The Way of Man

What are you doing today? Going to work? To school? Taking a vacation? Having some fun? Getting some jobs done around the house? Helping your neighbor? Taking some food to a widow in need? Visiting someone in prison?

Why do you get up in the morning? Why did you choose your vocation, hobbies, way of life? What’s your life’s purpose?

From a biblical standpoint, God has an answer for you. From a worldly standpoint, you come up with your own answer. And, frankly, most of the world comes up with its own answer.

Jeremiah wrote many years ago:

I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself,
that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. (Jer. 10.23)

Do you know the main difference between Buddhist meditation and Christian meditation? The Buddhist attempts to find her center, to probe deep within herself, to discover hidden secrets locked inside her. The Buddhist believes that enlightenment is within man. The Christian, on the other hand, meditates on Scripture (Psalm 119.15, 23, 48, 78). The Christian looks outside himself to discover how he should live, because he knows he will not find the right path in himself.

The Buddhist and the Christian differ in their fundamental understanding of the nature of man. What is your nature, according to the Scriptures?

  • After the flood, God recognized, “the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen. 9.21)
  • Solomon included in his temple-dedication prayer, “there is no one who does not sin” (2 Chr. 6.36)
  • Paul wrote, “For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3.10)
  • He also said “you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Eph. 2.1-3)
  • “The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8.7-8)
  • “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2.14)

You are either a natural man or a spiritual man, according to Scripture. The natural man cannot understand God’s word and does not possess the ability to please God. The spiritual man can understand God’s word and can please God. How does a person transition from the natural to the spiritual? God performs the work of regeneration (Eph. 2.4-9; Titus 3.4-7; John 3.1-8), and we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Lord of all (John 5.24; 3.16-17; Rom. 10.8-13). It’s by grace through faith.

The true way to salvation is not within man! We must look outside and beyond ourselves for the answers to life. How did we decide what to do today? Either we are following our own path or we are following a path God laid out for us. By that, I mean we walk in our own wisdom or God’s wisdom. Which is it for you?

Your Life’s Mission…In a Sentence

MissionStatements_JesusMission statements, succinct and pithy sentences which sum up your life focus, give you anchor and direction, helping you keep track of yourself in this chaotic world.

Do you have a personal mission statement? It’s not easy to invent one if you’ve never written one before. If you have, would you care to share? If not, however, the apostle Paul’s life focus might help jog your creative genius. He wrote in Philippians 3.7-11:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Perhaps that’s way too long for your life’s mission statement, but can you see the main point? What was most important to Paul? What would he be willing to give up to attain his goal?

MissionStatements_TimothyMy family associates with Classical Conversations, a classical homeschooling group. Their mission statement is this:

To Know God and Make Him Known

Do you think that incorporates the spirit of Paul’s life focus?

CHALLENGE: Start thinking towards your own personal mission statement.

  1. It should be simple.
  2. It should be short.
  3. It should be the product of your life’s Bible study.
  4. It should be flexible; you should be able to adjust it over time as you learn more.

Don’t rush to put something down on paper this very minute, but do begin writing down ideas and thoughts which capture the Christian’s main purpose(s). You may find that you’d like a separate mission statement for your different roles in life (i.e., your mission as a mother or father, as a son or daughter, as a student, as a teacher, as a boss, as an employee, etc.). But FIRST try to write a mission statement which captures your focus as a child of God. Are you fulfilling your purpose? You will only know that if you have a clear concept of your purpose!

I hope you are blessed through thinking deeply about this. God bless you in Christ Jesus our Lord.