Reposted from jcwhitelight @ http://jcwhitelight.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/made-in-his-image/:
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in our Image, according to our likeness…”
“What is the purpose of life?” This has been one of the most sought after questions of humanity. Every person, deep down, longs to have a good explanation as to why he or she was created and what he or she was created for. Pondering the purpose of your existence may, at first, seem like a daunting task. After all, if so many ancient and modern philosophers have failed to give a clear and lasting answer to such, why should you (at least, that’s what you may think)? And yet, as the question burns ever-so deeply in your heart, your desire for an answer becomes more urgent. In order for a person to live as God designed him to live, he first needs to understand the purpose of his existence. In the realm of God’s myriad of creation, you and I exist. But for what? To take up space? To wonder exactly why we exist? Fail to answer this question, and the rest of your life will be filled with confusion, apathy, and shallowness.
The Sunday school answer may be that God created us for His glory. Yet still, what does that mean? For every part of creation was made for glory of God as well. Humans are not unique in this. Trees were created for the glory of God. Dolphins, tigers, and sea turtles were all made for the glory of God. Mountains, oceans, and canyons were all created for the glory of God. Stars, planets, and moons were created for the glory of God. In this regard, man is not unique. And yet, one is likely to drive himself to the point of insanity if one begins to wonder how it is that he is distinct from the rest of the creation around him if there seems to be no difference in the dignity of his existence and the existence or his pet dog. What was man created, then, to do? Or, more appropriately, what were you specifically created to do? What is the purpose of your existence? Why did the Creator bring you into this world?
It’s amazing how many of those philosophers would have been so more productive in their thinking had they simply bothered to read the first chapter Genesis. For the truth of what separates man in the purpose of his existence from the rest of the created universe is contained in but a few words from the Creator Himself: “Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” The chief end of all of creation is to bring glory to the Creator. Yet, man is unique in how he was designed to accomplish this. Of all created things that exist in this dimension (not including the spiritual dimension in which angels exist), one was specifically designated to bear the image of the Creator Himself. All creation brings honor to God. Yet only one was purposefully designed to walk in the image of God. The uniqueness and dignity of man is by all means astounding.
It is when a human being takes hold of this realization and lives in a way that is in accordance to it that he achieves his highest and most enjoyable state. The purpose of life is not happiness as the world defines it. The goal of life is not freedom to do what one wants. The purpose of life is not to gain riches. Rather, one truly finds and fulfills one’s purpose of existence in actively bearing the image of the one who made Him. It is when he actively lives out the responsibility to mirror the holy character of the Holy One that any human can say that he is doing exactly what he was created to do. The tragic reality of today is that, while humans have been designed for the most dignified and honorable of purposes, humans are the only creatures to willfully rebel against this design. Every other part of creation has been faithful in doing its part. None have rebelled. Trees continue to grow leaves and bear fruit. The sun continues to rise in the east and set in the west. Stars continue to shine. Planets continue to revolve around the sun. Mountains continue to stand, and waves continue to crash. Dolphins continue to boisterously jump and swim. Tigers continue to roar. And yet, we as human beings are born rebels. We who have been given the greatest privilege of all creation have instead sought to live as we ought to live. We who have been given the honor of bearing the image of God have instead lived for ourselves, under our own rules, pursuing our own lusts. We, who have specifically been designed for dependence on God’s commands, have chosen autonomy. We, who have specifically been designed for obedience, have chosen to rebel. We, who have specifically been designed for fellowship with the living God, have chosen to live life apart from Him. We, who have been set apart from the most glorious of purposes, have chosen not to do our part.
I thank God for Jesus Christ, who has paid the price for my sins and – through the power of His resurrection – has now restored me to a right relationship with God. All that means is that He has restored me from my previous disobedience and has now set me in a trajectory in which I am slowly but surely learning how to live for the dignified purpose for which I was made. More and more, I’m learning that the lusts of the world are not what I was created to enjoy. More and more, I’m realizing that living life without God truly is striving after wind. More and more, I’m taking hold of the purpose for my existence – to live as an image bearer of the Holy One. The more and more I pursue this endeavor, the more and more joy and freedom my soul finds.
Brother, quit living for small things. While you are deserving of so much less than what you have, realize that you were designed for so much more than what your flesh desire to live for. Renounce those empty philosophies and are nothing more than convoluted and twisted explanations as to why you exist. Remember what the Almighty and all-wise Creator designed you for: Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness.