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Posts Tagged ‘Purpose Driven Life’

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We are reading this book for our small group this year. It was on the best seller list for several months and I’ve personally have had a copy of it for years and never had the opportunity to read it. I have done the drivetime devotions for it and found it very inspiring. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback church wrote The Purpose Driven Life in 2002. It has changed many lives and I’m excited to read it with my church community to start off 2018.

Three Basic Life Questions

Why Am I Here?

Does my Life Matter?

What is my Purpose?

God’s Purpose for Us

  • We were planned for God’s pleasure
    • so your first purpose is to offer real worship.
  • We were formed for God’s family
    • so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship.
  • We were created to become like Christ,
    • so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship.
  • We were shaped for serving God
    • so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry.
  • We were made for a mission
    • so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism.
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Everyone’s life is driven by something.

Most dictionaries define the verb drive as “to guide, to control, or to direct.”  Whether you are driving a car, a nail, or a golf ball, you are guiding, controlling, and directing it at that moment.   What is the driving force in your life?

Right now you may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline.  You may be driven by a painful memory, a haunting fear, or an unconscious belief.  There are hundreds of circumstances, values, and emotions that can drive your life.  Here are five of the most common ones:

Many people are driven by guilt.  They spend their entire lives running from regrets and hiding their shame.  Guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories.  They allow their past to control their future.  They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success.  When Cain sinned, his guilt disconnected him God’s presence, and God said, “You will be a restless wanderer on the earth” (Genesis 4:12, New International Version). That describes most people today—wandering through life without a purpose.

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it. God’s purpose is not limited by your past.  He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero, and he can do amazing things with the rest of your life, too.  God specializes in giving people a fresh start.  The Bible says, “What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! … What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God cleared their record” (Psalm 32:1, Living Bible).

Many people are driven by resentment and anger.  They hold on to hurts and never get over them. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds.  Some resentment-driven people “clam up” and internalize their anger, while others “blow up” and explode it onto others.  Both responses are unhealthy and unhelpful.

Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent.  While you offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past.

Listen: Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment.  Your past is past!  Nothing will change it.  You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness.  For your own sake, learn from it, and let it go.  The Bible says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do” (Job 5:2, Today’s English Version).

Many people are driven by fear.  Their fears may be a result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high-control home, or even genetic predisposition.  Regardless of the cause, fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out.  Instead they play it safe, avoiding risks and trying to maintain the status quo.

Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.  You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.  The Bible says, “Well-formed love banishes fear.  Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love” (1 John 4:18, The Message).

Many people are driven by materialism.  Their desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. This drive to always want more is based on the misconceptions that having more will make me more happy, more important, and more secure, but all three ideas are untrue. Possessions only provide temporary happiness. Because these things do not change, we eventually become bored with them and then want newer, bigger, better versions.

It’s also a myth that if I get more, I will be more important.  Self-worth and net worth are not the same.  Your value is not determined by your valuables, and God says the most valuable things in life are not things!

The most common myth about money is that having more will make me more secure.  It won’t.  Wealth can be lost instantly through a variety of uncontrollable factors.  Real security can only be found in that which can never be taken from you—your relationship with God.

Many people are driven by the need for approval.  They allow the expectations of parents or spouses or children or teachers or friends to control their lives.  Many adults are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents.  Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think.  Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.

I don’t know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to try to please everyone.  Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life.  Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24, New Living Translation).

There are other forces that can drive your life but all lead to the same dead end: unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an unfulfilled life.

The Benefits of Purpose-Driven Living

There are five great benefits of living a purpose-driven life:

Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life. Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning.  Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. You need hope to cope.

Knowing your purpose simplifies your life. Without a clear purpose you have no foundation on which you base decisions, allocate your time, and use your resources.  You will tend to make choices based on circumstances, pressures, and your mood at that moment. People who don’t know their purpose try to do too much—and that causes stress, fatigue, and conflict.

Knowing your purpose focuses your life. Without a clear purpose, you will keep changing direction, jobs, relationships, churches, or other externals—hoping each change will settle the confusion or fill the emptiness in your heart.  You think, Maybe this time it will be different, but it doesn’t solve your real problem—a lack of focus and purpose.

Knowing your purpose motivates you life. Purpose always produces passion.  Nothing energizes like a clear purpose.  On the other hand, passion dissipates when you lack a purpose.

Knowing your purpose prepares you for eternity. Living to create an earthly legacy is a short-sighted goal.  A wiser use of time is to build an eternal legacy.  You weren’t put on earth to be remembered.  You were put here to prepare for eternity.

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