© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones
Message Topic: Purpose
Purpose: Jeremiah 29:11
Pointless: Proverbs 16:9
Ever since high school – maybe even as far back as the 4th grade, I suppose, I have had a desire to be special. Well, more specifically, to be thought of as special. I have wanted to be chosen for the team, picked for the solo, recognized for an accomplishment and desired as a friend.
And the reason I felt it necessary to clarify that it wasn’t just a matter of wanting to be special, but instead to be singled-out as special, is because all the while I did have attributes that were worthy, desirable, unique and even special, but not always quite good enough. All my encouragement and support seemed to be always followed by a “but…”
Maybe my personality was too loud, brash and crass but no one knew how to tell me. Maybe I was too selfish, too know-it-all, or too bossy but no one got a chance to tell me. Maybe I couldn’t really sing, couldn’t really dance or didn’t really have “it” and no one had the heart to tell me. Or maybe someone tried and I never really listened, never really heard or never actually believed it was true.
I confess all of this painfully and with much introspection for a purpose: all these circumstances and desires carried into my adult life; my job search; my career plans; and my self-esteem, and manifested as a complete lack of life purpose. Oh yeah, and the symptom of that lack of purpose was a deep, almost obsessive desire to be thought of or recognized as special.
Up until April of 2008 I was still searching for purpose. I hadn’t even completed my son’s baby book from the start of 2005 because I was stuck on “mother’s occupation.” Then I had a vision of that answer – and while I knew it was from God I didn’t know what the answer was. I made up my own mind and went in pursuit of what I thought it was – feeling like this finally might be the answer.
Along the way, while in pursuit of what I thought my purpose might be (or at least a fairly comfortable facsimile or substitution), God was faithful to reveal the truth to me: we all have a purpose. It is one designed by God and for His glory. He has given us talents, skills, trials, lessons and direction all throughout our lives that steer us toward that purpose, train us for it, prepare us for it and mold us for it. And in His season, in His time and according to His grace, He will bless us with gifts to be used specifically for that purpose as well.
Psalms 139:13-17 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knows right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in they book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”
God created us each individually. He created us before the world began. He fashioned our parts and how they would grow all the days of our lives, even before he made us. And He continually thinks about each individual He has created.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peach, and not evil, to give you an expected end.”
Those precious thoughts the Lord is thinking of unto us – those great sum of thoughts – are thoughts of peace, not evil. He wants nothing but good for our lives and those thoughts have an expected end – one God will give: we have a God given purpose.
We have purpose because God has intended it for us. But purpose is not destiny. We have a destiny – we have a divine destination. How could we have no destination even though God promises to be our guide? Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart devises his way: but the Lord directs his steps. How pointless would it be for God to direct our steps towards nowhere? There is a destination planned for us and it is up to us to follow it. There is no one, not even God who can keep us from our destiny except ourselves.
Remember when I said it was a vision that led me to my purpose? That purpose was realized on August 23rd when I received my license as a Minister of the Gospel. But the vision that started me on this path was a vision of my destiny. As God tries to lead me down the correct path I have already been swayed off-course by my own motivation, distraction, anxiety, doubt and desire to be special. Believe it or not, however, it has only been since August 23rd that I have realized and come to accept that I am extremely special, held in high-regard, blessed and highly favored by God Almighty and that it is sufficient – His grace upon my life is sufficient.
You see, I have minister friends and associates who say they have “run” from their calling. I continuously hear of Pastors who have “run” from their calling and in fact, didn’t even want a job as minister, pastor or even in the ministry at all. It has even been said of me that I was running from my calling as well. But the truth is I was running from one thing to the next, desperately in search of what my calling was.
I cannot and will not shy away from my calling or avoid it due to the trials and tribulations – even persecutions that are sure to come. I have been in search of a purpose for far too long to deny it or shy from it now. I have withstood far too many nasty trials and tribulations in search of this purpose to shrink away from it in awe of what will surely come. No matter how difficult and trying or even painful my new journey may be, I am thoroughly excited about my purpose, simply because I finally have one! It may be weird, or different or unusual for a Minister to feel this way but it doesn’t much matter. It’s just one more thing added to the list of what makes me special!
What about you? You don’t have to be called into the ministry, or even called to some career society deems as worthwhile to be considered special. Parent, student, counselor, teacher, receptionist, soldier, CEO, Trustee, analyst, executive, coach, cook, Pastor, PTA member, community leader, politician, activist, clerk, nurse, doctor or athlete; working, fired or retired – God designed you for a reason and for a purpose; either where you are, elsewhere or both.
It’s up to you to trust that God wants and has the very best in store for you. Believe that He IS and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him – and then seek Him according to Matthew 6:33. Ask for what you have not – including Wisdom and understanding and commit all your ways unto Him (Proverbs 16:3).
God knows you are special and I think so too. Do you?
Power, Love & Peace ya'll!