Monday, June 9, 2008

Purpose...O That I Live It!

Every New Year ushers in a new breath of hope, a new drive for achievement and a fresh air of possibilities. It is not surprising that people make New Year resolutions at the start of each year; some set goals, some propose new ambitions, others create targets. But not many think of their purpose in life. Buckle up… this is not about New Year Resolutions, but purpose and it should interest you because purpose defines you.

Purpose is more than ambition. You may have the greatest ambition in the universe, the biggest goal in the world and set for yourself the highest target for excellence, but if you don’t know your purpose in life you live for nothing. But before you ask the question on your mind, hear this; YOU DON’T CREATE YOUR PURPOSE, GOD DOES. YOU SIMPLY FIND IT AND LIVE IT.

And there is a reason for that. In Genesis 1:26, the Bible says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Do you realise that in Genesis 1, after God spoke anything into existence, He also stated its reason for being? That tells me that God is a God of purpose and He does nothing whimsically or out-of-context. At creation, God gave purpose to man, when God created you He did same for you. And your purpose is unique, because you are unique.

Life is like a movie; you are cast to play a part. With many cast on stage, everyone has a script with a unique role to play – including you. God is the Director and Script Writer, the stage is the world around you. And your role? To live out the details of the script in your hand. But too often we lose sight of the One who set the stage and we abandon our script in pursuit of roles we have not been cast to play. As a result we struggle in life, hurt ourselves and others around us and ask “Where is God?”

As a Youth Leader in my local church and community, I have seen too many young people “waste” their lives chasing shadows, trying to be somebody else, leaving the very script written concerning them. Someone said “While you are spending all this time, money and effort trying to be someone else, who is gonna be you?” (K. Iyalla). Stop living out others’ script, live yours! Discover God’s purpose for your life; when you do, you are totally set free from mediocrity. Purpose sets you free from what I call the “wannabe” spirit or attitude; you become confident of yourself because you suddenly realise you are made of “good stuff” and have no need for others’ affirmation. God already affirmed you when He created you.

The Apostle Paul had no reason to doubt God’s purpose for his life because he knew it. Little wonder he spoke and wrote with unequivocal zeal and passion. Listen to this man…”For the which cause I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12. Sometimes my mind fails to comprehend why Paul spoke with so much passion and lived a radical life for Christ. Then I realised that purpose births conviction, and with conviction comes boldness and assurance.

A man void of purpose in life is like a sea without course. Little wonder Jacob lived in fear of Esau until the night he was left alone and a broken hip brought about a changed destiny in his life. That night, he discovered God’s purpose for his life, quit running and lived it out. Time fails me to speak of Peter, Joseph, John the Baptist, Daniel, John the Beloved, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. But I must speak of our Lord Jesus Christ, who taught (and still teaches) us a great lesson. In Matthew 26: 39, Jesus said “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt”. What a great lesson to learn from Christ!

Your purpose in life is not about you, but GOD. Remember my movie illustration? The cast must act to the approval of the Director, not themselves. Your joy only results from seeking the glory of God and until you discover and begin to live out His purpose for your life, you will not find lasting joy in anything else. God must be central in all you do and His glory must be all you seek.

So how do you discover God’s purpose for your life? Seek it out. Pray like the Psalmist, “Incline my heart unto your testimonies…” Psalm 119:36, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18. Linger in prayer like Paul, “… That I may know him…” Philippians 3:10. Let God’s Word sink into the fabrics of your heart and live your life in absolute pursuit of God, alone. And when you do, you will find your heart crying out; “PURPOSE… O THAT I LIVE IT!”

Finally, remember that “A life in pursuit of the gift and not the Giver leads to both a vain pursuit and power without purpose".
*Joseph Iregbu
Joseph Iregbu is a Youth Leader in Deeper Life Bible Church, Liverpool, England and a First Class final year student at Liverpool John Moores University. You can visit the website dedicated to the forthcoming publication of his book “Even in the Well…” at:

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