Purpose...

Hello Monday!

I hope this Monday is starting off a GREAT week for you! I’m still recovering from a nasty cold, but was able to get to a coffeeshop for what I thought was going to be finishing this blog post. More on that later…

Did you get a chance to read the post on “Following the Favor” and do the exercises? I’d love to hear if you have any thoughts on that, and actually this blog post is somewhat of a continuation on that.

Today though I wanted to share more about the word Purpose. As you probably know by now that is the word I felt the Lord was pressing upon me for 2019. I usually take time towards the end of each year to pray about what the Lord is wanting to show me in the new year ahead. It goes along with the “olw” or One Little Word movement that has had a big impact on people.

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Here is a page I did in my Journaling Bible for my word this year. What’s interesting to me is that when you’re focused on your “word for the year” it starts popping up everywhere! You’re more aware of it of course, but it really helps you stay focused on what the Lord is wanting to do through that word in your life. So the word PURPOSE has been coming up a lot in sermons, books I’m reading, my devotional time and my own Bible reading.

It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and since I use my blog as basically a platform to talk to you… I wanted to share today where I am at with this word. I know I’ll be journaling the word PURPOSE all year long because it is a word that the Lord is opening up and unfolding His “purpose” through… (yeah, that’s a play on words right there for ya. lol)

This word PURPOSE is multi-faceted, but I want to share what I’m learning so far with you.

First, let’s take a look at the word PURPOSE from Google’s perspective:

Purpose:

Noun

  1. the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

What does it mean to have purpose?

Purpose can guide life decisions, influence behavior, shape goals, offer a sense of direction, and create meaning. For some people, purpose is connected to vocation—meaningful, satisfying work. For others, their purpose lies in their responsibilities to their family or friends.

Just go to Pinterest or Google and you will find countless articles on “Finding your Purpose…” like the ones above.

But let’s take some time to look at God’s PURPOSE for us, according to the Bible:

Isaiah 43:7 says: “Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.”

The answer according to God’s Word is: To Glorify God.

Ok, so at the core of this word PURPOSE, we know God CREATED us in His image and He wants our lives to Glorify Him. But that looks SO BIG & LOFTY… I know you’re thinking… “How do I do that on a real day-to-day basis?” Or you’re thinking, “Laura, aren’t you getting a little far away from actually helping me understand what I’m supposed to do with my life? I just need to make money, take care of my family, and I’d like to ENJOY what I do with my life…etc. etc.”

So you’re thinking maybe if you knew your PURPOSE, that would help makes sense of it all, right? Maybe you’d be a little happier and fulfilled? I get it.. believe me, I’m trying to figure this all out too. As someone who feels the Lord put this big word at my doorstep this year, I’m honestly somewhat “fighting” with what it all means too.

Believe me, I am asking the Lord how does “Glorifying God” funnel down and apply to REAL life PURPOSE in my every day…

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Like in my blog post, “Follow the Favor,” I am going to suggest that your PURPOSE lies within the gifts and abilities God has given to you. I am also going to suggest to you that they are not just about YOU. My last post wasn’t a test to see what things you love to do and then self indulgently think that you should go “live the life” that makes you happy. I know in this day and age we live with so much “self centered” focus. It’s rampant in our society. How can I look good to the world on Social Media? How can I use my talents to become famous, rich, etc… How can I…. I, I.

Yes, we are all CALLED to a purpose in life, but there’s another part to that, and it’s called OBEDIENCE.

I know that’s not anyone’s favorite word. But if we aren’t living out our God given purpose, (which is to Glorify GOD…not ourselves) our potential for TRUE joy in this life is not going to be realized. And in turn, helping others see the joy of the Lord through us and through the gifts God WANTS us to use, is not going to happen.

Listen to these verses:

Proverbs 3:1-4 says": “ My son (or daughter), do not forget my teaching, but keep my commandments. for length of days and years of life and PEACE they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. SO you will find FAVOR and good SUCCESS in the sight of God and man.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 says: “ So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Exodus 9:16 “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”

These verses are telling us:

~ We need to obey His Word and follow what He says.

~ Everything we do, do it to the glory of God!

~ Proclaim His love and power to the world through what you DO.

Let me say this: Once you know your PURPOSE, and you know it’s coming from the Lord and not yourself, it is LIFE CHANGING!

