Proverbs 20:5 (NIV)
The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.
Purpose is a powerful force in the life of human beings. I have been a mom for 25 years now to five fabulous, beautiful and wonderful children. Three are now adults moving on to live their own life. Our two remaining daughters are teenagers and so I am nearing the end of hands-on parenting. The girls need supervision but are daily achieving independence. Those days I thought would never end are both welcomed and loathed. I am thankful for the children the Lord has entrusted me with and the purpose called motherhood. I find that I was at a loss for a bit at the realization that the season of my life was changing. For many, many years, I have identified myself as a mother and as often is the case lost sight of the “Lori” in me. I am a wife. I am a mother. The Lord created me with these identities but His Purpose and Plan did not end when our last child moves out. Although for a season, I felt like it was fleeting.
From the earliest age, children begin to choose who they would like to be when they grow up. Pretending to be that person in play and setting their goals moving into adolescents. The people around us foster purpose. Surrounded by optimist, the sky is the limit. There is no such things as boundaries just obstacles easily overcome. The sun will always come out tomorrow no matter how dark today may be. For those who live in the mist of pessimism, dreams are crushed by reality without hope. Disappointment is inevitable so why try anyway. Don’t put yourself out there or you will be crushed. Live for today because tomorrow may never come. Purpose is the reason that we exist. It is what shapes determination and the driving force of motivation. Society will gladly set limits and boundaries on people called normal life. The corporate ladder promotes the dog-eat-dog mentality and all men for themselves. Purpose. What is your purpose? Do you know? I thought I did.
Psalm 33:10-12 (NIV)
The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
When our son was officially in remission for one year, after fighting for four years to keep him alive. I was lost. Oh, of course, I still love the Lord without question. However, there was a void in my heart with the realization that over that time my children had grown up. My baby was now almost a teenager. Her sister a young lady. Our oldest three now grown and gone. What was I to do now? No grandbabies in the near future, what now Lord. After constantly caring for our son, that too was gone most thankfully as he returned to full-time studies and living the life of a college student. Nobody needed me anymore. What now Lord? Surely there is more to life than this?
Oh, I know that I am not the only one who as the seasons change must find their purpose once again. People usually are the ones who tell us who we are and what we can and cannot do. But in times of brokenness and loss, we seek the One who really does define us and call out our purpose. Our purpose is planted deep in our heart long before we made our presence known on the earth. The Lord placed it in our heart. It is called eternity. (Ecclesiastes 3:10-11) The Lord set the world in motion with the express design to fulfill every bit of purpose that He placed in us so we would spend forever with Him. Everything has a time just as properly placed as the seasons of each year. Each one is interwoven with His Plan and Potential for our life. He has given us a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11-12) It is ours. All we must do is seek it wholeheartedly. The purpose in our heart is deep waters who better to draw it out than the one who placed it there.
Job 36:5-7 (NIV)
God is mighty, but despises no one; he is mighty, and firm in his purpose. He does not keep the wicked alive but gives the afflicted their rights. He does not take his eyes off the righteous; he enthrones them with kings and exalts them forever.
God is firm in His Purpose. He made you on purpose. He did not change His Mind when you sinned or fell short of His Glory. God made the way for us by giving His Son Jesus to die for our sin and pay the price for our freedom. Now, we have no excuse not to live on purpose. When God created us it was with a plan. (Psalm 139:13-18) I think we forget that God knew us when He created us therefore nothing we do including failures, mess ups and mistakes catch Him off guard or fall beyond His Endless Grace. All of our days are preordained meaning that there is purpose and meaning in each one. God didn’t change His Mind about you (or me) just because during certain seasons we may have changed our mind or become distracted.
