God has given us some very clear instructions in His Word as to how we are to live for Him. These include the command to love one another (John 13:34-35), the call to follow Him at the cost of denying our own desires (Matthew 16:24), the exhortation to care for the poor and needy (James 1:27), and the warning to not fall into sinful behaviors like those who don’t know God (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8). Jesus summed up a life lived for God when a teacher of the law asked Him the most important of commandments. Jesus replied, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
Jesus’ prayer prior to His crucifixion also sheds light on our purpose. Referring to believers, He prayed, “I have given them the glory you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:22-26). Jesus’ desire is for relationship with us.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” A life lived for God glorifies God. We pursue God with our entire being – heart, soul, mind, and strength. We abide in Christ (John 15:4, 8) and therefore act like Him by loving others. In doing that, we bring glory to His name and also enjoy the relationship for which we were originally created.
Those who wish to live for God must seek Him in His Word. We must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to apply the Word to our lives. Living for God means giving up ourselves and desiring God’s will above all else. As we draw nearer to God and come to know Him more, His desires will more naturally become ours. As we mature, our desire to obey God’s commands increases as our love for Him increases. As Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).