Walking With Purpose
Walking With Purpose
PUTTING SOME BASICS IN PLACE
Walking with purpose requires that we come to grips with what ultimately matters. We need to understand why we are here on earth. The reason we are here is far bigger than personal fulfillment, inner peace, or happiness. It's bigger than raising a family or having a career. The reason we are here is because God wanted us to be here. You were made by God and for God. If we don't look at life from that perspective, nothing will make sense.
This is what Saint Paul had to say about his life focus:
It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ [Jesus]. Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: Forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God's upward calling in Christ Jesus. 1
Saint Paul wasn't saying that he had it all perfectly together. But he kept his eye on the goal. He knew that God was calling him to something better. He wasn't going to turn back. Instead, he was determined to focus on the prize so that he could experience everything that God had planned for him.
Saint Paul's faithfulness to God, focus on his mission, and determination not to compromise literally changed the world. He didn't do this by floating along the river of life, letting his circumstances guide him. If we want to be women who walk purposefully and experience all that God has for us in this life, then we, like Saint Paul, are going to need to focus and prioritize. There simply isn't enough time in the day to do everything that your loved ones tell you is important and the things that our culture values, and still do the things that God is calling you to do. If you're interested in joining me on the journey, you will have to make choices-like what to pack for the trip.
One of my favorite getaways is Camden, Maine. I could write a very interesting journal full of packing mishaps for those trips-like my twelve-year-old announcing, five days into the trip, that he had forgotten to pack any underwear. It's funny (at least looking back on it) when it's my kids who didn't pack well. It's just plain embarrassing when I'm traveling alone and I have no one to blame but myself for what's not in my suitcase. We all realize how important it is to have the basics with us when we leave on a trip. Walking with purpose, in that sense, is no different from any other journey. Before we set out, then, let me suggest four essentials that we want to have packed away for the journey:
1. Understanding the Depth of God's Love
2. Recognizing What Drives You
3. Avoiding Distractions
4. Cultivating an Eternal Perspective
UNDERSTANDING THE DEPTH OF GOD'S LOVE
I believe that we will never be focused and centered on Christ until we are convinced that he loves us. It is statistically proven that we respond better when motivated by love and a close relationship than when driven by fear of consequences.
Many things get in the way of our really believing that God loves us. We tend to attribute to God the characteristics of our earthly fathers. If your father wasn't loving, you may find it hard to believe that your Heavenly Father loves you unconditionally.
Or perhaps you have been deeply hurt by circumstances in your life. Your suffering makes it hard for you to believe that God really loves you-if he did, then why would he have allowed certain hardships to happen? We can't see God, and most of us do not hear his audible voice, so our doubts continue.
Sometimes it is guilt that gets in the way of believing God loves us. We look at our p