Living WITH Purpose and ON Purpose 2
Again, a person that lives with purpose and on purpose considers the fact that what they do affects their destiny which I previously described as "purpose fulfilled.
This tells us that this type of person considers their actions because they are aware of the fact that what they do can adversely affect what and who God intends for them to become.
They are conscious of the people they let into their lives and live each day with God's character while considering the fact that they are commanded to love all people all the time.
Again in loving people it must be understood that you are not to partake of their lifestyle and sin in order to show them that you care.
It's said that we love the sinner, but hate the sin yet there's often a thin line between the two; as many cannot separate their feelings for a specific act of sin from the deceived person that is committing the act, especially when it comes to an act of sin that you may abhor.
This act can include but is not limited to homosexuality, abortion, witchcraft or false religion which many times Christian extremists will even kill over.
These are done from the perspective of desire that was bred out of our often un-regenerated human nature. Again, often our upbringing dictated how we perceive a certain act or lifestyle.
Yet when we get saved our greatest responsibility is that we "Learn God's way of doing things and then do things God's way.
Understanding that you have a life that is to be lived with purpose is the beginning of your walk to maturity. However, making up your mind that you are going to "Do things God's way is the beginning of living your life on purpose.
This is what the Israelites neglected to realize as God freed them from Egyptian bondage yet they chose to rest on the works of God and not press into the greater ways of God.
They saw God work miracle after miracle and yet when they were out of danger, they forgot about God and lived according to their own selfish desires. Hebrews 3
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ˜They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.' 11 So I swore in My wrath, ˜They shall not enter My rest.'
Although God does not tempt His people with evil, He does allow each of us to go through a trial or series of trials in our lifetime. These are not meant to destroy us but to determine what He is able to do and then give us the choice to follow Him or our selfish desires when they are over.
One of the definitions of the word trial is: "A painful experience: an instance of trouble or hardship, especially one that tests your ability to endure.
Everyone at some point will go through a wilderness experience where they will see whether they have what it takes to advance to the next level in God.
This is a time when although you may see God moving, the test is whether you will draw closer to him when you come through or will you go your own way.
In the wilderness you have no one to rely on but God; but when you come out you have the resource of the land in front of you.
Therefore you have choices to make that affect your destiny. Here you must stay focused as God wanted you to learn "His ways while in the wilderness. When you have learned God's ways you make choices that are in agreement with God's Word and not your own opinions or the opinions of the culture that you are part of.
This all means that we must of a necessity learn the difference between desire and purpose. The reason is you can desire good things that will advance your life giving purpose to God's Kingdom or you can desire evil things that are appealing to the flesh that have no bearing on your purpose.
Looking at this from both Biblical perspectives, you have where Ephesians 2 says:
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Here Paul is revealing the fact that who you were is not supposed to be who you are now.
- You were dead in trespasses and sins
- Once walked according to the course of the world
- Once conducted ourselves in the lust of the flesh and mind
- Were by nature children of wrath.
But we're not supposed to be this way any longer. What was happening in the Corinthian Church is they fulfilled the lusts of their flesh and mind. These desires superseded the plan that God had for them and they gave no through to the greater purposes of God.
God wanted them and He wants the people in our generation to forsake the lusts of our flesh and bring our lives to the place where we live to fully please Him.
Although having a desire is a Biblical concept and spiritual law, it was never meant to be used to build doctrine on. The reason is because many of our desires are birthed out of our sinful Adamic nature that really does not have regard for good or evil¦ it only wants what makes it feel good at the moment.
What are the desires of the flesh and mind? These are the little things that creep in and we justify as a lifestyle that is acceptable to God. Forged in our hearts when we were alienated from Christ, we spend countless years and often thousands of dollars trying to fulfill a desire that God never gave you.
This desire being evil never had the purpose of God attached to it. Therefore we resort to our old sinful Adamic nature and live our lives without any real meaning.
These become consistent actions when we neglect to renew the mind and choose to believe that God has three levels of His will¦ "Good, acceptable and perfect. However that is not what the Scriptures depict when you consider the context that this verse is taken from.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The New Living Translation says:
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
The will of God IS "¦good, acceptable and perfect; these are not levels of His will which some Christians erroneously believe and eventually fall victim to settling their lives on a level that God never intended. You are either in the will of God or not.
Therefore settling our hearts on God's good, acceptable and perfect will of God through His Word gives us a desire to line up with what He determined for us and allow us to consider living with purpose and on purpose.
Going back to Ephesians chapter 2, as it said previously that there is a lifestyle that we used to live in verses 1 - 3; beginning in verse 4 Paul depicts how God envisions His people conducting their lives.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
God is letting us know that we need a revelation of what it is to have His grace in our lives and live from that perspective.
