Description: When we know God, he shows us what to do - we substitute the world
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?
Knowing God’s Will for Your Life
by Ernest O’Neill
What is the meaning of life? That’s the question that we are discussing on this station at this time each day.
What we’ve been saying is that part of the meaning of life comes from the fact that it is made by someone for
a certain purpose. That is, life itself is made by someone for a certain purpose. It hasn’t just happened by
All the order and design that we see in the change of the seasons, in the organization of the planets and the
stars, all the order we see in the DNA structure of the molecule, all the order that we see in our own bodies,
does not come by chance. It is evidence, as Einstein said, of an intelligent mind behind the universe. This
whole life of ours is made by that intelligent mind.
What we have been saying is that that intelligence showed itself very vitally and very vividly in the first
century of our era. A man appeared here on the earth, born of a human mother and a human father, but different
from all other human beings. This was a man who was able to break through the barrier of death and give us a
sense that he was, in fact, able to pierce beyond space and to come back to this earth after having communed
again with the Person who made the universe, whom he said was his Father. And that is, of course, the man
Jesus of Nazareth.
Now I ask you not to go to sleep, and not to say, “Oh, another religious broadcast.” It’s not. What we are
trying to do here, day by day, is to talk sensibly and plainly and intelligently about life and to share with
each other the thoughts that we have, so that you’re stimulated to think different thoughts yourself, or to
work out things for yourself, to work out a philosophy of life.
So that’s what we’re trying to do. What we’ve said is that the indications of this man Jesus are that you and
I are meant to live a life that is in friendship with our Creator. That is, a life that is lived in
conjunction with Him, in cooperation with Him. He did not just make you and put you here on earth to make your
own way through life as best as you could. He put you here to fulfill a certain purpose that He had in mind
that only you can fulfill. He wanted you to fulfill that in conjunction with Himself.
Now, if you say to me, “Ah, how can I find out about Him? I mean, He’s invisible. I’ve never seen the Creator.
I’ve never seen God.” Well, He feeds thoughts through your thoughts. That’s it. He would feed His thoughts
through your mind and through a deeper part of you called your spirit, if you began to treat Him for real.
That’s really what it’s all about. But, of course, if we would do that, then we would have a guidance system
in our life that would give us wisdom.
We’d have wisdom as to what job we would take, as to how we would do it; as to who we would marry, the kind of
things we would do with our family. It is not that we would be robots, because He wants free-willed people who
will love Him freely. We would have a dear Father who cared for us and whose advice would be invaluable to us.
That’s the way we were meant to live our lives. Of course, we have not lived them that way. You know from the
very beginning of the world, we began to live by our own resources.
In fact, you remember we talked about it some time ago. It was pictured by our Creator in His explanation of
the beginning of the world as two trees. He pictured it that way, because He was dealing with our human race
in its childhood and so we understood things that way. He said, “Look, I’ve given you a Tree of Life and Tree
of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life is really me. It’s really Me and my Spirit.
So, instead of His love and the provision that that would give us of all the food, clothing and shelter we
needed, we decided we would live off the world itself. We decided we’ll eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of
Good and Evil. That’s how it’s presented, you remember. It’s a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Really what
it means is that we’ll note what is good to do in this world and what is evil. What is good to do and what is
bad to do. What is right to do and what is wrong to do in order to get from the world food, clothing and
shelter, and happiness and the sense of significance that we need in our lives.
So we began to set down our precedents, our business laws, our psychological laws, our human relationship
laws, our family laws. We set up a whole system of what we should do and what we shouldn’t do in order to be
happy and fulfill ourselves. We substituted that, our knowledge of good and evil, for a dynamic and intuitive
relationship with the Creator of the universe. Of course, in doing that, we became perverted creatures.
Instead of getting from Him what we needed from His love, which included our food, shelter and clothing, our
sense of value and importance and our worth and self-esteem and happiness, we decided we’d depend on the world
for these and we’ll substitute for these things that we thought we needed, we’ll substitute what the world can
What we needed was not those things. We needed the love that lay behind those things. But of course, we didn’t
realize that. So we turned and tried to get from things the security that God’s own love alone could provide
We turned to circumstances and we tried to get from them the happiness that a love relationship with the
infinite Being behind the universe alone could produce. We began to depend on people for the sense of value
and self-esteem and worth that the love of the infinite, one significant Other in the universe alone could
provide. In doing that, we became perverted personalities.
Instead of living from a quiet, restful center that we had in the heart of our beings, because of our
relationship with Him, we began to live from the outside in. We tried to get from the world what we were meant
to get from the Creator of the world. In fact, it’s put in those terms in the early chapters of Genesis, you
remember, in Genesis 3, which tells of the fall of mankind which is just the fall of man from this close
relationship with God.
The verse runs like this, in Genesis 3:6;
“When the woman saw that the tree (the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) was good for food”, (that is by
using the knowledge of good and evil that was built up by human beings over the years, she would be able to
get what she needed for food, and for clothing and for shelter) “and that it was a delight to the eyes…and
that the tree was desired to make one wise…”
…When she saw that by using a knowledge of good and evil, by using this chemical substance called heroin in
this way, I can get delight for my eyes, get happiness. I can begin to get exhilaration if I use the ski
slopes in Nevada, or the ski slopes in Switzerland this way, I’ll get this kind of exhilaration from them. It
would be a delight to the eyes.
If I begin to use the accumulated wisdom that is built up over the years of how to manipulate things for my
own success, then I can become significant and important and gain self-esteem in other people’s eyes. So
that’s the way we began to live — trying to get significance and security and happiness from the world of
things and circumstances and people, instead of from our love relationship with the Creator who is our Father.
In doing so, we became infinitely perverted personalities. It’s those personalities you and I now live with.
Let’s talk a little tomorrow about some of the consequences of that for us in our everyday lives.