This is the last part of the series on purpose. If you missed any of the first 3 posts you can read them here. They do build on one another. ‘What is you purpose?’ you can read it here. ‘How to find my purpose?’ you can read it here. How to find my purpose?’ you can read it here. ‘How do I live out my purpose?’ you can read it here.
If we were all created for a purpose, on purpose, why do so few people seem to be living out and pursuing our purpose. We can get so caught up on finding our purpose or what it is, but once we have ‘found it’ or more accurately caught a glimpse of what God has purposed for our lives why is it so hard to live it out?
Here is a quote which I think really captures all the reasons that cause us to breakdown from pursuing our full purpose:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
I don’t want to expand on that quote, I think it is self-explanatory, impactful and really well written. Read it again, let the truth of the words sink in. What do you resonate with? Which parts speak to you?
There are 4 barriers to purpose that I would like to expand on.
Identity. Fear. Inadequacy. Reluctance.
We know all too well that we need to find our identity in Christ, but the reality is we all too easily accept the labels others place on us. Not to mention the labels we put on ourselves. This is a recurring topic that I think is worth repeating and often reminding ourselves of. Are we finding our identity in Christ?
“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.” It is already within us, we don’t need to strive towards something or become someone to be able to showcase God’s goodness and glory. Which is ultimately the purpose of our purpose.
Believing labels placed on us by others or ourselves, holds us back. We need to unravel the hold of those labels on our lives first. And we do that by reading what the word of God has to say about us. Countering every lie with a truth.
The world has unrealistic expectation of beauty and appearance and yet we find ourselves turning to the media for advice on fashion, make-up, fitness, dieting, style to set the standard. We are all aware that the standard set by the media is unobtanable and yet we still and fail every single time. I want to challenge you to rather turn to the bible and see what God’s truth is with regards to these things. It's a topic I have been looking into for that last while. What you will find is that God’s word isn't prescriptive when it comes to style and what exact mold you body shape should fit into, but it gives us life bring principles. How would our perspectives and actions change if we really started treating our bodies as holy (1Cor. 6:19). How would you treat your body, what would you feed your body is it was a holy temple? This is just one singular example of countering a lie with the truth. There are so many more scriptures I could quote (perhaps we will dive into this in a future blog).
“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
Why? Because if we are powerful and capable, that means we aren't living up to your potential which causes us to feel like we have failed before we even start.
Another fear we have that I spoke about in my previous post (How do I live out my purpose?’ you can read it here) Is the fear that our purpose includes things that we absolutely dislike or can’t stand. This lie comes about when. Starting thinking of God as impersonal and angry instead of personally invested in everything we do and a loving father. The truth is you will be more effective to God’s kingdom if you are working in your strengths, passions and interests and God knows it. It's the way He designed you. But, with that being said, occasionally He stretches us and exposes us to different things to help us grow and to introduce us to things we might never have tried and therefore never realised we like.
I have always been more creative than athletic. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed playing sport, but that doesn't mean I was the best or naturally talented. After school I joined a gym and discovered I really like spinning and all things cycling, which isn't surprising because I had been riding a bike since the age of 6. But running… I have never enjoyed running and didn't see myself as a runner. Not being a runner became part of my identity. Until very recently when a colleague of mine challenged me to start training with he for a half marathon. The jury is still out on whether or not I will run the race with her, but I have definitely been training. What I learnt is that we often underestimate ourselves. I am proved myself wrong, because I have actually started to enjoy running. I have managed to find the joy in something I thought I hated. I won't become a marathon runner anytime soon. But, I am enjoying exploring potential I didn't think I had that comes with trying something new and unexpected.
‘I am inadequate, unqualified and therefore not worthy of fulfilling the purpose God has for me’.
Any of that sound familiar?
I have news for you, none of us will ever be good enough, that’s where the cross comes in. Through Jesus we have all been redeemed.
If you are feeling unqualified for the task, I want to remind you that God equips us for the task He has set out for us. He brings people across our paths or brings certain situations into our lives to teach us what we need for the next step of our purpose. The disclaimer, however, is that we should continuously check our hearts and ask ourselves: ‘do I have a teachable heart and spirit?’. We need to want to learn more. The moment we think we know it all, then there will be difficultly.
That brings me to reluctance, no matter how excited we are about our purpose, when we start listening to the voice of fear, the labels placed on us, making us feel more and more inadequate and unqualified for the task we start becoming more and more reluctant.
We tell ourselves that God will or should rather use someone else. Someone else who is more qualified, more worthy, better at all the things we consider ourselves inadequate at.
But ,here is the truth: God CAN do it WITHOUT you. But God WON’T do in WITHOUT you.
God designed you and all your intricacies and quirks with a specific purpose in mind and He WANTS YOU to fulfill the purpose He had in mind for you all along!
I will leave you with one last thought (if you aren't already sold on pursuing your purpose unhindered), the closer you follow God’s plan for your life the more the power of God will be evident in your life.
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