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I observed that the basic motive for success

is the driving force of evy and jealousy!

    Ecclesiastes 4:4(LB)

Them Man without a purpose is like

a ship without a rudder__a waif,

  a nothing, a no man.

   Thomas Carlyle

     Everyone's life is driven by somethng.

      Most dictionaries define the verb drive as "to guide, to control,

or to direct."  Whether you are driving a car, a nail, or a golf ball,

you are guiding controlling, and dircting it at that moement.

What is the driving force in your life?

    Right now you may be driven by a problem, a rpessure, or a

deadline.  You may be driven by a pinfull memory, a haunting

fear, or an unconscious belief.  There are hundrds of

circumstances, valaues, and emotions that can drive your life.  Here

are five of the most common ones:

    Many people are driven by gult.  they spend their entire lives

running from regrets and hiding their shame. gult-driven people

are manipulated by memories.  They  allow their past to control

their future.  they aoften unconsciously punish themselves by

sabotaging their own success.  when Cain sinned, his guilt

disconnected him from God's presence, and God said  "You will

be a restless wanderer on the earh." 1 That describes most people

today__ wandering through life without a purpose.

   We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners

of it.  God's purpose is not limited by your pst.  He turned a

murderer named Moses into a leader and a coward named Gideon

into a courageous hero, and he can do amazing things with the

rest of your life, too.  God specializes in giving people a fresh start.

The Bible says, " What relief for those who have confessed their sins and

God has cleared their record."2

     Many people are driven by resentiment and anger They hold

on to hurts and never get over them.  Instead of releasing their

pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their

minds.  Some resentment-driven people "clam up" and inernalize

their anger, while others "blow up" and explode it onto others.

Both respondes are unhealty and unhelpful.

    Resentment always urts you more than it does the person you

resent.  While your offender has probably forgotten the offense

and gone on with life, you continue t o stew in your pain,

prepetuating the past.

Listen: those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue

to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through

resentment.  Your past is past!  Nothing will change it.  You are

only hurting yourself with your bitterness.  For your own sake,

learn from it, and then let it go.  The bible says, " To worry yoursel

to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do."3

     Many people are driven by fear.  their fears may be a result of

a trumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in  a

high-control home, or even genetic predisposition.  Regardless of

the cause, fear-driven peoople often miss great opportunities

because they're afraid to venture out.  Instead they play it safe,

avoiding risks and trying to maintain the status quo.

     Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming

what God intends for you to be.  You must  move against it with

the weapons of faith and love.  the Bible says, "well-formed love

banishes fear.  since fear is crippling, a fearful life_fear of death,

frea of judgment __is one not yet fully formed in love."4

     Many people are driven by manterialism.  their desire to

acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives.  this drive to always

want more is based on the misconceptins that having more will

three ideas are untrue.  Possessions only provide temporary

happiness.  Because things do not change, we eventually become

bored with them and then want newer, bigger, better versions.

    It's also a myth that if I get more, I will be more important.

Self-worth and net worth are not the same.  Your value is not

determined by your valuables, and God says the most valuable

Things in life are not things!

     The most common myth about money is that having more will

make me more secure.   It won't.  Wealth can be lost instantly

through a variety of uncontrollable factors.  Real security can only

be found in that which can never be takenfrom you__ your

relationship with God.

    Many peope are driven by the need for approval.  They

allow the expectations of parents or

spouses or children or teachers or

friends to control their lives.  Many            

adults are still trying to earn the                        Nothing matters more than

approval of unpleasable parents.              knowing God's purposes for your

  Others are driven by peer pressure,       life, and nothing can compensate

always worried by what others                            for not knowing them.

might think.  Unfortunately, those              

who follow the crowd usually get

lost in it.

     I don't know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to

try to pleaase everyone.  Being controlled by the opinions of others

is a guaranteed way to miss God's purposes for your life.  Jesus

said, "No one can serve two masters."5

    There are others forces that can drive your life but all lead to the

same ded end" unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an

unfulfilled life.

    this forty-day journey will show you how to live a purpose-

driven life__a life guided, controlled, and directed by God's

purposes.  Nothing matters more than knowing God's purposes

for your life, and nothing can compensate for not knkowing

them__ not success, wealth, fame, or pleasure.  Without a

purpose, life is notion without meaning, activity without

direction, and events without reason.  Without a purpose, life is

trivial, petty, and pointless.

The Benefits of Purpose-Driven Living

   There are five great benefits of living a purpose-drivien life:

knowing your purpose gives meaning to your lilfe.  We were

made to have meaning.  This is why people try dubious methods,

like astrology or psyschics, to discover it.  When life has meaning,

you can bear almost anything; without it, nothing is bearable.

