Childhood is the time for plans and dreams. It’s the time where you imagine the unimaginable, believe the unbelievable, and are convinced of the impossible. When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to become a firefighter, a princess, and an author, all at the same time. At one point, I made legitimate plans to audition for American Idol, even though it was clear that I had no recognizable musical talent.
But as I’ve gotten older, I find myself becoming more cynical, discouraged, and “realistic.” I more easily settle for the possible and mundane, shutting down my longing for the impossible and extraordinary.
However, God never wants us to settle. He is always looking for ways to help us grow, change, and see the great purpose he has for our lives.
I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!”
Psalm 32:8-9 TPT
God pushes us toward where we’ve never been before. He wants to give us a purpose that is powerful and impactful, not just for ourselves but for the lives of those around us. But when we are focused on ourselves and what we are capable of doing, we will end up missing out on the great plan God has for us.
The Dangers of a Self-Driven Purpose
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 NIV
When I rely on myself to get what I want or reach my purpose, I end up either settling for what’s in front of me, or constantly working hard to a pursue a dream that never really satisfies me. This scripture explains that relying on ourselves results in:
- not being able to see or be content with the good things that happen in our lives.
- feeling “parched” – dried out by heat or circumstances in our lives.
- living a lonely life.
Without God’s help, our purpose will become small and narrow. Our greatest dreams will become having the best career, getting the most attention, or having as much fun as we can. These are all good things to have, but they are not our reason for existing. We can only get that reason from God.
He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP
Regardless of the talents, interests, and dreams we have for ourselves, God has planted in each of us a longing for something greater. No achievement, attention, or exciting experience can fill the hole that only God’s purpose is large enough to fill. He has something incredible and unique planned for each and every one of us; we just need to be willing to follow it.
Embrace the Vision
We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’…So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
Acts 26:14, 19 NIV
In this scripture, Saul was fighting against the vision God had for him. Saul wanted to pursue a purpose that would mostly benefit him. God had a vision for Saul’s life to benefit not only himself, but millions of other people. When we fight against the vision God has for us, life feels difficult. We become like the person in Jeremiah 17 scripture (above) – we feel alone, aimless, and stuck. But when we embrace God’s vision and plan for our lives, we find ourselves a part of something that we could never have accomplished on our own.
It will be your mission to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God. This is so that they may receive forgiveness of all their sins and have a place among those who are set apart for a holy purpose through having faith in Me.”
Acts 26:18 VOICE
So what is this greater purpose that God has given us? When we let go of the selfishly-driven dreams we have for ourselves, God can open our eyes to the needs of those around us and we are able to be part of a purpose that is greater than ourselves.
What has been your purpose? Is it self-driven or God-driven? Have you settled for what’s possible or are you focused on God’s vision toward the impossible? Who in your life needs you to embrace your purpose today?
To learn more about how to not settle and live God’s impossible purpose for you, register for our 2018 Expo on August 17-18, titled “Purpose”!