Today I'd like to begin a message that I will refer to as "Finding Your Purpose in a Chaotic World." I find that so many people have no idea whatsoever what their spiritual gifts are or how to discern what compass to follow in life. They just wander aimlessly without a real plan, never getting any closer to figuring out why they seem so unfulfilled. It's because it's all tied to what God has put inside of you. Finding your purpose cannot be done without discovering a wonderful relationship with Jesus! That's the first step.
Ultimately, the answer to our life quest for purpose can be found in 2 Cor. 5:18 where the Bible tells us that we are given the ministry of reconciliation. No matter what else we desire to do, this ministry of reconciliation - reconciling ourselves and others to God - should always be our heart and soul. When it comes to finding God’s answers for direction, purpose, employment, and ministry, look to the area of your gifting. What are you good at? What comes naturally? God has made a deposit in each person in the area of gifting to act as a spiritual compass. That compass, if you learn to listen to it, will lead you into areas where the anointing just flows. Where the anointing flows, there will be provision. God has purposed that each person would have an area of gifting, talent or ability that will provide for them in life. Don’t just look for a job, look for your purpose. Learn to ask the right questions and pray the right prayers so that God can answer His will. Don’t ask for what you don’t want. Be specific. Ask for what you want.
Many people may ask, “But what about ‘in the meantime,’ as I’m trying to shift my life towards my purpose?” My friends, do not worry that you will ‘miss it.’ God has always been working in your life to prepare you and give you life experience, training and develop skills for things you will need later on. He wastes nothing. And, it’s comforting to know that He is working in our lives even when we do not realize it. I can look back at jobs and experiences I had when I was much younger, before I even knew Jesus as my Lord, and I realize that even before I got saved and started to develop a relationship with Him, He was giving me practical experience for things I’m doing now. You can relax! But at the same time, it is often good to ask yourself if the decisions you make regarding how you spend your time, looking for jobs or developing practical skills are moving you towards the will of God, or away from it. If you have a choice between one thing or another, choose the thing that will move you closer to your goal of fulfilling what’s in your heart to do. Don’t move in an opposite direction.
What is the will of God? We know certain things, such as developing a personal deep relationship with Jesus Christ, worship, prayer, and reading His word. Those things cultivate the relationship with your Savior. Answers are found in His presence! (Read Rev. 4:1)The place of revelation to know God’s will is through worship, quiet time with Him and prayer. Then there are practical things too, such as giving to the needy, helping others when and where you find opportunity, and praying for the needs of others. But I'm referring to understanding your spiritual gifts and the fulfillment of perhaps a specific dream or desire that you know God has put in your heart. I'm also talking about finding the job that makes your heart sing. These things are also all about finding and fulfilling your purpose. Not sure? What have you always wanted to do, if nothing was preventing you from doing it? What is the thing you are good at, the thing that makes your heart happy and you could do repeatedly without getting tired of doing it or having to struggle or strive to make it work? This is most likely connected to your area of gifting. Grace is always present for the task at hand. If you do not sense the grace or anointing in what you’re doing, it may well be a signal that you need to make a change.
When you find the area where you just “flow” and you enjoy what you’re doing, you will also find that you feel fulfilled. You will never feel fulfilled if you’re not doing what God created you to do, but He is at the center of all of it. Without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the desire of feeling truly at peace and fulfilled will likely escape you, because you were created to know Him. You were created to have relationship with Him. It's a void that only His presence in our life can fill.
If we want to truly find and fulfill our purpose, we must be committed to being serious with the Lord. We must leave some things behind. We must choose to be healed. We must choose to grow with the Lord. We must choose to let go of things that don’t profit or could hinder our future. You’ve heard the phrase, “dress for success.” Well, that doesn’t just apply to making a nice presentation on the outside. You have to be able to make the presentation on the inside, too. Because if your character and integrity aren’t developed, you will miss the mark even if you do land the job. Don’t let your character assassinate your reputation. Reputation may be what others think you are, but character is what you really are when no one else is watching. Be committed to the development of both. Man may look at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. He will not promote you just because you look good. He promotes people because they are committed to excellence both in the matters of the heart as well as quality job performance. Scripture says, “Do you see a man that excels in his work? He will stand before kings.” Prov. 22:29. When you are committed to excellence of character as well as excellence in your area of gifting, your gift will make room for you and it will bring you before great men.
