What is the Meaning of Life
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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 155 God Made Us For Love by Ernest O’Neill
What is the meaning of life? That’s what we’re talking about on this program each day. We’ve tried to lay some of the intellectual undergirdings for discussing this question by looking at the reasons for believing in the existence of a Supreme Being. We’ve looked at the evidence supporting whether this Supreme Being has communicated with us in any way during the history of mankind, and what evidence there is for that individual, through whom He communicated, who was actually His Son.
We’ve examined that kind of background and substantiation, and I would encourage you, if you want to go over some of those intellectual arguments, to send for the early cassettes that we produced during the beginning of this present year. However, at the moment we have reached the point where we are now trying to make sense of life itself, and how we ourselves are meant to operate by the One who made us.
So, we are trying to examine the explanation of reality, and, in particular, the explanation of our human personalities that this man, whom we know as Jesus of Nazareth, gave to us. What we have been saying, you remember, over the past few days is that our Creator made us like Himself. His intention was that we would enjoy His friendship. That’s the greatest thing in the whole universe: a love relationship with someone. Of course, the very greatest thing is a love relationship with the Maker of the universe.
That’s actually why you were made. You were made by Him to enjoy His friendship and to have a love relationship with Him. He actually has made you to be His son or His daughter. You are that in a unique way that I am not and that the person beside you is not. So, there will be something missing in the Creator’s experience if you fail to come into that relationship. That’s why He made you.
That’s why He made you with the same capacities as He has. That’s because you can’t have a love relationship, and a full interacting with another person unless they are in some way like you. That is why He made you with the same capabilities as He had. He made you so that you operate on a level of the physical. He gave you a body that is in some way recognizable at least to our eyes.
He has a spiritual body, but He gave you and me a physical body made of dust, and it’s worth nothing, as you know, after you’re dead. It just deteriorates into dust. That’s why we say “ashes to ashes and dust to dust”. Then He gave you some of His own life, some of his own particular life. That’s the way the old book called the Bible puts it. He breathed into you the breath of His own life.
And, really, that is His own Spirit. If you want to know, “Oh, what’s His spirit?” It’s what makes God God. It’s His very essence. It’s the very spark of uncreated life that He possesses within Him. He breathed that into you and then that life combined with your body to produce a soul. There is a soul, or in Greek it’s the word “psuche”, which becomes “psyche”, which is the psychological part of us. So, the third level on which we men and women exist is the psychological part: the mind, the emotions and the will.
What we have been talking about is how the parts of our personality are meant to operate…what they are and how they are meant to operate. We’ve been doing that, because there is great mystery and bewilderment and misunderstanding in most of our minds as to how our personality is supposed to work. Indeed, you could probably trace most of the problems of your life to that: that you don’t really understand yourself.
The old, classical scholar, you remember, said “know thyself”, and we don’t really know ourselves. We really
don’t understand how we are meant to work, or how we’re meant to operate. That’s why we have been talking about that. I can give you references that you can look up in the Bible, but, really, if you aren’t too “gung-ho” on the Bible, you won’t be too interested in that and you’ll write me off as a mad kind of evangelist. Really, I am trying to share things as realistically as possible and hoping that you will write to me and share your own thoughts with me so that we can go back and forward.
There are so many of us who want to live life sensibly. We really want to live life the way it was meant to be lived. But, we can’t get much of a handle on it. So, the purpose of our discussions over these months is to try to share with each other and help each other in how we are meant to live by the One who made us. And, He, after all, is the only one who really knows.
So, I am trying to share with you, first of all, what He seems to have outlined to us as reality, and then you can look into it yourself. I think initially it will simply appeal to you from a sheer common sense point of view. It will simply come home to you as truth as it certainly did to me when I first discovered it. So, that’s what we are talking about these days.
We started first of all, you remember, by talking about the spirit level, our spirits. We’ve said that one of the abilities that we have in our spirits is actually to commune with God. We do that by wanting Him, by desiring Him with all of our being. Your spirit is the real you; it’s who you really are. So, getting in contact with God is something you do at the basic level of your being.
If you say to me, “Well, that’s no great help to me,” what I say to is, your spirit is who you really are. Sooner or later you have to sort out what you really want in life. What do you really want? Then you have to start in some way communicating to the Creator that made you what you do want. Then, you have to start getting interested in what He wants.
Now, that is something you do at the deepest part of your being. It is not something you play around with in transcendental meditation. It is not a matter of producing the right feelings inside yourself so that you feel the presence of God. It has nothing to do with your soul level of operation, which is just your self-conscious part. It’s your spirit that communicates with God.
In a strange way, what goes on in your spirit can only go on through your faith. And if you say, “Well, that’s big help! What is faith?” Faith is simply believing a certain thing and acting in the light of that. There is a verse that might help you in the Bible that says, “He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek after Him.”
So, actually, that’s all faith is. That’s what you have to believe if you want to begin to commune with God in your spirit. You have to believe that He is, first of all; believe on the basis of the intellectual evidence, first. Believe. Intellectually believe that He is. Then …that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek after Him. That is, act in the light of that. Believe that God is and that He really will come through to you somehow, if you, with all of your being, with all of your diligence try to get at Him.
If you say to me, “How do I get at Him? Well, I say to you, how did you love your mother or father? How do you express yourself when you and your wife feel there’s nowhere to go in your relationship? You just put your arms around each other and hug each other to each other, because there’s nothing else to do. You want each other with all of your being and that’s what it is with God. It’s a wanting, a great desiring of God.
If you say to me, can’t you give me some little technique? No, all the little techniques are games. Getting through to God, communing with Him in your spirit, is you being real with God, being real with Him. It’s even
saying, “I hardly know whether I believe in you or not. I don’t know what to believe, but I do want you. I want what is right in my life.”
So, communion is something that goes on in your spirit. That’s why it doesn’t have much to do, you know, with the beautiful church, and the beautiful architecture, and the lovely hymns, whether you speak in tongues, whether you have a robed choir or whether your minister is a pastor or an archdeacon or a chaplain or that he is a priest. Communing with God is something you do in your personal desire for Him, in your spirit.
Now, another important part of your spirit, (there are three main functions that your spirit has) we want to talk about tomorrow. But the part that we’ve discussed today is that part of you that communes with God. That is what your spirit does. Your mind actually does not. Your mind just expresses in your psychological being what has gone on in your spirit. Communion itself takes place in your spirit.
That’s why all the arguments about God never bring you closer to God. All the great discussions that you have at midnight never bring you close to God. It is in your spirit that you commune with God. Let’s talk about another function of your spirit tomorrow.