“If you’re alive, there’s a purpose for your life.” ~Rick Warren
I hope you truly believe that statement. For years, I thought I had no purpose, that the world would be better off without me. Praise God, I’m past that period. In fact, I felt like I was in the “sweet spot” of my purpose a few years ago. I discovered, however, that you can’t always trust your feelings.
I’d just had a mountaintop healing experience with God, and I wanted to tell the world what Jesus had done! With the old hymn, “Take My Life And Let It Be” singing like a gospel choir in my heart, I asked God to show me my purpose. I realize mankind’s greatest purpose is Imago Dei—representing Christ as His image bearer, but I wondered what that looked like in my life.
How did God want to use the gifts He gave me?
He responded by pulling me into what felt like a dance. We moved together … slowly at first, so He could show me the steps. I was unsure and clumsy, like a daughter dancing with her daddy for the first time. But He was encouraging and patient. My feet started to feel steadier, so God led me to new places on the dance floor and showed me new moves. As the music and our steps picked up, I gained the confidence to twirl away on my own.
As I spun faster and faster and faster, my skirt billowed and the light flickered off its shimmering fabric. The beauty of it took my breath away. My eyes followed a ray of reflected light, and I suddenly realized that I had an audience cheering and clapping. For me! It was exhilarating!
The music came to an abrupt halt when the news came that we needed to move to Dallas. I tried to keep twirling, but was getting dizzy. As we settled into our new home, the dizziness finally subsided, and everything became clear. I saw the distance I’d traveled from my Father while I twirled on my own. Humbled and ashamed, I shuffled back to Him, nervously fumbling with the trim of my dress.
With a quiver in my voice I asked, “Now what, God?”
God then showed me to truly be in the “sweet spot” of His purpose, I couldn’t let go of His hand, and Icouldn’t pull my eyes from His. That if I stay in His embrace, I can hear Him speak clearly, and He’ll lead me where I needed to go. Best of all, in His arms, I will always have His strength and blessing.
If I pull away, though, I strain to hear Him, I guess at where to go, am left to summon my own strength, and start to seek blessing and approval from the crowd. The accolades and sense of achievement taste sweet for a while, but soon turn bitter once I realize I’ve become a slave to them.
In short, there is no worthwhile purpose outside of God’s embrace.
Can you relate, sister? Perhaps, like me, you’d begun using your gifts to call attention to God, but soon realized you were seeking glory for yourself? Take heart, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NLT).
I saw that God was convicting me, but not with the intent to shame or discourage, as Satan does. On the contrary, His loving conviction encouraged me to “reset” my heart. I recognized that the best relationships in my life came with time, effort, sacrifice, and commitment, and the same is true with God. I pressed into Him—No, I immersed myself in Him. What I discovered is that the harder I lean into God, the more He changes my heart to align with His. Scripture says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him” (Philippians 2:3, NLT).
Today I’m blessed to use my gifts in many of the same ways as before, but now I know who needs to stay in the lead—and receive the glory.
Are you in a dance of your own right now, friend? Can you think of a time when God convicted you in order to set your heart aright? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below or join the discussion on the Wholly Loved Facebook Page.
If today’s post resonated with you or perhaps awoke a hunger within you, consider attending our next Wholly Loved Conference to learn more about living out your purpose. Find out more HERE. Then, learn how to take the next steps at our February Bold and Brave Conference. Find out more HERE.
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You might also enjoy:
Discovering Your God-given Purpose (on the Focus on the Family site)
S.H.A.P.E: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life by Erik Reese and Rick Warren