One of the books with the greatest impact that I have read in my life and for my Pursuit of Purpose is Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. I am sure the book has not just been a blessing to me, it has been for several others. If you have not read it, I sincerely recommend you visit a Christian bookstore around you to get a copy. The biggest lessons I learnt from the book were the three things Rick shared about life. He said Life is a Test, a Temporary assignment and a Trust. An understanding of these three facts about life will transform you and help you understand and take life more seriously. Life is a Test. Every opportunity you have is predetermined and you are expected to give your best to it. God’s Word instructs that you do all that you do unto God. You surely would do things better if you saw life as a test of which, failure is never an option. Life is a Temporary assignment. You are not going to be here forever. The average man (without the specificity of his environment) may only live for 75 years. You are not going to be on earth forever. Your assignment is designed for eternal impact within the space time! Life is a Trust. You don’t own your life. Scripture says we are God’s, the sheep of His pasture. Your life is a trust for which you will give account. Living life is about building and God’s Word instructs that we be careful how we build. It is expected of a trustee that he is found faithful. My first purpose for this piece is done- to remind you of what life is really about.
I want to quickly share with you what I have come to understand as the 5 phases of a life that does not fail the test, makes the best of a lifetime and invest well with Life. Special thanks to Olaide, my new friend who encouraged me to put these in writing after she heard me talk about them.
This is the phase of creation. The point of entry into the world. We all have passed through this stage. It is a natural stage. It ushers us into all others. It is important to remember that it is at this phase that uniqueness is birthed. God packaged you to be a blessing to the world. That is why I am convinced that there is joy in heaven when a child is born on earth. Your birth was the beginning of a drama which God already finished in His theatre in the heavens. Your birth was not an accident. It is an incident important to God’s global plan! Unfortunately, this joy is short lived.
This phase is also natural to us all. God’s Word says all have sinned and are not good enough for God’s glory, and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. Thus, as wonderful as God’s original creation is, (at the Making phase) there is a need to solve the problem the Falling phase has made for man. Understanding this phase should help us see that our potentials with which we were made cannot be maximized except we are reconnected to our maker. We must move on to the next phase.
Because God longs to have a relationship with you and is committed to releasing your deepest potentials, arrangements had to be made for the SAVING phase. Scriptures say,
But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.
God restores us to our true selves and identities as we return to Him through Christ Jesus the Saviour. This phase determines the essence of our life stories. Any attempt to enter the next phase without achieving this phase is only going to be a waste of time, potential and an under-utilization of God’s grace.
Again, if you have not experienced the SAVING phase, you can only have the hybrid version of this phase which is mere survival. Jesus said: “Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.” The true meaning of life is when we have experienced God’s saving grace and have released ourselves to Him; then, we are set free to live fully to die empty. This stage is where you get to maximize your potential. It is the part of your life that will determine what you will be remembered for. This is the phase where Purpose is pursued and life is lived to the fullest. It is the phase where you live fully to die empty. Purpose discovery and Pursuit is the key to maximising this phase!
I said earlier that life is a temporary assignment. Death is a sure phase of life. It is the gateway to eternal bliss and reign with our King. When you have experienced the SAVING phase, death is not a snare to you. Life is a stage that we all will have to leave at some point. Death is universal to all men. But its effect on them is unequal.
Mark Twain said “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” As I close this, I want to throw at you a challenge I got from reading Michael Hyatt, Christian blogger and author: visualize your own funeral. This is not an attempt to be morbid, but you must understand that life is short. When you are gone, the only thing you will leave behind is the memories that you have created. What will people say about you at your funeral? What will they think as they reflect on their relationship with you and your impact on their lives? To live such a fulfilled life, we must experience these 5 phases!
Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here but for a moment more. Ps 39:4-5 TLB
No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. Eph 2:10 MSG.
I am sorry, this came in late. Exams are loading very seriously. But I hope it will not happen again. See you next week!