   A young man in his twenties wrote,  "I feel like a failure

because I'm struggling to become something, and I don't even

know what it is.  All I know how to do is to get by.

Someday, if I discover my purpose, I ll feel I'm

beginning to live."

     Without God, life has no purpose, and without

purpose, life has no meaning.  Without meaning, life

has no significance or hope.  In the Bible, many

different people expressed this hopelessness. Isaish

complained, "I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength

in vain and for nothing."6 Job said, "My life drags by__ day after

hopeless day"7 and "I give up; I am tired of living.  Leave me alone.

mY life makes no sense."8  The greatest tragedy is not dath, but life

without purpose.

   Hope is as essential to your life as air and water.  You need hope

to cope.  Dr. Bernie Siegel found he could predict which of his

cacer patients would go into remission by asking, "Do you want

to live to be one hundred?"  those with a deep

sense of life purpose asswered yes and were

the ones most likely to survive.  Hope comes

from having a purpose.

    If you  have felt hopeless, hold on!

wonderful changes are going to happen in

your life as you begin to live it on purpose.  God

says, "I know what I am planning for you…"I have

good plans for you, not plans to hurt you, I will give you hope and a

good future."9  You may feel you are facing an impossible

situation, but the Bible says, "God…is able to do far more than

we would ever dare to ask or even dream of __ infinitely beyond our

highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.' 10

 

Knowing your purpose simplifies your life.  It defines what

you do and what you don't do.  Your purpose becomes te

standard you use to evaluate which activities are essential and

which aren't . You simply ask, "Does this activity help me fulfill

one of God's purposes for my life?"

Without a clear purpose you have no foundation on which you

base decisions, allocate your time, and use your  resources.  You

will tendo to make choices based on circumstances, pressures, and

your mood at that moment.  People who don't knokw their

purpose try to do too much__and that causes stress, fatigue, and

conflict.

     It is impossible to do everything people want you to do.  You
have just enough time to do  God's will.   If you can't get it all

done, it means you're trying to do more than God intended for

you to do (or, possibley, that you're watching too much

television).  Purpose -driven living leads to a simpler lifestyle and a

saner schedule.  The Bible says, "A pretentious, showy life is an

empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life." 11 It also leads to
 

peace of mind:  "You, LORD, gieve perfect peace to shoe who keep

their purpose firm and put their trust in you. 12

Knowing your purpose focuses your life.  It concentrates

your  effort and energy on what's important.  You beserved

by being selective.

     It's human nature to get distracted by minor issues.  We play

trivial Pursuit with our lives.  Henry David Thoreau observed

that people live lives of   "quiet desperation," but today a better

description is aimless distraction.  Many people are like gyroscopes,

apinning around at a frantic pace but never going anywhere.

    without a clear purpose, you will keep changbing directions,

jobs, relationships, churches, or other externals__ hoping each

change will settle the confusion or fill the emptiness in your heart.

You think, Maybe this time it will be different,  but it doesn't solve

your real problem__ a lack of focus and purpose.

   The Bibble says, "Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly.  Make sure

you undertand what the Master wants." 13

     The power of focusing can be seen in light.  Diffused  light has

little power or impact, but you can concentrate its energy by

focusing it.  With a magnifying glass, the rays of the sun can be

focused to set grassw or paper on fire.  When light is focused even

more as a laser beam, it can cut throiught steel.

                                                      There is  nothing quite as potent

                                                      as a focused life,  one live on

  If you want your life to have      purpose.  the men and women who

    impact focus it!                      have made the greatest difference in

                                                    history were the most  focused.  For

                                                   instance, the apostle Paul almost

                                                  single-handedly spread Christianity

throughout the Roman Empire.  His secret was a focused lilfe, He

said, "I am focusing all my energies on this one thing:  Forgetting the

past , and looking forward to what lies ahead." 14

     It you want your lie to have impact, focus it!  Stop dabbling.

Stop trying to do it all.   Do less. Prune away even good activities

and do only that which matters most.  Never confuse activity with

productivity.  You can be busy without a purpose, but what's the

point? Paul said, "Let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who

want everything God has for us." 15

     Knowing your purpose motivates your life.  Purpose always

produces passin.  Nothing energizes like a clear purpose.  On the

other hand, passion.  Nothing energizes like a clear purpose.  On the

other hand, passion dissipates when you lack a purpose.  Just

getting out of bed becomes a major

chore.  It is usually meaningless

work, not overwork,, that wears us            You weren't put on earth to be

down, saps our strength, and robs           remembered.  You were put

our joy.                                                            here to prepare for eternity.

     George Bernand Shaw wrote,

"This is the true joy of life; the

being used up for a purpose

recognized by yourself as mighty one; being a force of nature

insead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances,"

complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you

happy."

