“Why am I here on earth?” is a question that has probably troubled each of us. After all, we assume that everything around us has a purpose. For example, when I come across a new gadget, I immediately wonder, what is this for? I presume that someone put time and energy into building it for a reason. So it must be the same with us. Right?
Fortunately, God has given us clues as to the reasons for our existence.
God created us because he wanted us. (1) This might seem obvious, but it’s nonetheless essential to mention. No one twisted God’s arm; he desired to make us. Everything about us – our emotional makeup, mental abilities, and physical body – was meticulously planned out and designed. Nothing about us was done in a haphazard or willy-nilly way. We are what we are because that was God’s plan. And his love for us did not change when sin entered the world and tainted us.
God created us for himself. (2) The famous mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal once said that there was a “God-shaped vacuum” in the heart of every person. It’s not by accident that humans have an intrinsic yearning for their Creator. Although expressed in different ways, it points to one truth: we were created for someone higher than ourselves. Not only did God want us, but he wanted us for himself.
All this leads to the question, “why would God even bother?”
God created us for his glory. (3) This sounds well and good, but what exactly does it mean? Let me start by giving an illustration. I love my cat, but if I show him a gorgeous picture or play soul-stirring music for him, he’s completely oblivious. He’s incapable of reacting because he’s not designed for that (now, bring him a mouse, and that’s a different story).
On the other hand, human beings can respond to the beauty and inspiration around us. God tailor-made us to recognize and react to his glory, which is the sum total of all his attributes. What’s more, the Lord took it a step further in that we can reflect his glory as well. We have the incredible ability and privilege to show to all of creation who God is and what he’s like. We accomplish this by how we live.
To sum it all up, we were created to love and be loved by God. Since we’re all precious to him, his goal is for us to love each other as well. The Lord designed us for relationships, so it’s no wonder that they are our greatest source of joy or pain. God sure didn’t need us, but he wanted to share himself with us so that humanity and the divine may enjoy each other.
When we realize our raison-d’être, it becomes easier to live with purpose, make wise choices, and prepare for eternity.
(1) Revelations 4:11
(2) Colossians 1:16
(3) Isaiah 43:7