You Want Me To Do What???? – The Agony of Purpose (Part 2)
It took me 14 years to fully embrace and truly submit to God’s call on my life to minister His Word via preaching and teaching.
During most of those years although doing it, I did so silently hoping, wishing and praying that God would allow me to fulfill the burning desire He had placed in me to help others in some other way that did not require any form of public speaking.
I tried to “negotiate” other key ways that I could use to minister the Word to people such as opening a Christian bookstore, designing a Christian line of greeting cards with Word-based verses inside, writing Word-based books etc. all to no avail.…….it’s amazing how innovative we can become when trying to run away from what we see as a hard or undesirable thing God is calling us to do.
Well, needless to say, my “negotiations” all fell flat. Preaching and teaching was the key way God wanted me to minister the Word and He was simply not changing His decision.
At first I put up external resistance by turning down or avoiding as many opportunities to preach or teach the Word that I could. I eventually gave up this external resistance and accepted most of the presented opportunities, but with great reluctance on the inside.
After a few years of time doing this, the Holy Spirit began to strongly remind me that God is more interested in our heart condition than in what we display externally and to show me how although complying on the outside, I was really walking in rebellion because I was not fully submitted on the inside.
When that reality truly sunk in, I came to an end of myself and gave up. I confessed my rebellion as sin and asked God to forgive me and I repented; I changed my way of thinking about what God was requiring me to do.
Instead of seeing ministering His Word through preaching and teaching as an undesirable “form of punishment”, I began to see it as a privilege and an honor, as something that God would not ask me to do if He did not trust His ability in me to do it, and I began to see the lives that could be saved, healed, delivered and transformed by the Word.
After a long battle, I finally fully embraced and truly submitted to God’s call on my life and I am eternally grateful to Him for the love, grace, mercy and patience that He extended to me in the process.
Today when you look at your God-ordained revealed purpose:-
Perhaps like Gideon (Judges 6:15) you feel like the least likely candidate for the job.
Perhaps like Moses (Exodus 4:10, 6:12, 30) you feel incapable.
Maybe you feel too young like Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6) or Solomon (I kings 3:7).
Perhaps you feel that the assignment is distasteful and you do not want to do it, so you are on the run like Jonah (Jonah 1:2).
Maybe in your eyes, God’s assignment for your life is just too big, or that embracing it will take you in the opposite direction of where you’ve always felt your life would go.
Perhaps you feel it will cost too much….too much money, too much time, too much studying, too much conflict because it would be unconventional and against the religious norm.
Perhaps you are a stuck at the “what would others think?” post.
Whatever the case, take comfort because as you can see you are not the only one who has struggled with embracing revealed purpose, in fact believe it or not, even Jesus struggled with it.
Matthew 26:36-45, details Jesus’ battle with embracing His purpose in the Garden of Gethsemane; please take time to read it.
Three times, Jesus asked the Father if it were possible, to let this cup, this designated assignment pass from Him. What I find especially interesting about this is that although Jesus knew and had agreed to His divine assignment even before He came to earth in the form of man, when the time came for Him to fulfill it He was looking for another route, for an easier way.
This fact has been of great comfort to me in the times when I have personally struggled with my own revealed purpose and I hope that it is of comfort to you.
If Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and King, knew His purpose from before the foundation of the world was laid and still struggled with embracing it, should you or I as mere mortals really be surprised, embarrassed or feel guilty and condemned if we encounter such a struggle as well? – Certainly not!
Now do not misunderstand me, I am in no way implying that my purpose or your purpose is comparable with that of the Savior of the world, I am simply drawing attention to the dynamics of the situation.
One of the many things that I find noteworthy in this whole scenario is how even in this time of intense struggle, a struggle so agonizing that His sweat was as drops of blood, Jesus was still ever so mindful of pleasing the Father.
He demonstrated this in that each time He asked the Father if there was any other way to carry out His assignment, right on the heel of His request, in the same breath as it were, he would add, “nevertheless not My will but Thine be done”. – To me that is absolutely amazing.
After confirming that there was no other way to carry His divine assignment, Jesus fully embraced it. How? By:-
1) Dying to self
2) Exalting the Father’s will above His own
3) Setting His mind on the joy awaiting Him upon the completion of the assignment
To all my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, who are struggling with fully embracing your divine purpose and calling, do not despair because you are not the first to struggle and you surely won’t be the last.
I don’t know the basis of your struggle, but I do know that there is hope.
I know there is hope because even though Jesus struggled with the agony of purpose, He overcame His struggle and left us a pattern of steps that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can take and overcome our struggle too; it’s how I overcame mine.
I pray that what I have shared today has comforted, encouraged and helped you in some way.
May God use it to empower you to fully embrace and submit to His purpose and plan for your life, whatever it may be, for therein lies your peace, fulfillment and success.