     Knowing your purpose prepares you for eternity.  Manye

people spend their lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth.

They want to be remembered when they're gone.  Yet, what

ultimately matters most will not be what others say about your life

but what God says.  What people fail to realize is that all

achievements are eventually supassed, records are broutes are broken,

reputations fade, and tributes are forgotten.  In college, James

Dobson's goal was to become the school's tennis champion.  He

felt proud when his trophy was prominently placed in the school's

trophy cabinet.  Years later, someone mailed him that trophy.  They

had found it in a trashcan when the school was remodeled. Jim

said, "Given enough time, all your trophies will be trashed by

someone else!"

     Living to create an earthy legacy is a short sighted goal.  A

wiser use of time is to build an eternal legacy.  You weren't put

on earth to be remembered.  You were put here to prepare for

eternity.

     One day you will stand  before God, and he will do an audit of

your life, a final exam,  before you enter eternity.  The Bible says,

"Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat

of God…. Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to

God."  16 Fortunately, God wants us to pass this test, so he has

given us the questions in advance.  From the Bible we can surmise

that God will ask us two crucial questions:

     First, "What did you do with my Son, Christ?"  God won't

ask about your religious backgroun  or doctrinal views.  The only

thing that will matter is, did you accept what Jesus did for you

and did you learn to love and trust him? Jesus said,  "I am th way

and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except

trhough me." 17

     second,  "What di you do with what I gave you?" What did

you do with your life__all the gifts, talents

opportunities, energy, relationships, and

resources God gave you?  did you spend

them on yourself, or did you use them for

the purpose God made your for?"

Preparing you for these two questions is

the goal of this book.  The first question will

determine where you spend eternity.   the second question

will determine what you do in eternity.  By the end of this book

you will be ready to answer both questions.

Day Tree

Thinking about my purpose

Pont to ponder: LIving on purpose is the path no

peace.

 

Verse to Remember:  "You, Lord, give perfect peace to

those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in

you."  Isaish 26:3 (TEV)

Question to Consider: What would my famioy and

friends say is the driving force of my life? What do I

want it to be?

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God has…. planted eternity

       in the human heart.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

Surely God would not have creatd such

a being as man to exist only for a day!

No, no, man was m ade for immortality.

    Abraham Lincoln

 

This life is not all there is.

Life on earth is just the dress rehearsal before the real

production.   You will spend far more time on the other side of

death__ in eternity __ than you will here.   Earth is the staging area,

the preschool, the tryout for your life in eternity.  It is the practice

workout before the actual game; the warm-up lap before the race

begins.  This life is preparation for the next.

     At most, you will live a hundred years on earth, but you will

spend forever in eternity.   Your time on earth is, as Sir Thomas

Browne said,  "but a samll parenthesis in eternity."  You were make

to last  forever.

     The Bible says, "God has…planted eternity in the human

heart."  1  You have an inborn instinct that longs for immortality.

This is because God designed you in his image, to live for

eternity.  Even though we know everyone eventually dies, death

always seems unnatural and unfair.  The reason we feel we should

live forever is that God wired our brains with that desire!

     One day your heart will stop beating.   That will be the end of

your body and your time on earth, but it will not be the end of

you.   Your earthly body is just a temporary residence for your

spirit.  The Bible calls your earthly body a "tent," but referes to

your future body as a "house."  The bible says,  "When this tent we

live in__our body here on earth__is torn down,  God will have a

house in heaven for us to live in a home be himself has made, which

will last forever." 2

     while life on earth offers many choices, eternity offers only

two: heaven or hell.   Your relationship to God on earth will

determine your relationship to him in eternity.  If you learn to love

and trust God's Son, Jesus, you will be invited to spend the rest

of eternity with him.  On the other hand, if you reject his love,

forgiveness, and salvation, you will spend eternity apart from God

forever.

     C. S. lewis said, "there are two kinds of people; those who say

to God "Thy will be done" and those to whom God says,  "All right

then, have it your way."  Tragically, many people will have to

endure eternity without God because they chose to live without

him here on earth.

