God's purpose for one's life doesn't just happen

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2008

Was it six years ago that Rick Warren's now-famous book, "The Purpose-Driven Life," overwhelmed the attention of not only the church but our nation, affirming to wayward hearts everywhere the truth of one of Christianity's core values that every life possesses a God-ordained purpose?

Readers stormed local book stores to purchase copies, pastors added the volume to staff members' required reading lists and believers signed their names to page 13 as a commitment to begin a 40-day journey that would not only define their purpose, but elevate that purpose to a God-prescribed mission.

We sat on the edges of our eternity-bound seats and read Warren's words, hoping, hoping from the bottom of our hearts to find the one thing we had been seeking since childhood: Instructions for our lives.

Now here we are, years later. How are you doing on that mission? Have you successfully identified your purpose here on Earth, embraced the gifts with which you've been blessed and ultimately found great satisfaction and fulfillment in knowing the work you do brings ultimate glory and pleasure to your creator? Or not?

Let me encourage you by suggesting you are not alone.

Of course, it has nothing to do with the validity of Warren's book. With sales reaching beyond 10 million copies, "The Purpose-Driven Life" maintains an enviable position as a best-seller today. Warren's principles are grounded in scripture and could not be more sound. God's plan for human life is seen in Jeremiah 1:5 where he says, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you ."

His design for our lives also is seen in Ephesians 2:10 where Paul wrote, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

What, then, holds us back from stepping out with conviction and embracing our true purpose?

I believe the answer lies in the tendency to believe something is true, and yet we stop short of acting on that truth. I can believe wholeheartedly my life has a definite purpose, yet spend the entirety of my years never actively pursuing its fulfillment.

Before I realize it, I've sacrificed the important things for the urgent: the to-do lists, the phone calls, the lunch dates, the home improvement projects, the church activities, the birthday parties, the doctor appointments and the carpools.

I become so consumed with daily living that I lose my focus and fall short of my purpose.

What I'm learning is that God's best and most fulfilling purpose for my life does not simply happen; I must decide to actively pursue it each and every day.

What goals and dreams has he placed in your heart? Have you done anything today to move you one step closer to those dreams? Will you do something tomorrow to keep moving forward?

When we align our beliefs with our actions, I believe we release God to do amazing things on our behalf. As a result, we may just discover the purpose we so earnestly seek.

Jaimee Coon is the children's director at Kenai New Life Assembly of God at 209 Princess St. in Kenai. He can be reached at 283-7752. Church worship services are at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays. Awana meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

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