Now there is another meaning of this piece of scripture that I would like to address. (Speaking about Prov. 18:16) It was customary in ancient times (and sometimes still applicable today), to bring a gift or present to the person you were visiting. It was not only customary, but expected, that one brought a gift to the great man into whose presence you came. It was the gift that welcomed a person into the presence of a king or other person in high position and granted them opportunity to plead a case, seek justice, and request favor from the person to whom they were making a petition. Although I acknowledge what the original intent may have signified, I prefer to look at it in light of how the scripture is applicable to us today. We know of course, that the Lord hates bribery because it causes one to turn a blind eye to justice and can pervert honest ways, so the word in Proverbs 18:16 should be viewed in proper perspective. Aren't you glad the Lord doesn't ask us to bring a gift every time we want to enter His presence? I love the fact that the Lord welcomes us to His throne without requiring us to bring anything except ourselves, yet it is His gifts in us, that makes room (expansion, to find a place) or allows us to find favor in the eyes of others. That deposit of God’s goodness to us is ultimately (by His design) something that other individuals will also need. You have something that someone else needs, and it’s wrapped up in the anointing and gifting that God has put inside of you. Sometimes God has a very specific place in mind where you are to use your talents and gifts. Your gift is valuable and so are you! Never think that you do not have value. God has made you in His image and put His greatness inside of you! That is why we all need each other. When we all get connected the way we are designed to fit, where the anointing flows unhindered and the needs of the body, community and city are being met, it's going to look like Jesus. I need the benefit of your gifts and talents and you should be able to benefit from mine as well. That is why the scripture likens us to a body in which every joint "supplieth" (continues to supply) what the rest of the body needs to function properly. When the body of Christ is disjointed or disconnected, we can't function in perfect wholeness and soundness as we have been designed to. When you let the gift be unwrapped and let others see the beauty of the Lord working in and through your gifting, it becomes valuable to them, too, and they get to benefit from it. This is the love of God towards us. His magnificence is wrapped up in a gift and a talent that is uniquely yours. It's a little bit of Himself, deposited in each of us. So develop it with care, and with the utmost regard for how that talent or area of gifting will impact your future. Give yourself to excellence and it will allow you to find favor in the eyes of God and man. Favor opens doors to opportunities you may never have otherwise. Above all, treat the presence of Holy Spirit with the utmost respect and honor that is due Him, and He will promote you at the right time.
Take the limits off! Do not say, “I can’t do this,” or speak that certain things prevent you from fulfilling the dream in your heart. Your job is to nurture your future with life giving words. God’s job is to bring it to pass. Don’t let negative words create a cycle of unbelief and unanswered prayer! Words have power! What you say, either way, will come to pass. It’s the law of agreement. Jesus told us in Matthew 18 that where two or more are gathered in His name, whatever they asked for in prayer would be done for them. But the enemy knows the law of agreement too. A spiritual law can operate in a negative sense as well if you speak out unbelief or word curses on your future. You may have to repent and break some word curses you’ve put out there in order to begin a new cycle. SPEAK LIFE. SPEAK FAITH. What you speak is what you give power to exist in your life.
Father God, I thank You for showing me my area of gifting. Lord, some dreams may have died a long time ago, but I ask that You resurrect the ones that are truly from You. Help me discover the areas where I'm really good at the things you've called me to do. Show me the hope of glory, the riches of the inheritance that You have put in me. Let every spiritual gift that has laid dormant be activated now, in Jesus name. Let every good gift from my Father of Lights be strengthened, refined, and matured so that I can use the gifts and talents you've given me to Your glory. Lord, help me find the specific place where my gifts and talents will be celebrated. Help me find the place where the anointing in my life will be welcomed, and You will be glorified. Please arrange destiny connections to bring me into the right relationships so that my gifts and talents can benefit the most people. I ask You for wisdom and discernment to know how to avoid certain situations that the enemy may bring in order to misuse the gifts for his purposes. Help me avoid any traps and snares the enemy would set for me in this regard, and please help guard me from exploiting my gifts and talents for selfish gain. Keep the wrong doors closed and open the doors you know I should go through. Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil, all the days of my life. In Jesus name, amen.