Living for a Purpose is not just a guide to a life of purpose; it is an achiever’s compendium. It takes the reader through a simple yet thorough lessons aided with wise quotes and nuggets of how a life can be structured around a solid purpose which will without fail result in a fulfilling lifetime.
Anchoring on the unquestionable premise that the primary key to success in any given endevour as is with life in general is to first of all be clear on purpose. And after that, never losing focus of same, the writer went on to teach and discuss practical ways of keeping focus on purpose and the importance of that.
Living for a Purpose is a must read for any young person or even old who still wants to achieve a great feat on earth.
“KNOWN UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WORKS FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD”-Acts 15:18.
According to R.A Torrey, Gods purpose in Israel was not merely to bless Israel. Through Israel, He planned to bless the whole human race. He is a God of plan and purpose.
The people in the first century were blinded to Gods purpose in sending Jesus to this world. According to Ted Haggard, “We are living in the generation that has the first opportunity to authentically fulfill the great commission. God has sovereignty arranged the whole world for this purpose, and we need to devote ourselves to His purpose”.
The original purpose of God’s creation is dominion that all the creatures are to live and function in such ways that continually bring pleasure to Him. Everything that God created was for a purpose and our lives are not different. It becomes obvious that man must discern God’s purpose for him in order to achieve the purpose God intended for him. It is the duty of man to discover the vocation that God desire him to function in, So that he can bring God pleasure he sought when He created man. God created man to have dominion over all creation and also to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. In John 15:1:8, our Lord Jesus restates the original purpose of God to his disciples. God never works without a purpose in mind. Purpose is Gods specific plan for man’s life. It is a divinely pre-planned destination and designation in life. This can be broadly categorized into two groups. The first category is the general destiny which is an expression of His thoughts for all mankind while the other is the specific destinies for some individuals. This is the divine assignment/purpose for which such people have been created.
The Lord created us with purpose in mind, our talents and abilities were given us to fulfill His purpose. We will never find our true full potentials until they are directed by and for the lord. John the Baptist had no identity crisis, he knew God’s plan and purpose for his life from the beginning and he spent his entire life preparing for it.
God operates on purpose. He designs our life to manifest His glory not just to fill a space. God’s plans and purposes for man were not to be thwarted by the sinful rebellion and foolish action of the first man Adam for God had a greater plan and an eternal purpose for son of man, the last Adam that through Him all who are made a new creation in Christ will bear God’s likeness and receive God’s nature.
His purpose stands and it is final. Isaiah 14:15b says, and as I have purpose, so shall it stand. Vs 26-27 says “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it” and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
There is a particular purpose for everyone created by God. For instance the good book says that God filled Bezaleel and Aholiab with wisdom, knowledge and understanding in all manners of workmanships that they were very skillful in designing and construction using gold, brass, stones and wood. King Solomon reminds everyone that the purpose of our creation is to fear God by doing His will. He also reminds us that, although man can invent, but that any invention of man cannot distort the purpose of God.
In the Garden of Eden, God made man a living being to praise Him. When man failed, the purpose of his creation was distorted. However with the coming of Christ brought back man to that initial purpose. The frontiers of God’s grace are available to those who are desirous of knowing His divine purpose for their lives. Many people live as terminates though they have not purpose in life but it is only lower animals that death terminates their existence externally. The situation in our life is for the purpose of one thing; it is for us to acknowledge that we need God in our lives.
Eph. 2:10 Says “For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. As we spend time in the Word of God, we begin to learn that each one of us is a work of God. The Bible tells us that God is the potter and we are the clay (Isa. 64:8) that we are engraved on the palms of his hands (Isa. 49:16), and that he has fashioned each one of us individually (Ps 33:15). Each one of us needs to find out specifically what it is that God wants us to do. And each one of us needs to do the work with the talent God has instilled in us. People are most fulfilled when they allow God’s spirit to carry out the work God has designed through them. Ephesians 1:11 says “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.
On the road to Damascus, Paul heard why he was created and called. Acts 26:16-18 says “But rise, and stand upon they feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among their which are sanctified by faith that is in me. John 3:8b – “For this purpose the son of God was manifested that he, might destroy the works of the devil. i.e. Christ was here not only to advance the Kingdom of God on earth, but also to destroy the works of Satan in lives, home and circumstances of people (John 14:12).
Shanon L Alder said, “You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracles”.
