Truth # 1 – Believer’s Job Description

It was the end of my son’s freshman year in college, and he defended failing two courses by pointing out that he pledged a fraternity second semester, saying “they owned me from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.”.   My response? “You have one job to do at college – that’s your school work!”

I work a daytime corporate job as an Integration Specialist, a title inherited from my predecessor, charged with responsibility for integrating new system processes with existing departmental processes when we converted to SAP in 2006.   The primary, most heavily weighted responsibility on my job description is to provide on-site support to co-workers in my department for all SAP processes.  This involves troubleshooting order entry, billing, and contract issues that my colleagues are unable to resolve on their own.  It may involve 1-on-1 coaching, filling in knowledge gaps, reviewing documented procedures or business practices, developing training materials, creating documentation, or submitting a request to the SAP Support Team to investigate a system problem.  It doesn’t really matter what the issue is … the bottom line is that I cannot help anyone else if I don’t know the system myself.  I cannot troubleshoot what I do not know.

I had to learn how to use SAP.  I had to be trained on order entry, billing, & contracts, and pull out and follow documentation on procedures I was unfamiliar with.   My system knowledge of SAP business transactions grew by working through and resolving issues I had with administration of my own accounts, trying to bill my own contracts, figuring out problems with orders I entered.  It took time “to know” the system before I could begin “to make it known” to co-workers unable to resolve an issue.

It is no different when we look at the first truth on the path to finding life purpose – we cannot make Christ known to a hurting world unless we ourselves first know Him.

Truth # 1 on the Path to Life Purpose

All believers share a basic common life purpose – To know Christ, and make Him known to a hurting world.  That’s our job, our charge, our commission!

You might say you do know Christ, but let me challenge you on that a bit … there is a huge difference between knowing about Christ and knowing Him intimately.  Really knowing Christ requires having a consistent, ongoing, growing relationship with Him – and that takes time.  You cannot go and make disciples of all the nations, as Jesus commanded us to in The Great Commission of Matthew 28:19 without you yourself knowing Him first, without reading further for clues in verse 20 to what some of that knowing involves.

Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:  I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

See, there is only one way to teach someone the commands we have been given – that is to know, understand, embrace, and live out those commands ourselves. How can we know and understand these commands?  It requires a daily discipline of being in the Word, meditating on scripture, listening to good Bible-based preaching, digging deeper into the Word with other believers.

It means developing a consistent prayer life of 2-way communication … devoting time to listen – as we might to our spouse, our children, those we are in relationship with, as well as time to talk things over with God.  It is intentional time of praising God, asking Him to search your heart and reveal the ways you are out of step with His commands, His desires, His truth.  It means inviting Him to have His way with you, asking Him to develop a godly character, selfless attitude, renewed mind and surrendered will.  It is an expressed yearning for the Holy Spirit to guide you in the day to day living out of your faith, begging Him to draw you closer to Him so that you may honor Him in each decision of that day, that He may protect you from the lies of the enemy and convict you of wrongdoing in thought, word, or deed.  The prayer life I covet is one where I consistently come to the end of myself, believing I can do nothing without Him, that if He doesn’t work through me, it will not be done.  I want to set my mind on God’s promises instead of what looks impossible or hopeless as I fast forward through the expectations of that day.  And this is just such a precious time to thank Him for his glorious gifts – love, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and salvation.  Prayer – don’t leave home without it!

And be sure of this:  I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Do you believe God is with you always?  When in your life have you experienced His presence, His faithfulness?  What is your story of redemption, your times of reigning victorious over a situation or through a struggle with a heart surrendered to Christ?  How has God worked in your life?  Do you even recognize that He has?

I want to challenge you to set aside just 1 hour this week to spend time with God, a pen, and a journal.  Write down everything you can think of, in that hour’s time, that answers one of the questions above.  That is your story.  That is what you can share to make Christ known to a hurting world.  See, you can try to make disciples of the nations by telling others everything you know about Christ, but they will argue against your beliefs and question the validity of scripture.  But no one can argue with your story – it is yours.   Just put it on your job description as a believer in Christ, with responsibility to know Him and make Him known to a hurting world.

7 Truths About Finding Life Purpose

It doesn’t matter what change a potential life coaching client is after in their life, I know from experience that somewhere in the submit form I receive requesting a complimentary life coaching session, a desire will be expressed to discover God’s will or purpose for that person’s life.  Since my coaching niche is working with women in mid-life, it’s not altogether surprising that many of them answer a key question on the submit form in the very same way.

Here’s the questionWhat fires you up or inspires you to change this situation in your life at this time?

And here are the answers I most commonly receiveMy age, My youngest child just moved out & I feel like it’s my time, I lost the job I held for 20 yrs & feel led to pursue God’s will for my life, Wanting to be used by God full-time, I am tired of living like this and want to use my gifts and talents to serve God, God is calling me to do something different and I’m not sure what it is.

There seems to be a sense of urgency about discovering life purpose, about gaining knowledge of God’s will for our lives as we enter the second half of life, and specifically when forced endings have closed the door on a job, changed the makeup of the family, or caused us to consider that the clock is ticking and we want to make a difference, know we have made a contribution, leave a legacy or in some way establish our value or significance in the world’s eyes or for God’s kingdom before it’s too late and our earthly life is over.

Now I am all about pursuing knowledge of God’s will for my life and helping others in that discovery process, but I know life purpose cannot be chased down in an instant, it is not uncovered through a one-time assessment tool  or even with a skilled life coach; it is not a treasure hunt or destination wedding that leads to the marriage of your deepest passion with the world’s greatest need after a short engagement.  There are certain truths that undergird the discovery process, and it IS a process – not a one-night stand that leaves just you personally fulfilled, not an elopement that’s done the easy way and in your own power and control.  I want to share some of what I’ve learned over the years about finding your life purpose, and unpack each of these truths individually over the next several days on the blog.

7 Truths About Finding Life Purpose

  1. All believers share a basic common life purpose – To know Christ, and make Him known to a hurting world.  That’s our job, our charge, our commission!
  2. There is God’s universal will which applies to all of us (and made clear in the Word), and then there is God’s specific will for each of us.  God will not give you knowledge of His specific will for your life if you are living outside of His universal will.
  3. God does not deliver your life purpose in one fell swoop (like what you’re going to be when you grow up).  He reveals it one step at a time, as you are ready, day by day.
  4. You cannot discover your life purpose in isolation with God.  You were designed for connection, with a need for companionship and community, and God reveals His will through others.
  5. Discovering your life purpose is not the destination – it is a path … the day by day seeking of God’s will that draws you into deeper intimacy with Christ and closer fellowship with others.
  6. Your life purpose changes over time – it evolves through seasons of life, difficulties faced, life circumstances, and spiritual maturity that dictates readiness in each stage of your life.  If your life purpose is the same today as it was one year ago, you are not growing in your relationship with Christ or moving closer to conforming to His image.
  7. Discovering and living out your life purpose requires active participation on your part.  God will not do anything for you that He has equipped you to do yourself.  God will accomplish His purposes with or without you, but you have a part to play.

Do any of these surprise you?  Which of these truths do you feel most resistant to accept?

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call.  May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.  Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him.  This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.            2 Thessalonians 1:11-12