We all want to feel significant; we want to know we are here for a purpose and are making a difference in the world. I think the reason so many people ask the “Why am I here?” question is because they feel insignificant and are searching for something to fill the emptiness within them. Even Christians who realize that Christ is the only one who can satisfy the deep longings in their soul often struggle with trying to figure out their purpose in life. This is another of Satan’s favorite tricks; he has convinced you of the need to search for something to make you feel significant.
For as long as I can remember, and I suspect it is the same for you, we have been taught that we acquire significance based on the things we do or the accomplishments we achieve. We’re taught to study hard throughout our youth and to choose careers that will allow us to acquire the finer things in life. Advertisements bombard us daily with images of what a successful person looks like and with what sort of things they possess. Our eyes become enamored with the slick imagery and we lose focus of who we are in Jesus Christ and of the mission we have been created to fulfill.
It started in the garden
Satan has been at this a very long time. All the way back in the garden of Eden he convinced Adam and Eve that they were really just pawns, and that if they wanted to be wise like God they simply needed to eat the fruit from the tree of wisdom. In other words, they could find a higher worth, their own significance, by taking a certain action. They were the first to discover that when we try and gain significance through our own efforts, we actually surrender that which brought us worth in the first place. Still, you and I continue to follow in their footsteps to this day. It’s funny how we read the Bible amazed that the Israelites or Disciples could be so foolish and hard headed, yet six thousand years later we are still mimicking the mistakes of the first man and woman. Our pride says we would have done better than God’s people in the past. Our reality tells a different story.
Disillusionment occurs when we recognize that despite our best efforts, our quest for significance is falling woefully short. The career you imagined so vividly has turned into long hours in a small cubicle for little pay and even fewer accolades. Our fairytale romance has turned into a mundane and predictable marriage. The stuff you couldn’t wait to buy has resulted in credit card bills that are draining what little money you have at an alarming rate. Significance seems like a long forgotten dream as your life spirals further and further out of control.
This is the point where you cry out to Jesus and beg Him to stop the world and let you get off. But this is a wonderful place, because it is here that you realize that you are nothing without God. This is a place of brokenness in the presence of the only One who can heal you. As you let go of all you have been seeking and rest in His mercy and grace, suddenly you realize that the significance you sought has been inside you all along. God created you for a purpose and placed His spirit within you; He marked you with His name and called you His own. He has never cared for the things you did in search of meaning; He has simply cared for you.
Satan’s lie of acquired significance says you must acquire and you must achieve. The truth is, significance is not earned but imparted mercifully upon you when you surrender your life to Jesus. Your significance is found in your Creator. The God of the universe loves and cherishes you. In His eyes, you are considered priceless. You matter to God; you are special. You are significant.
Question: What is one way you have tried to achieve significance in your own life?