There’s a song I love for its simple lyrics and simple truth. It’s called “I just came to praise the Lord.”
“I just came to praise the Lord
I just came to praise the Lord
I just came to praise His Holy Name
I just came to praise the Lord.”
As I’ve neared the end of my time in Naracoorte, I wonder about the purpose of this trip. Yes, it was a wonderful break, I definitely saw and learnt a lot of medicine, I met some amazing people, and did a substantial amount of cooking (yum!). Ultimately, however, my purpose is still this – I’ve just come to praise the Lord. Whether I’m putting IV lines in a patient, studying, cooking, socialising or resting, my purpose remains the same – I live my life to worship God, to know Him more, and to give Him praise. This is what I desire to do now, and what I desire to do in eternity. As I have often shared, [Psalm 27:4] is the desire of my heart, and where I find my purpose.
“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek;
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.”
Why? I’ve found that to live in Christ and under His purpose is more exciting, and fulfilling than to live for any other thing. [1 John2:17] says, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” The NLT translates this as “And the world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” What better thing to desire, and what better thing to crave than the everlasting beauty of the omnipotent God? The beauty of the coastline, and the tastes of culinary delights cannot compare to the way God stimulates my senses.
No movie or game can compare to the excitement of God’s revelation. Someone once said to me that they never get bored. That’s not true for me. I definitely get bored sometimes; but when I do, I know there’s someone around who’s never boring. So, if I’m in a place with “nothing to do”, I simply continue talking to Jesus. I ask Him about Himself, about what He’s thinking of, if I can pray for anyone or anything, or I simply remember His word and declare His character to Him. To know Christ, is also to obey His commands. It’s not a rule, it’s an inevitable consequence of knowing Christ and having the Holy Spirit live in us. When we know Him, we cannot help but walk just as He walks [1 John 2:3-6]. [1 John 3:2-3] describes this further:
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
When Jesus walked on earth, He did the Father’s will, not just by preaching, but also by being a son, and a friend, as He ate and as He drank, at wedding celebrations, and at traditional Jewish feasts. Paul, the well-known apostle, not only preached the good news, but worshipped God as he worked. [Acts 18:3] – “So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.” In fact, both Jesus and Paul stress that it is not by works or the law that we are saved, but by faith and the evidence of this is works [James 2:23-26]. The evidence of our love for Christ must be obedience to His commands [1 John 18-20]. Here are two scriptures that remind us that we can give God glory in all things, whether we are a missionary in the midst of an unreached people, or whether we are just working in the local supermarket.
- [1 Corinthians 10:31] – “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
- [ Colossians 3:23] – “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”
Finishing off the lyrics from this simple song (“I just came to praise the Lord”), this is why I cannot turn back, why I cannot deny Jesus, and why I live my life with the purpose of worshipping God engraved upon my heart.
“He came into my life one very special day
He came into my heart, and showed me a better way
He said He’d never depart and this is why I say
I just came to praise the Lord.”