we need to live a godly life. By using the word “divine,” Peter is telling us that which is being spoken of (namely, the power or ability to be godly) belongs to God alone. Only God possesses the ability to provide all that we need to be godly in our every day, every moment living. That power does not naturally reside within you; it does not naturally reside within me. In and of ourselves we will always fall short, failing to actually be godly. This is why it’s called “divine power.”

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at that word “power.” It refers to the natural, inherent strength and capability to do something. The one who has this kind of power is not dependent upon an outside source to accomplish the task. The power or ability to do or be resides completely within the individual. So, “divine power” means that only God (“divine”) has within Himself the natural capability (“power”) to equip us with everything we need to live a godly life.

Why then do we try to do it on our own? Job asks the question, “Who can bring what is pure from the impure?” He then answers, “No one” (Job 14:4 NIV’84). In and of ourselves, we are incapable of being godly. We just don’t have the ability within us. In fact, God says, “All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt’ there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:3 NIV’84 compare with Psalm 53:3 and Romans 3:10-12).

“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.” (Isaiah 64:6 NLT compare with Isaiah 53:6).

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 NASB’95)

We are totally incapable of being consistently godly. Left on our own, without any Divine influence or enablement, we will choose to sin more than we choose not to. The only way we will live a life that unfailingly glorifies God is if God Himself, who naturally possess all godliness, comes to dwell within us – placing His own natural godliness within us, and we, in turn, remove self from the throne and willingly choose to allow Him to reign in our hearts, yielding to His power in our lives.

Godliness is not me doing or being something. I am not a godly man because I stop doing certain things and start doing others. It is King Me stepping off the throne and allowing God to live out His godly attributes through me. John declared “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30 NIV’84) Peter assures us that God’s divine power has given the born-again believer everything we need for a godly life. So, again I ask, why then do we try to do it on our own?

Let me draw your attention back to 2 Peter 1:3 and Peter’s use of the words “has given.” God’s divine power has given us everything we need. That phrase is written in the perfect tense, passive voice. In Scripture, when something is written in the perfect tense, it describes an action which has already been completed sometime in the past, once and for all, never needing to be repeated. By writing that God’s divine power has given us everything we need in the perfect tense, Peter is saying that this has already been done for us. It does not need to be repeated ever again. As a born-again believer, you already have everything you need to be godly – you don’t have to ask for it or go searching for it – because God’s divine power has already given you everything you need to be godly.

Furthermore, when something is written in the passive voice, it means the subject (in this case, the born-again believer) is the recipient of the action as opposed to being the doer. In other words, the action being described has been done to or for you and not by you. Here is where it gets exciting – if you know Christ as your Savior then you are the subject of this verse. God’s divine power has already given you everything you need to be godly. Every person who names the name of Jesus Christ as Savior is the recipient of everything needed to be godly.

The next thing I want us to consider is that God’s divine power has already given you everything you need. This word “everything” is literally the word for “all.” I like to define that word this way: “all” means all and that’s all “all” means. It is a word that refers to each and every part of the whole, leaving absolutely nothing out. God’s divine power has already given you all you need for living godly. You cannot manufacture it, assemble it, mine for it, or produce it on your own. You don’t need to. You already have it. All of it. God is the only source, and He has already given it all to you.

So exactly where is this power to live a godly life? The answer is found within our text. Peter says we can find everything we need for godliness “through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” Don’t miss this. It is through our knowledge of God that we are enabled to be godly. The word “through” carries with it the idea that this is the instrument or way that something is going to be accomplished. It is through your knowledge of God; by means of your knowledge of God, as you daily grow in your knowledge of God that you are given everything you need to live a godly life.

OK. Let’s hit the pause button until next week’s episode. If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about The Pure Man Ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com ".

One of those resources I would like to highlight for you here is my book entitled “Extreme Mind Makeover: How to transform sinful thoughts and habits into patterns of life pleasing to God,” available on Amazon.com. This book takes you on a journey through the Bible to examine what God has to say about how your thoughts, words, and actions influence and impact your heart.

If you’ve followed this Point of Purity Podcast for any length of time, then you’ve heard me emphasize the fact that what you think becomes what you do. When you train your mind to think godly thoughts, the things you say and do day in and day out will be godly. On the flip side, when you allow your mind to think sinful, fleshly, ungodly, King Me centered thoughts, the result (your daily attitudes and actions) will be ungodly. So, how do I change the way I think? How do I change the things I do? How do I successfully and effectively guard my heart? This book, ““Extreme Mind Makeover” takes you into God’s Word to help you answer those questions.

So go to our website, ThePurityCoach.com, and check out our resources page, or go directly to Amazon.com and purchase your copy of “Extreme Mind Makeover” today.

If you have not yet subscribed to this Point of Purity Podcast , let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!

So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.

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Please understand that your involvement in this program does not provide any guarantee on the part of Steve Etner, The Purity Coach or The Pure Man Ministry. In other words, we are coming alongside of you for the purpose of coaching you toward accountability and purity. I am not a professional counselor and I cannot guarantee you specified results. I am, however, a man who has been where you are and has seen God work in my life in a mighty way. This program is what changed me. And God has used this program to impact the hearts of countless men across the globe!

I'm here to encourage you, to challenge you, to pray with you, and to share with you what God has taught me. I look forward to coming alongside of you in this journey!