Today I want to begin a new series going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. This week’s question is ‘What is the highest goal of your life?’
The first part of the answer to this question is that our primary purpose is to glorify God. The Apostle Paul states this truth in Romans: ‘For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen’ (Romans 11:36). In other words Paul states that you, and everything else, were created by God, not for you but for him. Therefore God deserves all the glory from your life. You do not belong to you. You belong to God. And so whatever you do with your life must be done for his honour. This means that you must carefully learn what it is that God wants you to do with your life so that he gets all the honour and glory.
The second part of the answer is that the goal of your life is to enjoy God. The Psalmist writes: ‘Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever’ (Psalm 73:25-26). The writer has found that nothing on earth or in heaven satisfies him except God. And this is our goal too – to find God to be the most satisfying thing in our lives. If we enjoy anything on earth or in heaven it will be because it is received with thanksgiving from our Father who is our greatest joy.
But sadly we often do not have these two goals as the goals of our lives. Instead of seeking to glorify God with our lives, we seek to glorify ourselves by doing what pleases us rather than what pleases God. And instead of finding joy in God, we look for joy in our material possessions and experiences. But our possessions and experiences are unsatisfying and do not produce true joy. Wealthy people who are glorified by much of the world and have pretty much whatever money can buy, still seek for meaning from their lives.
So how can you begin to have the purpose of your life as glorifying God and enjoying him? Firstly acknowledge that you have not lived up to your intended purpose – you have not glorified God or delighted in him. Then ask for forgiveness through Jesus’ death on the cross. Believe that he died the death you deserve for not living for God’s glory. Then begin to study his word and serve him by loving him and loving those around you. This will bring God glory and great joy to your life.