PurposePursuit

​Are You Ready?

Last week, I shared on my Whatsapp and Facebook based platform, JustPurposeDaily, about how people sometimes experience disparity between the substance of their life message and the reality of their lives. For example, you find someone who says God has called him to help people live sexually pure lives helplessly languishing in all kinds of sexual addictions. You probably can point to one guy who claims he has been called to liberate men from the shackles of poverty and who still cannot afford a three-square meal daily. The question then is why?
While I have identified a lack of understanding of the leverage of purpose as one reason for this disparity, I believe there is another reason that is perhaps more practical and more applicable to most people who have this issue. This is the issue of PREPARATION.

Sometimes ago, a friend of mine started a daily broadcast that communicated his life message to his audience. Then, he stopped. When I asked why, he responded that he found that much of what he shared were theoretical truths he had learnt and not practical insights he had practised. He believed he was not yet ready for that level of impact, he needed to focus on preparing for the task of his life assignment. My friend had understood that without thorough preparation, there was no way he would be a proof of the message he preached.

Today, I want to talk briefly about PREPARATION for your purpose pursuit. I believe this is the most important factor that determines the level of your impact. Everyone who will effectively do purpose must undergo two types of preparations.

1. Prerequisite Preparation: Preparation as a REQUIREMENT

This the kind of preparation that is necessary before any meaningful step can be taken in the pursuit of your purpose. If you are called to be a lawyer for instance, you have to be trained in the University and at the Law School before you can be called to the Nigerian Bar. But then, this only gets you qualified. To be great at what you do, you will need to not only pass through these institutions, but to also grow your mind and learn to reason like a lawyer. You will need to be mentored and exposed as a necessary prerequisite to becoming the kind of lawyer that is worthy of your calling.

There are too many folks out there who jumped into the pursuit of purpose too early without the necessary preparations. The end result usually is their inability to deliver the kind of impact that is required of them. Perhaps the greatest secret to the phenomenal success of Apostle Paul was the 14-year period he spent in Arabia before returning to Jerusalem. I believe those years were the time he encountered Jesus more intimately and was empowered to be effective in the pursuit of his assignment.
While, you can take some little steps in the pursuit of your purpose, the time of prerequisite preparation is not the time to make noise. It is the time to learn, grow and study so that you can show yourself approved when your time of manifestation comes.

2. Concurrent Preparation: PREPARATION AS A CULTURE

Your pursuit of purpose will be in phases as you expand your influence and break new frontiers. Thus, you will need to embrace the culture of preparation. As you take a new job or receive invitations to speak at different conferences and events; as you meet new people or travel to different places, you will always need to be prepared for whatever comes your way.

Peter Senge has rightly observed that what distinguishes most outstanding leaders is not usually their public speaking skills, brilliance or eloquence. Rather, they stand out because of their clarity and the persuasiveness of their ideas, the depth of their commitment and their openness to continually learn more. People who deliver impact are learners. For us who do purpose, all of life is a school. You cannot let up on learning.

A young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job.

“That depends,” replied the foreman. “Let’s see you fell this tree.”

The young man stepped forward, and skilfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, “You can start Monday.”

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by — and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, “You can pick up your pay check on the way out today.”

Startled, the young man replied, “I thought you paid on Friday.”

“Normally we do,” said the foreman. “But we’re letting you go today because you’ve fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you’ve dropped from first place on Monday to last place today.”

“But I’m a hard worker,” the young man objected. “I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!”

The foreman, sensing the young man’s integrity, thought for a minute and then asked, “Have you been sharpening your axe?”

The young man replied, “No sir, I’ve been working too hard to take time for that!”

Like that young man, there is a kind of preparation that is necessary to get your purpose started, but more importantly, you must embrace the culture of preparation if you will remain in business. So, what steps will you take to prepare yourself for your life assignment? What is the cross you must carry today to be able to be the saviour of the people you have been called to serve? What new information must you acquire to keep your axe sharpened and keep your place in the charts?
Whether you have just discovered purpose or you have been in pursuit for a while, the culture of preparation is a necessary prerequisite to playing your role in God’s global plan.

I call you blessed!

PurposePursuit

Discovery is NOT Enough!

The story of Tayo is one I am very familiar with. I have met several people who like Tayo have discovered God’s purpose for their lives, some of whose stories were shared in Echoes of Discovery. However, for many people, life remains as usual even after discovering why they are here. So, when Tayo told me her story, I could relate well. Maybe you can too.

