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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Purpose Series- Smaller Pictures (Week 2)

Bible References: Genesis 37:5-7; Genesis 40:5-8

Last week, we talked about our foundational purpose as Christians and how this connects to our individual differences.I want us to see that foundational purpose as a huge map with tiny little puzzle holes all over it. The map is the plan of God for mankind in the grand scheme of things while we are the puzzle pieces that fit into each puzzle hole with every part interconnected.
This week, I want us to talk about taking a closer look at the smaller pictures.
Mundane Purpose vs Glamorous Purpose 

I would like for us to open ourselves up to the idea of how little we are in the know of the sovereign work of God to bring all the smaller pieces together to fit into the bigger picture. We know that God's ultimate goal for us (those who are called) is to be conformed into His image and have a world completely free of sin and its powers (Revelation 21:2) but how He works all things together, here on earth to that end is a mystery kept in the palm of His hands.
What we imagine our purpose should look like may be different from the path God intends for us to take to accomplish it because he has the master plan and he knows exactly how best it'll play out for each and everyone of us. 

Let's look at different scenarios of 2 ladies with a gift of wisdom and encouragement.

Lady 1: Starts a youtube channel to encouarge and uplift others. Over time, God uses her to reach millions of people through shows, speaking engagements and the likes. Her gift pans out into a ministerial purpose.

Lady 2: Works in a corporate office and notices a lady who sits in the same cubicle with hasn't been going for lunch for the past 2 weeks and she decides to ask her to lunch. At lunch, this woman begins to open up to her and she realizes that she had just gone through a miscarriage and this is putting a strain on her marriage. She's considering filing for a divorce that very day she asked her to lunch. She gets the opportunity to counsel this woman through her gift of wisdom and encouragement and she even makes it a point of duty to have lunch once a week from that day. And maybe get an opportunity, later on, to start a smaller group for mothers dealing with miscarriage.

What do you think about these two women and the way their God-given gifts morphed into their purpose ?
Woman 1: There's some type of "glamour" attached to her purpose; at least that's what it may look like on the outside. Possibly, God may be dealing with her more on the inside on humility and following his lead in her ministry.

Woman 2: Her gift advances from a mundane day to day life to reach a specific person and then pans out to a group of people. To her it may seem like a "detour" or a less exciting route but the pieces fell exactly in place with God's plans for all the people involved.

Although these two ladies have the same gifts, the routes God takes them through is completely different
Sometimes God takes us through a very unconventional route to build character in us, to teach us to trust Him and even to prepare us for the next phase of our lives.
A lot of times, life starts to get pretty monotonous and we find ourselves looking for the "next big thing" or the "big picture" We start to dwell on this rather than letting God work out his purpose for us through the simple day to day life to build us up. And honestly, it's not just about a destination or a "big finish" , the process is just as important-God working in us and conforming us to the image of His son to bring glory to his name
Appreciating God's grace in living out the mundane will come in very handy when we start to have families and life pretty much becomes a monotonous routine.

Let's take a look at Joseph's story from today's reading

God gave Joseph the opportunity to peep into what His purpose would look like pretty early on in life and look at how he went through pretty much a roller coaster to get there. And what encourages me in this story is Joseph's attitude towards God through it all. He didn't sit around waiting for the "big thing" to hit or even start cursing God about Him not fulfilling His promise of making him great. He went about his day to day life with deep reverence for God. And God took him through the process building in him, faith, patience and overall spiritual maturity which prepared him to handle issues like seduction and even forgiving his brothers who sold him into slavery.
Our ultimate goal in all things, at all times is to become more and more like Christ and every other thing falls into place.

Pointers for today's lesson
  • See the joy in living out your purpose in the mundane things
  • Let God show you the joy of trusting him daily to live out the purpose He has for you
  • We need to see everything on earth (jobs, relationships, etc) as tools that should help point us to the real work of transformation and conformation.
"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ" - Philippians 3:8

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