A Pastor and good friend once said concerning purpose "we must pray that we never take our eyes off that Word and it's meaning". And the more I've come to discover the essence of purpose, the more I've come to agree with what he said exactly.
It is my prayer that at the end of this message, our eyes will be directed back onto purpose and what it means in our lives specifically.
Immediately after salvation, our freshly enlightened hearts seek out a source of purpose as they have just been freed from the pursuits of this world's vanities.
If our hearts do not find and stick to this sense of purpose, then they are left untethered and eventually fall back into the vanity quest.
Ephesians 4 says the unenlightened walk in the "vanity of their minds" because their hearts are darkened. Once the light comes, we must realise that we have strayed from the path, and then find this new path wherein to walk. This path is the will of God, the home of all purpose! Are you still walking in similar paths to those you traversed when you were in the darkness?
Our purpose is the reason why we were created; This will be our first point for consideration.
Why did God create us? Let us consider this carefully in an unconventional way.
Though it is true that God created us to worship him, God suffered no lack of worship before we were created, seeing he had sentient angels praising him, and all creation glorifying him. Any phone created in 2018 is not merely created to make phone calls (we suffer no lack of call-enabled devices). So there must definitely be something more to the purpose of such creation. So, why did God create man?
The answer is revealed in God's agenda "Let us create man in our own image".
The great creator had created many magnificent things and beings (Lucifer inclusive) but was yet to bring forth anything like us! Why? Because we were made in his image!
If man were not made in the image of God, there would be NO NEED to create man!
Man is the showcase of God's best work, his greatest creation, and as there is nothing as great as God himself, God created a man in His own image.
So why did God create us? What is our purpose?
OUR PURPOSE (THE REASON WE WERE CREATED) IS TO BE THE IMAGE OF GOD; CHRIST; TO BE A SHOWCASE OF THE POWER AND MAJESTY OF GOD.
This is the purpose of all purposes and the cause of all causes. Nothing glorifies God than we becoming like Christ; for Christ is the EXPRESS IMAGE of God!
If we do all things and sing all songs, but do not put on the new man who is fashioned after Christ, then we have failed our purpose. We have tuned our minds to believe that our purpose is all about what we do, but today we must realise that it is more about who we are!
Our chief preoccupation thus, with regards to purpose shouldn't be in doing things, but rather in being who we are created to be: Christ!
The Teleios theme scripture (Eph 4:13) says "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and V of the knowledge of the Son of God unto the perfect man, TO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST"
God has established this unified body of believers called the church to facilitate the restoration of each of us unto his perfect image; even Christ, to which we are changed from glory to glory.
Always remember that though true, that God brought you here to do something (an assignment), he more importantly brought you here to be something. 'What you do' can never get you into heaven, but 'who you are' can!
This is so fundamental because God appoints us these assignments by virtue of the people he has destined us to be. God must make us the men for the job before we are fit in the first place to do the job! Let's look at a some biblical examples.
God rejects Saul and picks David. His justification his that David is a man after God's own heart and Saul is not. It was not about what Saul could or could not do, but more about who he was (or was not). Who he was determined how he would do what he was to do!
David qualified to perform the task of King (in God's sight) because He was "the man". You have to be "the man" to do "the job"! Being the man is your purpose, and doing the job is but your assignment. The two go together, but the latter cannot stand without the former!
Any other person could have been the king David was, but no other person could just be the man he was.
God can reject us from an assignment because of who we are (or become)!
Matthew 4: 8 & 9 says "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."
If Jesus' assignment was simply to save mankind, He may have been tempted to bow down to Lucifer and receive ownership of the Kingdoms of this world. Someone would have erroneously interpreted that as completion of his assignment! Sadly, many men and women today do!
But that would have instantly disqualified Jesus as the man God needed to save the world!
Our Lord Jesus could only be the saviour of the world because he was the lamb without blemish! (I pray someone catches this)
We cannot compromise on who we are and what we have been taught by Christ simply to complete assignments that we have been given. Your qualification to do what God has called you to do, is based on you being WHO God has called you to be. We cannot reverse the process! Are we prioritising what we have been called to do over who you we been called to be?
Let us Focus first on the men and women we are becoming, rather than being consumed only with what we are meant to do. We must spend personal time with God and allow him to change us into his likeness as we behold his glory in sweet communion. This is the foundation and backbone of our purpose; that we become like Christ! Without this, everything we do may be burnt away in the flames of judgement, wherein the vanities of this life are done away.
Beyond what you do and pursue, who are you?
On to our second insight: God's purpose for our lives resides in his will for us! WALKING IN GOD'S WILL DAILY IS A GUARANTEED PATH TO WALKING IN PURPOSE. Consider that, He that is faithful in little is faithful in much. If we cannot be faithful to God's daily agenda for our lives, how can we be faithful to his life-long purpose for our lives. The several days of walking in God's will sum up to a life of purpose.
