FOR THIS PURPOSE | discovering my assignment.
“I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” Luke 4:43
Have you considered how humans are always searching for their purpose in life and have you compared how clear Jesus was about this? There are many reasons we can think about that caused Jesus to have such an effective life, and certainly one of those reasons was how confident he was about why he was here on Earth.
The question “why am I here?” is not easily answered by simply looking at your abilities, gifts and talents and selecting something that enables you to use them. Helpful, but not it. Neither can you evaluate how successful you are being in finding your purpose by outcomes such as money, popularity, titles, books sold, followers, etc. (at least not if you are living for the heavenly things). Jesus did not have a place to lay his head (Luke 9:58) nor was he liked among many (Luke 3). (Here the people decided they did not like what he was saying and wanted to throw him off a cliff! I absolutely love the way Jesus put an end to their plan. I can picture him walking away like a superhero, “you seriously think you can take my life?”)
Now, I doubt it fully that many of us today would say “hey look how successful I am! Today people wanted to throw me off a cliff!” NO! As humans we like the praises, and the likes, and the followers, and the noise calling our names. We like to be liked! We want to be the next best thing and some of us are even claiming it and declaring it. No, I am not saying that serving God does not bring some of these things… but some and only sometimes, and not always. The apostles saw great miracles and multitudes coming to Christ yet Acts 5:41 says “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” I am not too sure that we go to conferences to find out how to “suffer disgrace” so we can “rejoice” in our purpose.
Well, I am not going to re-write the Purpose Driven Life book from Rick Warren but if you have not read it, know that this book provides great and practical insight into this topic.
However, I am wanting to dig a little more with you. There are general reasons that tell us about our purpose and, there are particular “works” and a particular “ministry” God wants YOU to carry out. I love how Paul says this to Timothy “…but you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Do not be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.”
There are a few things to pay close attention to here regarding living in our purpose:
1. Do not be afraid of suffering for the Lord
2. Work at telling others about Jesus!
3. The ministry given YOU, carry it out FULLY
To be clear about our purpose we must first:
1. Be ready to suffer if need be. This is called full surrender! (Galatians 2:20)
2. Be active in sharing Jesus
3. Believe that I have been given a ministry, an assignment.
4. Be diligent to carry it (ministry) out fully
OK, so I wish I can now give you “10 steps to finding your assignment” and answer this for you but the secret to finding your purpose does not lie in a secret book somewhere or a personality test, these are helpful tools but not the answer. The secret is found in the secret place. (You know that place where there are no views, no audience and you close the door behind you?)
You see, no one can walk you or hold your hand through this and if you let them, they may only lead you to their own plan, their own ministry (nothing wrong with that and collaboration is essential as members of one body, but…). While you will need to learn at the feet of someone until you mature as a disciple of Christ (humility is only learned under submission), the day will come (and may be now for some) when you will need to step into your ministry… your purpose (Jesus stepped into his ministry at age 30 - Luke 3:23). Because it is for that reason that you were made.
So, how can a person, like Jesus, walk saying “for this purpose?” Only a person who, like Jesus, is living in complete intimacy and surrender to God, walking in step with the Spirit of God and abiding in the Son of God will be able to say, “for this purpose was I sent” and do it with rejoicing.
Now how do we do that? Well, that is another topic for us to talk about later.