I Corinthians 9:25-27 (NLT)
All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
Have you ever heard the saying, “If you didn’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” Good question. We live a busy life. I know that I struggle to find time to do the things that I “want” to do because of all the things that I “need” to do. With maturity should come discipline, but how we are disciplined is linked to our purpose. We train and retrain our brain to improve our quality of life or at least we try to by attempting better choices each time one is offered. Some people will learn from their mistakes the first time while others seem to live in a cycle of doing the same thing over and over but expecting completely different results. Athletes train according to their sport. Some must bulk up before a competition while others must trim down becoming leaner. There is a need for endurance and sometimes a need for strength. It just depends on the sport that they have selected. There are those who are more motivated in their training than others choosing a very disciplined life and others who are halfhearted in their efforts seldom winning in competition. The prize that you are after determines how you will train and the effort you will expend to win. What are you after today? Maybe you do not have a main purpose in your life and feel as though you are drifting. Friend, you have a purpose. God made you with a plan. It is up to you and I if we will run with purpose in every step or choose to continually wander off course. I want to do the right thing the first time. I choose to live on purpose. I don’t want to be disqualified. I want to win.
I have had many do-overs with the Lord. I think of all the missed opportunities that I have had and often wonder what would have happened if I had been faithful then rather than waiting until now. But then I look at the picture on my desk of our family, blended and beautiful, knit together by God and know that His Purpose for my life is being fulfilled day by day not according to me but because He has a Plan and Purpose for my life that is not dependent on my ability to do all the right things or being anyone other than who He created me to be. If only I could grab hold of that concept and stop being so rigid in my beliefs. I try to do the right thing. But there are many times that I do, but God always finds the time to do it right!
Psalm 139:13-17 (NLT)
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
God made me on purpose. I was thinking about my parents yesterday. My father and biological mother parents to be more specific. My birth mom passed away last November. We had been estranged due to a demon called alcoholism for many years. I was thinking about my parents and the thought came to me that I do not even know if they had a wedding. They married on purpose – that purpose was me. But did they have a wedding or just run off to the courthouse. I know that it was not exactly the joyous, momentous occasion that our daughter’s wedding was but what was it like. My parents did not plan to have a child at such an early age. It would be easy to call my existence a “mistake”. But God knew me. The details surrounding my arrival may not have been ideal but to God it was on time and on purpose. There some definite rough patches in my childhood but they all bear meaning in my life. It has taken almost 50 years to see that there were seeds planted then that are harvesting in my life right now. Every single day of my life is on purpose, or why would have God recorded it in His Book. Each moment carefully planned by God for my fulfillment. God thinks I am precious. He created me with much thought and deliberation. To live on purpose, I must identify that I am on purpose. I am not a mistake. I cannot do anything to change who I am or how I came into existence. There are certain details of my life that are preset. That’s okay. God did it because He loves me and I am precious to Him.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
It is my tendency to run with any plan. You point me in the right direction and I am off. This is good in some instances but has caused me problems. I find myself doing what I think the Lord wants me to do but too many times not when He wants me to do it or how He wants me to. I just take off like a runner when the pistol sounds. Winded and wondering, I will often stop to find that although I am after God that I have run ahead of His Plan, His Timing and done it my way. God has a plan for my life and yours, too. The only stipulation to having this plan with all the good, the future and hope that it holds is that I look for the Lord wholeheartedly in each day. This is the part where I must become disciplined to fulfill my purpose.
What is purpose? It is the reason something or more importantly someone exists. It is the intended or desired result of our creation. It is our fixed design by the Lord for our benefit and blessing. It is our most desirable use. We all have a purpose because God’s Word cannot return to Him void. When He spoke us into existence, that purpose was released into the atmosphere and nothing can stop it from accomplishing what it was set forth to do.
Romans 8:27-29 (NLT)
And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
When I became a mother for the first time 25 years ago, I felt like my purpose in life was suddenly fulfilled. He lit up my world. That little boy made me want to be a better me. He gave me the desire to never make mistakes even though I knew that I would. He created a desire so fierce within me that nothing could keep me from loving and caring for him as I knew it was exactly what the Lord had called me to do. After that day, the Lord would give me four more wonderful, beautiful people to love with all my heart. He would give me a precious partner to walk with me in life who loves and supports me. When our son was diagnosed with cancer, there was a new more ferocious need to care for my family. When the enemy tried to take one son, the Lord gave us another in our sweet son-in-law. I was completely surprised when my heart widened to love him as our own. I must also admit that in the midst of the last 25 years, I lost sight of my purpose making it all about them. That is until the last year or so, as we now only have two children left at home and our son approaches month nine of remission (the longest that he has made it so far) and I can hear the Lord speaking to me about me. I have avoided the subject completely because I know me. I know the things that I have done and all the horrible mistakes that I have made. I have accepted that my purpose was my family and learned to live comfortably there. But the Lord is gently but firmly pressing my heart to consider the promise that He is causing everything to work together for the good of those who love God. That’s me – I love God. I cannot live without the Lord. I am called according to His Purpose. I have accepted my role as wife and mother but there is more to me that I have not considered. The Holy Spirit pleads with us today to look beyond our past, our failures and our mistakes to the good, future and hope that God created us for. To accept the grace that is freely given to those who desire a wholehearted relationship with God. To scoop up the new mercy in each day so that our purpose will not end in doubt or fear but be fully accepted because He is faithful.
Proverbs 16:1-4 (NLT)
We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster.
I decided how the future would be for me when I decided that the mistakes that I had made were somehow fatal to my destiny. In the current state of change our family is living in though it sometimes feels traumatic, I am seeing this beautiful plan unfold before me. It has my name on it. I would never have put my name on it because I feel so unworthy of the love that God has already shown me. His Faithfulness overflows from ever orifice of my life testifying that He is good all the time. But His Purpose and Plan for my life is only beginning, I see that now. I am not sure how I feel about it but it doesn’t seem to effect what God thinks about it. My job is to live on purpose again. God knew me when He created me. Jesus died for every sin that I have ever committed and might commit again. He knows everything about me inside and out and still loves me. If I commit every action that I take in life to the Lord, my plans will succeed in agreement with His Best. It is not a control issue but a conversion promise. God will take every detail of my life and make it mean something. He will take all the broken pieces and build something beautiful if I will surrender my life to Him.
Proverbs 19:21 (NLT) You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Why fight it? I mean really if the Lord is intent on blessing us, then why run from it? Sounds dumb to even type it let alone think it but we do it every day that we decide there is no purpose for our life rather than venturing off to find it in Jesus. I have a purpose. God has a plan. He is making every facet of my life beautiful in His Time. He has not forgotten me even though I have hidden in just one role. It’s my time to become what He created me to be rather than what I have comfortably become. Lord, I am ready to live on purpose now.
He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.” I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.” And now the Lord speaks—the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength.