Archive for tag: Purpose in life

34. The ride of your life

My wish is that each of you will find your own unique purpose. I want you all to stand up in the mornings and be excited to start your day. But I know it takes time and I know that the Lord's timing is not our timing. Be patient, remember that the Lord is never late. If He wants you to start, you will know it. He will be on time. Just keep on believing.

I would like to finish off this series of 'Purpose in Life' with just a last couple of ideas that I would like to share with you.

At the hand of our example of the fun park, the Lord showed me a few things. Firstly He illustrated to me that once you have started with your purpose and you are on your roller-coaster, remember one thing. There will be a lot of ups and downs and round twirls, but it will be all worth it. Just do not get off the roller-coaster! Don't let the ups discourage you. You will experience so much. Even during the 'ups' you will have joy and peace that the world cannot understand, because you can know that the roller-coaster is in God's Hands.

Secondly, once you are in the roller-coaster, the Holy Spirit will strap you in and lead you where you need to go. Once you started, one thing will lead to another as the roller-coaster knows its way. Things will be pointed out to you as you go along. You will not necessarily know the end once you start, but everything will fall into place as long as you are still strapped in by the Holy Spirit.

And lastly, whether you get on the specific ride planned especially for you or not. You can walk around and arrive at the end destination  (I assume now that you are a new born Christian and have accepted Jesus as your Savior), along with everyone else. You will still go to heaven and be with our Savior. But you would have missed so much. You would have missed the ride of your life.

I wish you well on your journey of finding what the Lord wants you to do. I spent a lot of time before the Lord unveiled mine to me, but it was worth every second of it! I don't know all the intricacies of what it all involves or what small turns I will need to take. But one thing I do know; I am on the rollercoaster and I am on my way. The details will be given to me along the way, but for now I am enjoying the ride.

Lord Jesus, You are awesome! Thank you for giving each of us a ride to climb on to. Thank you that You are there to strap us in and be with us every step of the way. We love You. Amen

33. Steps to your specific purpose (2)

As we have discussed in the previous devotion, we need to spend a lot of time with the Lord and hear from Him what our purpose in life is. When we have heard, we must test it against the Word of God in order to receive confirmation that we have heard correctly and secondly we need to ask fellow Christians to pray for us and receive confirmation for us from the Lord. Now let's continue with the next steps:

4. Seeing things

As we continue in the fun park we will see the different rides and we will see everything that there is to do. And certain of these rides will attract our attention and we will naturally feel drawn to it.

In our lives that is the working of the Holy Spirit. He will help us on the road to see where we should go. He will lead us on the right paths. He might provide us with dreams helping us to know which way to turn, or He might give us visions on what the future might hold, or He might send a prophet on your way to proclaim a prophecy over your life. Or it might be less dramatic and He could give you peace over what you must do that transcends all understanding. If you ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance, it will be given unto you. Listen to what Jesus said about Him:

John 16:13, "When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all Truth. He will tell you about the future."

John 16:15, "…the Spirit will reveal to you whatever He receives from Me."

We can therefore trust the guiding of the Holy Spirit. He will help us to know whether we are on the right path or not.

5. Know yourself

In the fun park there are different rides for different kinds of people. Adventure-loving people would go for the high, dangerous roller coasters, whilst the faint hearted would go on a more relaxed ride. Or there might be people who have motion sickness and would rather not go on a ride, but rather enjoy the water activities on a lazy river or something.

In your life you know yourself the best. You know your strengths and your weaknesses and you know whether something makes you excited or not. You will know whether it suits you or not. But be careful here. Moses also didn't think he could lead the Israelites and look at what a mighty leader he became. Therefore try and have a look at yourself through God's eyes. He sees your potential and you should see it too.

6. Narrowed down choice

If you are standing before two roller-coasters in the fun park and you do not know which one to choose, pray about it and look at the area surrounding each one and go to the one that appeals to you the most.

When you cannot decide between two choices and you have followed all these steps, take a moment, take a deep breath and pray about it again. Go back to step 1 and spend time with the Lord. Ask Him to help you open your eyes to the area surrounding each choice and ask Him to help you see which one to choose. The Holy Spirit will guide you. Remember the Lord wants you to make the right decision. He wants you to succeed. Trust Him enough with it. He will lead you to the right choice.

Dear Lord, please help us to find the right way. We would love to look up to You and find the answers to our prayers. We know You have a purpose for us, please reveal it to us today. Amen

32. Steps to your specific purpose (1)

The Lord wants us to have fun and He wants to be part of it and share in the fun with us.  He wants us to get up in the morning with a smile on our face.

Now as I discussed in the previous devotion, the Lord revealed the path to our purpose in life through the illustration of a fun park. Inside this fun park are different rides and fun things to do and one of them is your purpose. One of them would be well suited to you. Now how do you know which one? Let's find out.

1.       Pray about it

Once you have decided that you want to know what your purpose is, be quiet and spend time with the Lord. This is the most difficult thing for most people to do, but it is the most important of all, as the rest of the steps would simply be confirmation of what you prayed about.

Be still, make time even if it is your busiest time of the year. I have quickly learned that when you do spend time with the Lord, you tend to do all your tasks thereafter so much faster, that you end up making up the time again. So be still and listen. The Lord so desperately wants to talk to us that He will talk to you, you need not worry about it. He will share His Heart with you. All you need to do is to be quiet and let Him do the talking.

Now this might take half an hour or it can take weeks, it all depends on how the Lord decides to work with you. He knows what is best and will not be rushed. But if you persevere and continue to be quiet, His tender voice will start talking to you. You will intuitively know it is Him. Your Spirit after all knows its Maker. You will hear Him, after you have taken care of all the noise inside of you.

As you continue to listen, you will hear more and more and a clearer picture will be formed as to what He wants you to do. He will now lead you into the park for confirmation of where He is leading you to.

2.       There will be physical signs

All around the park there will be signs leading you to each ride. Each ride will be clearly marked and will help you not to get lost along the way. You will clearly know which way to turn.

Now in your daily life these signs will be the Word of God. When you spend time and study the Word of God, you will clearly start to know the heart of God. You will learn from Him and you will learn His Ways. Therefore if you feel that you want to do something, test it against the Word of God. If it is in contrast to it, you can know that it is definitely not something that you must do. If it is in line with the Word of God you can look further for confirmation that this is what you must do. You can ask the Lord for a specific verse to confirm that this is His Will for your life. Or you can ask a Christian friend to pray for you for a verse from the Lord. Something that would confirm that this is the road that you should take.

3.       Christian counselors

All around the park there will be people who can assist you in the road you should undertake. They will direct you to the right ride for you. You can ask them questions and they will help you make your decision.

In your life these people could be your Christian friends, Christian family, your Christian mentor or even your pastor. Someone you know has a close relationship with the Lord and has your very best interest in mind. Go and talk to them. Ask them for advise based on sound godly principles. Ask them to pray for you and ask them to give you confirmation of what you believe you should do. Ask them to truly hear from the Lord for your confirmation. It should be the same as what the Lord told you.

In the next devotion we will continue with the steps. But for now start by being quiet with the Lord and spending time with Him. He is waiting for you.

Lord Jesus, we are looking forward to hearing from You. We cannot wait to spend time with You, as we know that it will be the defining moment for our lives. Amen

31. Your purpose, the fun-loving side

As we have touched on the previous devotions, all of us have general purposes, namely to have a close relationship with God,  to become more and more like Christ, to spread the gospel and to glorify God and sing His praises. There could be even more general purposes. But for now let's focus in on more specific purposes for each of us.

As I have discussed in the previous devotions, we all have a specific purpose assigned to us by the Lord our God. He decided what He wants us to do, the moment He created each of us. He had a picture in mind of what He would like us to become. And be rest assured that your purpose would fit you as a glove. The Lord knows your strengths and your weaknesses and knows what you would be able to do, better than you ever would. Your purpose could also consist of several smaller tasks, but it will all contribute to your main purpose.

Now how do we know what it is? How can we be sure? That is the type of questions that have haunted me as well and one day in my quiet time with the Lord He unveiled the steps to me. It is something that will take time and effort from your side, but in the end it will be more than worth it! Life will be so much more rewarding when you can get up in the mornings with a purpose, knowing that the Lord will direct you towards it.

Now the Lord explained the step to me as follows: He showed me a fun park full of roller coasters, swings, water activities, eating stalls etc. Truly a fun park, something like Disney World. Now hidden in between all the rides and all the fun things, is your purpose waiting for you. One of the roller coasters/swings/water rides etc is yours to climb on to. One of them would be specifically suited to you. The question is just which one?

Now I would like to stop there for a moment and quickly share with you one thing I experienced the last few weeks. And that is that our God is truly a fun-loving God. Yes He is holy, yes He is a Judge, yes He is our Savior, but one thing that stood out for me is that He could be fun-loving as well. I mean just have a look at some of the strange fish, birds and animals He created. He must have a wonderful sense of humor! Look around in nature, I saw two birds flying and playing with one another this morning, they were having so much fun and I believe that the Lord loves that. He wants us to have fun and enjoy ourselves. He doesn't want us to walk around with somber faces all day! So it was no surprise to me that He wanted to explain our purpose in life at the hand of a fun park, as He wants us to enjoy our purpose. It should not be a burden to us, but it should be something that makes us tick. It should be something that would spur you on to get up in the morning. It should be something that would ease the lives of people around you. The Lord wants to be part of it all and He wants to enjoy it with us. He wants to have fun with us. Let Him.

Lord Jesus, thank you that we can enjoy life with You. Thank you for Your fun-loving side. We look forward to the search of our purpose in life. Please help us. Amen

30. General purpose (3)

As we have discussed so far, we are all part of the body of Christ, His Bride that eagerly awaits His coming. And while waiting for Him to return, we have purposes to fulfill as a body together plus we each have our own unique purpose that blends into the body as a whole, making it stronger and better.

As we have talked about, our main purpose as the bride of Christ, is to have an intimate relationship with Him and through this relationship grow spiritually in order to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. We need to mature in our faith, and through our maturity we should add value to the lives of the people around us and try to make a positive impact on them.

Now although these together are our main general purpose, we have others too that flow from this.

3. Spreading the Gospel

The last words that Jesus spoke before He went back to heaven were:

Matthew 28:19,20 - "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you."

Now of all the last words Jesus could have spoken He gave the command to go out and spread the Word. It was the most important thing to Him. He wants people to be saved and to return to Him, so naturally that was the task He left us with before going back to Heaven.

Now once again, this does not mean that everyone should go into full time ministry. Each work currently done on the planet is important and has a function to prevent the world from disrupting in total chaos. So it is quite obvious that not everyone can become a minister. Each of us have our specific job to do, but in that job, we have an overall purpose of spreading the good news of Jesus. I am sure you have heard the saying (I don't know who said it) of "Preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words". In our job we need to live out the fact that we are Christians, we need to stand out and be seen. Our conduct should try and mirror that of Jesus' and if we make mistakes, we should be courageous enough to admit our mistakes, ask forgiveness and move on. Ultimately our actions should draw people to Christ. Of course there will come a time when you can say something about the Bible, or testify about what the Lord has done for you. Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and do what you feel is right as the opportunity present itself. If Christians everywhere can stand up and be seen as people trying to live a righteous life, then the world would be a much better place!

The message is that right where you are, draw people to Christ. Even if it is in a supermarket, or at a petrol station, or even in the church, draw people closer to Christ. Shine a light that will make people want what you have. We need to fulfill the Great Commission and the laborers are few. If each of us can do our part, we can make a massive difference.

4. We were created to glorify God and to sing His praises

As I have said before we are the pinnacle, the peak of God's Creation and He delights in us. Nothing gives Him more pleasure than being with us and hearing us praise His Name, not because we have to, but because we want to.

He deserves to be glorified and He deserves continuous praise. We are a speck of dust without Him and by realizing that, we can simply continue to glorify Him.

Isaiah 43:6,7 - "I will bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. All who claim Me as their God will come, for I have made them for My glory. It was I who created them."

Make time, even if it is in your car whilst driving home from work to glorify and praise His Name. Put a gospel song on and sing along. Or focus for 5 minutes during lunch time on Him and how marvelous and glorious He is. Or while you are showering, sing a song of praise. Don't make excuses, you were created for this, you were created to worship Him. Even if you do not do it out loud, praise Him with your thoughts and lift your head to Heaven and imagine Him smiling down on you. Drink in the sunlight on your face and imagine Him caressing your face. Look out at a shower of rain and physically see how the blessings are raining down on you and praise Him for it. Look at the vast ocean and imagine that His love for you is even deeper and wider than it. Look at the sun rising and praise Him for giving you a new day to live for Him.

Don't let life pass you by! See Him in everything around you. Praise Him for considering you worthy enough to talk to Him. Praise Him for always being there. Praise Him that He is preparing a better home for you in heaven. Praise Him simply because He is awesome!

Lord we praise You, we love You. You are our everything, You are our sun and moon, You are our stars, You are the ocean and the mountains, You are our Father and we worship you for it! Amen

29. General Purpose (2)

The Lord wants an intimate relationship with you. You were created to be His Spiritual mate, the one He loves and cares for. You are the pinnacle of His Creation and He longs for you to know Him intimately. You are His Bride and He wants to care for you like a loving Bridegroom cares for His beloved.

We are busy with the general purposes we all have while we are still on this earth. The first one I discussed is to know the Lord more intimately and to have a special relationship with Him. The second one is:

2. To become more and more like Christ

The Lord Jesus came as an example to all of us. He came to save us as you all know, but He also came to show us the right way of living. He came to show us the way to truly walk on this earth as a devoted Christian. And that should be our focus in this life. We should try and follow the example of Christ. And through following His example of caring for others we will receive true fulfillment in this life. Nothing (except for truly having a relationship with God) is more fulfilling than making another human being smile. Nothing is more rewarding than knowing that you made a difference in someone's life.

It doesn't have to be something big. Right there where you are, try and make someone's day. Give an honest compliment to someone, help an old person across the street, smile at the cashier at the supermarket, boost your child's confidence, help someone out with the work that they were battling with, give your lunchbox to someone who can't afford it, pay for someone's meal at a restaurant, pay a visit to the sick in the hospital, send an sms to someone you know is going through a rough time, the list can go on and on. But try and look around you every day and look for opportunities to make a difference in someone's life. There are several opportunities presenting itself on a daily basis. We simply need to be attentive and try to follow Jesus' example. We need to develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives:

Galatians 5:22, 23 - "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."

I know it is not always easy to follow in His footsteps. He was perfect and I know that we will never be. Our sinful nature will never be able to completely be like Him. Even the Apostle Paul didn't come close to Jesus' example:

Philippians 3:12, 13 - "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear friends, I am still not all I should be."

So even though we can never reach perfection, we can try like Paul to mature in our faith. We need to get off the spiritual milk and start eating solids. It is embarrassing to stay on milk. My son was (and still is) crazy about his milk. Now when he was a baby it was how it should be, he should love his milk and get a lot of it. But once he turned 3 years old it started to be an embarrassment for me. He didn't want to let go and move forward to solids. He would have been happy to drink milk for the rest of his life. (Imagine him still drinking his milk bottle at the age of 18!) It is not acceptable and people will definitely raise their eyebrows. But except for that, it was starting to be a health risk to him. He will not develop properly if he only continued to drink milk and not eat any solids. At a later stage he will physically get sick from not getting the proper nutrition he is supposed to be getting. And the same applies to our spiritual wellbeing. We cannot simply stay on milk, we have to move forward. Our spirit needs the nutrition and will not develop as it should if we don't feed it. We will stay babies. And just as I worried about my son who didn't want to leave his milk, so the Lord is also concerned about us. He doesn't want us to stay babies, He wants us to grow and become spiritual giants. He wants us to experience the spiritual blessings that are available to us. He wants us to become more like Christ. We should follow Paul's example:

Philippians 3:13,14 - "I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven."

We need to run the race and we need to complete the race, giving it all we've got. Don't run with a half hearted attempt, but strain to reach the finishing line. Give it your best. That is all that He asks of you.

Lord Jesus, please help us each day to become more and more like You. Help us to reach out to our fellow human beings in need and help us to have Your heart for them. You are truly amazing. Amen

28. General Purpose

As we have discussed, the Lord has a specific plan laid out for your life. He planned it while you were still in your mothers' womb. He was excited when He thought about you and carefully placed you in a position with the exact right talents to achieve what He wants you to achieve. You are perfectly equipped for it and have everything you need to make a success of it. You simply need to take the first step towards it.

Now, whilst you have a specific goal, we all have collective goals as well. And that is what I would like to discuss first, the collective goals that all of us have. We are the body of Christ and each of us is a different part of it, with a different function to fulfill, but the body as a whole also has functions to fulfill and goals to achieve.

1.       Our purpose is to have a close relationship with God

God created us in the first place to have an intimate relationship with Him. We were His companion, the one He loved. But then you all know the story of how we messed up the relationship by being disobedient to Him. (I have blamed Adam and Eve several times for the predicament that we find ourselves in, but when I pause and be truly honest to myself, I would most probably have done the same.) And even though we messed up, the Lord didn't leave us or forsake us. He didn't just let us be. No, He continued to reach out to us. He continued to love us and He continued to help us. We would definitely have ceased existing loooooooong ago if He didn't continue to love and nurture us. He even devised a plan to rescue us from the grip of sin by sending His only Son, Jesus, to die for us on the cross. He longs for us to be with Him, and not only one day in heaven, but now here on earth too. He longs to be with us and wants us to spend time with Him. He wants to be your everything. He wants to be the first one you greet in the morning and He wants to be the one you run to when you have a crises. He wants to be the one who shares in your joys and He wants to be the one who dries your tears. He wants to help you to raise your children and He wants to be your career counselor. In short He wants to literally be your Spiritual Mate. He wants you.

Jeremiah 9:23, 24 - "This is what the Lord says: 'Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know Me and understand that I am the Lord who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing and that I delight in these things."

It saddens me to think that the God of the Universe desperately wants an intimate relationship with us, but we are too concerned with the cares of this life and with the prestige of this world, that we don't make time for Him. Be totally honest for a moment. How much time do you spend with the Lord alone? How much time do you dedicate to your relationship with Him? Is it a quick five minutes before you hit the bed, deathly tired from running around all day? Or are you like most people: you spend an hour on Sunday in church hearing His Word preached to you?

Now I don't even have to tell you, but that is not a relationship my friend. Imagine you called your wife five minutes every day and you tell her exactly the same thing day after day. Then on Sundays you listen to her for about 20 minutes (the approximate time of the sermon), and without answering her, you stand up and leave only to call her the next day and recite the same thing to her you told her last week. Would you have a healthy thriving marriage? I don't think so.