God does not take His Eyes off the righteous. The Lord has searched us and He knows us. He is constantly with us even when we ran from Him trying to hide in the darkness. He was right there the whole time. He will never leave us or forsake us. God does not give up on us. His Son continuously resides in us as the Holy Spirit. (Psalm 139:1-12) Your purpose is well-protected and provided for. It all depends on you now. Purpose in God is achieved when we acknowledge these unwavering traits of God who does not lie or change His Mind. He made up His Mind to love you and me so He does even when we are unlovable. He does not punish us upon our return but lavishes amazing grace on us to fill the void of sin. The Lord helps us in our weakness breaking every self-imposed chain keeping our purpose locked away.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
How do I know what my purpose really is? Dead dreams are discarded daily due to our situations and circumstances. The Lord speaks to us and we discredit Him based on what we see and are currently experiencing. Ignorance in faith and hope leave us as bystanders who exit the race because we have no clue where we are going and what we are after. Jesus patiently and lovingly meets us in this place with the answer. People seldom cry out to the Lord until broken and helpless otherwise we would just keep doing it ourselves. When we need faith and feel hopeless, we invite the Lord to join us. What would happen if we lived on purpose? What is the potential of a life intent on unlocking the potential hidden in us before time? I intend to find out. To do so requires surrendering our whole life to the Lord. Every thought, motive, intent, and goal for His Careful Inspection and Instruction. Listening for His Voice while feeding our Spirit His Word so that when He speaks we will know our Father’s Voice. Praying. Repenting. Praying some more. What do you want in life? Seasons come and go. God’s Word never returns void. We are free to choose to live for today or for forever. This world will pass away. His Kingdom is forever.
Romans 8:26-30 (NIV)
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. He tries to. He really does. Human begins can be stubborn and hard hearted people even Christian believers. We lack the love and trust in our relationship to Jesus approaching Him with the same wariness used in our natural relationships. The Spirit is constantly using whatever we give to mold and shape it for God’s Purpose and use in our life which may be contrary to our expectations and emotions. The Holy Spirit is working to line our life up with God’s Purpose.
The third time our son was diagnosed with cancer, it was the worse. We had just left the clinic the day before rejoicing as every other test including scans were good. Waiting only on the PET scan, the doctor declared a victory promising to follow up the next day to confirm this report. When the call came it was not as expected, the cancer had spread throughout his lymphatic system illuminated his entire torso. It was the worst report yet. I went straight to my knees asking God for encouragement and strength along with confirmation. The Lord gave me Romans 8:28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His Purpose.” I couldn’t believe it. I was a little miffed but began to mull over this verse until I finally understood.
Predestined. God knew that the enemy would attack our son with cancer long before he was born. He provided everything we needed to beat the dreadful disease and now he is in full remission just as the Lord promised us from the start. Four years is a long time to wait for your answer. Five bouts with cancer will drain every bit of your personal strength until all you can do is lean on Jesus. Bingo! We find our purpose when we exhaust all human efforts and learn to live by faith and confident hope in the One who promises nothing will ever separate us from His Love.
Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Our circumstances do not define our purpose in life. One’s mistakes do not limit the potential hidden in us from the beginning or Jesus’ death was not enough and His Blood insufficient. No, our potential is established by God before we breathe our first breath and remains until we breathe our last. It is wrapped in every moment according to His Time. Everything we go through in life has a purpose to expose and release the potential that will release our purpose. When Peter acknowledge that He believed Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God – he was immediately handed the Keys to the Kingdom. When we decide that God does love us, His Son died for us, and we step out of the chains of fear and doubt to accept that Love – we have found our purpose. (Period) The only thing we must do to achieve it is love the Lord with all our heart, mind and body. Some days this is an overwhelming battle especially when it is not clear the outcome. Jesus never said it would be easy. He promised it would be worth it! You are more than a conqueror in all things not just those things you know you can do and are good at it. We become limited in life when we see ourselves as the world does and believe more in who they say we are and what they say we can do than living in the Presence of God, communing with Jesus, guided by His Spirit determined to know His Great Love.
I found what I was looking for. He has set me free again. No more worries and doubts that my potential and purposed ended when the last little bird flies from the nest. No there is so much more. It is hidden in the deep waters of my heart. Lord, I am ready now. I release my expectations for my life to fulfill Your Purpose in me. Forgive me for allowing the world to define me and tell me who I am. You are the Messiah! The Son of the Living God! I want to know the power of my potential and fulfill my purpose found only by knowing You, Jesus!
Matthew 16:18-19 (NIV)
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[c] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”