At the end of each year, my wife and I ask the Lord what could be one word to help us focus on during the approaching new year. These words are ones that we mediate on throughout the year and we have written in a visibly public place in our home to help remind us of what God told us if we were to forget or lose sight of it.
In 2015 we knew the Lord was telling us that there would be NEWNESS for us. And man that could have never been more accurate (click the link above to read the full story)! We had a baby and moved our family of three out of state. Leaving our family and friends and all we knew behind we knew that we were in God’s perfect will. We had a new baby in this new state, at a new home, with a new church, a new job, new friends, the list goes on and on. My wife and I have never seen God move in our lives like that before. But it’s that exact peace that came from knowing that He was leading and guiding us that beckons us to seek Him deeper each year to lead our family down a new path.
In 2016 our word was SELF-CONTROL. Which ironically was the focus of the first month for me to speak in Kid’s Church. Through 2016, my wife and I learned that self-control is applied in every area of your life: food, education, sex, meeting goals and fulfilling dreams, keeping your anger in check, having Bible studies, prayer times, church days, and quiet times, and much more. Self-control is the last fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. You know that they say, “save the best for last.” Self-control, just like all the fruit of the Spirit, is not a “one and done” thing. Instead, it is an ever-increasing challenge to submit to the Lord in a commitment to following His lead for the rest of your life.
This New Year my wife felt the Lord impress on her heart that the new word for our family is the word – PURPOSE.
Purpose is defined as the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. An intended or desired result, end, aim, or goal. Determination or resoluteness.
I tell the kids I teach each Sunday and Wednesday at church, “You were made by God ON purpose FOR a purpose.” And it’s true. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Notice two great points in this verse:
- God created you. You are not an accident.
- God has a plan for you. You have a purpose in life. (Jeremiah. 29:11)
But do we live each day with THAT sense of purpose over our lives?
*I believe that God has a purpose for everyone.
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).
This scripture is talking about Pharaoh when he mistakenly thought that he was in control. However, God put him in the place of being an Egyptian leader for His purpose. God has a purpose for everyone—including those who resist Him. Ultimately, God will get the glory no matter the person because He is the Giver of purpose in every life whether they live for Him or not.
*I believe that God’s purpose can’t be undone.
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
Once God has established His purposes for our lives—no one can change it. What door God has shut, no man can open and what door God has opened, no man can shut. People will wear themselves out in efforts to make a situation turn badly for believers, yet God will still ultimately accomplish His plans. Christians can take courage that He is working everything for our good even through the most difficult life situations.
*I believe that God’s purpose is the one that lasts.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).
Our lives are only here today and gone tomorrow; however, God’s purposes can be fulfilled throughout multiple generations. We can make our plans and set out to see them accomplished, but if we don’t pray and seek God’s direction—we could find ourselves drifting in an ocean of problems without a sail or compass. Every plan should begin and end with God in mind first.
I believe to live a purposeful life is to live a balanced life between planning and intentionality.
- “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Benjamin Franklin. You can plan a to-do-list and have purpose in doing it while having the satisfaction of accomplishment. Yet, if you’re not careful, this lifestyle can lead to burn out, frustration, and loneliness.
- “Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.” Glenda Cloud. Being intentional about something means to put great thought into what you are wanting to accomplish. Intentional living is carefully planning out the steps in how a process will be followed and really focusing on the “WHY” of the end result. Being intentional is a great motivator for any goal. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels on a project, it may be time to ask yourself what was the intention for the end goal and is it worth it?
So here’s an encouragement for my family and yours this New Year:
LIVE LIFE ON PURPOSE
*These Biblical truths I found from: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/7-important-bible-verses-about-purpose.