Now you are probably going to tell me that I don't understand your work schedule and the demands on you and that I don't understand that your children takes up all your time and that I don't understand how tired you are. You know what, I do. I really do, I have been so deathly tired that I almost fell asleep whilst on the highway driving home from work. But one thing I do know is that the relationship with God is actually the only real thing in this life. What you see all around you will one day disappear and only this relationship will remain. Only this relationship will stand the test of time and then you will be so embarrassed that trivial things took up all your time.

The Lord wants you. He wants to spend time with you. He wants you to get to know Him, get to know His Heart for you and this world. And this does not mean that you spend hours on end every day with Him. He understands that we have responsibilities; He gave it to us after all. He simply wants to be part of your day. If you need to make a decision at work, involve Him in it, if you need to make a presentation, take Him there with you, if you are busy with your kids, tell them about Him and how awesome He is, if you are on the sports field, ask Him for strength and the ability to do your best, if you need advice, run to Him first to ask for guidance. Involve Him in literally everything. He wants to be there for you, He longs to hear from you, let Him. Join Asaph in saying:

Psalm 73:25 - "Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth."

Dear Lord, it is wonderful to realize that You want to be our best Friend. Forgive us for not being the friends You want us to be. Please take us as your children and teach us Your ways and help us to grow closer to You. We truly love You. Amen


25. Your Purpose

I have been talking about your purpose and your path in this life. I have tried to motivate you to listen to the Voice and the calling of the Lord. I have tried to warn you of potential potholes that we can all fall into along the way. But what I haven't done, and that is probably the most important question of all, is to tell you how you can know what your specific purpose is. Now that is the million dollar question, isn't it? What is it exactly that God wants me to do? How can I know it is Him calling and not my own desires pulling me in one direction? I truly want to listen to His Voice, but He doesn't necessarily physically talk to us as He did in Moses' days, so how can I know for sure? I think that these are the type of questions that are haunting each of us at some or other stage in our life.

Another thing I would like to clarify is that yes you can have an overall purpose, but you can also have smaller tasks to complete along the way. Small things that the Lord might require you to do. It can all add up to your ultimate purpose, or it might be ad hoc things along the way. So please also keep that in mind as we go further.

Now before we go on I would like to make something clear. As I have said before, I do believe we all have a purpose to fulfill. BUT what I would like to emphasize is that you will not necessarily achieve that purpose.  It is not a goal to be achieved, but a life to live. We are all growing up in an intense goal orientated, success orientated, materialistic world. Since our birth we have been pushed in some or other way to perform. It might not be our own parents or family, but the whole society. I have noticed with my own two sons that it is very interesting how society as a whole looks at them. The questions I frequently hear are:

'Has he started walking yet?',

'Has he started talking yet?',

'Can he count to 10 yet?'

And then of course after my answer the person would relate some or other story of a child walking at 7 months, or some child talking fluently at 1 year, or something like that. Competition, competition, from the day we are born. Now what I am actually getting at is that we are constantly driven, from one goal to another. As soon as we can crawl, people expects us to walk and as soon as we walk, people expects us to run and as soon as we run, people expects us to be the fastest and so it goes on and on. From the one goal to the next to the next. I truly believe that is one of the reasons people battle when they retire, they feel that there are no more goals to attain, no more prestige and honor. But that is another story, what I actually want to say is that your life's purpose is not like that. It is not a goal to attain, it is not something to achieve. No, it is a lifestyle.

For example let's say you feel that your life's purpose is to become a doctor. Well the day that you finish your qualification, you are certainly not finished. Your purpose has not been attained, no, it has only started. You will continue to help people until the day that you retire and then after retirement you will most probably continue on a personal basis assisting people in need as you come across them on your daily path. You will never cease to be a doctor.

Now, your purpose can be something concrete like in my example of being a doctor, but your purpose can also be something that will also never end, like for example your purpose is to motivate people, or your purpose is to pray for other people and be an intercessor, or your purpose is to serve other people, the list goes on and on. There will never be an end to what your purpose is. In essence you are your purpose. Your purpose will only be finished the day that you die, the wonderful day when you go to be with our loving God.  