An unwillingness/inability to devote part of a day to God is an indication of an inability to dedicate the whole of our lives to God.
Any man who wants to come into purpose must simply find and commit to God's will daily. Therein is the proof of the willingness to obey, and that is reason for a revelation of purpose. Our daily walking in God's will speaks volumes of our readiness to walk the life long path of purpose! God cannot entrust us with great assignments if we continue to be unfaithful with the little ones.
Many of us are of the opinion that if God did reveal a "big" purpose to us, it would be enough to fuel us to actually start living in his will daily.
Purpose and the responsibility that comes with it are a heavy weight to carry. Many of us cry out to God to reveal our purpose to us. "show me why I am here!" we cry.
But God needs to prepare us step by step to wield the fuller knowledge of our purpose. This preparation comes from daily walking in his will.
Even a full knowledge of the semester's curriculum and the accompanying implications of failure drive people to depression, How much more our full life agenda?!
Even if you could carry the full weight of your purpose, are you sure you could also carry the weight of the failure to walk in it?
Imagine a David who knows he's to be King at a tender age, being asked to tend to sheep. He may blow into a full scale rebellion in the name of "the will of God" which he fabricated per his limited understanding.
Knowledge of our purpose does not guarantee an understanding of the paths of preparation God will take us through. That is why the walk must be daily!
Many of us would quit the preparation and deem it altogether unnecessary if we knew our end point.
Also, imagine God did you the courtesy of telling you the number of people in hell because you failed to walk in your purpose at point A or B. The number of lives that you led astray into sin knowingly or unknowingly.
If God is seemingly withholding some knowledge with regards to your purpose from you, it is definitely for your own good.
But rest assured that God will show you in part, daily, exactly as much as you need to know to fulfill your purpose at any point.
Once again, if we are not walking in God's will (purpose) daily, why are we so eager to know a purpose that we are not willing to commit to and pursue??
The key with regards to walking in the will of God daily is to be led by the Spirit. The leading of the Spirit is the promise of the Lord Christ and the heritage of every believer.
A man who walks daily in the Spirit can never miss the purpose God has ordained for his/her life! The Spirit leads us into all truth!
A take-home question: If God explicitly told you tonight in great detail that so and so was your purpose, what is the PROOF that you would walk in it?
Wake up, and resolve to make each day a day where you walk in God's will for your life.
Our final point for this lesson, FAILURE TO WALK IN PURPOSE DOES NOT COMPROMISE THE SOVEREIGN WILL (PURPOSES) OF GOD, BUT HAS ETERNAL IMPLICATIONS ON THE INDIVIDUAL.
God is sovereign and eternal, declaring the end from the beginning. God has declared how this game of life should play out and end, and what any individual does or fails to do cannot change God's sovereign agenda.
Every possible scenario (including the unfortunate possibility of the failure of a saved soul to walk in purpose) will work together towards the fulfilment of God's eternal sovereign agenda.
The true loss here is to the individual. Adam's errors in Eden had grave eternal implications on his life and on all his seed, but God's sovereign eternal agenda to make man in his image was untouched. We see God had already made provision in Christ from the foundations of the world. Adam could never fully fathom how essential his life was in the grand scheme of things.
God wills for none of us to fail to come into Purpose, just like he wills for none of us to sin - but sometimes we do sin. Sometimes we do fail to walk in our Purpose. Many of us may not even be sure we are where we are meant to be in our coming into Purpose: a place where we merit a "well-done good and faithful servant"
But God makes provision for us to keep going and He's committed to getting us back on track. Will such failure have implications? Yes. Will God help us through them? Definitely. Will our failure thwart God's sovereign eternal agenda? Definitely not!
Despite our failures or shortfalls, God is in control and his sovereign will is uncompromised!
Now let's discuss a failure to walk in Purpose; What causes these shortfalls??
People of God, we have an enemy who is thoroughly opposed to we coming into our Purpose, for in the finality of that place we "become like God" (the fullness of Christ) and that is all Satan has ever wanted.
If Satan had his way, he would destroy your purpose! (both general and specific). Am I saying Satan in detail knows your specific purpose? No! But he can fairly infer and deduce, and see a man with a great destiny before Him/Her. (By extension we can say every believer has a great destiny, for there is nothing greater than the perfection that is in Christ.)
Satan cannot destroy a purpose, but he can destroy a man. If God's eyes are on you, know that the enemy is likewise watching you. The spotlight is the spotlight. (Consider Jesus, Job and Moses)
However, when a man of purpose is hedged and protected so Satan cannot touch him, Satan then tries to distract the man from His/her purpose.
SATAN WILL DISTRACT THE MAN OF PURPOSE THAT HE CANNOT DESTROY.
