Why do we exist? What is the meaning of life? Questions like these have sparked many conversations throughout human history. Ideologies that spring from such questions are rampant. I imagine that even members of the same family may have different answers regarding human purpose. I believe that our answer to these questions will determine the trajectory of our lives.
According to the Westminster Catechism, the chief end of man is, “to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” The catechism goes on to say that God directs us toward this path by the Scriptures.
Glorifying God is not a cold, God-distant act. It involves the outpouring of our hearts to God, for God, and because of God. After all, the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and mind. We should not think about glorifying God simply as following a list of do’s and don’ts. In Jeremiah 32, the LORD starts to give Jeremiah some insight into the New Covenant, the covenant He was going to make with us, through Christ. Over the past few months, these have become some of my favorite verses:
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land. – Jeremiah 32:40-41
As part of being God’s people, God is committed to keeping us forever, and also rejoicing in doing us good! God even says that He will do this with all His heart and soul. You cannot glorify God without your heart; He is devoted to doing you good with His.
With that being said, let’s look at Scripture that supports this as our chief end. We can begin to see this in Genesis 1:26, where God said that He made us in “our image,” referring to the Trinity. So, what does an image do? If I were to draw a picture of my wife, what is the purpose of that picture? To reflect her beauty and reveal something about her.
Likewise, we were made to reflect God, to be His image-bearers throughout the earth, and to spread His glory. This is even more evident in Isaiah 43:7, where God refers to His people as “all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” You, me, and everyone else who has ever or will ever exist does so to glorify God. We are to make much of Him, first by loving Him with all of our hearts. My challenge to you is to deepen your love for God, making your goal in life be His glory. Much more could be said about this subject, but I will leave you with quote from C.S. Lewis:
For you will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.