Lord Jesus, please help us to follow Your dream for us. Please help us not to look at the world, but only up to You, our wonderful Savior. We love You. Amen

26. Your Purpose (2)

I discussed last time that our purpose is something that will continue for your whole lifetime. It is something that will never end, it is something that will become you and will best suit your personality. The Lord knows what is best for you. It could be the job that you do or want to do or your purpose could also not necessarily be the work that you do. If your purpose is to serve others, then do it there at your working place, if your purpose is to motivate others, start there with your colleagues and brighten their day if you see that they need it. In other words I am not saying you must quit your day job to follow your purpose. Maybe if the Lord requires that of you, then yes do it, but the Lord also requires of us to be responsible. If we have a family and we need to take care of them and our day job is the only job that provides the financial means to continue forward, then try to live out your purpose right where you are. And when the Holy Spirit calls you that the time and the financial means are right, then move out and go wherever He leads you. But never ever move out in the flesh!

For example let's say you discover that the Lord wants you to be lawyer and currently you are a debtor's clerk in a big financial organization, don't immediately quit and start studying, without thinking of the consequences. If you have financial responsibility then stay in your job and apply for bursaries to study, or apply for a clerk position in a lawyer firm or pray that the Lord would give you the energy to study towards being a lawyer, whilst still working in the job where you are at.  If the Lord wants you to do something, He will provide the means to do it. All you need to do is to be pro active. Do some homework about being a lawyer, go see lawyers, talk to them, obtain information and apply for bursaries and jobs wherever you can and then leave the rest to God. Just remember to do your part. Don't sit and wallow in your current job until you retire, still waiting for the Lord to magically help you become a lawyer. No, you must act pro actively and the Lord will then do what we cannot.

I told my husband the other day, I know there are probably millions of people writing books and writing devotions as I am. My website is one of millions of others. So I can quickly become discouraged and think: What is the use? Why even bother? There are millions of others doing the same thing, why should I continue? BUT if I didn't write this website and if I didn't write my books, then the Lord would have nothing to work with. Isn't that so? It is like desperately wanting a specific job and praying and trusting the Lord for it, but then you don't apply for the job. What is the chance that you will get the job? Zero. The Lord is not a magic wand we can swing whenever we want something and then He magically gives us the job we desperately want. No. We need to give the Lord something to work with. (Again I want to emphasize this, the Lord can obviously do anything, He is Almighty, but He does not want to be a magician. We are His hands and feet on earth.) So what chance do I have of succeeding as a motivational writer/speaker? One in probably hundred million, but still I have a chance, even if it is just one. If I didn't do what I do, my chance would be zero in hundred million and the Lord would have zero to work with. So my message? Do your part and leave the rest to God.

Another thing I would like to make clear is that despite your main purpose, you also have decisions that need to be made on a daily/weekly/ad hoc basis. These decisions can influence your overall purpose or it can't. For example you know the Lord has called you to be an engineer, but you doubt your ability and you therefore decide to rather go and study economics. That will obviously influence your overall purpose. But let's say you know your purpose is to motivate people and now you are led by the Lord to go and live in England for example. That will not influence your purpose, because you can also motivate people there. Now what I actually want to say is that, despite knowing what our purpose in life is, we need to make decisions frequently and we therefore need to know how to ask God for guidance on these issues as well. We will get to that a bit later on. For now, just know that you are extremely special and you have a unique purpose to fulfill on this earth, here, today. Believe it and hold on to it. Without you, the world has lost something valuable. But with your input, the universe will rejoice, because if all of us do what we are supposed to be doing, the world would be a much better place. The Lord will guide us, He is extremely faithful!

