In chapter 22 of Loving God, Charles Colson tells of an obscure saint, Myrtie Howell, who was 91 and confined to a wheelchair in an old folk’s home. She had lost most her loved ones and had reached the end of herself and her emotional resources. Myrtie cried out to God and said “What more can I do for You? Take me, I’m ready to die.” As clear as a bell, God spoke to her heart, telling her to write to prisoners. That she did, and began corresponding with hundreds of incarcerated men and women around the country. She found true joy, as did her pen pals as she shared the love of Jesus with them.
She was probably in her late 80’s when she asked the question that we all need to ask God NOW. That questions is “God, what do You want to do with my life?” “How do I take a hold of the very reason and purpose that you saved me and created me for?” Myrtie was at the end of herself, old and abandoned with no props to keep her distracted from keeping on living without finding that purpose that God gave her.
The whole purpose driven life idea shouldn’t be that we come up with a purpose for our lives, or find purpose in our jobs and family and hobbies and try to make something out of them. The idea is that we ask God what His purpose for us is. Then we wait and listen for the answer and finally–we set about doing it.
In Galatians 2:19 Paul wrote: “I died to the law so that I might live for Christ.” We died to self so that we could live for Christ. That is why He saved us according to Ephesians 2:10 “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He has prepared in advance for us to do.”
We are busy, all of us. Busier by the minute. What if we asked God what He wanted us to be busy about? And then we listened for His answer and then we did it? Did you know that you can hear God’s voice if you listen for it?
He speaks primarily through the Bible. He tells us who He is and where we came from and where we’re going. But another way that He speaks is when we’re reading the Bible, the Holy Spirit engages with us in a way that doesn’t happen when we’re not in the Word. That’s what gives us a spiritual appetite. I’m convinced that’s why most Christians are arm chair quarterbacks, not using their gifts or engaged in their Father’s business. They’re not reading the Bible and meditating on it at all or at best, infrequently. They have no desire for gathering with fellow believers and if they do serve in some capacity it is a duty and not a joy. Or, when they do, it is mostly without fruit.
God also speaks to our spirits. Romans 8 talks about the Spirit testifying with our spirit that we are His children. God speaks through an inaudible voice, through other people at times, through dreams, promptings and through placing thoughts in our minds that didn’t come from us. We need to stop and listen to His voice.
Myrtie truly began living for Christ when she called out to Him, heard His command to write to prisoners and then did it.
Now it’s our turn.