Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A purpose driven life - Phases 1, 2 and 3!

Sunday’s sermon stayed with me… actually it troubled my spirit throughout the night, which happens when there is some unfinished business with the subject matter. So I finally succumbed to the troubled sleep at 3:10 AM this morning and wrote today’s blog. I feel that God has something important for us to hear and to learn... at least it was a lesson for me to hear. This message began two weeks ago and simply built until I put words to the page.

In the church we talk a lot about the Divine Purpose that God has for each of us. We have been creatively designed with a unique roadmap for our journey through life. Rick Warren wrote a popular book on this very subject. Actually he wrote two books, one for us and one for the church. It is a spiritually wise person who discovers that the life they are living is not their own, but is one of God’s creative design.

I’ve been thinking more about this idea lately as I try to discern God’s purpose for me at a much deeper level. It includes John Wesley’s question to his classing meetings: “How is it with your soul?” Yesterday’s blog addressed that question and its larger ramifications for me(us). Let me label what has been revealed to me through various sources. I will have to call it a “Martinism” since I fully am aware that I cannot support it with chapter and verse from scripture. Maybe a better biblical scholar than me can research Holy Writ and come up with some biblical support for my thinking.

Here is where I have arrived. Phase 1 of the Divine Purpose is what Rick Warren and others have written about. It is the subject matter of our sermons, Bible teachings and Sunday school discussions. Phase 2 is where it becomes a “Martinism” in that when we are born God has specifically designated particular individuals in our future that he place there for us to touch in a special way. They are not revealed to us as we travel through life. It is for us to discover who they might be. Therefore, our challenge is to be sensitive to the people around us and in the name of all that is Holy… touch their lives in a significant way.

Phase 3 (this is were is gets a little weird) is that God has given to each of us at least one miracle to pass on. We do not choose who it is for God has already made that choice... before you jump to the false conclusion it is not about giving birth to a child. Maybe the old Presbyterians would have called it predestination, but I am not nor have I ever been a person of that persuasion although it came close to me as one very large Presbyterian church in Indiana had invited me to preach one week. I thought it was a spiritual renewal week (that’s what they called it), but upon reflection it was a well disguised interview to see if they wanted to call me to be their new senior pastor. Anyway I digress…

This miracle (and some of us might have more than one to share) is a life-giving miracle. It will make a huge difference in their life. It is far more than just merely touching their life with the truth of Christ and/or helping them to enter into a personal relationship with Christ. It is much, much more than that.

The Bible speaks of the ruach of God... the breath of God, but it is more powerful than the mere breathing in and breathing out. This particular breath has power, it is a force, it is an experience, it is creative, it is the life giving and life taking force of the Breath of God. And so the miracle that has been given to us to pass on is this ruach of God. We are meant to breath the life of God into a particular individual’s spirit and soul… just one individual. 
As I worked my way through this thought process (meditation can be a dangerous process if we will just follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit – we will never know where we will end up until God declares: “We’ve arrived! Now do something with what you have discovered!”) I’ve come to this conclusion that since God doesn’t reveal who are the people we are to touch (Phase 2) or the one person to whom we are to pass on our miracle (Phase 3) we should be extremely sensitive to everyone around us. We never know who it is that we are to help God to transform into a new being.

We never know if the person standing in front or behind us at Walmart is the one or the person taking our order at Olive Garden or the convenience store clerk or the dirty smelly panhandler or the drunk sleeping it off on the park bench. We might never know who it is, we just better be darn sure that we treat everyone as if they are the one. Won’t it be tragic to miss the very person that is to receive our miracle, our God designed miracle!?!

So here’s to a deeper, much deeper purposeful life. Happy living!

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