We are all influenced or driven by something. It could be a deadline, a problem, pressure, a persistent fear, or an unconscious belief. Countless people let guilt influence them. Most spend their entire lives running from regret and hiding their shame. They are manipulated by their memories, which in turn controls their future. They sabotage their own success by unconsciously punishing themselves for their failures. This also disconnects you from feeling God’s presence and you end up “wandering” through life without a purpose. We may be a product of our past, but we don’t have to be a prisoner to it. Your past is never limited with God’s purpose.
Many people are also driven by resentment. They never let go of their hurts and hold on to it like a plague. Forgiveness releases this pain, so we don’t have to rehearse it repeatedly in our minds. Your past is the past, you can’t change it. As much as we want to or wish certain things didn’t happen, we can’t change it. Even as much as we hope something tragic would happen to our transgressors the truth is vengeance is not ours to worry about. God will handle them. We must worry about ourselves and our well-being. Why keep worrying about them. That’s just taking up unwanted space in our head. Those who have wronged you can’t continue to hurt you unless you hold onto the pain through resentment. It’s best to learn from it and let it go because it only creates a whole lot of bitterness inside of you.
I didn’t think it was remotely possible to forgive those who have wronged me. But, once I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. I knew I had to. I couldn’t have done it otherwise. If Jesus could forgive us so freely then I was to offer that same forgiveness and let God handle them. It certainly wasn’t easy. I even was enraged in the beginning about it and thought “nope, not happening,” but I didn’t want to hold onto that bitterness anymore. I saw what it was doing to me, mentally and physically. I wanted to be healed and feel whole again. I also had no purpose being driven by resentment, guilt, and shame. I felt like a failure. I was struggling to become something and I didn’t even know what it was or who I was. I just sort of “got by.”
Discovering my purpose gave meaning to my life and made me feel alive. The saying goes “What God is bringing you through right now at this very moment is going to be the testimony that will bring someone else through.” That’s what gave me purpose. Pastor Rick Warren states in his book A Purpose Driven Life, that “without God, life has no purpose and without purpose life has no meaning. Without meaning life has no significance or hope.” Many people in the bible also expressed their hopelessness. Job 7:6 says “My life drags by- day after hopeless day” and “ 7:16 says “I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.” How many of us have said I give up! That’s it I’ve had enough. But, there is hope. Hope is the most essential thing we need in life to cope. My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” If we could just hold onto that belief and believe God will get us through anything, He will do it.
We all get distracted by minor issues. It’s human nature. We are always “keeping busy” frantically running around in twenty million directions, but never really going anywhere. Therefore, we always change jobs, relationships, or churches hoping that will fill the void in our heart or clear out our confusion. We always hope things will be different, but we must focus our lives if we want it to have an impact. Do less and stop trying to do it all and do what matters most. We should be focusing on what God has planned for us and wants us to do. We shouldn’t confuse activity with productivity, because as I said earlier you can be busy, but what are you really busy doing? Does it have purpose? Will it help with your purpose? And if someone else isn’t aligning with your purpose, don’t be afraid to drop them off and say bye. We can’t get to where we are going by keeping company with people that only hinder us.
Knowing your purpose motivates your life and produces passion. When we have no purpose, there is no passion and normal tasks becomes chores and wears us down. So, choose to live a life of purpose. When we realize it’s not about us, but about God we will then see the manifestation of his glory unfold. He wants us to live for his glory by fulfilling the purposes he made for us. Start living your life with purpose and stay focused on what God has planned for you. I promise you won’t regret it.
I’m not only preaching to you, but to myself. I know I frequently get distracted by minor issues. Even though I have grown so much, I have let these minor issues get in the way of what God has planned for me. I became stagnant and didn’t know what to do, so I quit. But, thankfully his mercies are new everyday and even if we mess up or get stuck, he is always there to lift us back up and says “try again.” All we have to is go back to his word and carry out the instructions.
One of my favorite songs is Here in the Presence By Elevation Worship. It reminds me that we aren’t alone and despite our circumstances we can always lean on God for understanding and trust that he will work it all out.
Watch Here in the Presence (LIVE) -Youtube. https://youtu.be/G262RNi9tOM
Warren, R. (2013) The Purpose Driven Life. Zondervan. Grand Rapids Michigan.