Monthly Archives: November 2016

What is my purpose in life?

I don’t know about you, but I have spent most of my adult life trying to figure out my ‘purpose’. Like so many others, I struggled through numerous classes designed to help identify my ‘gift’, my ‘purpose’, my ‘calling’. I came away more frustrated than ever before and not just a little bit disillusioned by the entire Christian brow-beating about finding our ‘purpose’.

Well, guess what. I have news for you. I have had highs and lows in my life – from an extremely successful career to divorce. Through it all, I never identified my ‘purpose’. What I learned through all of it is that the writer of Ecclesiastes had it right – it is all vanity.

A couple of months back I quit looking for my purpose. It was draining and emotionally exhausting so I decided to leave it alone. After all, I’m getting up there in age and if I haven’t found my purpose by now I’m probably never going to. And wouldn’t you know it. I stopped looking and the Holy Spirit showed up to reveal the true depth of the Holy Scripture and the meaning behind our ‘purpose’.

By His Holy Spirit, God is calling all men unto Himself. Not all will accept the invitation, however, and fewer still will choose to make Him Lord of their life and walk in obedience to His direction. This, then , is our primary purpose: To accept Christ as Savior and make Him Lord of our lives, dwelling in obedience with Him.

What comes next? For some, the primary purpose will be something they struggle with their entire mortal lives, and they won’t be able to take on anything else.   Matthew 11:14 …many are called….

For others, the primary purpose becomes what they live for and these blessed individuals find a deeper meaning in life as they become the chosen ones. Matthew 11:14 ….few are chosen. These darlings of the family have what they have recognized as a true calling from God – He has picked them up and placed a fire in their hearts for one thing and one thing only, and they pursue for the rest of their lives with a passion that is inspiring and enviable. These are the evangelists, the missionaries, the life-long ministers focused on saving souls and up building the Kingdom. You’ll find them in pulpits, in ministries, on the mission field, and anywhere there are souls being saved.

Then there are those who dwell in between. They are sold out for Jesus and will do whatever He wants, whenever He wants it. Their passion is Christ and they don’t seem to have a purpose other than to walk where He tells them to walk, when He tells them to walk; to speak what He tells them to speak when He tells them to speak; to do whatever He tells them to do, when He tells them to do it. These are also chosen ones and their ‘purpose’ is to serve the living Christ as He calls them to serve, whenever He calls them. You won’t find these in pulpits or heading ministries. They are focused on being available to the Living God on a daily basis and won’t be tied down to ministry responsibilities. They are also often invisible to their pastors and other church family members, because what they do is done solely for the Lord and they don’t talk about it or look for any kind of acknowledgement.

So, dear ones, what is your purpose? I can help you with that. YOU are your purpose. I don’t mean in a selfish-it’s-all-about-me way. I mean, God created you unique and He did so intentionally. You are not an accident and your life touches and molds other lives around you. YOUR purpose is to be the best you that you can be by studying the Word of God and building an intimate relationship with Him. Think of your walk with God as an education. You start in kindergarten and then on to elementary things, finally moving on to pre-teen years and deeper foundations, then high school. If you keep going, you will find yourself in graduate school and post-graduate studies. Your walk with the Lord is never finished and He never stops revealing Himself as long as you continue to seek His face.

Do your best to be all you can be in Christ and leave the rest to Him. When He is ready, He will place a call on your heart or lead you into position to be used by Him for His glory and the glory of the Kingdom. There is no greater joy than that, and no greater satisfaction on this earth. And always remember, if He has asked you to do something, then He will equip you and enable you to do it. After all, it is His work, not yours and He never fails.

Heart Condition

Write what is in your heart, I heard the Lord whisper. But there is nothing there, Lord, it is empty and black, I replied. He countered with Yes, there is much there. Write what is in your heart. So I reached for my pen and I began to write and as the words poured out I realized the depths that had yet to be explored and were now being exposed.

The heart of a child is full of wonder and love and joy but it is easily broken. Careless words, thoughtless deeds, neglect and abuse steal the joy and replace the wonder with fear. The love, however, remains. Even when the child is marred and scarred for life, still the love remains. Such is the way of a child – though they may be filled with rage and anger and fear over what has happened or is happening to them, still they love.

The heart of a sensitive young girl is filled with hope and plans for the future. Her smiles are bright and her dreams are big as she faces each day fearlessly and confidently. But even the young girl becomes damaged as her peers spew hatred and judgment upon her, making her self-conscious of her appearance and causing her to withdraw into a protective shell. Her dreams of a boyfriend and school dances fade as she buries herself in books and food, trying to escape the vicious words and actions of her peers and family.