     When ou fully comprehend that there is more to life than just

here and now, and you realize that life is just preparation for

eternity, you will begin to live

differently.  You will start living in

light of eternity, and that will color                   This life is prepartion

how you handle every relationship,                        for the next

task, and circumstance.  Suddently

many activities, goals, and even

problems that seemed so important

will appear trivial petty, and unworthy of your attention.  The closer

you wilve to God, the smaller everything else appears.

page 37

     When you live in light of  eternity, your values change.  You use

your time and money more wisely.  You place a higher premium

on relationships and character instead of fame or wealth or

achievements or een fun.  Your priorities are reordered.  Keppin

up with trends, fashions, and popular values just doesn't matter as

much anymore.  Paul said  "I once though all these things were so

very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what

Christ has done." 3

     If your time on earth were all there is to your life, I would

suggest you start living it up immediately.  You could forget being

good and ethical and you wouldn't have to worry about any

consequences of your actions.  You caould indulge yourself in total

self-centeredness because your actions would have no long-term

                                                           repercussions.  But__ and this makes

                                                           all the difference__death is not the

                                                            end of you! Death is not your

When you l ive in light of                 termiation, but your transition

 eternity, your values change.       into eternity, so there are eternal

                                                          consequences to everything you do

                                                          on earth.  Every act of our lives

strikes some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

     The most damaging aspect of contemporary living is short-

term thinking.  To make the most of your life, you must keep the

vision of eternity continually in your mind and the values of it in

your heart.  There's far more to life than just here and now!  today

is the visible tip of the iceberg Eternity is all the rest you don't

see underneath the surface.

 

    What is it going to be like in eternity, with God?  Frankly, the

capacity of our brains cannot handle the wonder and greatness of

heaven.  It would be like trying to describe the Internet to an ant.

  It's furtile.  Words have not been invented that could possibly

convey the experience of eternity.  The Bible says,  "No mere man

has ever seen, heard or even imagined what wondereful things God

has ready for those who love the Lord." 4.

   However, God has given us glimpses of eternity in his Word.

We know that right now God is preparing an eternal home for us.

In heaven we will be reunited with loved ones who are believers,

released from all pain and suffering, rewarded for our

faithfulness on earth, and reassigned to do work that            DAY FOUR

we will enjoy doing.  We won't lie around on clouds               MADE TO

with halos playing harps! We willl enjoy us for an                       LAST 

unlimited, endless forever.   One day Jesus will say,           FOREVER

" Come, you who are blessed by my  Father, take your inheritance, the

kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." 5

C.S. Lewis captured the concept ofo eternity on the last page of

the Chronicles of Narnia, his seven-book children's fiction series:

"For us this is the end of all the stories… But for them it was

only the beginning of the real story.  All their life in this world..

had only been the cover and the title page: now at lat they were

beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on

earth has read, which goes on forever and in which every chapter

is better than the one before." 6

     God has a purpose for your olife on earth, but it doesn't end

hre.  His plan involves far more than the few decades you will

spend on this planet.  It's more than "the opportunity of a

lifetime"' God offers you an opportunity beyond your lilfetime.

The Bible says, "[God’s] plans endure forever, ; his purposes last

eternally."7

    The only time most people thik about eternity is at funeralsl,

and then it's oftern shallow, sentimental thinking, based on

ignorance.  You may feel it's morbid to think about death, but

actually it's unhealty to live in denial of death and not consider

what is inevitable.8  Only a fool would go trhough life umprepared

for what we all know will eventually happen.  You need to think

more about eternity, not less.

     Just as the nine months you spent in your mother's womb were

not an end in themselves but preparation for life, so this life is

preparation for the next.  If you have a relationship with God

through Jesus, you don't need to fear death.  It i the door to

eternity.  It will be the last hour of your time on earth, but it

won't be tha last of you.  Rather than being the

end of your life, it will be your birthay into

eternal life.  The Bible says, "This world is not

our home; we are looking forward to our

everlasting home in heaven." 9

     Measured against eternity, our time on

earth is just a blink of an eye, but the

consequences o it will last forever.  The deeds of this life

are the destiny of the next.  We should be "realizing that every

moment we spend in these earthy bodies is time spent wayay from our

eternal home in heaven with Jeus." 10 Years ago a popular slogan

encouraged people to live each day as "the first day of the rest of your life."  Actually, it would be wiser to live each day as if it were

the last day of your life.  Matthew Henry said, "It ought to be the

business of every day to prepare for our final day."

Day Four

Thinking About My Purpose

Point to POnder: There is more to life than hust her

and now

Verse to Remember:  "this world is fading away, along

with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you

will live forever."  1 John 2:17(NLT)

Question to Consider: Since I was made to last

forever, what is the one thing I should stop doing and

the one thing I should start doing Today?

Day 4: Made to Last Forever

1. Ecclesiastes 3.11(NTL)

2. 2 Corinthians 5:1 (TEV)

3. Philippians 3:7 (NLT)

4. 1 Corinthians 2:9 (LB)

5. Matthew 25:34 (NIV)

6.  C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle (new York:

Collier Books, 1970), 184.

7.  Palm 33:11 (TEV)

8.  Ecclesiastes 7:2 (CEV)

9.  Hebres 13:14 (LB)

10.  2 Corinthinas 5:6 (LB)

 

The Purpose Driven Life Warren Zondervan