Thursday, October 22

4 Enemies of your Purpose

Why do we create our own enemies? | America Magazine

Purpose, isn’t that what we all feel we want to be living for? It is probably one of the strongest forces in us, is the need to feel our lives have meaning. Growing up as a teenager I had a growing sense of what I wanted to do, no details, just a vague direction; I am living in that right now, 30 plus years later (who’s counting anyway!)

Here are some lessons I’ve learnt what the 4 enemies are to living a fulfilling sense of purpose.

1. All at once

I want it, and I want it NOW. I have the vineyard, but I want the grapes also, in fact I want the champagne NOW! The desire for overnight success will be an enemy to your purpose.

Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

Exodus 23:30

When the Israelites took hold of their Promise Land, it was taken, little by little, giving them a chance for their capacity to keep up with their purpose development.

Fame is a curse if it comes too early, but can be used as a blessing if it comes in maturity.

If we are to flourish in our purpose we need to stop wanting it all now, and embrace the process that grows us step by step. Don’t bi-pass the essential process needed for your purpose to prosper.

Be patient, and simply take your next step.  What is your next step?

2. Self centred

When our purpose is not in anything outside our own personal sphere we have an enemy to our purpose.  My happy family, my business making money, starting a business because you don’t like working for a boss, running a project because it is what I enjoy … whilst these aren’t wrong in their own right, they are shallow in their nature.

There needs to be an altruism in our purpose to bring your purpose to life.

Our purpose needs to be connected to a higher call.

You are not called to be an Accountant, or a teacher, a business owner – you are called to higher calling to Christ – to be a light, an influencer, a discipler.

Whatever you do, do it as serving the Lord

Colossians 3:23

I want to help you get planted in God’s House, so she can fuel your primary purpose, to go and make disciples through whatever sweet spot God has given you. It is in the context of God’s House you learn the selfless higher call.

If we are not planted in God’s House, which is His promise (“I will build my Church”) our purpose will never fulfil its higher call.

You have a purpose to have a healthy family life.  Great purpose, but missing the point … place that purpose inside the promise (I will build my Church), then suddenly it’s elevated … my purpose is for my family life to be healthy, a place of discipleship, & as for me & my house we will serve the Lord – now that can scare some devils!

You have a purpose to have a thriving business that supplies work for many people – admirable.  But you are called to a higher call than that; to a living hope, and to lift others up into that call to Christ.  Inside the promise (I will build my Church) your purpose may become : to have a thriving business, based on Christ-like values, that seeks to show the power of Christ in the marketplace, and multiplies the possibilities for generosity toward God’s house and the community. 

We are told to love God and love others.  There is really no place in our purpose for serving ourselves!

3. Resistance

There will always be obstacles to meaningful purpose.  Challenges are normal, push back is normal, obstacles are normal.  Yet when we treat resistance like it is abnormal or unfair it becomes an enemy to our purpose.  Be more concerned if you have no resistance!

When we hit a tough times in our first few years of moving to the Netherlands, we had good people telling us to return. What we really needed to hear was encouragement to keep moving forward.

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.

Matthew 16:18

There will always be Pests to Purpose. Hell itself is a pest to our purpose, but we can overcome it.

The great thing about resistance is it builds us for a purpose. In fact Paul says in Romans 5 that “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Facing down resistance one at a time, builds you to be the person you need to be for your purpose.  Obstacles form and shape us.

Talking about the hell-resisting nature of the Church – it is here you will find both the power of the Holy Spirit anointing and equipping you, and others encouraging so resistance can be overcome and used as fuel to your purpose. What you learn through overcoming your weaknesses becomes fuel to accelerate your purpose. That’s the power of grace.

4. Lack of current ability

My gifts aren’t ready yet, I don’t have what it takes yet, I don’t have the resources YET.  The emphasis here is on the yet. If we get stuck on what we don’t have and don’t see the ‘yet’, then our current lack becomes an enemy to our purpose.

When we realise, that ‘yet’ means not currently, but one day I will, then we will earnestly seek what we need.

What are some of the areas I need to seek to expand in order to have resources?

Expand your gifting. Use the gift you have, grow the gift you have, fuel it so it compensates for your weaknesses. Seek God for an anointing on you for your purpose :

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to… 

Isaiah 61:1

As you build His House, He supplies you with what you need to build your purpose inside this promise. He supplies the sower with seed, the server with gifts, the willing with opportunities.

His House is a place of wonders, gifts flourishing, purposes fulfilled and the imperfect being perfected.

Don’t hold back … Build. You are called to engage in a higher call!

Watch the video version …

5 Comments

  • Jacoline van Doeselaar

    Hi ps. Steve,

    Really good. Thanks for this!
    I have a question about 1. All at once..
    What if you really don’t know what the next step is..?

    • Such a good question Jacoline.
      If you aren’t clear about a specific next step, keep on doing now what you know is the ‘right thing’.
      Living by principles that you know are ‘right principles’.
      If you keep living by Godly principles, you will always bump into your sweetspot, your purpose.

  • Maurits

    Very educational and true. Just the first of the 4 points is worth a study on it’s own. Awareness about this is critical for everyone who is working on a lot (too many) things at the same time or when working on or praying for something big.

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