In the last few weeks, we have been studying purpose- particularly as it relates to Esther. So far we have discussed what she teaches us about purpose in terms of:
- What it is
- How to discover it
- Why this will benefit you (spiritually, mentally and so on).
If you missed this, you can check out the devotionals below. Lessons from Esther on:
- The common misconceptions about purpose and how to avoid them
- The positive correlation between existential questioning and purpose
- How purpose helps us achieve our goals
Today we are going to talk about how we can move from knowing about purpose in theory to actually being able to walk in it in our everyday lives.
So last month, when I first started talking about purpose, I sent the following email to my email list (Not apart of The Far Above Rubies Collective yet? It's not too late! Hop on here):
And, it turns out, so did Esther! As such, here's what she teaches us about how to move from stuck to successful (in 3 simple steps!):
The precursor to Esther finding her purpose was the fact that a man called Haman had advised her husband (the king) to have all the Jews in the realm killed, as part of an evil plot. “Why?!” you ask? Because he had developed a vendetta against (her uncle) Mordecai, who had offended him by refusing to “bow and pay homage” to him after his promotion, as others did (Esther 3).
Mordecai realised that, as queen, Esther was probably he and their people’s only hope for survival. He just needed her to see it! He therefore demonstrated his strategic skills by:
"[telling Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs] all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the King's treasuries to destroy the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the written decree of their destruction...that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people" (Esther 4:7-8)
Through this we see that you will not become the "new you" that you envision in the new year just because you wish it. Your purpose requires you to develop an action plan so that you can plan your work and work your plan! These will form your goals or milestones as you progress into purpose.
#2 count the cost
In Luke 14:28-32, Jesus asked:
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace"
All of this was said as an admonishment on the importance of counting the cost of going after something (whether it be discipleship (like He was talking about) or your purpose, as we have been discussing). This is why strategising and developing a plan of action is so important. Without it, you can't see the bigger picture in order to "count the cost" and see what the journey to purpose will really require of you.
For example, in Esther's case, as soon as she heard Mordeai's strategy for achieving her purpose she recognised that it could cost her, her life (as shown in Esther 4:11). Depending on what your purpose (and subsequent goals) are, the cost may not be as high as the potential of death. However, there will be one- whether it be less sleep, a stricter diet, financial investment or more time away from your loved ones than usual, for example. Like Jesus illustrated and Esther demonstrated, you need to make it a point to become as aware of these things as possible before you commit to carrying it out. For, as Luke 9:62 says, "no one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit" to attain the promises of God regarding purpose or, indeed, "the kingdom of God.”
#3 have a spiritual plan of action (too)
One of my favourite sayings is "God adds His super to our natural and His extra to our ordinary". That is to say that, with God’s backing, the little contained in our natural abilities and tools of choice becomes much. However, this can also work in reverse- which is why John 15:5 says "without [God], you can do nothing".
We get God's backing by doing what Philippians 4:6-7 says:
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus".
That is exactly what Esther did in Esther 4:16-17 in calling for 3-days of prayer and fasting before she even so much as approached the king. As such. Esther demonstrates:
- The importance of having a spiritual as well as natural action plan
- Working both these plans (as faith without works or actions is dead!)
so, WHAT ABOUT YOU, LOVELY?
Would you like to go from stuck to successful in 2018?
Well, through my upcoming mentoring programme, I can help you:
- Develop an action plan for your goals
- Better your relationship with God
so that you can achieve this!