A War Worth Fighting
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
Exodus 9:16 NIV
It has been said that every graveyard is filled with books never written, songs never composed, dreams never achieved, life purposes never fulfilled. There is much truth in that statement and the reasons behind it are many. For some, laziness won out over hard work, for others, disheartening circumstances overcame a determination to persevere, for still others, discouraging words robbed them of enthusiasm to pursue a God-given vision. Yet, the truth is that all these things – the weakness of the flesh, difficult circumstances and even the discouraging words of others – must be battled to win the relentless war that is set against your life’s purpose ever coming to pass.
Some of you reading these words are thinking, “I don’t believe God has a great plan or purpose for me. So, I am just living my life the best I can.” Yet the Bible clearly teaches that every person was created with a specific purpose.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
(Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
This verse states that long ago God planned “good things” for you to do in life - a very specific purpose for your existence. For your life to truly be fulfilling and rewarding it is critical that you discover that purpose and then pursue it with all of your heart!
Others have already decided, “It’s too late for me.” If you will recall Biblical history, you will remember that Moses did not awaken to God’s purpose for his life until he was 80 years old. Then he went on to fulfill his God-given destiny by leading the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. In the process, he saw miracles that God performed along the way including the dramatic parting of the Red Sea. So as long as you are still breathing, there is time to see fulfillment of the dream God planned for you long before you were born.
Why is it important for you to win this war to see your purpose fulfilled? It is important because God’s intention for you is that your life should leave a multi-generational impact for good. One of my favorite illustrations of a person having a multi-generational impact comes from the life of a missionary named Dr. John Geddie. He went to the South Pacific island of Aneityum (in what is now the nation of Vanuatu) in 1848. He served there for nearly a quarter of a century. A memorial stone was erected in his honor and upon it these words were written:
When he landed, in 1848, there were no Christians. When he left, in 1872, there were no heathen.
One of the keys to winning this war against your purpose is having the wisdom to know who you should allow to speak into your life. Words are constantly coming at you from four distinct sources. The first source is God – and He is continually speaking whether you recognize His voice or not. The second source of whispered words and ideas comes from the devil. The devil is constantly trying to influence you whether you believe he exists or not. The third source of words spoken is from other people. People are constantly speaking their opinions, judgments and attitudes about your life even when you don’t ask for it. And often it is the words of other people that hurt the most and cause many to give up on their dreams. The fourth source of “words” comes from your circumstances. Before you debate the idea that “circumstances speak” – consider your own past experiences. Has your bank account ever spoken to you and said, “You don’t have enough money to do that! Just forget that idea!” Which of these four will you listen to and value? Your decision on this single issue will either hinder you or propel you toward fulfilling your purpose.
When God speaks, you can always count on what He says as being the truth. He is very intentional about what he says and He always causes the word He has spoken to come to pass. So when He tells you that your life purpose is a certain thing – you can depend on it coming to pass as long as you hold fast to His word and don’t let circumstances, other people or the devil discourage you from believing God.
For I the Lord will speak, and whatever word I speak will be accomplished.
Ezekiel 12:25a Amplified Bible
The Devil Speaks
When the devil speaks, you can always count on him lying to you even when the words he speaks “sound true.” And he is determined to try to prevent you from walking in the purpose for which God created you. Many people have moved toward their purpose and then been barraged by thoughts that discouraged them from continuing because they sounded so true – “You can’t do that, you don’t have the ability, the money, the support…” Yet they were lies whispered by the enemy of their soul to try to get them to give up on their God-ordained destiny. Jesus clearly explained this reality about the devil in the Gospel of John.
He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44 NASB
Sadly, most people are not very careful or wise with their words. They will often spout off anything that comes to their minds without consideration for the impact it will have upon the hearer. Even people who love you can say hurtful and discouraging things about your plans and dreams because of their own fears. “I don’t think you should do that – it sounds dangerous!” Just imagine if the Wright Brothers had listened to every discouraging word they were told – their destiny to help launch the age of flight would have been stolen.
The words of thoughtless people cut like swords. But the tongue of wise people brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18 NIRV
He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They afflicted his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons; Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him.
Psalm 105:17-19 NASB
The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis is one of the most excellent illustrations of a man who had to fight a fierce war over his purpose. He knew from the time he was a teenager that he was called by God to be a great leader. Yet everything – people, circumstances and even the devil - was opposed to it. If anyone ever had circumstances speak to him – it was Joseph. He was thrown into a pit to die not long after he had a dream that revealed his destiny as a leader. He was then carried off to Egypt in chains to become a slave. Then after serving faithfully as a slave, he was falsely accused and thrown into prison. What do you think the pit, the chains of his slavery and the prison walls spoke to Joseph? All of them said that his life purpose would never be fulfilled. And yet out of all the things that spoke to Joseph – he chose to allow the Word of the Lord to speak the loudest. As a result, it was God’s word that prevailed and brought to pass Joseph’s life purpose. Joseph became the Prime Minister of Egypt, second in command to Pharaoh, and was used by God to rescue the Israelites from inevitable starvation.
Your life calling may not be as dramatic as being a missionary to a faraway island or the Prime Minister of a foreign nation. Yet to God, your purpose is every bit as important and valuable. Years ago, I met a German engineer. He was a godly man and he told me that he felt that God’s purpose for his life was not his work as an engineer, though that was a blessing and paid his bills. He said that he knew his true purpose was to raise up his children to be godly people who would impact their generation. I was amazed by that statement and observed that his dedication to his God-given purpose was very evident in his children’s lives.
Whatever it is that God created you to do, you can be assured that there will be a war over it ever coming to pass. But it is a war worth fighting and a war that you can win with God’s help. Just ask God to reveal His purpose for your life and then prepare yourself for the battle that will ensue as you move toward your destiny. Remember the keys that Joseph discovered – let God’s word to you be the loudest voice you listen to, shut out all the rest, and then you will see God accomplish His purpose in your life.