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Joined: 2006/2/2
Posts: 61

 Seeing God - Th Purpose of Life (Roy Hession)

Seeing God – The Purpose Of Life
By Roy and Revel Hession

"What is the purpose of life? How can I find it? How can I be sure it is the right one?" These are questions to which many a professing Christian yet needs to find the answer, as well as the man who has no knowledge of God.

However, when we turn to the Bible we find a clear and simple answer to this fundamental question. It plainly states that there is but one purpose for mankind, and that purpose is the same, whatever our sex, our age, our nationality, or status in society.

"What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him" (Deut. 10:12).

"He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to …humble thyself to walk with thy God" (Mic. 6:8, margin)

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength" (Mark 12:30).

It appears, therefore, that the Bible answer to the question, "What is the purpose of life?" is to know, and to love, and to walk with God; that is, to see God. Indeed, men in former times came to speak of "the end of life" as being the "Vision of God." The divines who in the seventeenth century produced the Westminster Confession answered the question, "What is the chief end of man?" with the words, "Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever."

Today, however, we do not hear much about the need to see God. It is only as we turn the pages of the past that we become aware of our lack of this emphasis, both in preaching and in living the Gospel. In former days, we find, even in times of spiritual darkness, that there were always some who were gripped by a consuming passion – the longing to see God. For them there was only one goal, to know their God. They were heart-thirsty, and they knew that God alone could satisfy their thirst.

As we read of their search for God, we find some traveling along strange paths. We see them living in desert or cave, or withdrawing to the monastery. In their desire for that holiness "without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14), they might strip themselves of every earthly possession, or mortify their bodies by self-inflicted torture. They were sometimes fanatical, sometimes morbidly introspective. We look back on many of them now as poor, misguided souls who were in bondage to legalism and asceticism. But let us always remember that these things were done in the longing and search for God, and that their emphasis was on personal holiness in order to see God.

At the present time the situation is very different. We have much more light on the Bible and the message of the Gospel, and we look back rather despisingly on many of these seekers of old. But the solemnizing fact is this, that the coming of more light has not brought an increasing passion to see God. In fact, it seems to have had the reverse effect. That deep hunger for God Himself is obviously lacking, and it would appear that we have lowered our goal in the Christian life to something less than God Himself.

Two emphases stand out today: First of all, instead of stressing holiness in order to see God, the emphasis is on service for God. We have come to think of the Christian life as consisting in serving God as fully and as efficiently as we can. Techniques and methods, by which we hope to make God’s message known, have become the important thing. To carry out this service we need power, and so instead of a longing for God, our longing is for power to serve Him more effectively. So much has service become the centre of our thinking that very often a man’s rightness with God is judged by his success or otherwise in his Christian work.

Then there tends to be today an emphasis on the seeking of inner spiritual experiences. While so many Christians are content to live at a very low level, it is good that some do become concerned about their Christian lives, and it is right that they should. However, the concern arises not so much from a hunger for God, but from a longing to find an inner experience of happiness, joy, and power, and we find ourselves looking for "it," rather than God Himself.

Both these ends fall utterly short of the great end that God has designed for man, that of glorifying Him and enjoying Him for ever. They fail to satisfy God’s heart and they fail to satisfy ours.

From We Would See Jesus by Roy Hession

D. Bryant

 2006/4/25 4:10Profile

Joined: 2004/2/17
Posts: 99
Sterling, VA

 Re: Seeing God - Th Purpose of Life (Roy Hession)

Great post! Thank you for putting this out there.

I did a little Google search for Roy Hession and the book "We Would See Jesus" and came across an incredibly insightful related article. It is SO subtle how we can lose sight of Jesus in our day. Recently the Lord has revived my own heart in a powerful way to see Jesus in the Bible, not just to see the Bible, some principle, some commandment, etc. I offer the URL for any interested reader (article: It's All About You Jesus by Fawn Parish)

but here are the quotes from it that struck me:


We are reflecting Him poorly, because we are not focused on Him.

We have pastoral unity advocates, revivalists, cultural redemption proponents, Christian world-view futurists, family values lobbyists, warfare specialists, prayer specialists, city-taking strategists, prophecy specialists, doctrinal purity specialists- But we have increasingly fewer people concentrating solely on studying the personality and character of Jesus, the Light.

Jesus is often no longer the preeminent part of the presentation because Jesus is often the presumed subject of the sentence.

Jesus is increasingly the assumed subject of the sentence, and less and less the heart of the story. You can attend many conferences today and hear much about spiritual technology and techniques and very little about Jesus. We assume that our audience knows and loves Jesus. We assume that we as speakers are Christ-centered, and focused on His absolute sufficiency. But the sad reality is that the spotlight is generally peripheral to Jesus.

Jesus, the Preeminent One, seems to be increasingly in the shadows and few seem to notice.

Jesus may be privately the centerpiece of many spiritual leaders lives. Yet our public proclamation of Him grows increasingly faint. It is easy to observe Jesus becoming less and less, the preeminent feature of our presentations. We are sadly known more for what we are against, than for Whom we are for.

Roy Hession comments "He Himself is Revival and the simple door to it not significant that when there is an experience of revival in lives, those revived do not talk about revival, but rather about Jesus?"

Jesus is to be center and circumference of all our inquiry, all our energy, devotion and interest. He is not merely first, but to be our very life. He is not an addendum, an interesting footnote to God's work in the world. He is the center of all life and endeavor.

We want to put godly leaders on pedestals and build elaborate monuments to their anointing. We hang on every word they say as if it's God's own truth, and idolize their miraculous signs. We know more details about the latest catastrophic prophecy than we do the character of Jesus. But God is fiercely intent on dissolving our distractions, and having us see Jesus alone.

Ken Marino

 2006/4/25 9:43Profile

Joined: 2005/10/21
Posts: 133
Wellington, Ohio

 Re: Seeing God - Th Purpose of Life (Roy Hession)

I just received the book "We Would See Jesus" by Roy Hession, and I have read the preface. I was very edified just by the preface. I am looking forward to reading it and receiving the truths within. I would like to recommend this book based on what I know of Roy Hession and his last book "The Calvary Road" and also based on how edifying the preface was.

Pick it up if you can! I also bought a few additional copies to pass out as the Lord leads, so if you are struggling financially and cannot afford it but feel the Lord leading you to read it, send me a PM and we can work something out. I also have a few additional copies of the Calvary Road.

Love, Joe

Joe E

 2006/8/4 16:30Profile

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