It probably would not be incorrect if I say that one of the buzz words of this generation is 'purpose'. Notwithstanding the adage from the wisest among men that all of life is vanity, we all want our time on this earth to count, and many have worked arduously to attain notoriety. On the reality television show “Botched”, people seek out two renowned plastic surgeons to improve disfigurements caused by accidents, negligence or trauma. In some cases, though, persons try to implore the doctors to help them achieve a frivolous dream such as becoming a real-life caricature. Those persons willingly subject their bodies to immense strain by undergoing multiple surgeries to alter their appearance. Happily, the doctors usually decline to participate in such trivial pursuits.
Internationally renowned humanitarians and icons who have selflessness and altruism at the core of their purpose include persons such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and contemporaries such as Barack Obama and Malala Yousafzai. Of course the G.O.A.T is Jesus the Christ who "gave up his divine privileges, took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being...and died a criminal’s death on a cross" (Philippians 2:6-7) just to save mankind. The same text urges us to have the attitude of Christ and not just look out for our own interests, but to take an interest in others as well. If we are living on this earth and don’t desire or aim to live to our fullest potential, and complete the things that God wants from us, then what are we really doing?
I had been listening to a sermon about purpose and discovering the will of God when the preacher referenced one of My Favourite Scriptures on the topic from Psalm 37:4, and another from Philippians 2:13 which says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (NLT). The New King James Version says, “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” This preacher explained some of the things that we should expect to have or experience when we are walking in the will of God, such as pursuing our natural gifts and talents and having a deep passion for what we are called to do. Throughout the teaching I assessed my own dreams, and I was forced to admit that my thoughts, emotions and circumstances sometimes cause me to question whether I am walking in the purpose and will of God. It is imperative that we confront these deceptive emotions and circumstances that can derail and disrupt our calling.
You should expect to experience some degree of doubt whenever you embark on anything new or anything that may require more from you than you’ve had to give in the past. Doubt may cause you to question the timing of an activity, the reasonableness of it, persons’ acceptance of it, and most importantly your ability to undertake the task. I believe that we should use those feelings of doubt as a tool to help us carefully assess whatever we undertake. It should help us to assess our strengths, weaknesses and most importantly, it must not inhibit us but help us to recognise that our calling needs the enabling of Jesus Christ.
It is inaccurate to believe that encountering difficulty in this life is somehow an indicator that you are not doing the will of God. The account of Joseph’s challenges with his brothers in Genesis 37 is the best example that even rejection and slavery cannot force you off the path that God has ordained. I tend to think that the more difficult the task, and the greater my apprehension about my ability to succeed, the greater the probability that it will have a meaningful impact. Nothing new or groundbreaking was ever achieved in the halls of comfort. To fulfill our purpose we need grit, dedication and the knowledge that we gain from failure, so that we can give the best of ourselves to produce success.
It can be extremely demotivating to keep trying at something when the growth and impact that you envisioned has not yet materialised. I encourage you to be patient. The growth period or turnaround time that we often have in mind when God places those big dreams in our heart is usually not the same as God’s timeline. I believe that the greater the call or work, the more time it takes to develop the character of the bearer. If a tree that is not yet fully developed produces a considerable amount of fruit, eventually the branches can break under the weight of the fruit. In some instances, after the large harvest, the tree dies. We too need time to develop so that we can properly appropriate the abundant harvest and maintain success for a long time. Be patient with the process because the greatness that you desire will take time.
For all the reasons mentioned above, you may have contemplated giving up on one or more occasions. If you’re anything like me, although your mouth and head speak of giving up, your heart just won’t let go of the dream. I am certain that the icons mentioned earlier, as well as others we admire, must have struggled with feelings of despair. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane also wanted to give up when He cried out, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me” and yet like Jesus, we do not give up because we too declare, “I want your will to be done, not mine” (Luke 22:42).
It is God who knows you and gives you desires and dreams, so don’t allow doubt, difficulty, delays and despair to dissuade you, because God’s purpose is being fulfilled through you.
P.S. big news is just around the corner for imaniblog 😊 Super excited about this new project, so stay tuned😊