By saying Satan will destroy a man, I do not in any way wish to regard Satan with any exaggerated power. A man can be destroyed by being locked up in a cycle of drug abuse, crime, sexual perversion, poverty, failure or even depression. None of these conditions is without remedy for Jesus is able to save all. But without such intervention, Satan will end a man. Ananias and Sapphira through greed and deceit were destroyed and we sadly had to say goodbye to their purpose. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy.
Moving on to issue of distraction:
A focus on purpose has a direct effect on our actions and the importance and urgency we attach to them. Purpose gives birth to priority in our lives. Purpose is the mother of all priority.
A married man with children spends money differently from a single uncommitted bachelor, because the first has his responsibility as a father and a husband in focus. This sense of purpose gives birth to his sense of priority. We see irresponsible men spend their fortune on drink and debauchery while their families want, because they do not have any sense of purpose as husbands or fathers.
ONCE WE SET OUR PURPOSE IN FOCUS, OUR PRIORITIES WILL FALL IN PLACE.
When Mordecai helped Queen Esther to set her purpose in focus, her priorities shifted from self preservation to the salvation of her people. We need to set our purpose in focus! We must come into Purpose!
Satan is going to try and shift our focus, and distract us, because he cannot destroy us! Family, we need to shake ourselves and wake up!
If you want to know if you're distracted from (or focused on) purpose, just examine your priorities. What "must you do" first thing when you wake up? What "must you do" over the weekend? WHAT ARE OUR PRIORITIES? Our chiefest priority should always be the reason why we are here: our purpose!
GOD HAS PURPOSED FOR US TO BE AGENTS OF HIS SOVEREIGN ETERNAL WILL HERE AND IN THE NOW!
God has placed in us everything that we need to fulfill our Purpose! HE HAS WORKED IN US WHAT WE ARE CALLED TO WORK OUT. God has placed in our hands the tools to shape the world, save souls and change lives. We were born for such greater works, at such a time as this! Our Purpose isn't greater than us: It's in us!
John 4:32-34 Says "But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
Jesus found nourishment/ sustainance in doing the will of Him that sent him and finishing his work. Many of us are experiencing stunted growth because we are not doing the will of Him that sent us.
Our purpose is an avenue for God to pour into us and anoint anoint us. The work he gives us an an opportunity for him to invest into us. If we are not doing anything, He has no reason to do anything to us.
Many of us believe we are not doing anything for God, because we are no longer on fire for Him. Truth is, we probably are no longer on fire because we are not doing anything.
A commitment to purpose makes us accountable to process, and available to the God of purpose to continually outpour into us to make us effective.
A COMMITMENT TO WALKING IN OUR PURPOSE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE SUSTAINED BY THE WORKINGS OF GOD THROUGH US
God has placed in us everything that we need to fulfill our Purpose! HE HAS WORKED IN US WHAT WE ARE CALLED TO WORK OUT. God has placed in our hands the tools to shape the world, save souls and change lives. We were born for such greater works, at such a time as this...but... Where are the works?
God has given us every opportunity to do these greater works, but it will take wisdom to see.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Scripture says WALK CIRCUMSPECTLY AS WISE....
In walking unwisely we disregard our Purpose and the assignment placed on our lives. We disregard the opportunities God is giving us to be agents of His eternal will. Scripture says we should walk carefully as wise! It is unwise of us to take our purpose as a little thing
The second reflection is that WE HAVE LOST TIME! All the time we spent walking round in circles, fraternising with the world, and chasing the vanities of this life is lost time! Imagine the growth we could have attained unto, the souls we could have saved, the eternal investments we could have sown. GOD IS CALLING US TO REDEEM THE LOST TIME!
Then thirdly he says THE DAYS ARE EVIL.. the longer we stall, the more hell opens her mouth and devours men. The more Satan desperately destroys lives and destinies. We are living in the end times.
GOD HAS PURPOSED FOR YOU TO BE AN AGENT OF HIS ETERNAL WILL HERE AND IN THE NOW!
We see Jacob, a trickster and usurper, who was chosen to carry the patriarchal line which would birth the messianic line (the bloodline of Christ). But God was committed to this man of Purpose, taking him through several tests and trials and breaking his stubbornness till he was that limping, obedient, faithful, broken, blessed patriarch who prophesied the fate of the 12 tribes of Israel. God saw this man of Purpose through, just as He will see you and I through!
God remains devoted to his purpose for our lives as long as we hold on to him.
THE GOD OF JACOB WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON US OR OUR PURPOSE!
His reckless love will keep him holding on "till we all come".
Dear Father, let your word awaken in each of us ability and understanding to come into our purpose in the Mighty name of Jesus. Guide us to redeem the lost time and walk in wisdom and the leading of your Spirit daily! Bless us Lord God and take us to our destiny, that at the end of all things we gladly hear your commendation "well done good and faithful servant" in Jesus's name. Amen!!