The First Level
All of us live life at one of three basic levels. The first level, the lowest level is what you call the survival level. Most people live in the survival mode. They’re not really living; they’re just existing. They usually live for the weekends. These people look forward to retirement because “they can do what they like”. But the reality never fills their expectation and after six months or so their life seems to lack purpose like it always used to.
The Second Level
Many of us, live in the second level, the success level. You have a home. You have possessions. You have a certain amount of prestige. You have pleasures in your life. You’re at the success level. But lots of people say, “I don’t understand it. If I’m so successful, why do I feel so unfulfilled? Why is there still a hole in my heart? Why do I still feel empty?”
The Third Level
The answer is because success never ultimately satisfies. It takes more than success. All of the self – help books and all the success motivation books in the world will not bring you ultimate satisfaction. This problem is exaggerated when these people retire. They have been dreaming about retirement for years and find their life falls apart because they were driven by something that no longer exists. The anticipation and the reality don’t match! The fruits of success are still there but their purpose is suddenly gone. To understand what really makes a difference, you have to move to the ultimate level of life which is significance.
Significance is when you know why you’re here on earth. You have a purpose for your life. You know your life matters. You know there is meaning behind what’s going on in your life. People who enjoy significance, know what on earth they’re here for! Their circumstances may change but their purpose and significance remain. Mark Twain once said “the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you discover why.
The tragedy is that many, many people – in fact most people – have no idea what their purpose in life is. Beneath the facade many, if not most successful people, still feel insignificant.
The Starting Point
So how do you get to the significance level of living? The starting point is to fix up your relationship with God. You see the moment you started choosing things in life, was the moment you began to choose wrong things. Sure there may have been many right things but everyone of us has made mistakes.
Now that wouldn’t matter except God has built into you a conscience and it tells you there is something amiss. The problem is we cant fix it. Jesus once said “Be perfect even as your heavenly father is perfect”. If being perfect then, is God’s minimum standard for my life – I’m sunk! I can’t live better than perfectly to make up for all the junk I’ve accumulated over the years. So we have to look outside ourselves, because we can’t ultimately help ourselves. We need God, the creator of all things to help us. Even if we own everything the Earth has to offer, it’s still not enough to get us out of the hole we have dug for ourselves.
How Much Junk?
So exactly how much junk do I have in my life? Well, if I did just three things wrong every day – wrong actions, or wrong thoughts, or missed opportunities to help or whatever, most people would say I’m a pretty good bloke. Especially when you consider the average person has 10,000 thoughts a day. Just three out of 10,000 is a very small percentage!
But three per day is twenty one per week and that’s over a thousand per year. In my lifetime of 70 years that’s about 70,000 things on the debt side of my ledger. I’m sure a robber with 70,000 previous convictions would not expect a pardon and find a long stay in a prison would be the only option on offer! So, I cant get enough on the credit side of the ledger to cancel out my debt. We are then left with a significant debt we owe to God which can’t do anything about.
To solve this problem, God sent Jesus. Now you need to understand Jesus is totally a man like you and me BUT he was also totally God at the same time. As confusing as that sounds, believe me it’s what the Bible says and He demonstrated who He was by healing people, stopping a storm or two and eventually rising from the dead. This unusual combination was necessary because of what Jesus had to do for us.
You probably know Jesus died on a cross. What you may not realize is He is the only man to ever live who did nothing wrong. So when he allowed the Romans to crucify Him, He was doing so in order to pay the debt we owed to God. He did so to give us a guarantee to a better life, and to give us a life free from guilt and shame. Sure you will still do things wrong but you will know He has forgiven you and will enable you to live better than you ever have before.
So to have your debt cancelled, all you have to do is acknowledge what He has done for you. That’s not that hard! All you need to tell Him is you are sorry for the wrong things you have done, and to ask His forgiveness. You should also tell Him you want to live a better life from now on because He’s promised to do that for you too. Some people call “telling God” – praying to God. I usually close my eyes to remove distractions and speak to Him as if He is right beside me. You can do that too because He is right there!! And while you are speaking to Him, ask Him to help you find your real purpose and to be the director of your life from now on. Why not do that right now? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.