When we focus on our purpose, it can set us off course and potentially move us away from God’s purpose and pleasure. It may even cause hindrance for others. The Lord is purposeful, and He has a plan and purpose for all He has created. We don’t have to strive to determine our purpose or fight to maintain what the Lord has assigned to us.
The scripture has examples of individuals who were selfish with their purpose and those who saw God’s bigger picture and were willing to lay down their assignment for God’s greater purpose. I will share an example of each in this devotional.
So the women sang as they danced, and said:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”
Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” 1 Samuel 18:7-8
King Saul is an example of someone selfish with his assignment. He accepted God’s call to be the first king of Israel and did a good job for a while, but later he became ambitious and decided to disobey God. Saul forgot about the fact that the Lord had placed him in that position, and he needed to remain obedient and surrendered to the Lord.
After disobeying the Lord in major ways, God rejected Saul as king and directed Samuel to anoint David as the future king. Saul could not stand David’s popularity and made unsuccessful attempts to do away with David. What if Saul had accepted God’s purpose and was willing to mentor David as the future king instead of chasing him for years!?
And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3: 26-30
John the Baptist, on the other hand, was selfless in his assignment. He knew what God had called him to do. He knew that there was going to come a time that his assignment was going to end and that he needed to decrease for Jesus to take His rightful place. When Jesus came on the scene, John the Baptist did not try to undermine Jesus’ efforts. As a matter of fact, he told the people that someone greater than him was going to come on the scene.
We live in an individualistic society, and people are seeking self-actualization and the fulfillment of their potential and dreams. As believers, it is easy to fall into the trap of making God’s purpose all about us, but we need to refrain from it. We are part of God’s master plan because we belong to Him, and we have value whether we are aware of our purpose or not. The key is our willingness to obey God and do the good works He has for us whether they seem significant to us or not.
In Saul’s case, he was unhappy and was tormented because he could not accept God’s plan, which did not include him much longer. He also caused a lot of difficulty for David. However, the Lord thwarted Saul’s plans and protected David from his schemes. He also guarded David’s purpose and brought him to the throne. Furthermore, the Lord did not allow David’s challenges to be wasted for David wrote many of the Psalms in the Bible that we get to benefit from.
In John the Baptist’s case, he knew that God’s purpose was far greater than his own ministry and that his work was part and parcel of God’s greater plan for humanity. Jesus spoke highly of John the Baptist, and He asked to be baptized by him. What an honor to baptize the Savior of the world!
When we seek our purpose, we can live a stressful life trying to fulfill the purpose or to maintain what the Lord has assigned to us. God’s purpose is greater than what we imagine it to be. If we live a surrendered life to Him, we will not miss the Lord’s purpose and the good works He has for us, and we will give us greater peace and satisfaction in life