One of the first things we commonly discuss in biblical counseling, regardless of who walks into the counseling room or what issues they’re facing, is the reason why we all exist. We talk about our purpose in life.
Since mankind was created by God, we must look to God to learn why He created us, to learn what He designed us for. Everything created, whether by God or by man, has a reason behind it. Everything is designed a certain way to fulfill a specific purpose. What is our purpose? God tells us in His Word.
“Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” – Isaiah 43:7
We find in this passage that God created us for His glory. We weren’t created for our own glory, or to make a great name for ourselves, or to pursue self-gratification, or for any of the other countless things people live their lives for. We were created for something much bigger than those things, someone much bigger than ourselves.
We can draw from this verse in Isaiah a simple statement, the first of three key statements that serve as foundations to guide all aspects of our lives.1
1. My purpose in life is to glorify God
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:9
All of life is to be about glorifying God. We were made for this. And since we were made for it, when we start to live for some other purpose, when we’re trying to live in a way that contradicts God’s creative design for us, we’re going to find trouble awaiting us. Our greatest joy and peace in life is found by living in step with our purpose in life. Only in God can we find fullness of joy and peace.2
This first key statement, regarding living to glorify God, leads to an important question. How do we glorify God? What does that even mean? We find the answer in the next key statement.
2. I glorify God by being like Jesus Christ
If our purpose is to glorify God, to please Him, then we need to look to the only person who has ever lived a perfect life – Jesus. His every word, thought, and deed glorified God. When Jesus was baptized, God the Father proclaimed that He was “well pleased” with Christ.3 So if we are to bring glory to God, then we must be imitators of Christ. We are to live as He lived – in holiness, love, and with a God-centered focus.
There is a problem though. We’re sinners. We can’t perfectly live like Jesus lived. But that’s where the last key statement comes in.
3. God knows I won’t be perfect, but He expects me to be growing
This is what it comes down to. God knows that none of us will be perfect. Not even close to perfect. That’s why Jesus had to come to earth, live a perfect life, and die a perfect death on our behalf. As Christians we rejoice in what Christ has done for us, we live in gratitude for what He’s done, knowing that absolutely nothing we do can add to or take away from the perfect righteousness He has given to us.
As followers of Christ we are covered by His grace. And because we’re covered by His grace, covered by His love, we seek to live in new, God-focused ways, growing in Christ-likeness.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” – 2 Peter 3:18
“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and…be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and…put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-24
We’re sinners, living in a world full of sin, but God doesn’t want us to stay in that sin. He wants better for His children. He wants us to be free from the bondage of sin, and the death that sin brings. He redeemed us so that our eyes could be lifted off of the empty worldly pursuits we once lived for, and fixed on Him, the one who loves us with all His heart and who created us to know, enjoy, and glorify Him forever and ever.
With all of this in mind, a good question we can ask ourselves each day, several times a day even, is: “I’m here right now to glorify God. How am I doing with that?”
While God is faithful to change hearts and minds in the lives of His children, we also understand that change is a process, and often times far from simplistic or quick. Habits of life and thinking tend to change over time as the Holy Spirit works in hearts. This process of change is called “progressive sanctification.” It can be helpful and sometimes necessary to seek help from other Christians who can faithfully lead and walk with us, providing biblical encouragement and instruction along the way for the implementation of God-honoring, Christ-centered change. If you are struggling with life’s challenges, we would encourage you to seek help from your pastor, a godly friend, or a biblical counselor who is committed to seeking answers from God’s Word. To find a biblical counselor you can contact us or visit biblicalcounseling.com to find a counselor in your area.
Born and raised in the Dallas area, Ryan loves calling Texas his home. He met his wife Jessica at Grace Bible Fellowship Church, where he serves on staff and is a counselor for Grace Biblical Counseling Ministries. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, and in May 2015 he graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a B.S. in Ministry Leadership.