No one just decides to pursue a life that’s purpose-driven because they thought it was just another option. As long as you are comfortable with who you are, what you have achieved and where you have got to in life, you will make no changes. But frustrations and desperation are often tell-tale signs that some adjustments need to be made.
Life is a journey. Everyone ends up somewhere, only a few people will end up somewhere on purpose and this begins with a desire for more. Not necessarily more material things or tangible accomplishments but a desire to align their lives with God’s will. It finally dawns on you that life is brief and you are in a race against time to make the most of whatever is left.
“If we fail to draft a vision and set goals, our pursuit of a purpose-driven life will only be a mirage.”
Something happens to your priorities and values when you realize that all you’ve done up to this point in your life doesn’t impress God. You finally wake up to the reality that there must be more to life than just chasing what’s temporal and fading.
Then, the desire to please the Lord, to make your life count is birthed. Everything ever achieved was first conceived with a thought. Before we draft the vision for our lives, before we set goals, before we place a building block above another, before we reap the rewards of all the hard work and effort, we must begin with a desire for more.
Without a desire, there’s so much anyone else can do to help you. Many people have all the resources and time to make a difference in this world, but they have no desire to do so. Not all of us are self-driven, some of us need support with staying focused to complete our assigned tasks and that’s ok, but without a desire and a hunger for more, we won’t get very far.
What’s the desire of your heart? What’s the burden on your heart? What gets you fed up? If you had all the time, energy and resources you need, what’s the priority on your mind? Many people have a secret desire only to be adored and celebrated, some others want to garner as much wealth as possible, only a few people understand that life is not about us and have a desire to seek and pursue God’s will.
Any desire that’s self-centred and not focused on eternity doesn’t impress God. Sadly, many have built empires and amassed so much wealth only to leave all that behind when they stepped out of time into eternity. A life that is purpose-driven is life with a different perspective and is constantly thinking and planning beyond this life.
Without a desire that’s rooted in God and His will, the foundations of our lives are only waiting to crumble. If you don’t have any desire for anything, it’s time to run back to God and find out why and ask Him to give you desires that resonates with His. And if you have only selfish desires, it’s never too late to ask God to replace those with new desires that please Him.
The society tells us that to have big dreams and the fairy tales we’ve heard or read have repeatedly told us that dreams come true but we are usually left handicapped about what these dreams should be, how they will happen and when. Without a plan, the vision of our lives will remain at the ‘desire’ stage. And there are many people who keep talking about what they wish they could but never come around doing anything about it.
If our desires will become reality, there must be a transition from just a mental image of where God is taking us to a handwritten vision with details. By now, I hope you are in the process of writing a vision for your life and setting specific goals. No one can do that for you. If you need help, get support but you’ll have to draft the vision of your life yourself.
If we fail to draft a vision and set goals, our pursuit of a purpose-driven life will only be a mirage. Even with the best plans, as long as we surround ourselves with the wrong crowd, we will be spiritually and emotionally drained and unable to make the strides God expects we would.
Before now, everything you have done has been only preparing for the journey of faith ahead. God’s been ready but many times we are not. While we claim to be waiting on God, He’s waiting on us. Starting the race is great but will you finish strong? There’s no value rushing off to a great race but poorly prepared or ill-equipped for it.
The journey between the start of the race and the finish line is not going to be any easy feat. Many people have been cheered on as they got off to a great start, but it’s been a while now and we don’t know which turn they’ve taken. God’s investment in their lives have gone down the drain with one bad decision or one bad relationship.
Instead of focusing on finishing strong, let’s be committed to put in our best each day, each week, each month, each year. And the result will be a great finish. Many people are only focused on the finish line but refuse to do anything else to make the vision happen. Have you made the decision to finish strong? Is it a firm decision or are you still undecided, waiting for life to happen?
To stay focused from start to finish, we will all need a good dose of determination and dedication. The former is a resolve to finish strong, the latter is the daily commitment required to get to the end. Your family and friends can pray for you or encourage you to stay focused but you’ll have to get to the point where you decide that finishing strong is your only option and then, make the necessary changes to make that happen.
Have you ever observed that when you decide to achieve a certain goal, that’s when someone comes along with an attractive distraction or convinces you that your effort isn’t worth it. After all the effort to leave behind a life of mediocrity to chase after what truly matters, that’s when the lies of the enemy pour in and we begin to think that we still have much time left to waste on people and things that no longer add value.
Dedication, unlike determination, is the daily commitment to the little and minute tasks that add up to the big picture. It what’s keep you going when quitting seems like an easy route. Rome wasn’t built in a day and if we intend to finish strong, we will need to depend on God for grace to continue to do daily what we should even when we don’t feel like.
We celebrate those who have made big wins in their fields of endeavor, we admire those who remind us of where we should be aiming for. And it’s easy to assume that their success was solely a result of their talent or the opportunities they had. We rarely have the glimpse behind the scene to see how much work has gone into preparing for the public stage.
If we will pursue with full focus God’s purpose for our lives, we will have to give our all every day, not when we feel like, not when the crowd is applauding, but even while the harvest is delayed, we continue to give life our best shot.
If you prepare or are dedicated only when there is an opportunity in view, you’ll certainly lose new opportunities because you were not prepared all of the time. God doesn’t want us unreliable and taking shortcuts in life. His integrity and committed dedication is an example to anyone who seeks to follow Him.
David is one Bible character we can learn about dedication: He was angry that Israel’s army cowered in fear for forty days while their enemies threatened their destruction. His desire to see Israel freed and delivered from this tyrant led him to the king’s palace to outline his vision to take the giant down. He was committed to a cause till Goliath’s head was cut off with his own sword.
Nehemiah is another example. He gets very bad news about the state of affairs about God’s people while he serves in a foreign country. His desire to rebuild the walls and see God’s people live safe and secure once again doesn’t remain only a dream or a wish. He takes the bold step to share the details of his vision with a king who shouldn’t have been bothered. He stays focused from start to finish till the scope of work is completed.
One last example, Deborah. She received word from the Lord about Barak being the deliverer for God’s people. She didn’t just pass on the message. Her desire to see God’s people delivered from the oppression of the Midianites was overwhelming. She gave Barak no peace till he rallied the army and began to pursue the enemy. Barak was revered and honoured by many, but not many people knew how much went on behind the scenes because of Deborah’s dedication.
Dedication will be met with so much opposition from within and without. A godly desire, a detailed vision, so much dedication will be tested against the strong currents of discouragement, despair and distraction. Many people were dedicated but up till a point. God doesn’t want us dropping off the race but making it through the finish lines even if we did on our last legs.
How do you stay dedicated to your life’s call? How do we pursue with full focus God’s purpose for our lives? How do we avoid being another statistic that’s dropped off the race? How do we finish strong? How do we make our lives count? How do we live for heaven’s applause?
Stay connected to God, fresh wisdom and unusual grace to keep going is available, spare yourself the exhaustion from discouragement and despair, get refueled regularly in God’s presence. Keep your eyes fixed on God and refuse to be moved by all the noise around. God knows the ends from the beginning, He’s gone ahead of us on this journey.
Make an intentional decision to stay away from anything and anyone who will drain you of spiritual or emotional strength to remain dedicated. Stay focused on your lane, don’t try to be someone else, quit trying to do what God hasn’t asked you to do and resign from the aimless pursuit of pleasing people who care less about you.
Dedication is often the missing link between those who start a race and those who finish strong. It will keep you going when many have dropped off the race. It’s the secret fuel required to be and do the great and mighty things God can do in and through you.