I’ve written about purpose dozens of times. . .but I feel impressed to discuss it again. . .from a little different perspective.
Dictionary.com defines purpose as:
1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
God Has A Purpose For Your Life.
Say it out loud: GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE…personalize and write it down.
Without your purpose identified firmly in your mind, you will wander through life, never quite feeling that you’re “in the flow.”
And let me be clear, your PURPOSE may have nothing to do with how you make money (your job)…because you can make MONEY in many ways.. that may not be directly related to your purpose….although you can still glorify God while doing your job.
Purpose gives meaning to WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
There are seven questions that will determine where you are with regard to knowing and walking in your purpose.
1. Are You Willing And Ready To Change?
The real question is. . .are you willing to change regardless of what other people think or the consequences?
Exodus 2:14 in the New Living Translation says:
“The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Everyone knows what I did.”
Moses wanted to change the plight of the children of Israel. In a fit of moral outrage he slayed an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite.
As he began to fully realize the implications of his actions. . .he knew things were going to change.
There are times when we want change to come but we must also be willing to consider the consequences of our actions.
Despite spending years on the backside of the desert . . . running from and making excuses to God . . . Moses was used to led the children of Israel through the wilderness for forty years until he delivered them to the door of the Promised Land.
Exodus 3:17-20 in the New Living Translation says:
“I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’
18 “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord, our God.’
19 “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. 20 So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go.”
The question for each of us. . .is whether we’re willing to do what’s necessary to bring change into our lives.
Are we willing to take classes at the community college or online to update and sharpen our skillset?
Are we willing to alter our TV viewing. . .internet surfing. . .mall window shopping. . .watching and attending sporting events. . .patterns of behavior to make room for the changes necessary to redirect our focus and our destiny?
Change will come into your life. . .either you initiate it or you experience someone else’s vision of your future.
2. Are you ready to put pressure on the Word
I’m confident that God has given you instructions and directions on what He would have you do with or during your life.
Jeremiah 1:5-9 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth.
7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.”
Jeremiah like Moses was full of excuses. . .but God put the words in His mouth that would through the years cause him to put pressure on the Word.
Isaiah 55:11 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
When you press the Word. . .you’ve gotta know the words coming out of your mouth will not be lost, wasted, empty or without success.
The spoken Word cannot be stopped, changed, deleted, erased, short-circuited or come back empty handed. Not only that. . .the Word has the ability to make something out of nothing.
When you press the Word. . .it will accomplish what it promised. As you press the Word. . .the windows of heaven will open up and pour you out a blessing that you can’t contain.
The Message Bible translation of Isaiah 55:11 says:
“So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them.”
3. Are you ready to give God the praise, honor and glory?
Who do you want to meet when you get to heaven? I have a list of people I want to talk with in heaven and some of them might surprise you.
For instance, I want to share a glass of iced tea with the centurion who broke tradition and endangered his own life to save Paul.
Acts 27:43 says:
“But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:”
While the Bible does not record the centurion’s name. . .he is memorialized in scripture and demonstrated the character and courage we should all wish to emulate.
In my mind, I can see the centurion giving God all the praise, honor and glory.
One of the other folks I want to talk with is the head angel in Luke 2:14 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [[a]men of goodwill, of His favor].”
Of all the angels in heaven. . .can you imagine what it would have been like to be the one who got to announce the birth of Jesus?
This angel didn’t take any glory. . .but simply said “Glory to God.”
There are events when God turns adversity into triumph. . .defeat into victory. What the enemy means for harm. . .God always turns to good.
Romans 9:17 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over.”
God’s power, fame and justice were spread throughout the earth because of the hardened heart of Pharaoh.
Here’s what we have to know. . .if the enemy is trying to trip you up and bounce you around like a basketball. . .breath deep. . .relax and start praising God because victory is coming your way.
4. Are You Ready To Do Good For Others?
A week ago today (Sunday, August 10th) I share “7 Reasons To Be A Do-Gooder” on our daily Rich Thoughts For Breakfast 13 minute conference call.
Galatians 6:10 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers].”
We learn to do good for others by following the teaching and actions of our Heavenly Father.
Isaiah 48:17 in the New Century Version says:
“This is what the Lord, who saves you, the Holy One of Israel, says: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to do what is good, who leads you in the way you should go.”
The nature of any adversity we face should never keep us from doing good for others, especially, those who are brothers and sisters in the Lord.
There is no question in my mind that doing good for others is a major part of the divine fulfillment of our purpose.
In other words, the reason you’re breathing on planet earth. . .is so you can do good for the people God puts in your path. Proverbs 3:27 says:
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.”
And here’s the bottom line. . .you will never know when the good you do for someone will affect the world for generations to come.
Have you ever heard of Edward Kimball, J. Wilbur Chapman or Mordecai Ham?
Let me ask you about three other men.
Have you ever heard of Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday and Billy Graham?
