Living Stones Series: First Published in All Around Old Bridge Publication – July 2021
By Pastor Lloyd Pulley
Deep within the human heart, there lies a longing to know who we are, what our significance is, and for what purpose we were created. There is no end to the philosophical and psychological theories, not to mention the plethora of religions and various "isms." With these questions left unsatisfactorily answered by the efforts and intellects through history, where does one turn for the truth?
The Bible says we are made in God's image (Gen 1:27). But the Bible also reveals that the devil has attempted to mar that image from the beginning by cleverly distorting the truth. He deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden that if she disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit, she would discover her purpose, to be like God. Instead, when Adam and she both ate of that tree, they fell far from God's glory into sin. Such partial truths contain the most deadly lies. The irony of this deception is that God's ultimate plan is for people to be like Him and in a close relationship with Him—but that is discovered only in His way, not our own.
Sin has twisted this innate sense of discovering our greatness into an evil desire to replace God. Instead of returning to Him in humility and using our God-given creativity to reflect His image, we turn from Him. Instead of discovering our true worth under His loving guidance and His love, many have created an alternate reality and an alternate identity void of Him. Now they become vulnerable to a corrupted form of glory—an empty narcissistic ambition.
If you rebel against God's excellent plan for your destiny, you will end up losing everything in the end, joining Satan in everlasting torment. But suppose you humble yourself before God and acknowledge Him, believing in His plan of saving you by His own Son's sacrificial laying down of His life for us. In that case, you will find a destiny far beyond your imagination! To restore our ultimate purpose and glory, we must give up the rebellious notion of being independent of God, thinking we can create our truth, reality, and identity.
Identity confusion is pandemic among young people. Forsaking biblical teaching, many have concluded religion is irrelevant. Youth become desperate to find their own identity and purpose, and it results in depressive social conformity. In redefining themselves, they miss that unique purpose God designed for each one made in His image!
Is this pervading meaninglessness why life is so complex and depressing? To not be aware of how valuable something is, one may quickly be rid of it. Some have sold priceless paintings for a few dollars at a garage sale, ignorant of their value. But consider why it is challenging to read the Bible, acknowledge our sin, and love our neighbor (even our spouses). Do not trials and temptations from the devil show that you are more significant than you realize? Thieves would not risk life in prison to break into a bank if they knew there were only a few dollars to be had. Satan would not attempt to spend every waking moment to mess with you if you were not of inestimable worth to his hated enemy, God. Nor would God have paid the highest price of the great suffering and death of His Son, Jesus, who died to rescue us if we were of no worth.
We are born with five incredible senses in this physical world to interact with the created world around us. However, when you shut the door to the most significant part of you, your spiritual sense, you miss knowing your true worth. If you rely only upon those five natural senses, trusting how you feel, you will ultimately exalt yourself and end up using people for your purpose. But if you are delivered from the tyranny of self and find peace with God through Jesus Christ, you will find new love, value, and care for others as never before.
Won't you believe in Jesus Christ who died for you or at least be willing to take another look at Him? The more you get to know Him, I am certain the more you will trust Him and love Him. By opening your heart to believe in Him, you can experience the fruit of His Spirit in your life—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. You were made in His image to reflect the glory of God, and you will only find your true identity and purpose in Him!