Recently I was pondering the content of my first book, Standing Tall in a Falling World, and I am taking the opportunity in this blog to focus on how we can live purposefully in the midst of a pandemic such as Covid-19 that has saturated the world with masks, sanitisers and fear! Who would have thought we would have seen this in our lifetime, right? Yet it is a reality we all need to live through together.
Life experiences at times can leave you feeling confused, fragmented, depressed and directionless. Who would ever have guessed that in a matter of a few weeks almost the entire world would be in lockdown? The following reality is not always an easy truth, but a truth nonetheless: we have the responsibility to choose how we respond in times like this.
In spite of this crisis, there is always an alternative; always another route, always the power and freedom to choose. Life is only a dead end when the end comes. Until then, you have the power of the ‘Y’ alternative. The ‘Y’ in your life is the scenario where you are travelling on the road of life only to be confronted with a situation that demands a choice. You can only go one way or the other. There is not the luxury of a ‘middle road. It is at this juncture that you win or you lose by the way you choose.
To stand tall when everything else around you is tumbling is a choice. The call to stand tall has nothing whatsoever to do with your physical stature, or even how tall or big you try to project yourself to the outside world. Rather it is a call to stand tall on the inside, even when circumstances may be shouting at you to sit, lie down or fall down! Rising with a shifted mindset that is unshackled from past thought patterns, self-limiting beliefs, fears and anxieties, allows confidence to overflow everywhere you go. This is foundational to standing tall on the inside.
Standing tall in your life is boosted by having your identity established and rooted in the love and acceptance of Jesus Christ; the One who came to free mankind from all that tries to keep us dwarfed. You can stand tall in the liberty by which Christ has made you free, and you never again have to be entangled with any yoke or bondage. You can stand tall with large expectancy for the future because He can heal your broken heart, restore your self-esteem and set you free. No longer do you have to be captive to life-destroying behaviour, or crippled by oppression, depression or addiction. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, freedom and joy! This is the time to live free from your past, to live abundantly in the present and with great anticipation for a glorious future despite what may be happening in the world around us. This liberty is there for you. Make the choice to stand tall today even if it seems that everything in your world is falling!
YOUR PURPOSE IS FOUND IN YOUR GIFTS
You have been born with gifts, talents and experiences that only you can release to take you to the place you ought to be. Your purpose drives your passion so you can powerfully fulfil your personal calling. Your purpose, though you may not know it, is that desire or imagination that stirs, excites and ignites you. It is often the seemingly impossible, that which seems so far removed from where you find yourself in the present.
Your personal purpose gives you the opportunity to break out of your self-limiting beliefs and opens your heart wide to embrace that for which you were so purposefully created. But how is one to find one’s true place in life, you might ask. Multitudes of people meander through life wondering if there is a real purpose to their life. Especially in times of hardship, chaos and suffering.
Where do you even begin to discover what God created and birthed you for? You may even look at your life with a certain cynicism, often tempted to focus on what you don’t have instead of noticing what is a potential gift in you. Your negative self-talk may have caused you to miss some sterling opportunities.
YOUR HEART’S DESIRE
If you will take a moment, find some solitude in the busyness of your world and reflect on how many times you have felt a resonating on the inside of you at an exciting possibility ahead, and the times you have felt and seen many clues that were strewn across your path, you may just be tapping into that very substance of your heart’s desire. In the words of Emmet Fox: ‘…already in your past life from time to time, God Himself has whispered into your heart just that very wonderful thing, whatever it is, that He is wishing you to be and to do, and to have. And that wonderful thing is nothing less than what is called ‘Your Heart’s Desire’.
YOUR DESIRE IS YOUR BLUEPRINT
Embrace your heart’s desire because it is God who put it there. God has foreordained your future and He has already empowered you to make it happen. Your desire is your blueprint. His personal plan for you is no carbon copy. Your purpose for living your life is almost always aligned with what you really want to do more than anything else. These gifts and abilities don’t disappear in a time of calamity or while we are in a holding pattern. If anything, this is the time to be thinking about creating a new business idea, considering plussing your plan—enhancing what you were doing prior to the shutdown. Perhaps it is time to look at charity work, extending help to those who are far less fortunate than you. Whatever it is that makes your heart beat with purpose, there is never a better time than now to let a new creative expression of what you are capable of doing, flow.
God put your gifts in you before you were born. Your gifts have shaped your personality and can shape your future if you will allow them to surface and be seen, and be experienced by others. Your unique gifts are designed in your DNA. Your past experiences have been preparing you for your future. Experiencing the fulfilment of your personal calling may be closer than you believe. Your beginnings are not a reflection of your destiny.
BORN FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
Whenever I reflect on a life that was full of experience, hidden and prepared in a secret place, only to be released when the time was right, the life of Moses is a great reminder of how God plans our lives from the time of our birth to the day we depart this earth. When Moses’ mother birthed him, she saw that there was something so special about him that she hid him in the reeds to save him from being killed by Pharaoh’s soldiers. But as God would not have His long-term plan thwarted by anyone, the little baby was found by Pharaoh’s daughter. She took him
into the palace only to have his own mother nurse him! When God makes plans, they are always grand plans! He was called Moses, which means ‘Pulled Out’. Moses was saved for a purpose. If you want to know if you still have a purpose on this earth, just look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I still have a heartbeat, therefore I am here for a really good reason and a very useful purpose. I may not understand the whole picture yet, but that’s okay. Neither did Moses.’
