Living in the Design

An excerpt from our book:

A sailboat makes a lousy powerboat … just try backing into a boat slip under a gusty crosswind. (If you haven’t already done so, that tricky maneuver inevitably comes with a crowded marina and lots of armchair spectators.) The sailboat’s propeller is fixed and pointed at the stern of the boat. While a powerboat’s propeller often pivots in the same direction when in reverse—making backing easier—a sailboat’s prop operating astern behaves like a rototiller pulling the boat in a sideways direction, typically to port. All of these things make backing a sailboat, according to one man, like “blowing a Kleenex back into the box.”

However, under sail, the story is entirely different. Take the same gusty day. When the sails are hoisted, they flap violently and make a lot of noise, but once a skilled helmsman turns the boat to embrace the wind, the boat heels, digs in, and comes to life. The sideway pressure on the sails push against the rudder and keel, and this produces forward motion. The boat will speed along in the direction it is pointed, solid as a rock. If the sails are trimmed correctly, the helmsman can remove his or her hand from the wheel or tiller and the boat will sail itself. It is doing that for which it is designed.

Sailboats are designed to sail.

… everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for
 my glory, whom I formed and made. (Isaiah 43:7, ESV)

It is a universal heart question: Why do I exist? Isaiah 43:7 tells us straight out: we are created, formed, and made for God’s glory! This is our purpose. This is our reason for being.

But what does that mean? So very often we are sailboats living as powerboats. We think our purpose has to do with a “right” job, a perfect home, status, achievements, or even love and family. But that is the world’s purpose, and it will come up empty because it does not fit with how we were made. If we have all that, but not the Lord, we will eventually ask: Is this all there is?

God places in the human soul a deep desire to live in the design of who we were created to be, and that desire is only met in Him. His ordained will for our lives—our own divine sweet spot—only flows out of that. When you accomplish that for which you were created, there is a very special Greek word you are living out—Teleo.

Jesus spoke this word on the cross when He accomplished the will of His Father for our salvation. Teleo… It is finished! Teleo goes far beyond the end of something. It has to do with a complete fulfillment, a mature perfection, and a wholeness. “The will of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. Out of the anguish of His soul, He shall see light and be satisfied.”* When Jesus fulfilled His reason for being on this earth, His soul was satisfied. His reason for being on this earth was you, and your reason for being on this earth is Him.

Why did God create you?

What is your divine purpose?

Do you experience a sense of fulfillment in life?

Psalm 139:13–16, Psalm 16:11, John 19:28–30, *Isaiah 53:10–11

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