Sunday, July 13, 2014

Burdened With Glorious Purpose

"I am Loki of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose"--The Avengers

In all of villainy Loki is one of my favorites. Then probably Magneto. Frankly, I think they should pull their resources and get therapy together. But I digress. I like Loki because he's complicated, there are reasons for his villainy. Unlike the Joker, for example, who creates chaos just to create chaos. Loki is driven. He's compelled. He's burdened with glorious purpose. Where that burden comes from is a post for another person on another day. What I want to talk about is the reason Loki actually inspires me to be a better Christian.

Say whaaaat?"

Yup, you heard me. Loki, god of mischief, inspires me to be a better Christian.

Before he's on our planet five minutes Loki has started moving towards his end goal. And he says who he is and what he's about right away. Everything he does, every move he makes propels him closer to his goal. I want to be that driven in my pursuit of Christ and the glorious purpose he has for my life.

Let's break down Loki's catchphrase here. First, he is burdened. He feels it necessary. It weighs heavy on him. It's something he must do. There are no options here. Loki is compelled.

I am compelled by God to [preach]. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!... So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.
--1 Corinthians 9:16, 26

I want to be burdened like Loki, I want to be compelled like Paul for the cause of Christ. I want to be driven forward, ever forward, always forward in my pursuit of Him. I want to feel that it is something I must do, not should do, will get to someday, or sounds like a good idea. Something that if I don't do it I simply won't know what to do with myself. 

Now turning back to our Asgardian self-serving god of mischief...Loki is burdened with glorious purpose. So many people seem to drift through life unsure of their purpose. Loki does not have this problem. He knows exactly what he was created to do. He has an end goal and he pursues it with dogged tenacity. Loki stands in stark contrast to so many of us riding the current, apathetic to where it may lead. But here's the catch. We were all created with a purpose. Everyone of us. And it is a glorious purpose.

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations...You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you....I have put my words in your mouth."
--Jeremiah 1:5-8

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.--Ephesians 2:10

Our purpose is determined before birth, still hidden in the safety of the womb. We are created anew when we're born again through faith, and then our glorious purpose unfolds. 

 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.--1 Peter 2:9

Is it just me or is the language of that verse thrilling? A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. Loki's glorious purpose is to be king, to be served, to subjugate others. Our purpose is to be part of something so much larger and grander than ourselves. Loki's glorious purpose is only for Loki's glory; it begins and ends with Loki. Our glorious purpose is for God's glory; it is eternal. 

When I live my life in accordance with the glorious purpose God appointed for me in my design, then I am part of the reconciliation of God and mankind. I write, I teach, I share the words God puts in my mouth, I proclaim the wondrous works he has done in my life and throughout history. My purpose is to glorify God, to spread the good news far and wide. To speak in 21st century terms, my goal is to have the awesomeness of God go viral, from hashtag to hasthag. I want God's glory to blow up every newsfeed on Facebook and dominate the Twittersphere. Every Christian carries that burden although it will manifest differently in each life. To borrow from The Avengers analogy a little more, we're all Avengers, each with a different skill and a different story to tell, but we work with a singular glorious purpose. 

Truth be told, I don't feel Loki's burden. I don't live my life compelled by grace and God's glory. I'm guilty of being taken by the riptide of apathy into the mainstream current of our culture. I'm just riding the waves sometimes. It's safer here. But I want more. I want to be absolutely burdened with glorious purpose. Here's the good news, when what I want lines up with God's design on my life then I get the desires of my heart. 

Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart’s desires.--Psalm 37:4

So...are you burdened with glorious purpose? Are you living by design or drifting in the riptides of apathy? Let's be a little more like Loki this week and live with our glorious purpose in mind. Our efforts and sacrifices will not be in vain.

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