Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Step 7 - EXPECT The Desires of Your Heart

The psalmist David spells out the win-win nature of Step 7 in Psalm 37:4.  Let me explain:
Psalm 37:4 says,  

If you will make God the chief affection of your inmost heart...meaning you delight yourself in the Lord, find enormous pleasure and joy in him, get to know him well by continually sitting in his presence and obeying him. 

He will give you the desires of your heart.....meaning you will receive boundless enthusiasm for the deep passions, cravings, longings, petitions, and aspirations that he planted in your heart. 

God is waiting for you to recognize and enjoy the passions he gave you.  The best way to find your God give passion and purpose is spending time in His presence and His word.

The following are some suggestion to help you find and nurture the God-given desires of
 your heart:
  • Ask family and friends what they've noticed about your desires and passions
  • Write down some notes about your times of greatest joy.
  • Get out of your rut.  Do something different, unusual, out of your normal routine. 
  • Guard against jealousy of other people's assignments from God. 
  • Spend some time thinking about what would ignite your passion.
  • Experiment and look into some short term projects that you think you may enjoy (examples: volunteering, teaching etc)
As you spend time with God and work through some of these items expect God to reveal and give you the desires of your heart and don't be surprised if you find you already have them!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Step 6 - Walking With Integrity

We are going to continue with our Steps toward purpose today.  Step 6 is Walking with Integrity.  Our integrity determines whether we halfheartedly or fully participate in God's best purposes for our lives.  

Integrity can be defined as oneness between our mind and our actions.  A person of integrity keeps their promises.  Their motives are pure and they are honest, upright and genuine.  They are real in their relationships. 

God hates it when our secret motive is to manipulate a situation, control an opinion, seek revenge, stir up trouble, embarress someone,  or show off.  Those things are destructive to our relationship with Him and others.  Living without integrity will lead to cheating, envy, gossip, scheming and malice. 

So how do we become people of integrity?  We must inspect closely the motives for our actions.  We test our motives by regularly asking ourselves one question. "Why am I doing this?"   
Examples of this is.....Did I use flattery to get my way today.  Was gossip the underlying reason for the prayer request I made for my neighbor.  By asking the probing questions we learn to be honest with ourselves.  As we learn to thoroughly inspect our hearts, we become people of deeper character. 

As a person of integrity, you are a role model to your children, friends, neighbors, and others who desperately need examples of authenticity and honesty.  

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Proverbs 11:3

Monday, July 21, 2008


As you may have noticed I have been gone for a week.  We will pick back up on the next step toward purpose tomorrow.   Today I just would like to share a few highlights of my trip last week.  For my birthday and our Anniversary my husband and I went to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  I really have to say these are some of the most beautiful parks in our country.  The variety of sights and activities is more than I have ever seen at other parks and we have been to quite a few others. 

Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone.  Old Faithful gushes every hour give or take a few minutes. It was an amazing sight.

Bison are everywhere.  Walking down the road.  Herds of them in the fields.  We also saw Elk, Rams, mountain goats, marmots, pikas (little rodents) and Mule deer.                                             

We took a 6 mile hike up Mt. Washburn in Yellowstone and the sights were amazing.  They give you such a sense of God's awesome presence and how big and great He is.  As we were climbing up the mountain seeing the mountain on either side of us I 
was reminded of Psalm 121.  If fact I  was reciting it out loud as we were climbing:

"I raise my eyes toward the mountains, 
Where will my help
 come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
your Protector will not slumber.
Indeed, the protector of Israel 
does not slumber or sleep.
The LORD protects you:
The LORD is a shelter right by your side.
The sun will not strike you by day.
or the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all harm;
He will protect your life.
the LORD will protect your coming and going 
both now and forever.  Psalm 121

If you would like to see more pics of our trip go to:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Step 5 - Moving Toward Your Purpose

Notice that the title of these posts are - "Moving Toward Your Purpose"  Let's review the steps we have looked at so far:

Step 1  - Do What Matters Today
Step 2 - Leave Your Past Behind
Step 3 - Love Others as Jesus Loves You
Step 4 - Pursue Peace

Are you seeing a pattern here.  What it takes to Move TOWARD your purpose is a lot of self-examination.  You can still get there without these steps but you will not be as affective and you will not be prepared.   To truly live out the purpose God created for us we must learn the basic elements of contentment, love, forgiveness and many other character building attributes. 

So let's get to the next step ...ouch it's a hard one.  Step 5 is Repent of all known and hidden sin.   Repentance requires that we honestly appraise our sin life and adjust our thoughts and deeds accordingly.  That is never easy.  It requires being willing to make deeply personal changes.  When we repent we are better able to hear Him and focus on the purposes for which we were born.    

