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Lift the Lid

faith purpose scott wilson May 12, 2022

 

By Scott Wilson

You were born for a purpose. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, no matter what background you come from, God has a magnificent purpose for you. You aren’t an accident (though your parents may have thought so), and you’re not a random collection of molecules that somehow evolved over billions of years. You are God’s special creation—a child of the King and His valued partner in the greatest enterprise the world has ever known.

This isn’t a new thought, but it’s amazing how few of us actually believe it. It doesn’t matter if you can quote passages and teach others about our identity in Christ if that truth hasn’t truly penetrated your heart. Do you believe you are who God says you are? God has given you a new, revolutionary identity, as well as the skills, gifts, and talents to fulfill the purpose He put in your heart.

The grace of God accomplishes many things. Certainly, it frees us from the penalty of sin, but it also grants us the awesome status of being God’s adopted, beloved children. It empowers us to accomplish anything and everything God puts in our hearts to do. As His children, we have the unspeakable privilege of seeing Him use us to accomplish His life-changing, eternity-defining goals.

Each of us plays a vital role in revealing God’s glory to the people of the world, to shine like lights in the darkness, to point the way to salvation by faith in Jesus, and to establish His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Nothing can come close to that purpose—no title, no amount of money, no pleasure, and no power over others.

In kids’ movies, television shows, books, and in school, the constant message is, “You can be anything you want to be. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s beautiful, and it’s powerful … but it’s a poisonous lie. You can’t be anything you want to be. In fact, I want to encourage you that you shouldn’t even try to be “anything you want to be.” You should focus your full attention on becoming everything God wants you to be. That’s something you can fully become—you were uniquely gifted and made for it—and your God-given purpose is a far bigger and better goal for you to pursue.

Other pursuits bring only temporary fulfillment, and they leave us always craving more. But pursuing God’s purpose has a very different impact on us: We experience the joy of seeing Him use us to meet needs, change lives, and make a difference in countless ways, and the joy multiplies as we grow in grace. Our goal every day is to align our hearts with who God says we are and align our choices with the purposes God has given us to accomplish.

Our goal every day is to align our hearts with who God says we are and align our choices with the purposes God has given us to accomplish. The messages of our culture tell us that we can determine our iden­tity. It’s our choice, and we fulfill it by our grit and determination. But a biblical identity is discov­ered. Like a treasure hunt, we search the Scriptures to find the diamonds of truth that shine with brilliance to tell us who we are and how God wants to use us. We spend time with mature, secure believers who reinforce what we see in the pages of the Bible—and we let these messages sink into the deepest crevices of our souls where doubts, fears, and shame have lived too long.

Our grasp of who we are in Christ determines how much we embrace our God-given purpose. Self-concept is either a launching pad to trust God to use us in incredible ways, or it’s a lid that limits our capacity for growth and impact.

Undoubtedly, the most pervasive and persistent lie the enemy tells us is that our significance is based on our performance. If we do enough, if we succeed enough, if we impress people enough, we’re valuable. If not …. This is the way the world works, but it’s not the way God’s kingdom operates. In school, business, organizations, and sadly, many churches, we live by a formula that seems unshakable: We do to prove what we are. But in God’s economy, we are, so we do.

Does the simple transposition of short words really matter? Yes, it’s night and day! If we believe our performance is the basis of our iden­tity, when we’re doing well, we feel proud, superior, and confident. But when we’ve failed or our efforts aren’t appreciated, we feel ashamed, inferior, and confused.

Does the simple transposition of short words really matter? Yes, it’s night and day! The order is crucial. If we aren’t convinced that we’re loved, for­given, and accepted by the grace of God and not by our good works, we’ll be driven to perform, and we’ll always worry that we haven’t done enough . . . and we’ll look over our shoulders to see if others are performing better than we are. Their success becomes a threat to our security.

I don’t struggle to have faith in God. My struggle is in having faith in who God says I am. This isn’t a fleeting issue. I’ve been wrestling with it my entire life. As I’ve talked to people—from pastors to new believ­ers—I’ve seen that I’m not alone in this struggle. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was just a boy, but it has taken a lot longer to give my mind to Him. God is obviously very patient, because He continues to reveal His love and purpose, and He persistently reminds me of how He sees me.

God loves us so much that He has our names tattooed on His hands where He can’t miss them! God isn’t playing hide and seek with us. He delights to reveal Himself to us and affirm our relationship as His children.

If we ask, we’ll receive. If we seek, we’ll find. If we knock, the door will be opened. I’m not sure how God will give you “the things God has prepared for those who love him,” but I’m convinced He’ll find a way. 

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