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Freedom to Live for a Higher Purpose

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1–2 (NIV)

As a young Christian, I was taught that it is important to discover the exact purpose that God has for me. Like most people, I grew up searching for his good will for my life. But it is all too easy to become more enamored in searching for that grand, spectacular purpose that God has for me than it is to actually settle in day by day, living the life that God meant for me to live and enjoy. So, I prayed, labored, and served with the hope that one day, God’s grand purpose would be revealed in my life. It was as though I was building up for the D-day, whatever that means—I don’t know. I was striving to find meaning, to grasp that “something” that will bring me a sense of significance. But it seemed that the more I reached out for this grand purpose, the more elusive it appeared. I had become too occupied with the end of the journey to enjoy the journey itself.

Then, in the spring of 2000, when I was a young pastor serving a local branch of my denomination in a rural town several miles from my home, God visited me. It was not an earthshaking, thunderous visitation. It was a simple but profound encounter with truth. I was reading a book called The Hidden Man and praying, when, suddenly, I realized something that has changed my life in a significant way. As I sat there in my study room, I knew without a doubt that I am intimately connected with God’s purpose for me; that God is delighted in me. He is satisfied in me, right now. The reason he made me is so that he can have me fellowship with him. All I have to do is live this purpose daily and enjoy it.

From that day on, I knew there was a huge difference between purpose and assignment. I stopped striving to find meaning and started living my purpose—being a friend of God. I found a new freedom to be the person God made me to be. In some of the chapters that follow, I discuss this experience and what it meant to me. You see, the search for meaning is important, but the experience of a sense of meaning and significance in your daily life is even more important. The experience of meaning brings freedom to live for a higher purpose each and everyday of your life.

In many ways, I was like the blind man mentioned above. The man was blind from birth. In the land of Israel at the time the man lived, it was a terrible affliction to be blind. To be blind from birth suggested that either the baby was a sinner (you’ve got to be a terrible sinner to be punished from birth), or his parents had committed some really horrible sins in the past for which they were being punished. That was the cultural perception. So, if you were born blind, it was a double jeopardy: not only did your blindness place restrictions on you, but society also placed measured limitations on you.

However, the cure for this two-edged limitation was vision. As soon as this man received his sight, he became a “free” person. The cure of his blindness validated him—he was not a “sinner.” he was free to live his life like a normal person. He could go places he could not have gone before being healed. If you read the rest of the account, you will stand back amazed as you watch the man, who only a few minutes before was the scum of the earth, as he teaches the religious elites of his time the wisdom of God. It is that kind of freedom that comes from insight that I hope you will share both with me and with this nameless blind man. I think the reason his name was not given is so that each of us can fill in our name in the place of his. It is my prayer that somewhere along the way, as you read this book, you will receive an insight that will free you to actually live and enjoy your good purpose in life.

An excerpt from "The Search for Meaning: Living for a Higher Purpose". All rights reserved.