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….
1 Samuel 17: 32-37
David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.’
Saul replied, ‘You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.’
But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’
Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you.’
When our lives are aligned with God’s purpose it will always bring honour to Him, release hope to others and unlock our own heart.
So, how do we recognise God’s will for our lives?
(i) Your purpose always solves a problem for someone.
When you open your eyes every morning, you are looking into an entire world filled with solutions. From cars to light bulbs to banks to hairdressers to mechanics – each was initiated, invented or created as a solution to someone’s problem, somewhere, at some time.
You are a solution to somebody.
In 1 Samuel 17, David solved the problem of Goliath and this opened up his purpose. For 40 days the giant had taunted God’s people and no one had brought a solution. Enter David and their problem is taken care of. The greater the problem, often the larger is the reward for those who solve it.
What problems are you surrounded by today? 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.
Your purpose awakens you, it brings life, it energises you. Ask yourself: what do I love to talk about, read about, spend hours working at? This could become more clear throughout your life as you mature and face new experiences. What you thought was your purpose is replaced with something else which carries a greater passion, favour and ability. You realise that this is what you were born to do.
For example, David was a songwriter until he was confronted with a lion and bear when out looking after his father’s sheep. He then discovered he was a skilled warrior. This was confirmed after his slaying of Goliath. He still played the harp, but this became a peripheral hobby rather than his primary purpose.
Also, there will often be emotion attached to your purpose. What frustrates you, even makes you angry? Where could/should things be better/different? Nehemiah heard about the walls of Jerusalem lying in ruins and he wept. His deep emotion moved him to prayer then action. His passion led to the rebuilding of the walls in just 52 days.
(iii) When you move in your purpose, you run with permission.
As your heart is completely surrendered to God’s will, you discover a freedom to explore your desires and longings. Knowing your God-given purpose removes constant second-guessing about every decision. You move forward boldly with a sense of permission, knowing that God is able to stop or redirect you if He so wills.
God never told David to fight Goliath, but he knew his purpose so he stepped up when everyone else stepped back. Later in life he wanted to build a temple for the Lord, because it was a passion David had in his heart. In this case, God essentially put the project on hold, telling David, “I love what’s in your heart, but I want your son to build the temple instead.”
(iv) When you move in your purpose, people begin to connect with you.
Immediately after David killed Goliath, we read this:
“Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.” (1 Sam 18: 1)
Jonathan was himself a brave warrior who had fought the Philistines (see 1 Sam 13-14). His heart was instantly connected with David’s because he had found someone whose passion and purpose resonated with his own.
When you live with your purpose, you will attract people whose hearts are moved by what stirs your heart.
Purpose solves problems, flows from passion, brings permission and pulls others towards you who have a similar purpose. It brings meaning to your daily life, moving you from a feeling of existing or just surviving, to having a sense of significance and satisfaction. Seth Godin says this:
“’Life's too short’ is repeated often enough to be a cliche, but this time it's true. You don't have enough time to be both unhappy and mediocre. It's not just pointless, it's painful. Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don't need to escape from.”
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9.30 am, 11.30 am and 7.00 pm.