Of course, you have. As Paul Harvey would say. . .now let’s hear the rest of the story.
Sunday School teacher Edward Kimball helped lead Dwight L. Moody to Christ;
J. Wilbur Chapman was converted at a Dwight L. Moody evangelistic meeting;
Billy Sunday was converted at a Chapman meeting;
Mordecai Ham was converted at Billy Sunday meeting; and Billy Graham was converted at a Ham meeting.
You may never know the full benefits of the good acts you do hear on planet earth. . .but they will be known by all mankind in heaven.
Sometimes it’s the good deeds you do for others that will lead you to your destiny.
We all know the story of Ruth and how she left her family and country to care for her mother-in-law Naomi in a foreign land.
Frankly, Ruth had to be a good woman because Naomi was having a major pity party and certainly wasn’t the kind of person you’d want to hang around as she grieved for her husband and sons.
Ruth would not leave Naomi no matter how many times she told her to leave. Instead, Ruth loved Naomi and ended up following her instructions to become the wife of the richest man in town. Plus she secured her place in the lineage of Jesus.
Ruth 4:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord caused her to conceive, and she bore a son.”
So the bottom line. . .be good to your mother-in-law as you may never know when she’ll decide to be good to you. I say that tongue in cheek…but then you never know… (smiling).
5. Where do you find happiness and enjoyment?
Earlier today, I posted the following Rich Thought on Facebook and Twitter.
“Your happiness is NOT determined by your circumstances but rather by what you think and how you act.”
Every day...we have the choice of being happy or sad. . .mad or glad. We must never allow our circumstances to make the choices...that only we should make. It may not be easy … but we will be happy for it in the long run.
Happiness is an outward expression of an inner work.
Matthew 5:4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!”
Your happiness. . .depends on what you do and how you respond to what happens to you.
For people to be truly happy. . .there must be an inner realization of the mental and spiritual commitments they’ve made to be more than what they are. . .do more than what they’ve already done. . .and bless more than they thought imaginable.
What does it take to make you happy?
When was the last time you were really happy?
Where did this happiness manifest. . .online. . .in person. . .through social media or mail and/or emails?
Do you find it hard to be happy in the midst of adversity?
6. What kind of rewards are you looking for?
I get a fresh revelation every time I read James 4:10 in the Amplified Bible which says:
“Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].”
What does it mean to live a life that is significant?
According to dictionary.com the word significant means “important; of consequence.”
The Bible says the key to making your life significant is to humble yourself. To recognize that you can do nothing in and of yourself. . .but with God you can do anything.
The word humble in the Strong’s Concordance means:
“to behave in an unassuming manner, devoid of haughtiness and to bring down one’s pride.”
As I was finishing my study of James 4:10, I decided to read it in the King James Version:
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
I looked up the verse in the Strong’s Concordance and found that “he shall lift” is the Greek word “hypsoo” (Strong’s G5312) and it means:
“a) to raise to the very summit of opulence and prosperity; b) to exalt, to raise to dignity, honor and happiness.”
Wow! Needless to say, I got pretty excited about this definition. I love the word “opulence.” It even sounds good. Just say “opulence” a couple of times.
According to dictionary.com opulence means “wealth, riches, or affluence; abundance, as of resources or goods; plenty.”
Now that’s what I call a real reward.
But I must point out that sometimes your reward is not monetary and sometimes your efforts. . .can be misguided.
Acts 22:6-10 in the New Living Translation says:
“As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
8 “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.
“And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene,[a] the one you are persecuting.’ 9 The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me.
10 “I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’
“And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’:
Your purpose is anything you’re doing for the glory of the Lord and the building of His Kingdom.
7. Are You Willing to Make A Lifetime Commitment Paying The Ultimate Price?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:
“If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.”
Is there a cause. . .or someone you’d be willing to die for?
John 10:17 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For this [reason] the Father loves Me, because I lay down My [own] life—to take it back again.”
There are people who bravely state they’d be willing to die for another. No doubt, they are firm in the commitment and resolve t pay the price. But sometimes things change.
Perhaps you catch a glimpse of what your family would be like without you.
“37 Peter said to Him, Lord, why cannot I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You. 38 Jesus answered, Will you [really] lay down your life for Me? I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me [completely disown Me] three times.”
When the time came for Peter to stand up and with Jesus. . .he did neither.
A final note. . .our purpose is to stand tall with Jesus. But here are seven things purpose is not.
First, purpose is not following the crowd or what’s trending on Twitter.
Second, our purpose is not wishing and a hoping that something might happen.
Third, our purpose is not talking about what we want to do, think about doing or what we used to do.
Fourth, our purpose isn’t temporary or fleeting.
Fifth, our purpose is not doing what others do. . .just because they say we should or because we feel pressured to do so.
Sixth, our purpose is not accepting what someone else. . .no matter, how well-meaning wants for our lives.
Seventh, our purpose is doing what everybody else wants instead of what God wants.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS