Chasing Down Purpose

Jeff KINGDOM, Spiritual Warfare

Scripture reveals that God gives assignments to His children throughout their lives. More often than not, the ones from the Bible that we remember most often are the mega-assignments that are connected with destiny and the grand purposes given to well-known individuals. Noah was called to build an ark in a world that had never known flooding. Abraham was given the destiny to become the father of faith. David was promoted from the sheepfold to the throneroom of Israel. Solomon built the first temple. Esther rescued a generation of Jews. John the baptizer was the Messiah’s forerunner. Jesus, of course, was the Savior of the world. Destiny and purpose are sovereignly granted by the Father to those whom He chooses. He offers, and we respond. Nobody is created apart from a divine intentionality. The vast majority of believers have never and will never be assigned such world-renowned purposes like the ones from the bible that I have just mentioned. Yet, just because it might not fit the description of mega-sized does not mean that it is not mega-important to God.

Every one of us is a reason from God.

There is a point to your existence.

You are an expression of the divine will, wrapped in human DNA.

Your life will contain assignments from God that most of the world will never applaud.

But God will.

God will not only applaud your faithful completion of His assignments, He will reward you for them.

You are a reason from God.

In our star-struck world of entertainment and athletic heroes, the Church seems to have obtained amnesia about what Scripture says makes a person valuable. We are all made in the image of God – all humans in every place. For the Christian, we have been twice-born into everlasting life and a new Kingdom citizenship. This citizenship is to define our values for us, it fosters our commitments and our trajectories in life. While the world system prioritizes flamboyance, flashiness and flesh, God’s eyes scan the earth to find those whose hearts are fully committed to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9) and faithful in their assignments from Him (1 Corinthians 4:2 & Proverbs 20:6). According to these criteria, all of us can achieve Kingdom greatness if we faithfully complete our assignments from the Father. We can become the people whom God has destined us to be. We can take the reins of our lives and do all that we do unto His glory and honor. Because of this, it does not matter if we have been called to build arks, break strongholds or bake dinners – our joyful and faithful commitment to fulfil our own assignments can result in greatness in the Kingdom. God judges what is great and what is not. His Word reveals that faithfulness is the primary criterion.

Amy, my wife, is heroic to me. I had no clue when I married her what kind of woman God had given me. I knew I loved her and wanted to be her husband. Yet, over the last 21 years of marriage, my awareness of her greatness has grown. Our children are the prism through which much of Amy’s Kingdom greatness shines. Motherhood is no longer really valued in our culture. Radical feminism has reframed raising children to the status of unskilled labor. In Kingdom values, however, intentional motherhood is one of the highest assignments that a woman can be given. If you know my children, you know that Amy has done well and continues to do so in this arena. Amy also spent over 25 years serving local churches in music and singing. Jesus Culture, Hillsong and Bethel never requested her to serve with them. Back in her Southern Gospel days, The Singing Newsmagazine never asked for an interview. Yet, some of my most impacting memories of my wife revolve around her singing over my son when he was in the ICU at three months of age. I can still see her around our piano with Alicia, singing praises to Jesus on a Thursday night – simply because Jesus is worthy of praise on a Thursday night. The most recent chapter of Amy faithfully fulfilling her assignment was when she held down the fort and gave essential input during two church mergers over a 3+ year period- two church merges that included very different approaches to worship. When the Holy Spirit whispered to her a few months ago that this assignment was completed, she stepped aside without a word. The Father applauded her and spoke deep affirmation over her decades-long faithfulness. She now awaits her next assignment from the Father who has been so good and faithful to her. Recently, we have been talking about what that next assignment is, and it will likely be the one she holds until the Father welcomes her home. Maybe only a handful know it, but Amy Lyle is great in the Kingdom of God.

Our assignments are not usually meant to be spectacular as the world sees them. God’s assignments to us are about His wisdom, His agenda in a generation, and His valuing of us as His children. He actually made you for Him. That’s right, you are His and He delights in walking with you on this adventure that we call life. We need to embrace the reality that most of our assignments will not make a visible public ripple that shakes a generation. Some of you might be called in that way, but the rest of us will need to embrace the reality that God never said it had to be big to be good. My hope is that the Church in America will jettison the ill-fitted mantle of desiring to be spectacular at the expense of being spiritual. Whether it is social media, platform ministry in churches and conferences, or writing the next big book at the Christian bookstore, we need an intentional return to the commitment to remain aware that all of our assignments are extremely important. We need to reclaim the prioritizing of faithfulness.

The reason I can say that is because of the Source of our assignments. They are all important because they originate in the beautiful heart of Father God. I know my current assignment. It took a long time for it to become clear to me, but I can honestly say that I know what it is. It’s not very big according to our culture’s measuring stick. Yet, that does not mean it is not important. For all of you who are wrestling through an ongoing sense of insignificance, allow me to redirect your focus. Look at the Father. Remember who He is. Stand amazed that He chose you to be His forever. Get still and rest in the never-ending reality that He loves you. He knows what He is doing with you. You may not know it yet,but He knows it. For those who want to receive awareness of their purpose, their assignment, or their destiny, simply begin to press in to know Himmore deeply. He has it all. When you know Him more deeply, you will eventually find your purpose. Interestingly enough, when we really know Him more deeply, the pressing need to know our assignments seems to lessen. He becomes the greatest treasure we could ever know. That’s when our purpose crystalizes into pleasure. That is the moment when we never again see ourselves as separate from Him.

It is okay if you are not clear today on your purpose. He is the only one who can solidify that in your heart. If you do not know what you are meant to do, then do what you can do. What invitation do you currently have? Is there any open door before you? Do not get stuck in the paralysis of analysis. Simplify your approach by asking Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the good that is available for you to engage today. Begin there and He will take those initial steps of commitment and turn them into intentional steps of clarity regarding your assignment from the Father. He wants to do this with you because He really loves you. He enjoys you. He knows His plans for you are really, really good. Whether He makes you a Kingdom star or a Kingdom servant, it will be enough to know that He knows your name.