We had a really powerful fellowship at a friend’s boutique last Thursday. No, it was not early morning before she opened, during lunch break, neither was it in the evening during closing hours. Actually clients were streaming in and as they left, we would continue with our meeting. Shall I call it a testimony Thursday? Only the three of us, and the glory of God was right in our midst. With such magnificent power and intensity, it mightily came down and encompassed us as a blanket. Must have been shortly before noon and this continued ‘till shortly after 3pm when we closed with a word of prayer right in the boutique. The ambience conducive for sharing spiritual matters with candour in her boutique is unmatched.
Somewhere in between our meeting, one of our friends and a former neighbor who had just returned, stepped in and mentioned that she was trying to identify her purpose. Quite timely! This being a topic of great concern and that is so close to my heart, I directed her towards some of the teachings by Dr. Myles Munroe.
Against this background do I formulate my writing for today.
You find your purpose in your pain.
Not only that. You also find it:
-In your gifts and talents
-In what bothers you
-In your area of training and expertise
-Through the Holy Spirit
Please note that God doesn’t always necessarily use qualified vessels. Most times, He calls us then He qualifies us. We have to acknowledge that He takes an unqualified vessel whose heart’s posture is that of obedience and of brokenness to convey His perfect message or to execute a mission within a certain season and within a domain that that same vessel could still be struggling with in understanding it in depth or putting it into practice, yet qualifying him, making the vessel look like the expert he is not in that area can surely only take the mighty hand of God and the leading of His Spirit. And as vessels, we are called to a place of humility, of knowing and being deeply convicted that only the Holy Spirit places His expertise in us.
I secretly reckon that there are quite a number of reasons God will specifically ask you or specifically use you to undertake a given task. Here are some:
- There’s a move of His Spirit that He wants to be sensed in a specific geographical area, in a specific season, on a specific subject – within a specific context…some kind of a revolution.
- He has qualified you and prepared you hence you are ready in your heart to be used. Otherwise put, you are an expert-in-the-making in that field.
- You are the most pathetic student of that subject that He is asking you to tackle. And as you act in obedience, as you research, as you listen to His Spirit and act in accordance with His directives, as you commune with Him and spend more time with Him, He is enlightening you on the subject, gently showing you who you really are and giving you a chance for your heart to be transformed.
So, the next time He tells you to write/ speak about/ preach/ teach on or tackle a subject, say: Forgiveness, Love, Stewardship or Prayer, ask yourself, ‘why am I being asked to share of such?’ Don’t get it twisted! It might not necessarily be ‘cos you are the expert in that area, it could simply be ‘cos He is teaching you practically and profoundly the real implication of that which He has allowed you to tackle as well as causing the transformation of your heart, spirit and mind in the process.
I remember kneeling by my bed side in prayer mid-October last year when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me just in four words, “Identity, the Father’s Love”, this, in reference to the themes that we were to tackle in our maiden book.
Truth is, I didn’t know then the mere definition of Identity and was probably the most pathetic student on this matter. Truth is, I had never read and still up to now haven’t read a single book on Identity. Truth is, that is exactly where my pain squarely lied then. Truth is, if qualified people on this subject matter were to be chosen to handle it, then I wouldn’t have featured anywhere close to probably the top 70 gurus. Yet He saw an unqualified, obedient vessel as I. Coming from a point where I utterly knew nothing concerning this topic, to being thrusted into the unknown, into a classroom where the Holy Spirit was my sole instructor on the subject, directing me on the relevant scriptures, expounding on them and even putting the content in my heart and spirit, to a place I can now boldly speak on such a subject matter, leaves me with the unwavering conviction that He is the best and unbeatable teacher alive. When He gives revelations, no one can stand against or demean what is a result of His power and what has been purely breathed of Him.
Albeit, it took me some months to ask myself, ‘why was this entrusted to me?’ And going back in time, I realized that back then, close to 5 months, I had been on a persistent rhythm of excruciating agony, one indescribable in words, of emotional turbulence only God could decipher and to top it all, of spasmodic phenomenons of soiled Identity. Right in the depths of your pain, you find the tiny bits of puzzles of purpose.
God will always give you a project that you can practically relate to. I was never and will never be the ultimate expert in that field, yet He qualified me in that moment to look as one, ministering to me, taking me through a journey from soiled identity to a point of accurately defining and deeply understanding with irrevocable conviction, my authentic Identity. I honestly have things I re-read and I can clearly point out, “I didn’t write this”, “This is not my mind”, “I sure cannot think like this by myself”, “This is beyond me.” All glory to Him who qualifies the unqualified and the disqualified and sees value and importance in the one whom mortal man recognizes not.
Just a reminder from whence I began. Before you minister to others, always try and find out how God wants the same message to minister to you. One pastor who has been reviewing this book in question, I remember at some point two months ago pointed out that I had rushed on the sub-topic of forgiveness and I had to go back in prayer, in research, in writing additional content. Food for thought! – When He urges you to do something, it is not merely for the audience! Think about it!
You will find purpose in your pain. Don’t push away the pain. Ask God instead, what His purpose is through it all.