She had found purpose in her third year in school when she had an encounter with God in a special workers’ meeting of her local campus fellowship. She realized that her unique history of struggling with feelings of being unloved until she found that she was perfectly loved by God, positioned her to help others whose love tanks were more than empty. She found that just like she did, there were a lot of young people around her who were struggling with insecurity and who yearned for love, the kind of which Tayo had found in God. In that moment of discovery, she found a message that she alone could share: “No one can love us the way God loves us. People may try, but it is only in God that we are perfectly loved!”

It’s been six months since that discovery. Tayo’s life has been normal. She has taken no step in the direction of her purpose. As she shared her disappointment with me, I was reminded of myself. When I found purpose in 2012, I had no idea on how to go about it. The only thing I did was to write but I did not know how to consciously plan my pursuit to deliver my potentials.

As I have grown, I have learnt that finding purpose is not enough to make a difference with your life time. It is much more important to actively pursue God’s purpose for your life.
This week, I want to share some thoughts to help you effectively embark on your pursuit and begin to give expression to your discovered purpose.

 1. Understand that discovery is not enough.

I think I have made this point already. There has to be a desire in you to pursue your purpose. You cannot be satisfied with knowing why you are here. Finding purpose is like gaining freedom from Egypt and arriving at Sinai. But Sinai is not your destination. There is a promised land to possess. You must depart and go up to lay hold of that for which heaven laid hold of you. (Exodus 33:1-3)

2. Seek divine guidance.

Your purpose is finished in eternity. Your work in time is to live out God’s eternal plans. Thus, after you realize that discovery is not enough, you must ask the question Paul asked after his encounter with Christ: “What must I do Lord?” (Acts 9:6) Spend time in the place of prayer. Seek to be mentored by someone in your area of interest. Keep asking for what God would have you do in preparation for and in pursuit of why He has put you here.

3. Don’t be afraid to start small.

Many people don’t get started on their life assignments because they are hoping for one big opportunity. But you know, the cliché, dream big, start small is true. Don’t be afraid to do whatever you are led to do no matter how small. What is important is your faithfulness. Someone said the beginnings of unfaithfulness are always the little things that we think will make no difference. No one was ever called of God to a high position who did not lay the foundation of that call in courageous faithfulness to the small details of life. Though your beginning is small, yet your latter end would increase abundantly. (Job 8:7)

4. Be consistent in giving your best.

Whatever you feel led to do, whether to write, speak, or to just smile to everyone you meet, be sure to be consistent and faithful in giving your best. Don’t be swayed by the numbers. Give your best to ministering to one person as you would to thousands. Excellence is a choice. It has little or nothing to do with talent, personality or luck. Willa Foster observed that “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” So, as you do purpose, pay attention to details, practice self discipline and seek continual improvement.

George Washington Carver once said that “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” It is my prayer that today, you will receive God’s help to stop giving excuses and start living the greatly impactful and highly successful life you were planned to live on this side of eternity.

I call you blessed!

PurposePursuit

Eureka!

image
Eureka! Photo by Mary Amerman via flickr.

In 1867 on a farm in South Africa, 15-year-old Erasmus Jacobs saw a stone glistening in the sun. The shining rock was eventually reported to a neighbour, who wanted to buy it from the family. Not knowing its value, Erasmus’ mother told the neighbour, “You can keep the stone, if you want it.”

Eventually, a mineralogist determined the stone to be a 21.25 carat diamond and worth a great sum. It became known as the “Eureka Diamond” (The Greek word eureka means “I found it!”). Soon the fields near the Jacobs’ farm soared in value. Underneath the land was one of the richest diamond deposit ever discovered.

Jesus told two almost similar stories about the Kingdom in Matthew 13:44-46. I love the way the Message translation puts it:

“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.

God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it.”

In these two stories, Jesus seemed to be saying that every man is searching for something for which he will give anything to have. The human spirit longs for an ambience he used to know so well.

He then further proposes that the Kingdom of God is the treasure after which man seeks. He may not know it, but his heart longs for God’s Kingdom and His purpose, in the pursuit of which lies his deepest fulfilment.

When a man finds the Kingdom, he can go sell everything else he has acquired while searching for this ONE thing. Nothing can be of more value and importance to the man more than the Kingdom. In another place in the Gospel, Jesus said we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and every other thing will be added to us.

As we draw the curtain on 2015 and prepare for the new year, let’s be reminded that we are here as representatives of God’s Kingdom. It is in our pursuit of God and His Kingdom plans that we can be truly fulfilled. We must consciously live as men who have had the Eureka Experience and understand the value and priority of what we have found – the KINGDOM OF GOD.

Now, if you have not found this life’s greatest treasure or if you at some point in time, traded it on the altar of ignorance, you can receive the Kingdom into your life today. Just believe with your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus died for you and was raised from the dead so that in His life you can be fully alive- victorious and purposeful, making Christ your Saviour and Lord!