When your pursuits aren’t aligned with your purpose, you’ll get frustrated and exhausted.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t seasons of preparation, of waiting, or of doing something else temporarily until you can find the freedom to pursue what you’re really passionate about.
It just means that you need to think and plan and invest your energy into things that prepare you for the fulfillment of God’s purpose for you.
I believe there are two realms of purpose into which God leads us. The first is his normative, universal purpose for all of his children. This would include coming to know Jesus, growing deeper in your faith, serving others, showing love, sharing your life message, and being part of the global expansion of God’s kingdom in your world.
There are activities that align with God’s universal purposes for his people, like spending a lot of time in his presence, gathering with a body of fellow believers, discovering and using your spiritual gifts, giving and practicing generosity, and more.
And then there is God’s individual and uniquely personal purpose for your life and no one else’s. It’s really about the application of God’s greater purposes in your context.
God wants every believer to serve others, but he’s uniquely shaped you to do so in a way that may not be true of others around you. God wants every believer to develop generosity, but he may direct your heart toward causes that the people around you don’t share in common.
Scan the pages of scripture and you’ll see God repeatedly helping people to align their pursuits and priorities with his personal assignments and purposes for their lives. And God didn’t stop doing this when the biblical period of history ended. He’s alive, awake, and working today!
The big question is, are you dreaming, praying, planning, studying, preparing, and working toward God’s uniquely personal purpose for your life? Anything else is settling for the status quo.
I’ve been in a season of realignment for the past six months or so, and it’s required pruning some activities out and grafting others in. It’s taken me back to the pages of scripture in search of wisdom and direction. And it’s renewed my passion for the calling God placed on my life twenty-five years ago, to pastor and shepherd people.
I believe God has called me to nurture faith in others, especially the broken among us who are finding their way home in Jesus, so I’ve recently launched a free daily devotional that gets published here on my site and via email. I’m also determined to write my next book in the next year and Angie and I, together, are planning on sharing way more about marriage and family issues.
I believe God has called me to lead my church to reach our community creatively and to experience God’s presence in a deeper way, so we’re launching a monthly, Wednesday evening service in January called Encounter. We’re raising up a team of prayer warriors and setting the stage for dynamic encounters with God. We’re starting the new year with 21 days of fasting and prayer, and we’re determined to see God move in remarkable, miraculous ways within our body.
I believe God has called me to invest in pastors and church leaders, so I’m interviewing amazing leaders for the Advance podcast, by Purpose Driven, and giving away my sermon notes, transcripts, graphics, and other resources for free to over 6,000 subscribers.
I’ve taken a step back from teaching online entrepreneurship. Even though I love it and have enjoyed success in it, there are others who can teach it far better than I can because they have the time and it’s their main thing. I’ll keep referring people to my favorite affiliate marketing training opportunities and support and encourage kingdom-minded entrepreneurs, but I don’t have to lead the pack.
When your pursuits and activities are aligned with God’s purpose for your life
- The pressure may increase but it won’t crush you
- God will bless you and pour out his favor
- He’ll provide every resource you need
- You’ll be able to handle the frustrations
- You’ll have abundant, supernatural energy for the work
- You’ll be armed for the fight
And you’ll discover what real significance is all about. It’s not found in winning the approval of others, hearing the applause of the crowd, or obtaining and consuming more nice stuff.
Significance is discovered at the intersection of your pursuits and God’s purposes for you. When you are spending your time, your money, your thoughts, and your efforts on the relationships and pursuits that align with God’s purposes for you, you’ll thrive!
Let me encourage you to take inventory.
If you’re pursuing things that don’t align with your passion, determine that you’ll be faithful during this season of waiting, but you’ll also pursue the education and the connections that can shift you into God’s purposes.
If you’re spending inordinate amounts of time and money on activities that don’t contribute to your purpose, find ways to cut them off so you can spend that energy on something that matters more.
Be intentional. Be prayerful. Be passionate. And always be alert and looking for ways God wants to use your life to touch the lives of others.
In the end, it’s not actually about you. It’s not about your comfort. It’s not about you feeling good. It’s about aligning with God’s purposes so that he can spend you and use you to enlarge his family, rescue more lost people, and make a difference for him in an increasingly dark world.
This article originally appeared here.