What We Were Made For
After running gashers at the end of football practice one hot July afternoon, Coach Johnson called our team together to huddle up. We were all winded and on the verge of throwing in the towel: our team was the laughing stock of Lexington, and our vision of becoming a powerhouse was looking pretty unlikely.
All of the sudden, Coach Johnson took off toward the endzone like a refrigerator barreling down a hill. I’d never seen him run faster than a light jog. The whole time he was running, he was yelling, “WHOOOOOAH!!! I WAS MADE FOR THIS!!!!!”
Those words have stuck with me for fourteen years, and now, as a Christian man, it rings even more true than before. What were we really made for? I’d like to give two simple thoughts that I think will be helpful in discerning what we are made for. Both of these concepts come from Genesis 1:27-28:
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
We were made to create
The very fact that we are “made in the image of God” gives us insight into our purpose in life. Implicit in this statement is the fact that God is creative. If God is creative then we are therefore creative at our very core.
Our creative nature is quite easy to see. You & I create things all the time. I call these our “little kingdoms”. These could be art, music, medicine, technology, literature, entertainment, hobbies, businesses, and more.
We were made to have dominion
God is also the King, and therein lies our second purpose in life: dominion. We are called in this passage to “have dominion,” which is kingdom language that means to rule and reign as little kings and queens. Simply put, we were made to create things and then oversee them.
The problem is that we are not God. We are like God, but we are not God. Our kingdoms are not eternal kingdoms and, though we’d like to think otherwise, we aren’t as “in control” as we might think we are. Psalm 103:15-16 says:
"As for man, his days are like the grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more."
The issue with many of our “little kingdoms” is that they, like us, are fleeting. Video games, your Pinterest board, even hobbies like golf can all turn into attempts to escape reality for a while and build your own “little kingdom.” All these things can be used in God-glorifying ways, but they can also lull us into directing our energies towards vain pursuits that do not yield the kind of returns God created us for.
The point in all of this is not that you would not ever pursue hobbies like golf, or for you to delete your Pinterest account, or never play video games, but that we would desire to rule and reign on behalf of the King! We were made to create and to rule on behalf of God. That gives immense purpose to everything we do!
How to find the solution
So, where do we go from here? Some of us need to evaluate our “little kingdoms” and ask ourselves this question: “Am I having dominion over this kingdom on behalf of the King or has this kingdom become a god for me?” There is a fine line between enjoying a gift for what it is and enjoying a gift because of who gave it to you.
For others, you need to hear that God cares about all you do, not just the things you deem to be “spiritual”. His desire is for you to create and rule on his behalf, whether it be in a round of golf with your friends or a trip to the mall to get your nails done. God created you with unique interests, talents, and desires for you to enjoy for His glory.