Twenty years ago I received a profound message from a wise, elderly German woman who was gifted in Spiritual mentoring. Like so many, I was searching for my purpose in life. Being in a state of ignorance, I was primarily focused on an unintentional self-centered approach towards life. When I asked her, “what is my purpose?” she looked at me thoughtfully and said, “Dear child, it’s to serve and love God – it’s the same for everyone.” I thought, “Huh? That’s it. That’s too simple.” But actually it was too vague for me to comprehend the grandeur and practical meaning of what she intended to reveal without an understanding of my immature faith and lack of knowledge of God’s Word. The revelation of the Truth in her statement was revealed over the course of twenty years and what she actually meant when sharing her profound message.
Along the journey, by faith, I responded to a call to visit Rwanda and God used this experience to break my hardened heart and opening my blind eyes to the true needs of the world and what is important through His eyes. Traveling three more times to Rwanda over a six year period enabled many blessings and confirmations of His purpose by loving and serving others half way around the world, selflessly, for His glory. The most recent trip to Rwanda lasted forty days and I refer to it as my time in the dessert because I was so unclear about my future and God showed up. In search of where I should serve, I lead a technology mission but God used this time to teach me how to be still and seek Him in a new way which created the desire to put Him first in my life. Being alone, in solitude, I found the peace of connecting with God by removing the constant distractions and people closest to me so He could gain my undivided attention. Through my morning routine of prayer, devotions and Bible study, I could feel His Grace and love for me. He also helped me recognize the unfruitful branches (John 15) that keep me separated from Him. I had to get real with myself, my misgivings and seek forgiveness. Through the Word each morning, I gained His strength and acknowledged that He had not been my first priority and that He must be going forward to live a fulfilling life serving Him.
The irony of putting God first, relationships with family and friends became richer, more authentic and I understand how to serve and love them better – through Him. This is what the wise German counselor was trying to share with me so long ago in her vague approach and I was too prideful in my own inadequacy to simply ask her to elaborate.
During a Bible study, a third link was revealed defining further our purpose as a beautiful Trilogy. A Pastor said “Our purpose is to KNOW God.” I pondered…To KNOW God…and it hit me, I spent most of my life searching for the missing pieces of God because He was a mere acquaintance – I didn’t really know Him. By committing to developing a friendship with Jesus and spending time with Him each day in Rwanda, I learned more about Him and I will come to know Him fully. In the meantime, I love and serve Him by loving and serving others as I continue growing in my faith and deepening my knowledge of His Word which brings life to dead and dormant hearts.
Did I make the change and put God first? You bet! Is it easy? I don’t think anything worth gaining is ever easy and it’s a process with daily commitments.
- Know God through Lord Jesus, the Word of God – Commit to Christ. Make the decision to put God first in life, before all things, work, and others. Get real about where your priorities are and adjust them. Commit to learning the Word of God. Create time in your day for prayer, devotionals and Bible reading.
- Love God the Father – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:34-35. Decide to live the teachings of Christ and be His hands and feet to everyone and everything in which you encounter at home and work. Be His example and soon others will want to know why you have so much peace.
- Serve God through the Holy Spirit Counselor – for me, giving up on trying to figure out what to DO and where to DO it was the most difficult. Once I fully surrendered to God’s will for my steps, I wrote and do my best to live by this.
“My field…where I’m called to serve, is below my feet and I walk in His Grace serving this little space answering His call hour by hour, person by person, task by task in Divine service. Tomorrow might bring a new calling but tomorrow may never come so I prepare thoughtfully for tomorrow while fulfilling each opportunity of the day to bring Him glory.
Through this process we realize that there are no boundaries between God and our lives, our work and our play. We can live fully integrated as Christ-like examples in our daily walk. So many times we hear, “God is no longer in our schools and not allowed in our workplace.” However; each and every day, our children have an opportunity to walk into their school as the hands and feet of Christ or something else. Each and every day, we as workers, have the opportunity to walk through our workplace as the hands and feet of Jesus or something else. If we’re not careful, we will allow the disgruntled voices of Religious legalism gain the focus and extinguish the Light of another child witnessing the Christ-like child or a business leader who leads by Christ’s example. How can God possibly be missing when our Holy Spirit filled bodies are dwelling within these buildings interacting with other people? God will only be missing when we choose not to be His disciples. May we remind ourselves that we are the living Sons and Daughters of Jesus and said…“by this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:35
It’s the perfect time to commit or recommit to knowing God, put Him first in your life living our collective purpose…To know, love and serve God.