I have also noted, still on Purpose, that God will most times than not use us to relay a message we can practically relate to. Let’s look:
-If you have struggled with sin, bondage, addiction, and convictions by the enemy of how pathetic a sinner you are, God might ask you to deal with the topic of Freedom, not because you are an expert in the field, but through the journey, He qualifies you as one and in His own special way, equally ministers to you.
-You can’t speak, teach or even write about Faith if you can’t practically relate to the different dynamics of it.
-It’d be easier to tackle and understand subjects such as the Father’s love, being Spirit-filled or conversations with God when you can personally relate, have practically been there and have come to a level of experiencing it for yourself.
-People who have struggled with the pain of rejection, maybe of being adopted as kids, of having no one to pamper them with love as they grew up, when they get over it, on the flip side will most often talk about, teach or even effectively tackle the subject of Forgiveness and even help those who are still struggling with the same through the process as they can practically relate.
-Someone who has witnessed or experienced shuttered marriages might want to be used by God to save marriages falling apart.
-After receiving grace and pardon from being behind bars and serving as a prisoner, one will be more inclined to serving in such an area ‘cos they can practically relate with that pain.
-If you have struggled with dearth, then you will be more drawn to giving, to being hospitable, to generosity and reaching out to the poor.
-If John is regarded as the disciple of love and it is equally recorded that he was the disciple that Christ loved the most, then I believe his understanding of love was at a depth incomparable. He must have been able to at a deeper level practically relate to love as a subject matter and as a verb as well as with Love Himself as a Being.
Not only are we led to act in areas we can relate to and towards people we can relate with. If you look carefully: You will always find your purpose in your pain.
How do we Identify our Purpose?
- It is in your gifts and talents. There gotta be a reason Father God endowed each and every person with a treasure/ treasures in just the right measure.
- It is in what bothers you and won’t give you rest until you act. You are upset about lack of adequate knowledge on the masses concerning: taking good care of the environment, proper stewardship, divorce rates shooting up and marriages breaking down, gayism, crippled people and street children increasing in the CBD, bad governance, why Biblical truth is being watered down? Then dig deeper. These are just but to name a few.
- It is right there in your pain and awful experiences. You suffered rejection, through it you learn how to love. You suffered lack, through it you learn generosity…and so on and so forth
- It is in your area of training and expertise. When you have prayed about something, have been God-led, i.e. He allowed you to pursue a course or training, then through the training, purpose is beckoning. However, we have to be flexible to allow God to direct us in the appropriate skills usage. Example, I am a trained High school teacher of French and Literature by profession and the skills I acquired in teaching, I now use as a Sunday school teacher. Every time I think about this, it reminds me of Mark Batterson’s quote, “Everything in your past is preparation for something in your future. God wastes nothing!” And with that, I still look forward to when and how I will apply my knowledge of the Russian language.
- It is in that secret place that is purely accessible, solely through prayer. There are things that I can bet you 100%, you will never know about yourself until you come to that point of a deeper intimacy with God, of curiosity and of desperation; to that point of listening to that one voice that truly matters and well, of acting in obedience. This is mostly where our calling is hidden.
-However, it is not always automatic that we will easily embrace what He wants for us. We fight at times, though it is in embracing and accepting His pre-ordained plans for our lives that a new perspective of purpose is visualized.
By no means is this list exhaustive.
What I want or what He wants? My way or His?
I remember at around 16 years of age or 17 or thereabout reading books by Dr. James Dobson and Gary Smalley and I really fancied, like really, really fancied being a marriage counsellor when I grew up. Smile😊😊. Imagine being like a Doc., putting back together broken pieces of relationships that are no longer in alignment with each other and with God, giving prescriptions then letting God do the rest. How cool!?😊. It’s like the real Doc. who treats then God does the healing. And here I am today😊.
I am simply highlighting this to point out that there are things we might want to be, then there is what was already pre-destined before the foundations of the earth that we would be. Getting a clear difference between the two is key. And every revelation of the different puzzles of purpose apply in its season. Walking in obedience is non-negotiable. And one day, we will look back and be able to see how God, moved by our obedience, was piecing together the tiny bits to make the whole – the Big Picture.
As I conclude, I wouldn’t want to give so much from a book that is yet to be published, yet even so, I will quote a small portion as a parting shot.
“When we operate within the confines of God’s divine will, and equally in obedience, then He gets to give us the guide towards each tiny puzzle of our purpose that put together, later form the Big Picture.
No doubt, the eventual panoramic conceptualization of the big picture of purpose thereby relies heavily on obedience as its pillar. God gives us tiny glimpses that build up to this big picture through simple tasks ordained by Him.
Without being in tune with Him (listening) and obeying (acting/ moving), we’ll never get this eventual panoramic view.
And if we keep waiting for the Big Picture in its totality in order to move, then we will never begin!” – Book title withheld.
Yes, it is true. One of the areas where we will find purpose is right in our pain!
Don’t push the pain away. Right in the seemingly dregs, therein lies Purpose!
Cheers to a Purpose-led life.