Encouragement for Today - July 8, 2005
Encouragement for Today
“Living in the Fast Lane and Looking for an Exit.” – Part 3
Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker Team Member
Isaiah 26:3, “You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.” (TEV)
For the past two days we have been looking for exits off the fast lane that can help us slow down and enjoy life the way God intended. Today’s exit is called Purpose.
In order for us to have balance, peace, and fulfillment in life, we have to discover our God-given purpose. Before I discovered mine, I was a lot like the “Little Engine That Could.” Do you remember that children’s story? Somewhere along the line I adopted the Engine’s motto as my life’s purpose: “I think I can, I think I can…”
Whenever someone asked me to do something, I quickly responded, “I think I can.” “Micca, can you be room mom this year for all three of your children?” “I think I can.” “Can you chauffeur the baseball team, hold a rummage sale, give a wedding Tea, and leap tall buildings in a single bound?” “I think I can! I think I can!” Only I discovered, I can’t.
I discovered that I’m not called to be everybody, but somebody. We are not called to go everywhere, but to somewhere. That somewhere is at the feet of Jesus - listening and finding our purpose so that all the wrong activities in our lives that cause chaos will fall away and the really important ones will take the lead.
Knowing your purpose in life has many benefits. It narrows and simplifies your life. It helps you make decisions with confidence instead of basing them on your emotions. You’ll know to what to say “yes” and to what to say “no” – guilt free. Mostly, it will fill your soul with joy and satisfaction beyond your imagination. Why? Because you will be doing exactly what you were created to do.
Determining your purpose is really easy. First, consider the things God has already entrusted to you, like your relationship to Him, and your relationship to your family members. Next, ask God to show you where and how you are to serve. I understand the world teaches “me first,” but when you begin doing what you were created to do, you will want to serve.
By answering these four questions with the first thing that comes to mind, you’ll be able to determine your purpose in life.
First, what do you love? I love to teach God’s Word. I love to challenge others to come up higher and to go further and deeper with God. What you and I love reveals the gift God has given us to fulfill what we are called to do.
Second, what do you hate or what makes you angry? I hate that we live in a world where there is a lack of moral, Godly character. I hate that the Ten Commandments have been taken out of our government buildings; and that our children can’t pray in school. Our anger reveals what we are called to correct.
Third, what makes you cry? Suffering of others makes me cry. Because I know the pain of loss, I have a ministry of compassion for those who hurt. Whatever makes you cry is what you’re called to heal.
Fourth, what annoys you? “Religious” people annoy me. Those who follow a bunch of rules and then, by their rules, lead others into the same bondage in which they are. Whatever annoys you will reveal the kind of people who will be attracted to you. They may be an annoyance, but you are their answer.
Most people spend their lives trying to decide what they want to be and do some day. When in reality, we need to ask the One who created us what our purpose is. Only then, will life make sense.
The exit to a slower, simpler life is right around the bend. For the past few days, you’ve slowed down enough to read the exit signs:
REORANIZE YOUR PRIORITIES
CHANGE YOUR THINKING
DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE
How about pulling over and exploring these exits? You just might decide to stay on the simpler side of life.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, I’m tired of trying to do it all. I want to live a slower life where I can enjoy my family and my relationship with You. Help me to discover my purpose and cut away all other things that You have not told me to do. Then, by Your grace, allow me to experience true joy, balance and satisfaction that comes from doing only what You’ve called me to do. Amen.
Since God’s plan for your life is the only one that matters, ask Him to show you how to use what you love, hate, what makes you cry, and what annoys you to focus your life so that you’re living on purpose. Then, regardless of how others may try to plan your life, stick only to God’s plan.
Do you believe that you were born for a reason?
Do you believe that God had a plan for your life before you ever existed?
How is your life making an impact in this generation?
How can discovering your purpose bring focus, balance and peace to your life?
What has trying to “do it all” gained you?
I Peter 4:10, “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.” (LB)
Romans 6: 13, “Surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes.” (TEV)
Revelation 4:11, “[God] created everything, and it is for [His] pleasure that they exist and were created.” (NLT)
Romans 11:36, “For everything comes form God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for His glory.” (LB)
I John 2:17, “This world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of god, you will live forever.” (NLT)
Living Life on Purpose, by Lysa TerKeurst
Shaped with a Purpose, by Renee Swope
Designing a Lifestyle that Pleases God, by Ennis and Tatlock
Women Who Do Too Much, by Patricia Sprinkle