The heart of the young woman has begun to hope again after having escaped from the world of school and peer pressure into the working world. She is finding self-esteem in having a job at which she excels and money – earned by her own hands – to spend as she wants without anyone else controlling her decisions. She begins to bloom into womanhood a little later than most because unlike others she was retarded in her emotional growth. Her sensitive nature cost her dearly and she just could not get past the pain and hurt until she escaped the circumstances. Now she is on her own. Now she is free to be herself – to discover who she really is deep inside.

It is all a farce, really. She isn’t interested in finding out who she is but in finding someone who will give her affection and maybe even love. She is quick to fall into the trap lain by self-serving men and too quickly married to someone who doesn’t love her but wants to use her for his own devices. Hope and love which had blossomed briefly are now crushed under the pain of degradation, rejection, and psychological abuse from a bigamist. In her desperation to love and be loved she becomes pregnant, rejoicing in the fact that FINALLY she has someone to love.

The heart of the fully grown woman is wise and slightly hard. Yet even now it holds hope for some semblance of happiness – a taste of normalcy and the possibility of a future. She guards her heart now, not giving it to anyone even though she marries again in the hope that a normal family life can be found for her and her child. Yet again she discovers the agony of abuse, betrayal and rejection. The abuse takes on more physical forms in this relationship. It seems that the abuse has been escalating with each relationship and each time she becomes colder, more distant, more withdrawn into a shell. She has become adept at shallow relationships that do not reveal the true nature of her home life. All hope of normalcy is crushed when her own husband rapes her and then abuses her daughter. She is terrified of him as his drunken rages and terror tactics ensure her compliance and when she discovers he has packed a handgun to take on their ‘vacation’ in the country she realizes that she has nothing to lose. She begins to push and push against the terrorist, almost daring him to act. She refuses him again and finally, in his violent reaction she finds courage to stand against him and all he stands for – leaving him and her hopes of a normal life behind.

The heart of the mature woman is dead. Oh, she has learned to play the game and knows just what noises to make to sound compassionate and loving. She has mastered the art of the phony smile and if anyone sees behind it to the pain buried within they never mention it. She is the life of the party and puts on a face of enjoying her freedom, but deep, deep within she is crying out for someone to love her. She is forty years old and never felt loved. Surely someone out there needs to be loved as much as she does? She prays and waits and waits and prays.

Once again she succumbs to her loneliness and marries someone she is sure is different. In reality he turns out to be every bit the sociopath of her previous mistake with some insanity thrown in for good measure. This one lies so much she doesn’t know when he is telling the truth. He can’t be trusted. Even after all of the years of abuse and misuse she is still naïve enough to think he means what he says when he apologizes and makes an attempt at trying to change. But nothing changes and her dead, cold heart holds only one hope: death. She longs to die. She prays to die. Then she prays he will die. Then she repents and prays he will just leave her alone – forever leave her alone.

Sometime along the way the Lord heard her prayers and began to change the one she wanted to leave. Her heart is still dead but he is becoming less – – – offensive. Slowly he changes until one summer day there seems to be an epiphany of sorts and he is no longer the same man. Somehow great change has occurred but she is still unbelieving. Too many years of abuse, lies, deceit, and broken promises have made her more than a skeptic. So she waits, with her dead heart and no hope, to see what will happen next.

The elderly heart is tired of being dead, tired of waiting for what never comes and reaches out in hope, determined to cling to prayer and fasting until her need is met. Now true change begins. The dead heart is opened and old memories and deep wounds are healed, one by one, as the Lord restores what has been stolen and broken.   She has days where she thinks her heart is still dead but still she clings to the Lord, waiting for His intervention. He begins to replace the bad memories with good memories and the brokenness with joy and laughter. She rests in His presence and soaks in the sunshine of His love and grace, letting waves of mercy heal her wounded soul.

Finally, it comes. The elderly heart, once so dead and lifeless, is now full to overflowing with joy and peace and love which she carries with her at all times. It has been replaced with the heart of a child. Gone is the brokenness. Gone is the fear. Gone is the timidity. Gone is the victim. What remains is wonder and love and joy.

Our years are short and numbered. Sixty years is a long time to live in despair and destruction. It would be easy to fall into blaming and depression over the short time I have left to live in wonder and love and joy. Instead, I have chosen to believe that only God numbers our days and if He wants to, He can give me sixty MORE years to replace those that were stolen from me.

I believe He can do the same for you. My prayer today is that God will restore all of your years the enemy has stolen.

1 Samuel 30: 1-8, 18-19    “Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way.

So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, unto they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives … had been taken captive.

Then David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters, but David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” and He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”

So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.”