Throughout the history of mankind, people have asked the question - “why do we exist” or “what is our purpose here on this earth”.   To many in the world, that purpose is to please themselves and gratify their instincts and follow their feelings.  To others, it is to be excellent in some endeavor - in making lots of money, excelling in a sport, in becoming extremely powerful and successful at work or politics or even ministry!  To those who have a sense of morality, they may want their good deeds to outweigh their bad deeds; or to leave the earth a better place for future generations.   For many Christians, it is to live a “good” life and get to heaven.  For us “new covenant” Christians, it could be “to overcome sin and be holy and Christlike”.

Yet, the answer given to us in the Bible is something quite different from all these answers.  Revelation 4:11 (KJV) talks about the greatest saints laying their crowns at the feet of the Lord and proclaiming that the Lord created all things including each of us for His pleasure. Only He is worthy of receiving glory, honor and power. 

For centuries, mankind believed that the sun revolved around the earth based on what their eyes told them - when the reality was quite the opposite.  The same can be true in our walk with God.  We can be so self-centered in our earthly and spiritual lives, that God becomes the one that seemingly revolves around us.  The proof of this is often evident in the way we pray or seek God.  Perhaps our prayers are like - “Lord, bless ME financially and spiritually”; “Lord make MY problems go away”;  “Lord, take this difficult person or circumstance out of MY life”; or even “Lord, make ME and overcomer”.   I don’t believe any of these prayers are wrong, but I do believe that they are secondary in importance to a far more important prayer.  The Lord Himself taught us to begin praying with - “Our Father, YOUR name be hallowed; YOUR will be done not just in my life but in all around me” (Matthew 6:9,10); YOUR name be glorified and may I bring you good pleasure through my response to my difficult trial even if you don’t remove the trial” (John 12:27,28; Isaiah 53:10); - before we get to praying about our daily physical and spiritual needs.  This is choosing to seek His pleasure first and that is the truly God-centered way of life.  

If I am truly seeking to live for God’s pleasure and if I truly believe that He alone is worthy of glory, honor and power, then I will easily recognize my own unworthiness - not only because I deserve eternal damnation because of my own sin, yet He has forgiven my sins and called me His child; but also because I realize that I live today solely for His pleasure and not my own.  Jesus died for me not just for me to get to heaven but so that I could no longer live for myself and rather live only for Him (2 Corinthians 5:15).  Jesus himself said that if I have obeyed ALL his commands, I have only done what I ought to have done and I have earned the title of an “unworthy servant” (Luke 17:10).  But yet from this place of unworthiness from which I can do nothing apart from the Lord (John 15:5), I find total worthiness in Him.  I find strength through Him alone (Phil 4:13).  I am content to have my own life and my own name and my own reputation TOTALLY hidden and have only His name and His righteousness shine through me (Gal 2:20; Col 3:3)

From a posture of sitting at His feet like Mary, we can then effectively serve in our homes and the church and build each other up with no desire to compare ourselves to another (like Martha), no richness in ourselves to think we are good at serving in any way without the Lord’s strength, no desire to serve for our own fulfillment, and no desire to draw attention to ourselves.

As disciples, we are called to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13).  The most beautiful attribute of salt is its willingness to bring flavor to another yet not draw attention to itself.  When I eat a bland meal, I notice the absence of salt and ask for more salt.  If there’s too much salt, the salt definitely draws attention to itself and I am quick to point out that it’s “salty”.  Yet, when the salt is “just right” in a good meal, I usually talk about how amazing the meal is or how amazing the person who cooked it was.  That is what God’s desire is for us as disciples who are called to be “salt” - to be used as an ingredient to flavor our spouse’s, children’s and brothers’ and sisters’ and colleagues’ and relatives’ lives without drawing attention to ourselves, while realizing we are nothing more than an ingredient that the Master Chef can choose to use just as He pleases.  

1 Peter 4:11 - Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to Whom belongs all glory and dominion forever.

Or if I were to paraphrase the opposite of this verse - if I am serving in my home or the church with my own strength that seeks my own glory or my pleasure and not seeking the Lord for His strength from a place of weakness, then I may be doing a lot of good things but yet He is not glorified.

May we seek the Lord’s strength to serve so that our lives might truly bring Him glory in all things.  May we put aside other earthly ambitions and make it our ambition in life to be pleasing to Him alone (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Finally, even in our pursuit of pleasing the Lord, we have an amazing promise to cling on to.  Philippians 2:12,13 says that if we work out our salvation in humility with fear and trembling, the Lord Himself has promised to work in us to give us the desire and the ability to work His good pleasure,