To encourage others in this and to live our lives in such a way that they see Jesus through us… is everything!

I was given such a HUGE gift this past October. Being at one of our retreats alone, (Rebecca couldn’t get away from college) The Lord let me see the PURPOSE He has for our retreats. It was so evident, it stunned me. I am in AWE of what He is doing through us, through the retreats He wants us to host!

So, have YOU thought that just maybe you were CREATED for something more too?

Well, guess what…that’s a BIG FAT YES ladies! He HAS created you for something more! So let’s live that out, within the gifts and talents He has blessed us each with!

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“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news…” I just created this page in my Bible yesterday as I was home sick listening to our Pastor remotely. He was talking about God’s Promises, and this verse spoke to me about how the Lord has brought us to Colorado to fulfill a promise. God is SO good and YES, He REIGNS!

I want to leave you with some practical things you can do, that can help you focus the BIG picture of “Glorifying God” with walking out our PURPOSE in our daily lives.

Because maybe that job you have now is not using your strengths?

Or possibly the talent you had as a kid was left to the wayside so that you could “earn an income”

Are people asking you why you didn’t do __________ you fill in the blank.

Or, maybe you just don’t know what gifts God has given you.

Like I said in the beginning, I can totally relate and I am currently in the process of figuring this out myself. This year has already been filled with some moments of major reflection and prayer, as well as learning through new ways how to better understand my strengths and gifts. This was me, this morning and it’s a little thing, but I’ll share it. This is NOT my strength… I was trying to finish this blog post in a coffee shop. See my pursed lips? What is that? hahaha

What I realized today is that I need QUIET, not lots of noise when I am concentrating. Today working in a coffee shop made me stressed out and I had to leave, and in a real way this definitely helped me see a weakness that helps me in turn know how to work better within my gifts.

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If you are struggling with your PURPOSE, here are a few practical things I want you to do:

  1. The key to finding your PURPOSE… is in knowing that the Lord has one for you! I’ve shared that above in my Bible. Yes, there is the “Big Picture” PURPOSE of God, which in turn should direct the path we take in our jobs, in how we live, in how we love, and in what we feel CALLED to. Know that and start living that way.

  2. Go back to my post on “Follow the Favor” and look at this list. Ask yourself those questions, and then write that list and pray over it DAILY.

  3. Take a look at these verses:

Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Job is talking about how God can do ALL THINGS. It is NOT out of the realm of possibility that God can change your life, that He can set you on a new path that He is calling you to. If it is within God’s purpose for your life, He WILL do it! That should get a resounding Yes & Amen people! This is GOOD.

Psalms 138:8 “The Lord will fulfill His PURPOSE for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.”

Do you see a theme here?

The Lord has a purpose for ALL of this. For you, for me, for the WHY of this world.

We can go about our lives and plan away, take every strength test and narrow it down to our Top 5, and decide what we think our purpose is…

But, understand this please:

4. We absolutely need to bring ALL of it before the thrown of God. Pray about it, Be in God’s WORD about it and WAIT.

I love what Pastor Ed Taylor said yesterday in church:

“When a promise comes, there’s often a space between when the promise comes and when it is fulfilled. It’s called “Waiting on the Lord.””

I know waiting is hard. We want to KNOW NOW. We want to take the tests, learn what our gifts are and then go live out our PURPOSE. But please don’t miss this step. Pray, wait on the Lord to show you, and then take the steps that He is calling you to take.

Isaiah 40:29-31 says:

29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

God’s PURPOSE for your life is REAL. God’s promises in His WORD are REAL. He is unchangeable and He cannot lie. So hold onto them. Gain strength from them!

My prayer for you this week is that you will find power in the Lord’s promises from this passage in Isaiah 40. That you would hold onto that strength as you look at your life and ask God to show you what He is calling you to.

To live a life that produces fruit for the Kingdom of God is the biggest goal, biggest PURPOSE, and biggest blessing we can ever have!

I want to leave you with a music video that my friend reminded me of: It’s called “Only Jesus” by Casting Crowns and I would encourage you to listen to the words.


What’s the legacy we want to leave behind?

Jesus is the ONLY name to remember friends.

Have a BLESSED week!

Hugs,

Laura McCollough

P.S. I know this is another really long post, but I’m going to stop apologizing for it. I want to share what the Lord gives me to say and I guess it takes me a long time to get it out. lol