“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11
When I first read Jeremiah 29:11, I got very emotional. I took the words very personally; like God was talking specifically to me — realising that I had been designed with purpose put a whole new perspective on my life!
The deep sense of purpose I received when I gave my life to Christ completely changed the way I did things. Since then, I have been gifted with a greater sense of discernment and seem to have a better idea of when I am walking outside of His will.
But I have to be honest; although I have said I have a deep sense of purpose, I am not entirely sure what this is. So, being mindful of the mess I made when I tried to do life my way, I now seek God’s guidance through prayer and fasting with every big decision I make. And even many of the smaller ones too.
However, as I mentioned earlier, there are still times when I find myself walking outside of God’s plan for my life. I am thankful these times seem to be momentary, but in understanding this, I decided to do a heart check in order to understand what it is that pulls me off path so it would no longer have power over me. In doing this I found the following:
- Selfish desires
The heart wants what it wants — so the saying goes! I cannot argue with this, but scripture tells us that the heart is deceitful! Some translations even go as far as to call it sick and desperately wicked, so not everything it desires should be pursued.
I used to think that because I was good at talking it meant that God wanted to use me to minister to his people. I started imagining myself being the next Priscilla Shirer and travelling the world to share on His goodness. I have since realised that encouragement is my real gift and this is the way God uses me the most. And nothing feels better than lifting another’s spirit in their time of need!
Jesus warns us of taking the seat of honour at the table; He said it is better to take a lowly seat and be asked to move up than to take a seat of honour and be asked to move down. In deciding I was going to be a world famous minister I was in essence assigning for myself a seat of honour. My selfishness still craved glory, but our purpose is for His glory not our own! Understanding that my desires are often selfish has helped me to be active in keeping my heart in check.
- The desire to live up to society’s idea of success
Society tells us that in order to be considered successful we must possess the following: pounds £££, popularity and position. I know it’s hard to live in the world and not be influenced by it, but what good is it to gain the approval of world and lose your soul?
I often have to remind myself that I don’t want to be considered successful in society’s eyes, I want to be considered successful in the eyes of God! And His word tells us not to conform to the patterns of the world but to be transformed by the renewal of your mind. This means defining new measures of success and ensuring they align with those laid out in God’s word. After all, it is better to let your obedience to God’s purpose for your life be your measure of success, as that’s all that will stand when it truly matters!
They say it is the thief of joy and I’ve never heard truer words. How can you get to know or achieve your purpose when you are too busy being envious of someone else’s! Yes, I did say envious. We have to call it what it is.
You see, to compare yourself to someone else is to measure their value and place it above your own. You then begin to believe that if you possessed their qualities, success or possessions you would be happier within yourself. But to wish you possessed something that another person has is to be envious and envy is a sin!
If you want to live a purposeful life, you have to focus on the race you’re running. God’s word tells us that He gives us everything we need. Trust that this is true and know that if you don’t have what another has, it is because you truly do not need it!
The race God has called you to run has nothing to do with competition, it doesn’t even consider speed; furthermore, the bible tells us that many who are first will be last! The only area of focus are your strides in Christ and how beautifully you take them.
So, I hope in sharing this with you, you also begin to be more mindful about living a purposely purposeful life.
God bless xxx
Supporting Scriptures: Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 16:26, Matthew 19:30, Luke 14:8-11, Romans 12:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:2,