Dying 2 Live...!

Dying 2 Live...!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Purpose-Given Life

Many aspects of life are uncertain: Where should I live? Who will I marry? Should I take this job or that one? How long will I live? What's my real purpose in life? These questions are abundant, to say the least. And as we age, they increase. Some have even sought to give us solace for our concerns in this area. Much of that solace has alluded to us discovering our own purpose in God.

Most are familiar with the renowned pastor of Southern California's Saddleback Church---Rick Warren. As a pastoral leader, millions highly respect him and associate much of his international acclaim with his book, The Purpose Driven Life.

In the book selling over 30 million copies to date, Warren focuses on the blueprint for Christian living in the 21st Century. The book's 40 chapters highlight 6 major categories for living out one's purpose (focusing more heavily on the last 5):

1.) What on Earth Am I Here For? (Identity)

2.) You Were Planned for God's Pleasure (Worship)

3.) You Were Formed for God's Family (Fellowship)

4.) You Were Created to Become Like Christ (Discipleship)

5.) You Were Shaped for Serving God (Ministry)

6.) You Were Made for a Mission (Mission)

As noted earlier, his following is abundant and many have adopted his Purpose-Driven philosophy, even a large group of notable church leaders. So it's pretty clear to see that he's on to something here. Anything uniting the Body of Christ in a positive manner is extremely beneficial. John 17:20-26 validates this as a primary focus of Jesus, in comparison to the connection between Him & His Father (God) being united.

The church I presently attend and have attended for the past 6 years are huge fans of Warren's ministry paradigm.

"Unsurprisingly, Warren's concepts are impactful, life-transforming and relational."

But they're incomplete. What? Incomplete! How? Now, before you all panic, hear me out! Don't get me wrong, I like Rick Warren. But there are some aspects he could have added, even he admits that in some of His small group video series. Thus, he promoted connecting studies on Life's Healing Choices by John Baker, The Relationship Principles of Jesus by Tom Holladay & a series on 40 Days of Love. And it wouldn't surprise me if many more studies are to come, all of which will aid the original Purpose-Driven one.  

Actually, these aren't the main things he left out. Believe it or not, the overall focus is what's basically incomplete. No, it's not necessarily wrong but it is incomplete. What am I getting at? Well, it's simply this: This life is not primarily about you or I and our individual purpose. What? That's right, it's not! The main thing will always remain the main thing, and that's clearly God.

"It's about God's purpose for us, not our own individual one."

God is not so focused on us living out The American Dream, or any other dream for that matter. He never promised that we will all be married to the love-of-our-life, enjoy a budding career, have a palatial home with a 2-car garage, perfect health, 3 beautiful kids, and an obedient dog. But many of us believe that is what He promised, and we have replaced God's purpose for our ideal purpose. Some have not, and have went immediately into the opposite direction. They feel their individual purpose must be poor, miserable and filled with preaching, in order to honor God. How so? Simply put, God has purposed you for what He's purposed you for. You don't fully control it. Even before you were born, it was already set-in-stone. See, God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). You just need to live life (with its ups and downs, bumps and bruises) and be obedience unto Him.

It's His purpose for you, not your purpose for Him. So let's be more about living out The Purpose-Given Life, as well as the Driven one.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) NKJV  

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