The letter below, was by Chief Obafemi Awolowo requesting for an education loan from Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola on March 25, 1943, (the richest Ijebu man in those days) and promised to pay back by 1955. It is fascinating, long and interesting.
Dear Mr. Odutola,
I think it will be an exceeding saving of time and more business-like if I avoid all sweet preliminaries and go straight into the object of this letter and say that I am writing to ask you to be good enough to lend me a sum of £1,400 (One thousand and four hundred pounds) free of interest for twelve years.
It is a staggering figure! More staggering indeed does it become, when it is realized that I, who am asking for this loan, have nothing in all in the world to give as a security for this money, excepting my good faith and my brains which again are of value only so long as I continue to breathe the breath of life!
Nevertheless, I here proceed to outline in brief why I want this big loan from you. And I hope you will be kind enough to sacrifice some time to go through what I have to say, even though, in the end you might find yourself unable to do me this grand favour.
One great ambition of mine since my boyhood days is to be a lawyer, a politician and a journalist, rolled into one. I cherish politics and journalism as a career, and I desire advocacy as a means of livelihood. For you will agree with me that a politician or journalist who has no money with which to support himself and family comfortably, is like a blade which has no razor.
Now, at one time, I was on the verge of making enough money with which I could proceed to England in order to pursue the object of my ambition; but I suffered a twist in my fortune, and I crashed. Ever since, I have tried without success to recover lost grounds, financially. But spiritually and intellectually, I have made appreciable advance in spite of towering difficulties, all of which have now been surmounted.
As you are aware, I have just passed the intermediate Bachelor of Commerce Examination. Next year, I am taking the final B.Com. Having a degree is not my goal; I hate to be a government or mercantile employee. Otherwise, there are opportunities for me here and there to get a suitable and well paid job under government or one of the mercantile houses. As you know, however, once I become an employee of government or a mercantile establishment that is the end to my career as a politician and journalist. I have therefore resolved that under no circumstances will I take up such employment.
That is just by the way. I am now thirty-four years of age. After careful thought, I have come to the conclusion that if I could raise a loan free of interest sufficient to cover expenses, I should go to England, this year and within three years, I should qualify as a Barrister –at–law, and also obtain with Honours the LL.B Degree of London University. In addition this degrees apart from giving me good backing as a solicitor and Advocate will help me immensely as a politician and journalist.
But where on earth could I get the money? Who in Nigeria today could give £1,400 free of interest to help his fellow-man? J. Henry Doherty, Esq., of illustrious memory who did the like to many successful Nigerians is no more. But after meticulous, shifting and weighing, I hit upon you.
I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that out of the bounty with which providence blesses your grit and efforts as a businessman, you can well easily afford to advance such a sum of money. I have no doubt too that as a young and progressive man you will be quite happy to give the money for the pursuit of the project for which I desire it.
But then, could you take this risk?
That is the question. As I have said before, I have no security for this loan. Moreover, I want it free of interest. So that you stand to gain absolutely NOTHING in the whole transaction, except the satisfaction that by helping me to achieve my ambition you are indirectly or even directly helping Nigeria or even Africa.
This risk becomes greater when it is borne in mind that I might die in the course of my studies or immediately after, so that, since I have no security or surety, you stand the chance of losing not only the money but also the satisfaction which you may cherish that you are contributing to the uplift of Africa. It is indeed a great risk; the greatest any man ever embarks upon.
But, this is a big BUT, if I live, as I have no doubt I will do, you will not only get your money back in full, but you will, to the end of your days, have cause to rejoice that you have done one of the most outstanding and most philanthropic acts any human being ever does. Among other things, I shall make excellent use of the money while in England by breaking records in my examination. On my return to Nigeria, I shall strive to be one of the foremost advocates, politicians and writers in West Africa, and while I do all these, I shall make it a point not only to pay your money back in full, but also to repay your kindness and generosity towards me in every way I can.
All the same, it is a big risk! So, Sir, I like you to think seriously about it, and see if you can take it in the interest of a young man who has brain, industry and determination to back his ambition, but lacks the money. I know we have never been close friends, but I have a shrewd idea that you may take the risk and help me.
On this assumption, therefore, I proceed to the next and last stage of this letter.
I shall not require the whole £1,400 in a lump sum. To start with, you will help me pay a sum of £208-13s-3d to the Inner Temple. I have already received an application form from this Inn of Court; and from the details forwarded, I gather that the sum of £208-13s-3d will cover all the cost of training as a barrister, examination fees excluded.
