If I’m not living on purpose, I’m living by accident.
I don't want to live my life 'accidentally' stumbling through it. I want to live my life with purpose.
'His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence'
2 Peter 1:3 ESV
This scripture tells me that everything necessary for a dynamic life is available to us. It comes via our continued connection, faith, trust and communion with Christ.
I first met God when I received salvation, but that's just been the beginning of my transformed life. Christ and I are a growing bond.
It is right for me to expect that the longer I have grown in Christ, the greater I should reflect him.
It is right for me to expect that when I am apart from Christ (in my actions of thinking), things are bound to rot.
Life is bettered when the character of a perfect God grows evident in my life. Because the characteristics of God are perfect.
The evidence is in the fruit
Our lives do their best to bear good fruit but only a perfect God has the ability to produce it.
Galatians 5:16 starts with, 'But I say, walk by the Spirit' - walking by the Spirit of God is the key.
Jesus isnt the “Hello Fresh” of my spirit, soul + lifes existence! God doesn’t give me the fruits of a god-filled life- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness all neatly packaged in a box delivered daily to my door. He enters my life, takes me by the hand, walks me into my garden and says we have some work to do. Lets grow something together!
I grow on purpose, and Christ is my lead.
It's like he says to me, here are the God seeds (of the fruit of a great life) and here is the soil (manure is on the way - trials and trouble). But together, we're going to bring about a good harvest, if you want it.
You can grow, on purpose, in the midst of anything.
Removing the bad fruit
Since the first year I started to live a life connected with God through salvation, I became increasingly aware of fruits hanging off my life. One of the first seeds God put in my hand was a seed of forgiveness. That was a seed I had no power to locate without Christ.
In fact, before Christ I had no desire for it.
But having found Christ I became increasingly persuaded.
It wasn't easy - there was a seed to grow and a tree to extract. It didn’t happen overnight. But by acknowledging what God was doing in me, I was able to grow on purpose.
Some of my life’s fruit wasn't good fruit; it was evidence of unforgiveness. It takes a lot of energy to harvest wounded, upset, victim, disappointed, hateful fruit.
There began the journey of extracting the old tree and growth of the new.
Have you ever thought you had dealt with a part of your character or life or root system until you find it sprouting up again?
'I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!'
Nothing of worth comes without work. The question we need ask is what is he working on right now?
You aren't just going through whatever you're facing, you are growing through it.
One of your greatest gifts to humankind is to understand pain & trial. We are not messengers of achievement. We are not messengers of success. We are messengers of Christ. Pain gives you empathy toward others and humility toward God.
'And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.'
Let God speak to you about the hard places in your life. They might be the areas you're potentially not interested in changing or feel you have a reason to foster. I have often found these areas are the most obvious and most visible to others.
To grow on purpose you must allow people to speak into areas they see you can soften in. James and I often talk to each other about areas God is working on.
One of the best questions you can ask someone of character and someone you trust (a connect leader, a spouse, a friend) is this:
“Tell me, what do you think is an area of my life I could allow God to work on?”
Be ready for the answer if you want to grow on purpose.
Sometimes to live on purpose, we have to get honest with ourselves. Acknowledge that some desires are not part of your future and they are going to hinder the good God-growth.
'Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].'
I've done this many times. Bringing something to the knowledge of someone in this great body of believers, someone who can check in on how you are going in that area, is such a blessing!
Have you ever stood over a plant and thought to yourself, 'Now hold on - is this native or a nuisance?' A weed and a blessing can look similar. Some do in my garden!
This is where we need the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
We can cry out to him;
“Lord, I am not sure about this thinking I have, help me”
“What is me and what is you?”
“Speak to me through your Word” or “through my leader”
"What thoughts are bringing me fruit of your Holy Spirit and Lord what thoughts are going to rot?"
We need His help. So speak in the power of the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues.
Good soil doesn’t grow, it is prepared. Get yourself to church (every Sunday) to hear the word. Get yourself to a rocking connect group, with great people. Get yourself serving somewhere.
You are seed bearers.
We should not only be receiving this life-bringing seed, set about growing the fruits of the Holy Spirit, but we should be throwing it out there onto every person we meet.
God gives us these life-giving seeds to thread life into conversations, kindly and with confidence.
You never know where that seed will fall at just the right time.