Thank you Jesus that we have a purpose here on earth. Thank you that we can look up to You and trust that You would provide insight to us as to our specific purpose. Amen


24. Give yourself a period of rest, in order to prepare yourself for the road ahead

Your task/s assigned to you by the Lord will be well suited for you. The Lord knows your strengths and weaknesses and will never give you anything that is not appropriate for you. And as we have discussed, it might take time before you start your task/s and there might be difficult times before or during your task/s. But what I would like to touch upon now, is that when you start your task/s there might be times when you get tired and fed up and simply want to give up. There might come times when everything simply gets too much for you. Now there was a time in the famous prophet, Elijah's life where he felt exactly the same way.

Elijah was one of the most famous prophets of all time. He predicted the beginning and the end of a severe three year drought, he raised a child from the dead and he appeared with Moses in the Transfiguration scene in the New Testament alongside Jesus. He also represented God in a showdown with the priests of Baal and Asherah. You all know the story of how Elijah asked king Ahab to bring all the people together at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. He ordered that two bulls be brought to them. He let the prophets of Baal chose one of the bulls and ordered them to sacrifice the bull to Baal, but they were not allowed to set fire to the sacrifice. They were to ask Baal to set the fire on their behalf, in order for all of Israel to see if he really exists. They danced, sang and shouted the whole day, asking Baal to light the fire, but of course Baal didn't send the fire. When it was Elijah's turn to ask the Lord to set fire to the sacrifice, he wanted to prove the awesome power of the Lord and even poured twelve large jars with water over the wood to make it even more difficult to set fire to the offering. But the instant he prayed, the Lord sent fire from heaven, burning up the bull, the wood, the stone alter and all the water. It was such an awesome sight that all the people fell down on their faces and proclaimed "The Lord is God!" Upon the command of Elijah all the prophets of Baal and Asherah were captured and killed.

What an awesome sight that must have been. Elijah must have been on an absolute spiritual high! The Lord used him to unveil His mighty power to the nation. Wow, what a tremendous privilege! But guess what happened right after this? King Ahab told his wife Jezebel what happened and she immediately set out to kill Elijah. Upon hearing the news, Elijah instantly fled into the desert and went to sit despondently under a broom tree. There he prayed to the Lord to end his life. He was tired of it all. Despite the amazing spiritual experience he had, he didn't want to live anymore. It all became too much for him to handle. And what did the Lord do? He didn't become angry or upset. He allowed Elijah to sleep and He sent an angel to bring Elijah food and water in between his sleep. In other words He attended to Elijah's physical needs and allowed him to rest. This caused Elijah to feel better once again and once he was ready, the Lord sent him back to his work. Even the mighty Elijah got tired and discouraged. How much more do we need to rest?

The same thing happened to me a while ago. Everything that I believed the Lord wanted me to do was going wrong. My first publisher was a disaster and conned me out of my money, a whole lot of my books got lost in the mail, my second editor made huge mistakes in my book, my website initially was a disaster, my books were not selling as I hoped, I wasn't getting enough sleep as my son didn't sleep very well etcetera etcetera. I can go on and on, but the point is, I felt like giving up. I was extremely tired, I couldn't go on anymore. And what did the Lord do? He sent me to the doctor and they discovered that I had an iron deficiency which could be corrected by pills. The Lord also gave me some time off to rest. I normally have an urge in me to always stay busy and productive, but the Lord 'ordered' me to rest and I suddenly had no urge in me to do anything but to sleep the chances that I got. And you know what? After one week I felt so much better and energized once again to continue with what He has called me to do.

The same might happen to you. You might become weak and weary along the way. But don't be too hard on yourself. Listen to your body and allow yourself the time to rest, to eat properly, to exercise and the time to spend with your family and friends. Otherwise the road may become too long for you and you might want to give up. Look up to the Lord, He will bring you to peaceful water streams and give you the time to recharge. Then go back and do your best for Him.

Lord, we sometimes grow weak and tired. But thank you that You do understand our fallible bodies. Thank you that You care for us and give us the time we need to rest. You are awesome! Amen