When I am ready to sail, you will advance me a sum of £100 to cover passage, provision for my family and any other incidental expenses (NOTE: If I got torpedoed on the way, you would certainly lose this £100 but you will recover the £208-13s-3d).
At the same time you will remit to a London Bank the sum of £491-6s-9d. It is out of this amount that I shall pay the university fees for LL.B course and for special courses in political science and journalism, when I land in England. This is to say, the initial advance will total £800.
At the end of the first year, provided I make satisfactory progress in my studies, you will give instruction to the bank to honour all cheques from me drawn on this account. There will be an arrangement to be signed by me on my return.
On my return, I shall require TWO years within which to establish a solid practice and build a good reputation. After these two years, I should commence to pay at least £200 per annum either in monthly, quarterly or annual payments. So that in seven years after the first two years, I should pay back the whole sum of £1,400. That will be TWELVE YEARS from the time you help me to pay this in April or so this year, then I should be due to pay the whole of £1,400 by April 1955.
Now, as you yourself will see, this is the farthest limit within which I can pay the money. It may be possible for me to pay the money within THREE to FIVE years of my return. As a matter of fact, the sooner I pay it off, the better. But it is much better to be on the safe side in a matter like this. It is no making promises now which will be difficult to fulfill in future. On the contrary it is better to mention a period of twelve years and pay within SIX or EIGHT years than to mention FIVE YEARS and fail to pay within TEN years. Personally, I prefer that I should fail to get the loan under theses unattractive but sure conditions, rather than succeed in getting it under attractive but precarious conditions.
Now, this is all I have to say. You have my request before you, and the reason why I make the request. It is left for you to decide whether it is worthwhile to take the risk of helping me in the manner outlined above or not.
If you do me the great favour, not only myself and all that are mine, but also God and Africa will be grateful, I shall have no cause whatsoever to grumble or to blame you, FOR THE RISK IS GREAT.
Since this is a very selfish request, I enclosed herewith a self addressed stamped envelope to be sent under a registered post.
There are certain lessons in life that has to be learned the hard way. Eventually, one realizes the painful experiences turns into wisdom. They are needed in order to show ones true strength. One may stumble and even fall but should not let anything stop ones goal.
With strong determination, zeal to persist not withstanding frustration and disappointment, the passion in him to succeed at all cost and the courage to face the future and confidence in God must have made a positive attitude. He must have received grace to identify his mission, purpose and objectives in the midst of challenges and situations he faced. Romans 12:6-18 must have guided him especially verse 11- 12 ” Not slothful in business, fervent spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.”
Chief Odutola refused him of the Loan; Awo could not travel that year. He buckle up his lace and by August 14, 1944 (one year later) he travelled to England, became a Barrister at law and was called to the Bar in November 1946. Amazingly, by 1954 (A year to the time he promised to pay Chief Odutola the Loan), Chief Awolowo was already a Premier in the Defunct Western Region and already giving out Scholarship to over 200 undergraduates (First of its kind in Africa).
SOME BASIC THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GODS PURPOSE
- God Himself is a God of purpose.
- He created man for purpose.
- We are all born for purpose notwithstanding the circumstances of our birth.
- He chose us for different purposes.
- Working in Gods purpose brings a level of confidence that makes one to be at peace irrespective of situation encountering.
- Everything that God made was for a purpose, devil as examiner, Pharaoh for the purpose of drowning him (Rom 9:17)
- Some people never discover God’s purpose for their lives (Hosea 4:6)
- There is nobody that God cannot use to achieve His purpose.
- God’s purpose for someone can be discovered through enquiring in prayer from the lord, through revelation of the Holy Spirit, through divine revelation from His Angels, through personal revelation and inward witness, through revelation in dreams from God and through observation either personally or by others of trends, patterns, passions or interests.
- God can use anybody to help ones purpose e.g. He used an enemy (Slave maid), friend (the King), a man of God (Elisha) and servants for Naaman. So also in the case of Moses, He used Moses mother, his sisters, Pharaoh’s daughter etc while in the case of David He used his friend Jonathan while for Joseph whose destiny was to preserve the whole world was helped by his brothers (as enemies) and servants of Pharaoh who God uses to lift up Joseph out of prison.
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