“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” Ps 8:3-5
It is the desire for significance that causes mankind to do many weird and inexplicable things. Without significance man is reduced from a created being to a highly complex organism that has evolved somehow from other single-celled organisms, swimming in a pond of primordial sludge. Thus the theory of evolution reduces the miracle of creation to millions of fantastic coincidences that are each next to impossible on the probability scale. As an evolved rather than created being, mankind has no more significance than a mutated turnip in a rotting compost patch!
Those who accept by unbelieving-faith the theory of evolution are thrust upon a tremendous dilemma. How can one reconcile the innate desire for significance with the mind-numbing belief that the human race simply “happened” by accident? Accidents only have purpose when one accepts providence. And providential events only happen with a decree from the God behind the curtain of chance. Without God, man has no purpose or he must find purpose through his own ingenuity.
This is where the unbelieving world struggles with the basic theosophical issues of life. Since life does not come with purpose attached, it is up to each living agent to seek and obtain purpose through the living of life. This leaves every human being on a potential collision course with other human beings who likewise are seeking to find significance. The train wreck happens when two people settle upon the same purpose and seek to travel the same path at the same time to achieve that identical purpose.
The atheists and evolutionists are not the only folks who collide in their quest for significance. I suggest to you that some Christian believers are prone to the same sort of train wreck with other individuals who are traveling along the same track. How can believers who understand their unique status as created souls ever have conflict over achieving and or maintaining significance? It is because many believers see significance as something that must be earned by achievement and accomplishment. The competitive environment that this creates pits brother against brother and sister against sister. Significance must be earned by outdoing another and claiming the top position. Believers become climbers but not connectors. The focus is upon position instead of relationship. People climb over others in an attempt to achieve the next rung up the ladder of “success.”
But “success” does not adequately define what the believing climber is seeking. The real prize for the climber is more elusive than fame or fortune. The real goal of this frenetic activity is much deeper and mysterious than can be described by success. The real goal though often not understood even by the climber himself is the prize of significance! The sad truth is that this goal is never reached because the climber is seeking significance in the wrong way.
I want to show you how some have managed to conquer the climbing, competitive spirit. I want to show you from the Word of God something that will deliver you from the rat race and the emptiness that characterize the search for significance. I want to empower you to be the hamster that steps off the running wheel forever. That wheel has outlived and overcome many generations of runners and God wants to deliver you from the rat race it represents.
The Strength of Praise
“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” Ps 8:2
Jesus quoted this verse in Matthew 21:16 and the word “strength” was translated by the KJV as “praise.” I think many times believers fail to understand the strength and power of praise. There are some things about praise that bring strength into our lives.
Please notice that it is “out of the mouth” that God has ordained this strength to flow. It is not enough to sit there and imagine how wonderful the Lord is. You must let it flow from your mouth.
This strength flows from the mouths of believers to still the enemy and the avenger. Even babes and new believers have been ordained to praise God and put a halt to the works of the enemy.
God has “ordained” your praise just as He ordained the moon and stars.
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;” Ps 8:3
Just as God ordained and created the moon and stars, He also ordained that from your mouth should flow the strength of praise. He has also ordained the effect that your praise would have on the enemy.
Crowned with Glory and Honor
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” Ps 8:4-5
And while we are considering and speaking of things that God has ordained, let us speak about the height of God’s creative acts - man. Notice that God is very mindful of man. God has His eyes upon you now. He knows every detail about you. He visits you or comes to you in a way that makes His presence known to you.
Man is made “a little lower than the angels,” in that angels are spirit beings without many of the limitations of a physical body. I am not quite sure how all this works, yet I believe it to be so. Here we are, as humans, a spirit being trapped in a carnal body and saddled with a soulish psyche.
Yet in spite of all this, God has crowned man with glory and honor. In fact you yourself have been crowned with glory and honor. This coronation was presided over and officiated by none other than the Almighty! Let me show you how this works.
You were stamped with the image of the Creator God when you were conceived in the womb of your mother.
“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” Ps 139:13-16
Stamped into every molecule of your being is the identity of the Creator. You were created to be an image bearer; you bear the image of God in every portion of your substance. God saw every trait you would possess before you were even conceived. He formed you and created you to be a totally unique and wonderfully fashioned individual. Totally unique in every way, and yet completely bearing His divine image. You are crowned with such glory and honor above every creature great and small.
Now, such a God as this fashioned you with unique gifts and talents that only He knows what they might be and where they can lead you. You have been gifted by the Creator with a set of qualities that are yours alone. No one else possesses this combination of genes, brains, guts, and gifts. In the last few days, I have heard Rudyard Kipling and Dr. Seuss quoted at graduation ceremonies more times than I care to. Let me tell you the truth about this achievement business. You were absolutely unique and totally significant when you were conceived. You were stamped with the divine image in every molecule of your naked little body. You have been gifted by God with all manner of talents, abilities, and potential before you drew your first breath. What greater significance do you need?
After all the gifts and potential the Lord has placed into you, will you try to gain significance by obtaining a new position on the totem pole? In a desire to satisfy a need for significance, will you play another round of king of the hill? Will knocking another off and seizing their position really help you? Significance has nothing to do other people; it is discovered as you become the person God created you to be. We discover significance when we develop our God-given gifts and become the person God meant us to be. I guarantee you that doing this will not displace someone else. Position is a byproduct of significance. Gaining position will never earn significance.
“A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” Prov 18:16
God’s love is not something that must be earned. His love is unconditional.
Neither is significance something that must be earned. You are conceived with significance. We discover that significance as we discover the person God created us to be.
Non-believers struggle with the feeling that their life does not count. They seek for meaning in various ways but even the most accomplished still struggle with an empty feeling. Achievement is never a path to significance.
Christians also must be reminded that significance is not earned through accomplishment and achievement. Significance is about relationship. We were created to relate to God and others. We discover significance through those relationships and through developing the gifts God has given us. This is not about outdoing another; it is about realizing our potential in Christ. Then and only then can we discover true significance. It may or may not taste like success but it will satisfy.
© 2009 Nevin Bass. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced for the purpose of resale without written permission.