What is the main project of your life? The answer to this question is a very important one. There are really only two answers to this question–
If we are a believer then, according to scripture, our life’s main project becomes bringing glory to God in all that we do. If we are still in darkness and unregenerate, then our project is, by default, our own happiness (which takes its form in many different ways, depending upon our personalities).
The problem is that many of us Christians tend to behave like we have not been transformed by the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. Most of us still tend to default back into the “my happiness” mode. Of course, it doesn’t help very much that much of the Christian media is pushing us to keep our own happiness as our primary project.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this because I recently read a book entitled Under His Wings. The only thing I knew about this story was that it was about missionaries in Vietnam during the war there in the 1960s. I don’t even know how I found it on Amazon or why I was looking for it. But I can tell you that this book has presented a great challenge to my “American” view of godliness.
I won’t tell the story here (you can read it for yourself here) but the thing that struck me most was the fact that these people went willingly into a very dangerous country because of their love for Christ and their desire to share the gospel with the lost. They gave up conveniences, comfort, health, family, and eventually their lives for this purpose.
After I finished reading it, I felt so ashamed. These missionaries soldiered on through major illnesses and serious problems as they continued on about the Father’s business.
Me? I cave at the smallest thing. I give God my excuses as to why I can’t do this or that or why I haven’t been able to make time to pray. I was disgusted with myself after reading that book. And I have to ask myself a question: am I as impassioned to give God glory and to share the gospel with the lost as these amazing missionaries? I know the answer is no.
And I become fully aware of just how much my life focuses on my own happiness rather than on God’s glory. It is a constant battle for me.
But a sense of comfort comes in the fact that it is a battle. If there is no battle in the heart of a believer between their selfish desires and the desire to please God, it is an ominous sign that perhaps we are not saved at all.
But while a battle is a good sign, it doesn’t change the fact that, more often times than not, my life’s project is definitely my happiness.
Sometimes after I read a story like Under His Wings, I am tempted to conclude that there are just some super spiritual people out there. People who are just really special. They are the ones who will be wearing the most decorated crowns in heaven.
But is that true or have these ordinary Christians just completely and utterly surrendered their lives to Jesus?
And then comes the next question– if I am not called to the mission field (and most of us are not), how does selling out completely for Christ look right where I am right now?
Perhaps it isn’t just the big things we do and life-changing decisions we make. Instead I believe it is the small ways we are faithful each and every day– resisting the temptation to yell at our spouse or our kids; smiling while we do the work we have been called to do; spending time studying God’s Word on a daily basis; taking that opportunity to share the gospel with that person sitting on a park bench or in the doctor’s office. It’s how we make a choice to not watch a movie or TV show everyone is watching because we know it would not please our heavenly Father. It goes on to include how we spend our time and our money. Being sold out for Jesus encompasses everything. After all, surrender means sacrifice. And true sacrifice occurs every single day in the life of a Christian. It’s not about that mission trip that was a week of our life or the few hours we spend in church on Sunday.
And so, perhaps by the faithful and sacrificial things we do each day, people will see that our life’s project is to bring glory to the great God who saved us. And As we fight the battle between our flesh and our new life every day, may we stand strong in the power of His might! For my weakness is made strong by His strength! (2 Corinthians 12:9)