Character Formation is far more important to God than anything you could ever hope to accomplish for Him.

Repentance is remorse for our sinful conduct.  It is regret and sorrow that lead to a willingness to change.  Did you see the word...CHANGE??  When we truly repent our actions will match our words.  Acts 26:20. 

5 Sins That will Distract You from God's Best for Your Life:
1.  Jealousy
2. Anger/unforgiveness
3. Pride - this one should be number 1
4 Disobedience
5. Dishonesty

Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.  Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.  Ezekiel 18:30-31

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Step 3 and 4 - Moving Toward your Purpse

Today I am going to combine the next two steps because they go nicely together.  

Step 3 is love others as Jesus loves you.   Loving as Jesus loves is one of your most basic life purposes.  It is critical to every other life purpose God has in mind for you.  What is loving as Jesus loves?  it is spending ourselves, investing ourselves, in the daily and eternal well-being of others.  It is a huge calling.   What you will find is - as you begin to focus on this next step - loving as Jesus loves - your love for Him will grow.  

Here are a few suggestions to get this step going:
1. Catch Yourself Making a Loving Difference:  Make note of anything you do that makes a loving difference in someones life.  This exercise will raise your awareness that you are fulfilling one of your life purposes by endeavoring to love God's people. 
2.  Offer Forgiveness:  Forgive someone today.  Don't put it off.  Forgive in honor of Jesus' forgiveness of you.
3. Take a Relational Opportunity Checkup:  What opportunities do you have at this time to develop specific relational habits?  (join a bible study, support group, working on family relationships, finding a prayer or accountability partner)

Step 4 is to Pursue Peace.  Peace is defined as a state of mind that is free from annoyance, distraction, and anxiety.  Peace is a stepping stone that will lead you toward God and his other purposes for your life.  You may ask, How do I pursue peace?  You pursue peace through spending time with God in His presence and in His Word.  Bottom line that is it.  It's not easy and it's easy not to but that is the answer.  As you spend time with Him you will grow and become more attuned to His ways and His character.  Then when you least expect it you will become more receptive to impressions He gives concerning your life purpose. 

Some suggestions for Step 4: 
1. Practice Silence:  Create opportunities for God to speak to you by practicing silence. 
2. Pray Continuously:  Train yourself in the habit of talking to and listening to God all day, every day.  
3. Purposely Change your Pace:  Learn to slow down.  Make a conscientious effort to eliminate the pressure of performing for awhile.
4. Avoid Peace Killers:  There are three main peace killers.  People - pleasing, keeping up with the Jones and worrying about things that are out of your control. 

Seek peace and pursue it.  Psalm 34:14

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Step 2 - Moving Toward your Purpse

Today we will get back to our series on purpose. Remember in three posts ago we discussed that Step one to finding your purpose was one of the hardest. It is doing today what God has purposed you to do for today as He is preparing you for youR future purposes and plans.

Step 2 is one you can not leave out or you may not be able to handle any big or new assignments from God. Step 2 is best described in this scripture, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:13,14

Step 2: Forgetting what is behind so you can press toward your goal. If we are carrying around heavy weight of the past it can wear us down as if we are carrying a backpack loaded with bricks.

Before we go full-steam ahead down the pathway to purpose, we need to allow healing to be our focus for a period of time. It really is OK and in fact necessary to give yourself permission to slow your pursuit of purpose to concentrate on healing and putting behind you whatever could overwhelm you or hinder you on the journey ahead.

As we discussed in our step one post, God uses every part of your life, the good and the bad to shape you into who you are today. Those experiences many times are the very areas God will use us the most to help others.

Are you willing to empty your backpack of the load of bricks? Are you willing to unload the excess weight of your past and let old wounds heal? God wants you to get to the other side of your pain and hurt so that you can help others with theirs.

Some steps you may take to let go of past hurts and wounds:
1. Write about your Pain: Make a list of the areas that are holding you back, that you need to heal from. It may be an unsent letter to someone who has hurt you. Write it, pray over it and burn it. Possibly have a prayer partner pray with you over this.
2. Remember a time when God did heal you: Be encouraged by how far you have come. God has helped you and healed you before, He can do it again!
3. Write your testimony: If you have never done so, write out your story since coming to know Christ. Page one: life before Christ, Page two: Describe God's mercy and how he healed you, brought you to Him and the pages after: the changes that have taken place and how He has used you since coming to Him
4. Ask yourself, "How will my hurt in life help someone else?". Then every time you want to bring back your hurt into your heart remember how many people will eventually benefit from your healing.
5. Surround yourself with people of hope: Positive role models are powerful influences in our lives.

God wants and wills to bring good out of the bad in our lives. Trust that He will use the best and worst of your past and present to fulfill His purposes for your life!