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ (Jeremiah 29:11)
Moses could never have known that he was being raised and educated in Pharaoh’s palace and kingdom, because one day his purpose would be to return to Egypt as God’s representative and with the authority to decimate the political system of the day as a ‘rod’ in God’s hands to deliver God’s people!
Moses was far from perfect—remember that he committed murder, he had to flee from Egypt landing up in isolation in a land called Midian. Do you find yourself in isolation right now, wondering if God has forgotten that you even exist? Are you often thinking about the once fiery dreams you held on to that now seem to be nothing more than a mirage? Or perhaps you have felt a leading, a stirring, a calling just like Moses did when God appeared to him, but find yourself back-tracking, trying to find an escape route because you don’t feel ready, worthy or courageous enough?
Be reminded today that Your talents are your treasures–they are hidden in the secret places of your life just waiting to be revealed—and no, the conditions do not need to be perfect. Somehow God seems to use the most challenging set of circumstances to reveal your finest hour and the reason for your being alive.
In the hurly-burly of life we often shut ourselves behind bars of an iron and resistant will, possibly resulting from years of disappointment because of delay. Yet if you will be obedient and courageous and offer those treasures to God for His plan and purpose, even as Moses did, your reward will be exceedingly great.
GOD WILL GO BEFORE YOU
‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.’ (IsaIah 45:2,3)
God will fulfil the desire that He puts in your heart. He is dedicated to every detail of your life. Our responsibility is to prepare ourselves in every way, spiritually and practically.
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. (Proverbs 16:9).
FAITHFULNESS PRODUCES FULLNESS
When you are faithful in the daily responsibilities of your life, God can entrust you with His Kingdom responsibilities. When you serve your spouse and family well, you then can be entrusted to serve others well. If the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, is not being represented by you in your home, it is not going to be well represented elsewhere. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might. Do it as unto the Lord. Do whatever you can in preparation for His grand purpose to be released in you in spite of the present circumstances.
If you need to study more, then study. If it is to make right with someone, do so. If it is to get back to God and return from your wanderings in the wilderness, there is no better time than the present. God will not take you beyond your last step of obedience. In times of personal challenge remember that adversities make you spiritually sharp and you become more resourceful to fulfil your personal calling. The greatest place you can abide is in His Presence.
LIVE YOUR LIFE ON PURPOSE
God’s invitation to you today is to live your life on purpose! You were created for abundance, not redundance. To live a life of action and not one in traction. To pursue your God-given passion and not merely live for your pension.
Sadly many people have had others’ opinions and their own life’s circumstances dictate a message that they were never meant to live a life of purpose. For others, the litany of rejections and the resultant view of themselves have deterred them from even getting off the starting block to live a life of purpose. For most, living life on purpose is just a hazy dream that surfaces from time to time, but deep roots of low self-esteem ask the question, ‘How can something out-of-the-ordinary, meaningful and powerful be accomplished by me?’ Yet the answer is found in the very core of the question. The answer lies in the desire that blazes like an inferno in your heart. The fact that you are asking the question gives credence to the truth that, buried under the debris of your soul, is the desire to live a life of powerful purpose.
You must embrace your heart’s desire, because it is God, the One Who created you, who put that desire there. When you lose touch with the desire to live a life of purpose and meaning, you abandon your own heart. All that is left is an aching void and a continual bombardment of thoughts in your mind centring on the fact that there must be more to life than what is currently being experienced.
That stirring deep within your soul is the dawning of your very own life of purpose. God has foreordained your future and He has already empowered you to make it happen. Your desire is your blueprint. The plan for your life is an original and not a carbon copy.
DESTINY IS DESIGNED IN YOUR DNA
Your gifts are God-given and have shaped your personality and they will contribute to your future. Your unique gifts are designed in your very DNA—they are embedded in you so that you will release them to create an avenue for revenue. These are certainly designed to become your greatest source of wealth. You just need to look at the artists, writers, musicians, fashion designers, doctors, businesspeople, speakers and actors whose gifts have been connected with purpose and passion to create their wealth and a great measure of fulfilment.
Experiencing the fulfilment of your predetermined purpose may be closer than you believe. Your beginnings are never a reflection of your destiny. Past experiences have been preparing you for your creative future. Despite the challenges of your past, fulfilling your purpose must be grounded in the knowledge that you can make a difference in the life of another. Purpose begins when you start to invest your life into the lives of others. You need to make up your mind to be a meaning-maker in this one precious life.
Knowing that you can live in the fulfilment of having a personal, powerful purpose, should inspire you to revisit your life and be liberated to dream again. Often the harsh and demanding realities of life keep you task-bound and you forget that there is a grander and more noble purpose for you to fulfil. Your purpose is already on the inside of you – you just have to take the risk, that step of faith – and release it, live in it, and enjoy it!
Having purpose locked up on the inside is like having a masterpiece hidden in the cellar. Its true reason for creation will never be experienced until the masterpiece is revealed and can be enjoyed. The joyous fulfilment is found when you are living your life on purpose. Purpose starts in your heart through the actions of your hands. Arise, stand tall and shine and let your purpose be known to the world.
WRITE THE NEW CHAPTER IN YOUR LIFE
Don’t be deterred by the present circumstances in the world. They too shall pass and from this you will write a new chapter in the story of your life. My most encouraging counsel would be to start today.
May you ask yourself everyday, “If I am alive for such a time as this, what can I do to bring a greater contribution to my world?”