Have You Found Your Purpose?
“May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose” (Psalm 20:4, NKJV).
My dad was a hard taskmaster, difficult to please. In spite of that, he really was a good father and a wonderful husband, a hardworking man and an excellent provider — but oh so opinionated (which unfortunately became a family trait). He had all the answers and if your thoughts differed from his, you were immediately shot down. Our family gatherings were noisy with opinions shooting out all over the place, everyone believing that they were right, and oftentimes an out-and-out verbal dogfight would pursue.
It took a lot of hard work to please my dad, but winning his approval was my heart’s desire. It encouraged me to strive to become the smartest, hardest working, and most accomplished individual possible. Sadly, this behavior morphed into a self-seeking, self-focused, self-indulgent, and self-centered person, willing to do anything and everything to gain approval from my father and eventually others.
As a new Christian, my heart’s desire was to please God — work hard, show my knowledge of Scripture, be an independent thinker, and “use my brains” as my dad would say. I was sure God wouldn’t want me to be like one of those weak Christians, who needed God for every little thing. I thought to myself, wouldn’t being self-sufficient make Father God proud?
Eventually, failing at trying to be everything to everybody brought me to the end of myself. I finally realized I had gotten it all wrong! I learned when the Word talks about granting us our heart’s desire, it’s not talking about giving us our every whim, want, or wish. The Scripture is talking about our heart’s deepest desires, the desires that line up with God and His Word. The longing that comes from the deepest part of us, our inner core. The part of us that really walks the walk and talks the talk. We can call it our gut but it is the part of us that leads us to implement and act out what the Holy Spirit has been silently or softly teaching and instructing us to do.
“Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
So, we get the desires of our heart by delighting ourselves in Him and our heart’s desires fulfill all of our purposes. So, we don’t have to jump through any hoops, be perfect, or people-please to obtain our purpose, just delight ourselves in Him.
Often, I have to remind myself how much God has become a growing part of me. When we are delighted to spend time with Him, talk to Him, and look forward to it every chance we get, we become more cognizant of our growth and delight in Him. It becomes where we live, move, and have our being. This is how we delight ourselves in Him.
It is like an eternal hourglass that has been turned over, just as our lives are turned over when we repent and grow in Christ. Everything is flipped and turned upside down for the good. This eternal hourglass is filling us up with His fruit, His ways, His Love, His life, and His purpose. Our lives are no longer our own. We find that our purpose is His purpose.
1 Chronicles 5:1 (NIV)The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright, …
In Israel, the firstborn had a double the inheritance of the other heirs. They also had the responsibilities to lead the clan and provide for the women without husbands. They represented the clan and made decisions as head. Reuben was born into this position, but yielding to temptation caused him to lose it. It was a passing momentary pleasure but one large spot on the life of an otherwise faithful son. He was the one who wanted to spare Joseph.
There are times when we face difficult temptations and wonder if there is some way we can indulge without having to pay a price. Sin always takes you further than you want to go and costs you more than you want to pay. God’s grace may free you from some of the consequences or He may not. Sin always exaggerates the potential pleasure as it blinds you to the potential price you will end up paying.
On the other hand, Joseph stood strong in the face of temptation. He refused to yield to the enticements of Potiphar’s wife. It was one step on his way to a position he only dreamed of. Obedience to God reaped rewards he could not have seen except by the revelation of God. If that were not enough, his sons were given the position and rights of firstborn. Obedience takes the faithful where they can be most effective and rewards them beyond their dreams. It seems like a simple choice to make, but we need God’s help to make it daily.
Consider: Am I making choices obedient to the Spirit of God today?
The power of Aaron’s rod
By: Charles Spurgeon
‘But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.’ Exodus 7:12
Suggested Further Reading: Revelation 12:7–17
What multitudes of foes has our faith had to meet with; but how it has swallowed them all up. There were our old sins. The devil threw them down before us, and they turned to serpents. What multitudes! How they hiss in the air! How horrible are their deadly poison-fangs, the gaping jaws, their forked tongues! But the cross of Jesus, like Aaron’s rod, destroys them all. Faith in Christ makes short work of all our sins, for it is written, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ Then the devil stirs up another generation of vipers, and shows us our inbred corruptions, our neglects of duty, our slackness in prayer, our unbeliefs, our backslidings, our wanderings of heart; and sometimes you and I get so tormented by these reptiles, that we grow alarmed, and are half inclined to flee. Do not run, brother, but throw down Aaron’s rod, and it will swallow up all these serpents, even though they were poisonous as the cobra, or fierce as the rattlesnake. You shall overcome through the blood of the Lamb. Jesus is able ‘to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.’ The battle is the Lord’s, and he will deliver them into your hands. The old enemy will throw down another host of serpents in the form of worldly trials, diabolical suggestions, temptations to blasphemy, ill thoughts of God, hard thoughts of his providence, rash thoughts of his promises, and such like, till you will be almost distracted. You will wonder how you can meet such a host as this. Remember to stand fast, and throw down Aaron’s rod—your simple trust and faith in Jesus Christ—and it must and shall swallow up all these rods.
For meditation: Pharoah’s magicians could to some extent mimic the work of God (Exodus 7:11,22; 8:7), but they were really no match for him (Exodus 7:12) and their power had strict limitations (Exodus 8:18–19; 2 Timothy 3:8–9). Satan and his servants can also do some amazing things (2 Thessalonians 2:9–10; Revelation 13:13–15), but the Christian trusts in and is indwelt by One who is greater (1 John 4:4)
Streams in the Desert – July 18
- 202218 Jul
The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him (2 Chronicles 16:9).
God is looking for a man, or woman, whose heart will be always set on Him, and who will trust Him for all He desires to do. God is eager to work more mightily now than He ever has through any soul. The clock of the centuries points to the eleventh hour.
“The world is waiting yet to see what God can do through a consecrated soul.” Not the world alone, but God Himself is waiting for one, who will be more fully devoted to Him than any who have ever lived; who will be willing to be nothing that Christ may be all; who will grasp God’s own purposes; and taking His humility and His faith, His love and His power, will, without hindering, continue to let God do exploits.
–C. H. P.
“There is no limit to what God can do with a man, providing he will not touch the glory.”
In an address given to ministers and workers after his ninetieth birthday, George Mueller spoke thus of himself: “I was converted in November, 1825, but I only came into the full surrender of the heart four years later, in July, 1829. The love of money was gone, the love of place was gone, the love of position was gone, the love of worldly pleasures and engagements was gone. God, God alone became my portion. I found my all in Him; I wanted nothing else. And by the grace of God this has remained, and has made me a happy man, an exceedingly happy man, and it led me to care only about the things of God. I ask affectionately, my beloved brethren, have you fully surrendered the heart to God, or is there this thing or that thing with which you are taken up irrespective of God?
I read a little of the Scriptures before, but preferred other books; but since that time the revelation He has made of Himself has become unspeakably blessed to me, and I can say from my heart, God is an infinitely lovely Being.
Oh, be not satisfied until in your own inmost soul you can say, “God is an infinitely lovely Being!”
I pray to God this day to make me an extraordinary Christian.