As I speak to friends of all ages they tell me they tell me they are slammed by the growing pressure on their daily lives.
Are you experiencing a time crunch trying to keep up with work pressure, time for relationships, working out, screen time plus a little time for being present to God and Neighbor?
You are not alone.
Part of the reason for the growing pressure is that we seem to be living in a world changing at warp speed. Often there is another reason. Many of us haven’t yet discovered how to create the disciplines we need to enjoy our best lives.
Too many of us are settling for less and missing God’s best.
Most of our evangelical churches have courses on discipleship and mainline churches have classes on formation. These courses do offer help to many in terms of our spiritual lives. However, few of these classes give people much help in really creating their best timestyles and lifestlyes to enable us to actually create and live our best lives as followers of a Jesus who calls all of us to put first things first. I sure find I need help with this and I bet many of those reading this do to.
What Purposeful Living Really Means
I am sure many of you remember a book a few years ago called The Purpose Driven Life. Christine and I actually wrote a book that was published 3 months before that titled Living on Purpose, Finding God’s Best for Your Life! with Baker Books. It’s still available in the electronic version. However, we have not been afflicted with 52 million sales.
Living on purpose for followers of Jesus always starts by finding an intentional way to make God’s purposes our purposes.
Failing to do this our jobs, our economic pressures, our kids activities, our consumer and screen time addictions largely define the direction and quality of our lives.
Then when these pressures and addictions cause us to crash and burn we turn to God to help bail us out. But, few of us ask our God to help us discover a new reason for being. If you seriously want to discover God’s best for your life, I urge you to consider making God’s purposes your purposes, in a new intentional way.
In Living on Purpose we urge readers to do exactly that. Remember when Jesus announced how he intentionally connected his life purposes to God’s compassionate purposes for a people and a world?
Listen again as he reads from the powerful words of God’s purposes from the prophet Isaiah: “The spirit of the Lord is on me because he anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release for the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19.
Do you want to find God’s best for your life? Then follow Jesus by also making God’s compassionate purposes for a people and a world your purposes to.
Listening and Planning
In the book, we offer a brief “active listening process” for small groups of disciples that also want to make God’s purposes their purposes. Here is a brief version of how to help one another to listen to diverse ways God is speaking to all of us. It might help you and your small us formulate a clear purpose statements, to help us take the first step in creating your best lives in turbulent times like these.
First invite everyone in your listening group to prayerfully study scripture during the week, starting with Christ’s purpose statement, to discern how God may be calling you invest your life to make a little difference in the lives of others.
Then invite everyone to spend the next week listening to the needs of others or threats to God’s good creation that stir your spirit. This too could be a part of God’s call on your life.
Week three, make a list of what you believe are your natural and your spiritual gifts. Also make a list of your broken places and areas of addiction. God can often do more by using our shortcomings to make a difference in the lives of others than our gifts.
Next draft a beginning mission statement for your life or family that incorporates that scripture that calls you beyond yourself. Identify one specific way you can give weekly expression to your calling statement either in your work life or discretionary time and share it with your group.
Use your calling statement to reinvent your timestyles and lifestyles to invest your time and resources in what matter most, including daily time to be present to God and weekly time to make a little difference in the lives of others.
Invite those in your group to celebrate every step forward as you help one another to create your best lives by learning to live on purpose.
For example, Ian and Judy drafted a family mission statement stating they felt God was called to be the hospitality of Jesus in their neighborhood. They invited each of their three kids to take turns to invite different neighbors over for dinner every Wednesday night.
Ian and Judy were surprised and delighted that their kids actually became invested in creating new ways to be offer welcoming hospitality their guest each week, Fred, a corporate executive at firm in Canada placed a three-year cap on his salary of his administrative team to upgrade salaries of lowest wage workers. Janet freed up an hour a week to start tutoring kids in her local elementary school who were struggling.
What is your way to give expression to your sense of God’s call on your life?
Write and tell us how you plan to create your best life this summer by putting first things first. We would like to share your examples. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.newchangemakers.com
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