Proverbs 16:3-4 (NLT)
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.
The Lord has made EVERYTHING for His Own Purposes. You and I were born on purpose. How do I know? Let’s review. First of all, God indicated that He knew the plans of our life even to go so far as to say that they contained a future and hope. He also said that they are for good and not disaster. (Wipe the brow with a sigh of relief.) Yes! That’s awesome, right? Hang on. Moving to Psalm 139, there are more encouraging words that reveal the God of Creation at work before we made it to our mother’s womb. He designed us with purpose and intent. Carefully recording every single day right down to the moment before we were born. His Thoughts about us are precious. I love it! I am feeling pretty good about things, right about now? How about you? “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)
If, in fact, we have been created with a significant plan and confident hope by God… why is our life not representative of this purpose? We were created with purpose, born on purpose, and promised a life of purpose. Why do people find life so unfulfilling, dissatisfying and remain discontent? Maybe if we look at some of those passages again, we will find out. Jeremiah 29:11 is followed by Jeremiah 29:12-13 that read, “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Oh wow…missed that part. After 22 verses in Psalm 139 about God’s obvious meticulous care in our creation, it says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” And finally just before we are called “God’s Masterpiece”, it is revealed that “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) (Ephesians 5:1-5) Are we still dead in disobedience…could that be the problem? You were created with a purpose. God’s Plan for our life is success and prosperity. God laid down the Law so that we could see that it was our sin standing in the way of complete satisfaction and fulfillment in life. When Jesus Christ came to die for our sins and set us free to live on purpose, it did not make the Law of God obsolete but His Grace filled in the blanks left by our sin so that we could now be reunited with God and have all that He promised us. We were created with purpose, born on purpose and have the ability to fulfill that purpose but first we must make the choice that we want it wholeheartedly.
Joshua 24:14-15 (NLT)
“So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
The Lord created us to serve Him. We have an innate quality set on serving something. We choose who to serve. It is God’s Purpose that we will serve Him or decide to serve sin in our life. To fear the Lord and serve Him wholeheartedly brings about His Purpose which leads to fulfillment and success in our life. However, some people want both to serve God and entertain sin so they read the Word of God for their benefit not on purpose. I was born with purpose that I have ventured closer to over the last fifteen years. It has been a hard fought battle. I have started and stopped many times. I have pitched tantrums at the Throne of God and humbly returned crying at His Feet. But somehow and somewhere all those years ago, I finally decided that the back and forth of wavering was exhausting so I would go all in. What about you? Who do you serve with your life today? To live out the purpose of our creation means to live in right standing with God which is achieved day by day and moment by moment as He described it in Psalm 139:16.
Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 (NLT)
And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.
There is a difference between fear and respect. Those who remain lost in their sin and decide to stay in darkness should absolutely fear God. His Love for them is real and permanent but would not be love if forced. To love sin and darkness is to decide to forever be separated from the Lord. What about grace? We will get to that in a minute. When fear is defined as respect, it changes. When we fully accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord wholeheartedly committing our entire life to Him, now our relationship with God changes and we have nothing to fear. His Grace is sufficient to cover our sin. God is not a man who can lie or change His Mind or He would not be God. God is Sovereign. He is Perfect. To change or modify His Behavior or Actions would imply the opposite. God’s Word is true. When it says, “whatever God does is final” it is because of these qualities. Nothing can be added or taken away and God still be God. We take on each day wondering what is coming or what will happen next, but God already knows so there is nothing new in our life that surprises the Lord or that He has not fully equipped us to do and provided for us. Just wrap your mind around that for a moment. It’s tough. If this is the case, which it is, God says if we respect Him as believers that we would consider Him first and foremost in our life to achieve that purpose rather than running off in our own direction all the time. Respect is esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of someone. When we finally decide God is worthy of our respect, we will begin to serve Him with our life and live on purpose.
Jeremiah 32:38-41 (NLT)
They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.
When I was potty training the children, I had one particular one who hated the thought. Hours of screaming and crying on the toilet in the bathroom wailing as though I was torturing them. Now some of the great parental encouragers say that don’t stress about it, they will figure it out in time. Good for you! It was time. I had reached my limit gagging over the nasty diapers. This kid was about to learn a valuable lesson. So one day, this little person decided to hide outside and do their business once again. Mama was done. I took the small offender in the bathroom. Filled a small basin with water, handed them as soapy rag and told them it was time to clean up their own mess because mama was done. Complete and total meltdown. Wailing I don’t want to touch it, don’t make me clean it up, and the like until finally I relented helping them while gently but firmly instructing them the ease of using the potty rather than their pants and the high efficiency of modern plumbing in taking care of things like this while also reaffirming this was my last time helping in this matter. What happened next? My child never had another “accident” again.
What brought this to mind? We don’t like to deal with our mess. All those things that brought us to the Cross in the first place taken care of – we don’t want to dig any deeper. We harbor sin. We like to entertain certain things. We want to follow certain people. Everyone has a point where following Christ is a challenge. For each person, it is different. We wail before God asking Him to help but the truth is that He already did. He gave His One and Only Son that our sin could be cast into the Sea of Forgetfulness and be moved as far as the east is from the west. His Spirit will come inside of us and teach us, guide us, lead us and cultivate God’s Purpose in us. Obedience is essential to achieving God’s Purpose in our life which means making a choice in the gray areas of life. Although all things are permissible thanks to God’s Grace and Mercy not everything is beneficial. We can follow the Lord enough to have a better life, but if we want God’s Best it requires following Him and seeking Him wholeheartedly which means that there will be times of discipline that leads to brokenness in us. God is not going to change. To have His Best and live according to His Purpose requires a change in us, but when you see what the Father longs to do in us – how can we continue to oppose such goodness in our life?
Acts 17:27-31 (NLT)
“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
Our choice to seek after God is irrelevant to His Validity or Sovereignty. It is all about us and what we want which is His Gift of Freedom. Jesus came and died to give us a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10) He did not come to do away with God’s Law, His Ways or His Word but fulfill it and complete the work that it intended to do which was for people to live in right standing with God. (Romans 10:4) When we choose to live our life to honor God’s Way, His Word and His Law, we accomplish our purpose in life which leads to success and prosperity. (Romans 14:8-9) We are free to choose how much effort and energy we put into to loving God wholeheartedly and respecting Him with our life. This does away with the myth in the modern day church that His Grace allows us to live any way we choose and still experience the blessings of God and live a complete and satisfied life. (Matthew 5:17-19) I have found that the smallest things that I am constantly trying to justify in God’s Word or wrestle with in my spirit are the very things keeping me from my next level with the Lord.
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.
God created you on purpose. You were born on purpose. You will never be complete and whole outside of God’s Plan for your life. You will never have God’s Best serving other things. To desire Him wholeheartedly leads to prosperity and success in life. His Word says it and God meant it. However, if you take bits and pieces of God’s Word and attempt to build your life on them without considering what comes before and after – it will never lead to completion but partiality that is not a firm foundation for our faith and will not secure a confident hope. God has done His All to make sure that you can have His Purpose and every promise that is attached. The rest is up to us. Will we live on purpose? It will require discipline. Lots of self-control thankfully the Holy Spirit is our helper. You don’t have to achieve God’s Purpose in your life to be blessed. The Lord blesses every act of obedience and love in our life for Him. But for those who want to be fulfilled and completely satisfied – it is an absolute must to live on purpose.
Psalm 57:2 (NLT) I cry out to God Most High to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.