This grace says that we are "not saved by works but "saved to do good works and those works are not to be something that we conjure up in our minds to justify a certain life or lifestyle that is opposed to the way the Bible says we are to live.
Those works were put in motion before the earth was even formed and as the people of God we must determine what they are and live those things out purposely.
We are no longer to live according to the beggarly elements of the world but by the dictates of the Spirit of God knowing that we are not better than anyone else and should refrain from boasting about it.
As I mentioned, we are not to live from the perspective of desire, but with a sense of destiny. This means that we realize that there is a specific reason for our existence and we choose to live each day on purpose so we will not delay reaching our destiny.
Looking at one of the scriptures that deal with desire closely, Jesus reveals the power of desire when it is coupled with prayer.
In Mark chapter 11 Jesus previously cursed the fig tree and now He and His disciples come upon it again and they find it withered.
22 So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ˜Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. NKJV
The King James Version translates this as:
24 Therefore I say unto you, [What things soever] ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
The principle in verse 22 states that you must "Say what you desire; not doubt in your heart; believe that your receive it “ and then you shall have what you say¦
In verse 24, Jesus reiterates what He just explained: What you desire, you must Pray [speak] then believe that you receive them and you shall have them.
This takes a little more effort and thought than it might appear. You must have a made up mind to see this through to completion.
To receive in this manner takes living on purpose because after you speak, there's the element of time that needs and requires proper action. Very few things are immediate when it comes to pursuing the purpose of God. They are often realized after much prayer, proper confession and patience.
Although the manifestation is often immediate, your faith becoming sight is often the result of someone going through a process and they withstand the tests and trials that try their faith because the Word of God they say they believe is going to be tested.
It's during the time of testing that they must live Hebrews 10 on purpose as it says:
35 "Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
Again this is a principle and precept. The teaching [precept] is that Christ is coming for certain; the principle is this is how the mechanics of Kingdom living operates.
- You must be willing to stand when adverse circumstances threaten the goal you set.
- You must be willing to stand when it takes longer than you envisioned in your heart;
- You must allow the element of time to run its course while making proper decisions that will not detract from the goal you set.
You must also be careful that you do not live from the perspective of the desire "only without seeing what God wants you to do and accomplish. Desire without a Biblical foundation causes you to be selfish.
Everyone has something they desire, but not all desire is birthed out of the Spirit and neither does each one have purpose attached to them.
The reality is that we must all live with a desire to accomplish or do something. We must live in order that we can achieve a certain standard of living or set our life on a certain course.
Remember, desire from God's perspective is meant to further your life and His purpose in the earth.
If Jesus is our example and we know He is, then we must follow His example when it comes to praying for a specific desire. Thinking about His supplications to God, I can't remember Him praying for His needs, His wants, or His desires. He was always interceding on behalf of someone else.
Although it is God's desire that we be blessed; to seek blessing without seeking Him is in total opposition to what He taught us. Our unharnessed desires often bring us to a place that He never intended.
He wants us to live interdependently and selflessly. In our upbringing we learn not to trust anyone; that you can do it yourself and even in religious circles we're often told that you have need of nobody but Jesus.
This goes against the principle for which God created other human beings¦ "It is not good that man should be alone. The purpose of the help-meet was not only to provide companionship for Adam, but to replenish the earth. "Be fruitful and replenish the earth.
Therefore to understand that we all need someone else being [interdependent] and that we are to live in order that another person's burden could be made a little lighter [selflessly], brings us into the life that God wanted us to live in the first place.
However when your life is lived from the perspective of desire only, you will find that your flesh will often bring you down a road that could lead to a lifestyle of sin.
Although we know this, what we do not fully consider is that a lifestyle of sin encompasses much more than living in a manner that only views drinking, drugging, unmarried relations or lying, cheating, and stealing as sin.
I pray that the Church universal would really understand that living in disobedience to the Father's will is living a lifestyle of sin. I pray that we would stop compartmentalizing [classifying, labeling and grouping] sin in such a way that it makes us feel better about our own ungodly choices and therefore never see the need to repent ourselves.
The fact is that when selfish desire is established the fulfillment of lustful things that will never satisfy eventually leads to a lifestyle of sin that you can easily [but erroneously] justify.
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Some of the temptations we face are the result of selfish desires that have been left unchecked. Those desires are what breed temptation and we are enticed [lured, seduced and attracted] by them and often if they are not dealt with can lead to destruction.
This is the negative side of temptation that can find a way into our lives when these desires are not based on the Word of God and given over to purpose.