Thursday, August 27, 2009

Set Your Course

Ephesians 5:15-17, PH
Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life, but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the evils of these days. Don't be vague but grasp firmly what you know to be the will of the Lord.

As followers of God, we should walk through our life with a clear purpose. We should think through the person we want to be, think about where we are in life and where we are headed, and pray about it. We are to live with direction, vision, and focus, not losing sight of the bigger picture. Linda Dillow quotes in her book Calm My Anxious Heart that if we haven't chosen what we are living for, then we are living by default, acting out the scripts handed to us by family, other people's agendas, and the pressure of circumstances.

A few years ago in a bible study I was asked to think through a purpose statement for my life that defined what I believed and what I wanted to embody. It could be in the form of a prayer, centered around verses, or simple, clear thoughts of purpose. I wrote out my life purpose statement back in 2005 and I still keep it in the back of my Bible and think about it often.

Here are some cool samples from parts of life purpose statements that I have read that were written by others:

'I want to live faithfully, believing God for what I cannot see. I want to believe that God can do in my children's lives what I cannot do.'

'I want to influence generations.'

'Resolved, never to do anything that I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life. Resolved , never to do anything I should despise or think meanly of in another.'

'I want to pursue contentment, wisdom, and godliness.'

Here is an excerpt of my own life purpose statement that I wrote:

I want to be a lover of people. I want to know what self-sacrificial love feels and looks like. I want to invest my time and energy into others lives so that they might feel the love of God. I want to stretch myself and my time thin, for the sake of the gospel. I want to love unbelievers, new believers, and old believers.

It was a changing experience for me to think through my life and my purpose, and what character traits I wanted to embody someday. When I took the time to think it out and write it down I realized what was important to me. After doing this I felt like I should have no room for regrets in my life, because I was thinking ahead of time what I wanted to do and be. I wouldn't have to look back someday and kick myself for the opportunities I missed. It gave me a vision, something to strive for and pray about. None of this is to say that I can in any way 'work' my way into God's favor by doing this or that. But to say that after I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I knew that God had a specific purpose for my life....He has me here on earth for a reason. And, thinking through it should be important. Looking back on this part of my purpose statement I can see many circumstances that God has given me to put my words into practice. The challenge now becomes for me to choose to do it!

1 comment:

twilight said...

I absolutely loved Linda's book! I went through the study before I began working for NavPress. That specific statement really struck me. If anyone would like to consider purchasing it, use this coupon code at to get 20% off: L69E1D8W3.