Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Final Step

Today we are wrapping up our Steps Toward Purpose.  To review, these are the steps we have taken so far to move toward our purpose in Life:

Step 1 - Do today what God has for you TODAY
Step 2 - Forgetting what is behind
Step 3 - Love others as Jesus loves you
Step 4 - Pursue Peace
Step 5 - Repent of all known and hidden sin
Step 6 - Walk in Integrity
Step 7 - Expect the Desires of your heart
Step 8 - Surrender your heart daily to God
Step 9 - Anticipate God's Vision
Step 10 - Take Courage
Step 11 - Bring Glory to God

So our next and last step is Bring Glory to God.  As you consider what needs to happen in your life for you to follow God's plan, guard against losing hope because of the many unknowns. Instead, focus on what you do know and trust him with the details. The pressure to complete God's work isn't actually on us - it is on God.  He is the one who know what we are to do.  He will provide the strength and the resources. 

God will enable you to carry out your portion of his work whether you are currently accomplishing your purpose or taking your first steps to prepare yourself, your character, your finances, your network, or your skills for what is ahead.  

As we finish our Journey Toward Purpose I would give you these last words of encouragement:

Don't give up and do whatever it takes to heal and press on, do today what matters today.  Be aware of your motives and look out for others along the pathway.  Fall hopelessly in love with Jesus, pursue peace, and listen closely to every word He has to say.  Live a passionate life of full surrender to God, repenting from sin and serving Him faithfully for the rest of your life.  Be filled to overflowing with anticipation, vision and courage.  As you grow into each of God's daily and distinct purposes for your life, be confident that God is fulfilling His great purposes through you. 

I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  John 17:4

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Step 10 - Take Courage!

One of the biggest roadblocks to God's purpose in our lives is fear. So our next step in walking toward purpose is to Take Courage. Courage is a gift from God. To receive it, we need only show up and rely upon God's complete faithfulness.

Fear impacts life purpose. Once fear has you in it's grasp it blocks creativity, productivity, and relationships. So how can we take this next step and turn our fears into courage:
  1. Make a list of all the things you fear about living out God's purposes for your life. Are you afraid you will fall short of God's intentions? Are you afraid of what people will think? No matter what the fears write them - then pray over the list and offer your fears to God.
  2. Ask yourself two questions, How does fear keep me focused on myself? and What has fear stolen from me?"
  3. Sometimes the best way to handle fear is to "just do it" just do that first speech, teach that first bible study,
  4. Feed your courage with the word of God...find scripture on fear and write it on an index card - read them, meditate on them.
On a personal note this has been a step that I am in the process of conquering. I am in a transitional time of life right now and it would be easy to allow fear to envelope me but even when the path of life is not clear and the purpose is bleary my trust is in my God. He has never failed me and He has been so very faithful in every situation in my life. We have to keep the prospective that God sees the big picture of our life we only see this moment so knowing that He wants only our best we can rest and go about doing what we are to do for this moment as He is preparing us for the next step.

"I sought the Lord, and He answered me; he delivered me from all of my fears." Psalm 34:3

Friday, August 8, 2008

Step 9 - Anticipate God's Vision

Ok, we are almost done with our steps of walking toward our purpose.  Most steps as you have probably noticed have alot to do with us working on us.   The next step is the one we have been waiting for.  Step 9 is eagerly anticipating that the Lord God Almighty WILL reveal His vision for you.  So what does this mean?  What is vision?  It is basically catching a glimpse of the type of person He wants you to become and what He wants you to do for him.  

God's primary vision for our lives is already clearly revealed in the Bible.  Basically we are to love God, love our neighbor, and go and make disciples.  This is our anchor point but God also reveals to each of us His individual, specific assignment in relation to that broader vision. 

The hard thing about the word anticipate is that is means, "to expect, to look forward to"  so what that means is we have to be patient as we look forward to what God is going to reveal to us if He has not done so already in your life.  So what are we to do as we eagerly expect and look forward to God specific assignment for us if we do not feel He has revealed it to us yet.  

I think a quote by Patrick Morley say it best:
"When "how" God wants us to undertake our vision is unclear, we must pray and wait patiently. These are the times when he is equipping us - preparing us - with all we will need to successfully fulfill the vision.  it may be His will to keep things unclear for years, as in the case of Moses.  Keep moving with what you've seen so far, while praying for what you still need to see"

Friday, August 1, 2008

Step 8 - Surrender Your Daily Life to God

Many people balk at the idea of surrender.  They want to do something meaningful for God, but they want to control what it is, when they do it and how it will be done.  Surrender has no place in their plans.  

The facts are that we cannot fulfill God's greatest purpose for us without surrendering our will and life to him.  Surrender, which can be defined as, "the act of giving up one's person or possessions into the authority of another, of relinquishing one's power, aims or goals." is a daily response to the Holy Spirit.  Surrender is about learning to live for an audience of one, and this is God.  

I wrote the first two paragraphs of this blog on Friday morning.  During the weekend I went to the Beth Moore Simulcast and she spoke on the Parable of the Sower, Luke 8.  But her main message was how to have 100 fold impact in our lives toward others.  It really did come down to surrender.  It is the way to find purpose in our lives.  

One interesting note was in Luke 8:1-3 which are the verses right before the parable the scripture talks about Jesus being with some women and how these women were helping support Jesus and the disciples with their own means.  Beth stated that these were woman of substance - not in a material way but in a spiritual way.  They had surrendered their lives to Christ.  Beth gave 7 steps to surrendering our lives so that we can have a life that produces a 100 fold harvest.

1.  Treasure the Wonder (the wonder is the Word) 2 Tim. 3:16,17 just a little note in that scripture the Greek meaning for thoroughly equipped is to be "competently competent.  So that means we need to be competently competent about the Word of God!
2. Protect Your Heart - (hide the word in your heart- know it- believe it) Memorize and know scripture.  it is what is needed the most in times of trials. Luke 8:12
3.  Expect the Test - We will be tested especially in times when God is getting ready to use us the most.  But if we know the Word we will survive the test.  Luke 8:13
4.  Dig the Roots -  Understand how much God loves you.  Not just saying but knowing with all of our being. Ephesians  3:17
5. Stop the Choke - Anxiety chokes the Word out of us. Luke 8:14  This is probably the hardest step of all but when we know the Word we can speak scripture and God's promises during these times and that will stop the anxiety and worry. On the other hand riches and pleasure can have the same affect.  
6. Retain the Word - to possess , own it. Luke 8:15
7. Press Forth Toward Your 100 Fold Harvest and Purpose - "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart(beautiful and beneficial heart) who HEAR the Word, RETAIN it and by persevering produce a crop."  

When God gives you a project, an assignment, persevere with it.  Don't give up!