Philippians 3:13b–14 inspires and helps me to focus whenever I find myself discouraged or in doubt. You see, I have always believed that purpose, once embraced and passionately pursued, generates great joy and blessing.
David instinctively knew this when, at a young age, without hesitation, he killed Goliath and destroyed the army of the Philistines. Later, he lost sight of his purpose and pursued Bathsheba, which led to the death of his son and plunged him into the depths of despair.
Esther was afraid for her life when her uncle Mordecai beseeched her to speak to the king on behalf of the Jews. Mordecai suggested to her that it could be that God had put her in position “for such a time as this.” Ultimately, she determined, “If I perish, I perish,” and went to see the king to save the Jewish people.
Paul, after having to be literally knocked off his horse for God to show him his purpose, was transformed into the most prolific evangelist and teacher of the new covenant.
Finally, Jesus, on the night before His crucifixion, asked, “Let this cup pass from me,” but ultimately resolved, “Nevertheless, not my will but thy will be done.” In each case, despite fear and likely death, pursuing God’s ordained purpose resulted in immeasurable blessing and personal satisfaction.
Each day I have a choice. I can feel sorry about the things that have gone wrong in my life — regretting goals not achieved, personal tragedies experienced, or mistakes I have made; or I can choose to not dwell on things in the past.
Instead, I will declare that today I will press toward the mark. I will seek the Lord and do what He asks. I will realize my potential; I will follow my calling. In Christ Jesus, I will pursue my purpose.
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 3:13b–14, NIV
Prayer: Lord, we seek your purpose for our lives. Give us the wisdom to recognize it, the ability to achieve it, and the passion to pursue it. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert L. Hawkins, Jr., serves as Chairman of the Board for Compassion International, USA.
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