Ephesians 5: 14-18
This is why it is said:
‘Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.’
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit….
SUMMARY OF SUNDAY’S MESSAGE
The two most important days in our lives are the day we were born and the day we discover why we were born. We don’t create our purpose, it is God’s gift to us. The Bible says, “We are God’s workmanship…” (Eph 2: 10) It also says that God chose the exact time and place we would live. (Acts 17: 26)
Purpose brings fulfilment whereas lack of purpose leads to frustration.
Your purpose is twofold:
(i) Your ultimate purpose: to reflect God’s glory and enjoy Him.
(ii) Your unique purpose: the specific way God has designed you.
Where there is no purpose, the people perish. Something begins to die, we live on the decline.
Your unique purpose is a process of discovery and demonstration. It's where you find what you were made for. It also requires diligence. We need to intentionally pursue it and grow in it. Otherwise you will discover your preferences but not your purpose.
How do we discern and demonstrate God’s purpose for our lives?
The Apostle Paul also said:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom 12: 2)
We come alive when good, pleasing and perfect intersect.
Good is something which God declares is good. It brings favour. It brings good results, release and rewards.
Pleasing means it brings pleasure, you enjoy it.
Perfect means it is according to design. It leads to maturity helping you become all you were meant to be.
When God’s purpose is unfolding in our lives, these three elements are working together.
Not everything that gives you pleasure makes you mature.
Not everything that has favour on it brings you pleasure.
Not everything that makes you mature has favour on it.
If it gives you pleasure, but doesn’t make you mature – that means it could be a preference or a hobby.
If it has favour, but doesn’t bring you pleasure - you may have discovered an area of excellence.
If it makes you mature, but doesn’t bring pleasure or favour - it is probably an area of obedience.
When all three come together we have ‘convergence’. You’re doing what you love to do, you’re becoming who you were designed to become and you’re being rewarded in the process.
All of this ‘convergence’ of our purpose, happens insides of God’s overall purpose for us.
Romans 12: 1 speaks about a posture of surrender:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.”
God’s purpose will always honour Him, bring hope to others and unlock your heart.
Understanding unlocks obedience and obedience unlocks understanding.
We bring a heart posture of surrender to the will of God and He opens up His good purpose. He gives us permission to explore the desires of our hearts only from a place of surrender. It only when we obey God, even when we don’t understand, that we are qualified to enter our destiny.
How do we recognise God’s will?
Saul in the Old Testament was raised up as king to overthrow the Philistines. He didn’t complete this assignment. David became king after Saul and completed the job.
(i) Your purpose always solves a problem for someone. Sometimes your pain is a pathway to your purpose. David solved the problem of Goliath and opened up his purpose. Your purpose will bring maturity because it brings you through problems. Your problem could be your future knocking because it forces you to into solution-oriented thinking.
(ii) When you move in your purpose, you move in your passion. It awakens you, it brings life, it energises you. David was a songwriter until he was confronted with a lion and bear. He then discovered he was a warrior. His primary purpose was not a harpist but a warrior. People with purpose have passion.
(iii) When you move in your purpose, you run with permission. God never told David to take out Goliath. He knows his purpose. When we have purpose it removes the constant second-guessing.
(iv) When you move in your purpose, people begin to connect with you. The moment after David kills Goliath, Jonathan’s heart was connected with his because he found someone with a heart like his. When you live with your purpose, you will draw your tribe to you.
David fulfilled God’s purpose in his generation but then he went beyond that. It was the same with the Apostle Paul. As they fulfilled God’s heart they also expressed what was in their own hearts.
Run in God’s purpose recognising that this was what you were designed to do and it gives God great pleasure.