Throughout life we seek out the reason for our existence. We have an innate desire to live life to its fullest by knowing why we are here, what our purpose is, and how we can live a life with meaning and value. Certainly there are times when we just go along with the current of life and let it take us where it will. As well, when the rapids of life’s struggles hit our path we think more about survival and keeping our head above water than what God has us here for. We are more apt to question why these things are happening, and our purpose becomes more focused on dealing with the turmoil at hand. Yet, we read Scriptures like:
James 1:2-3 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Romans 8:28 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
We know God has reasons, plans, and purposes when the difficult issues of life hit. He has built into us abilities, talents, gifts, passions, desires, dreams, and interests to engage as part of His specific plans at specific times. We have a unique call on our lives and on us as a church.
Beginning last Sunday (10/3), we launched out on a seven-week “Living God’s Unique Call Campaign.” Yes, the word “campaign” sounds political, yet the word means a planned and organized series of actions intended to achieve a goal…and that is just what we are doing. Our hope and prayer is that we all will join the journey of discovering what God desires for our lives, gain a glimpse of God’s expectation on us, and think about the specifics He has for us along the way. This campaign will help because every element from the Sunday sermons, to the small group time, to the daily devotionals is all set up to help us hear from God.
So be listening for God to reveal something to you. Much of that will be straight out of the Bible and we just need to respond and act accordingly. Other times God speaks more directly to us. In my relationship with God I don’t hear an audible voice from Him, but I do get a sense God is telling me something. It happens when I pray, read the Bible, contemplate the things I am learning from God, or just waiting expectantly for God to implant a thought into my head. Because I know my mind can think all kinds of things, I go through a few steps to assure it is God who is giving me those thoughts.
I first apply the 2 Corinthians 10:5 test:
2 Corinthians 10:5 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
What I am thinking must line up with the Bible and something that does not undermine the authority of Jesus as my Lord. The next test is found in 1 John 4:1:
1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Again, I put that thought or idea up against what the Bible says. When I am not sure I go to some godly, wise people and ask their advice. Once I get that it is from the Lord, I start to act on that.
See God does not just have us here on Earth to wander aimlessly. He has plans and purposes we are to realize and make real in our life. The Apostle Paul put it this way…
1 Corinthians 9:26 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
God has reasons why we were born, why we have the talents, gifting, passions, personality, and drive we have. His desire is that we will journey through life on a quest to live out His purposes and do the specific actions He calls us to do all along the way. Within the pages of the Bible, we see from Moses to the Apostle Paul, from David to John the Apostle, from Esther to Priscilla, from Joshua to the Apostle Peter, Nehemiah to John the Baptist, from Gideon’s army to the church in Ephesus, from the tribe of Judah to the first church in Jerusalem, there are historical accounts of individuals, families, groups of people, nations, and churches living out God’s unique call and fulfilling God’s agenda.
We start by first exploring God’s purposes and we have grouped them in five basic categories using five action words – verbs: Worship, Belong, Grow, Serve, and Reach. This next week we will be unpacking these basic purposes that are not so unique to us, but are one of the key elements to living God’s unique call on us. I encourage you to learn a lot and seek to try to live out these purposes in new and stretching ways. It will make a huge difference in your life.
As you participate in the different parts of the campaign (Sunday services, small groups, daily devotional), I would love your feedback. Just drop me an e-mail and let me know how God is using this in your life or what God is teaching you. You can just reply to this e-mail or go directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would really appreciate your comments.
There is one last thing that I could use your help with. As you may have noticed, we have more people attending our Sunday services and have a parking problem. It would greatly help our situation if you would use one of our two off-site parking venues. There is additional street parking on Juanita Road, just east of the church. Please be mindful not to park in the red zones, and enjoy the short walk to the church. There is also parking at the Cypress High School faculty lot off Valley View. Shuttle service is provided for your convenience. Both of these will take some planning so arrive a little earlier, but it will make it easier on our guests visiting our church. Thank for your help in this.
I am looking forward to seeing you Sunday as we discover God’s unique call together.
Grace and Peace,