We’ve discussed how a God-given purpose means we all have the opportunity to do something marvelous for God. Now, we will address some of the things that hold us back.
First up is a lack of commitment to our purpose. Seems pretty straightforward, right? However, for those who have visited the drawing board several times, we know committing to purpose can be intensely nuanced. As some would say: There are levels to this!
In order to create a steadfast commitment to purpose, we need to address the truths of our experience. Are we lazy? Do we have a lack of planning or poor time management? If so, the next step would be to address the problem. Oh, but this is a tricky step for many of us. Often we approach most of our problems with the same tactics. Here is where failure can take place. If we fail to recognize our need to ask God for help with our purpose, we can become stuck trying to apply tools that won't work to fix our problem. So, the solution? Put your toolbox down and ask God to bring His instead.
Second on this list of things that can hold us back is our disdain for difficulty. Trust me, I understand. It can be harsh news to realize that the scripture John 16:33 does not miss a single beat. When Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation..." --He meant it. Why do we want God to hand us a glorious calling when we haven't proven we can be trusted with it? Sorry friend, there is no way around it. It is so important for us to develop a character worthy of our purpose. God has to be able to correct our wrong habits, thoughts, and actions. There is no easy road, and a lot of time could be saved if we stopped looking for one.
Lastly, we don't understand what it means to have our minds transformed, and so our purpose suffers. Romans 12:2 says: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God". What does it mean to be transformed by the renewing of your mind? Well, the work of transformation takes place alongside the things we consume. Have you heard the saying you are what you eat? The same principle applies here.
To have a renewed mind, we should first understand that we hold no power over the renewal process. We cannot speed it up or change any necessary part rendering it unnecessary. Our first work in renewal and transformation is to allow God to come in and take charge. Then, in faith, we ask God to give us discernment. Next, is to ask for strength to remove anything in our environment that is positioned against what God is doing. By the way, our environment includes both external and internal things. Removing the offense from our physical environment doesn't mean the same thing took place emotionally. These are matters that demand our attention.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the frequency by which these 3 things should be monitored. As much as I would like to share that they only need one-time evaluations, I can't. Day-by-day we have to check ourselves, friend. Every day we have to ask God to help us handle our purpose with intention and dedication. Otherwise, old habits can sneak back in and destroy everything God is trying to help us build.
But remember, friend, that you are more than capable of partnering with God to be successful in your purpose. From the very beginning, He created you capable. What you decide to do with your capabilities makes all the difference.
Now, it’s your turn. This is your opportunity to reconnect with your purpose. These journal prompts are meant to help you along your journey:
1. Have you fully committed to your purpose? Take some time to think about it. Then, write down what helped you keep that commitment.
2. Define what commitment to your purpose looks like. Explore whether that definition has ever changed for you and why. If it hasn’t changed, should it?
3. How do you handle difficulty in your purpose? Are there things you would like to change?
4. If transformation occurs alongside what we consume; how are the things you take in (TV, books, podcasts, conversations, etc.) helping or hurting you?
5. Are you afraid to allow God to take control of your purpose? Explore why this is or is not the case.
6. How do you plan to continue evaluating the progress you make?