WHAT ABOUT PURPOSE?
By: Bodé Adeboyejo
Few years ago, asked how she felt when she turned 60, and what she thought about her life, Tina Turner responded, “Well, I’ve lived a long life. If something happened to me now, it would be OK. I feel like I’ve done what I came here to do…(that) I could step down now. I’ve done a lot.”
For a woman who defied all odds to get to the very rung of the ladder of her career, Tina Turner is a success. Born as an unwanted child, Tina had a painful childhood of rejection by her mother and later on in life, endured an abusive marriage.
Refusing to be daunted by her eventful past, she made a conscious effort to make something of her life. With 36 cents and a half a million-dollar debt, she rose to the top of her career to become one of the most-sought-after entertainers in the world.
Tina Turner has done a lot. But behind all her success and accomplishment, can she truly say, “I have done what I came here to do?” If the answer is yes, how does she know? Is it possible that a person can walk this earth, accomplish a lot and yet not achieve their purpose for being here? A resoundingly yes!
As we know, many people walk this earth like aliens believing that they are here by chance. They seek after personal aspirations and focus all their lives trying to achieve it. Once accomplished, they assume that they have achieved their purpose on earth. Some others even go a step further to realize that they are here for a specific divine purpose but still wonder what that purpose is.
Divine purpose, simply put, is God’s original plan for which He created the earth and put Man in the Garden. God’s intent was not only to have fellowship with Man but also to develop a lasting relationship with him. This relationship was severed when Adam sinned against God.
However, regardless of Adam’s sin, the purpose of God did not change – God implemented a restoration plan by sending Jesus to re-establish the relationship between God and Man.
In addition to a fellowship with God, divine purpose also is the specific reason why God created a person. Just as we are all uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully made, so are we uniquely fashioned for this specific purpose. Only God knows that purpose and only God can unveil that purpose to us.
Regardless of how imperfect your existence here on earth may be God pre-designed you with a purpose when you were born in the same way that no two individuals have the same fingerprints.
The LORD told prophet Jeremiah:
“Before I formed thee in the belly I KNEW THEE; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I SANCTIFIED THEE, AND I ORDAINED THEE A PROPHET UNTO THE NATIONS,” Jeremiah 1:5.
How to Find Divine Purpose
How then do we find our divine purpose?
The process requires:
· A life in Christ
· Sanctification or being touched by God
· Obedience to God.
A Life in Christ
An inventor or manufacturer determines what an invention is going to be or do. For instance, the inventor of car meant for it to be mobile on land and not in the air. Furthermore, to discover what a piece of invention does, you must either inquire directly from the inventor or refer to the owner’s manual.
Likewise, to find out what our specific purpose is, we have to talk to our inventor, God Almighty or read His manual -- the Bible. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 3:3. Therefore, the first step to finding purpose is a saving knowledge of Christ, accepting Him as personal Lord and Savior.
Touched by God
Next to salvation is sanctification. God cannot use us without sanctification by His Spirit. Before prophet Isaiah answered his call, God touched him and cleansed him of his iniquity.
I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Isaiah 6:6-7.
Likewise, When the Prophet Jeremiah was called to service, he realized his inadequacies (as a child), but the Lord sanctified him – touched his mouth saying, “…Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” Jeremiah 1:9. Even before Jesus (our Lord and Savior) could start his ministry, he too was touched and sanctified by God when the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove after his baptism.
Matthew Henry in his commentary of Jeremiah Chapter 1 put it succinctly:
“The Lord, who formed us, knows for what particular services and purposes he intended us. But unless he sanctify us by his new-creating Spirit, we shall neither be fit for his holy service on earth, nor his holy happiness in heaven”.
Obedience to God
To walk in divine purpose, we must be obedient to the voice of God. This is very important. We can be Christians and still not find purpose unless we are obedient to Him.
Sometimes we can get caught up doing something that’s supposedly inspired by God but be completely out of His will. When Saul (Paul), a religious bigot in his day was persecuting Christians, he thought that he was doing it for God. As far as he was concerned, he had discovered his purpose.
He later discovered on his way to Damascus (to persecute more Christians), that that was not his purpose. It became clear to him after his encounter with Jesus that his purpose was to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Without this encounter with the Lord Jesus, Paul may have died thinking that he had fulfilled his purpose.
Meaning, without an encounter with the Lord Jesus, we can never find true purpose. Even though, not necessarily a dramatic encounter like Paul’s.
The Bible is replete of people who lived and walked in divine purpose and in obedience to God.
Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, even Jesus Christ!
God told Abraham (then Abram) to leave his kindred and move to Canaan, an unknown and unfamiliar ground. Abraham obeyed God. God told Moses to lead the Israelites out of captivity. Though Moses initially considered his speech an impediment, Moses obeyed God.
When God called prophet Isaiah, and asked “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah’s response was “Here I am, send me!” This is the same response our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave when God needed someone to send to the earth for the redemption of mankind.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8.
Living with Purpose
When we fail to live or walk according to God’s divine plan and purpose, humanity is worse for it and generations to come suffer.
What if the renowned Reverend Billy Graham had chosen to be a rock star? What would have become of the many souls who came to Christ through him and whose lives he touched and changed positively? What if Paul refused to heed God’s voice to preach the gospel to the Gentiles? And what if Christ came into this world but refused to go to the cross to die for our sins? What would our fate have been?
Therefore, to discourage our disobedience and rebellion, God sometimes allows Christians to have a Jonah experience. Figuratively speaking, being swallowed by a whale when we refuse to heed God’s call or carry out his purpose. It is pertinent, therefore, that we live our lives according to God’s plan so that we do not suffer the results of living otherwise.
I urge you to take a moment to examine your live. Are you walking according to God’s purpose for you? Remember Saul (Paul) thought he was doing God’s will by persecuting Christians.
Finding God’s Will
It is not as difficult to find God’s will for our lives as we tend to make it. All that is required is submitting our lives to Him and determine to live our lives in obedience and separation unto him.
This may be easier said than done but it can be done. You can never miss out on God or His purpose for your life, when you obey Him. It is a walk of faith and God instructs and guides us daily as we continue in our Walk with Him.
Remember, it is never too late to find purpose. Moses was 80 when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. There is no purpose outside of Christ. He alone determines it and He alone can establish it.