Fulfilling Your Purpose the Wrong Way
Oh, yes! There is a wrong way to fulfill our purpose. I’ve been there. Maybe you have. As we look in the Bible, we see some of our fellow brothers and sisters have too.
Two Biblical examples of fulfilling our purpose the wrong way immediately pop to mind. Praise God for showing us we are not the only ones that struggle with this. This is part of the dangling fruit that Satan holds in front of us. He tries to make us think our purpose is something other than it is, or that we know the best way to fulfill it. Sadly, sometimes we fall for Satan’s delusions. But praise be to God and his amazing forgiveness, which is weaved throughout our journey.
Before we dig into the Bible stories, let’s dig into our stories.
I want you to take a few moments and think about what most concerns you about your purpose.
- What about your purpose concerns you?
- Why does it concern you?
- Dig a little deeper…answer the above why question, with another “Why?”
- Have you arrived at the root of the issue or do you still need to ask yourself “Why” a few more times?
Maybe, as you answered the first question, the answer dealt with not knowing your purpose, getting it wrong, missing the opportunity, not knowing if you are doing it right, etc. There could be lots of answers here but more often than not, if we drill down far enough we hit the true vein of what concerns us most. We are afraid. Afraid of (you fill in the blank). This fear is actually a lack of trust in God that can cause us to fulfill our purpose in the wrong way.
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
King Saul, handpicked by God himself to be the first King of Israel, was afraid of what would happen if Samuel didn’t arrive on time to make the sacrifice before they went into battle. So Saul took matters into his own hands and performed the sacrifice himself (1 Samuel 13). His purpose was to lead God’s people. Not only was he supposed to lead them into battle physically, but spiritually as well.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
– Ephesians 6:10-18
Saul had his physical armor on but he was not holding his shield of faith very well. Instead of being able to extinguish the flaming arrows of fear that the evil one was throwing, Saul allowed the arrows to ignite his fear. His fear then convinced him step out of his position/purpose and into Samuel’s position. In not trusting that God could take care of the battle, even if his men did run away, Saul committed a foolish thing.
“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”
– 1 Samuel 3:13-14
The fear of doing it wrong can paralyzes us, if we let it. It paralyzed Moses, after he started out fulfilling his purpose the wrong way.
One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”
The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.
– Exodus 2:11-15
Did you catch that? Moses looked around to make sure no one would see the sin he was about to commit. He was not being led by God in this moment but by his anger. We can only hypothesize here but could it have been possible that Moses knew he was put into the Pharaoh’s household to help the Jews? His mother may have guided him in this thought. And if he did know, maybe he started taking action into his own hands instead of waiting for God to tell him now is the time. We know for sure that Moses’ murderous anger does not fulfill God’s purpose and we know he knew that too by the fact that he glanced around to make sure no one was watching.
One of the lessons that we can take from this event is that when we are working outside of God’s law, we cannot fulfill God’s purpose the way He intended it to be fulfilled. God can redeem us from our mistakes, and give us other opportunities to fulfill our purpose of glorifying Him in every situation. We know this to be true because He did it for Moses.
We need to guard our hearts and test our thoughts and our actions to make sure they are in line with God’s ways instead of our own.
Like Moses, we may take a step back from our purpose, in fear that we are going to mess up or make things worse than we already have made them. Oh how Satan would love for us to do this. But what Satan means for bad, God can turn around and use.
Satan may have thought he had quieted Abraham’s desire to fulfill his purpose by keeping him out of Egypt for so long, but God used the time to train Abraham. His training led him to be more reliant on God and less reliant on himself.
Fear & Fulfilling
Fear, my dear sisters, will keep us from fulfilling God’s purpose the right way and there is nothing outside of God that we should fear. So next time fear starts to knock on your door, remember to not engage it. Run from the fear to God and trust that He knows more than we can imagine and His plan is a good one. Then, you will not have to worry about fulfilling your purpose the wrong way.
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
– Hebrews 10:39