I am aware that the subject of purposeful living is a tired causeway for motivational speakers. Notwithstanding, the difference between bubblegum-motivational-talk and the word of God is that skin-deep motivational talk can get you excited and the next morning when you check as to why you are excited you will struggle to pin your excitement on any solid base. However with the word of God, you will get uplifted, challenged and inspired and your “why” base will remain sustainably intact.
Potential Versus Purpose
Let me open with this quote:
As the will of man cooperates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings. (Our Father Cares page 308)
One of the draw cards of motivational talk is the, “achieve your potential” mantra. However, the life of Christ teaches a radical concept about life. Jesus did not achieve His potential, however He achieved His purpose within the 33 and a half years He spent on planet earth.
Jesus did not achieve His potential but He achieved His purpose.
Jesus could have potentially been a great ruler of Jews if He wanted to pursue that but He did not exhaust his potential in that line because He did not pursue that. He could have pursued His full potential as a healer and set up a ministry to do much healing work for at least 40 to 50 years or so but He did not pursue that and therefore He did not achieve His potential in that. Generally Jesus did not achieve His true potential because He had not come to achieve any potential but rather to accomplish a specific purpose.
Here is the point of departure, when the human will is aligned to the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. “Omni” means “all”, “potent” means “power” or “powerful”. In other words, when the will of a human being is aligned to the will of God there is no limit to what the human being can achieve. If you understand the import of the foregoing then you would understand that even two thousand years would not suffice for one to achieve their true potential because once the human will is aligned to the will of God the possibilities can not even be quantified.
Anchor Verse: John 17:4 “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.”
This Jesus said just before he was crucified. He could look back into His life and work and confidently say, “I have finished the work which you gave me to do”.
Also, at the apex of his earthly ministry while hanging on the cross and shouldering the frightful mass and weight of the iniquities of the human race, He declared that He had finished the work God had given Him to do.
At 33 years Jesus could look at His life and work and declare that He was done with His purpose on earth. This fact alone is profoundly instructive on purposeful living.
Do you know how this was possible for Christ? It was possible because at the age of 12 Jesus already knew His purpose.
Luke chapter 2 verse 48-49
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Most people will be quick to dismiss the sterling success and accomplishments of Christ in the short time He was down here as mere outworking of His limitless divinity. Christ however demystified this notion when addressing his disciples:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
So friend, there is actually no excuse for mediocrity in any front. Jesus promised that we can do it so long as we plug to the same power He was plugged to. As we are soon to discover, poverty, a poor background, inhibiting socio-political factors, rejection etc did not stop Jesus and thus they can not and should not stop me and you.
Let’s look at the odds that were staked against Jesus when He achieved His mission:
Jesus came from a poor family.
Luke 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
Remember that according to Leviticus 12:8, for the ritual Mary and Joseph were performing upon the birth of a male first born child the ideal sacrifice model was a lamb for the burnt offering and either a dove or pigeon for the sin offering. The sacrifice model brought according to Luke 2:24 was an insignia of poverty.
Chances are high me and you have more resources and opportunities that Jesus had in any grind and drive of life.
2. Jesus hailed from the ghetto
In John 1: 43-46, Philip is interacting with Nathaniel and draws the attention of Nathaniel to the Messiah from Nazareth whom Moses in the law and the scribes have written about, Nathaniel’s reaction is, “What good can come of Nazareth”. To give context to Nathaniel’s reaction, studies indicate that Nazareth was a community notorious for poverty, crime and violence, a slum or Ghetto if you like, and this was Jesus’ hood.
So Jesus did not hail from some opulent or leafy suburb and this proves the fact that your address of birth is not necessarily your destiny and neither can it hinder your dreams and drive if you are determined to achieve your purpose.
3. Jesus came under Roman Imperialism
Jesus was born in the era when Jews were under Roman rule. Do you know what that means, it means “apartheid”, or imperialism (colonialism) if you like it, did not stop him. We can not be previously disadvantaged, currently disadvantaged and forever disadvantaged. Somewhere we must have what it takes to break the vicious cycle.
4. Jesus had no family support
Oh by the way, Jesus did not have family support in his mission. John 7:4 declares that he was rejected neither did His brethren believe him. Jesus’ family thought their very own was a huge embarrassment and disgrace to the family.
Going with this: Jesus was embarrassingly rejected home and away. John 6:42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
The religious leaders dismissed Him as the son of Joseph. By asserting his sonship to Joseph they were casting aspersions on His divine birth.
In the book of Luke, other than Simeon and prophetess Anna (Luke Chapter 1) who acknowledged the messiahship of the baby Jesus in the temple, the first entities to acknowledge Jesus’ holiness were demons (Luke 4:34). The take home: none of the excruciating rejection from the very race He had come to save discouraged Jesus. He trudged on and accomplished His purposes regardless.
Jesus did not enjoy church support. As a matter of fact, He ultimately left the church and started a new church in the upper room. The church He had referred to as as “my house” (Mathew 21:13) He later distanced himself from it. “Look, your house is left unto you desolate.” Mathew 23:38
5. Jesus had no funding
One scribe admired what Christ was doing and verbalized that he would like to follow Christ.
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:20)
Do know what that means? It means Jesus had no funding for His start up. However that did not stop Him. How many a young person out there are languishing in lack of purpose and decisiveness in their enterprises and the default let off is, “Only if I could get funding. You can’t seek to use some one else’s yield (harvest) as seed for your untried and tested dreams. Funding is for scaling. It can not be scaled before it is. You scale what is already established. Even the notion of “seed” funding has its place. Back to the spiritual import: Little is much when God is in it. “Oh But I’ve got nothing…”, you say. God loves working with nothing. In fact He has a track record of achieving wonders with “Nothing”. At one time He stepped onto nothing and spoke to nothing and through that our world came to be. Oh and God does know how to put “nothing” to good use. Ask Elder Job. When God had finished creating planet earth do you know upon what He hung it? “Nothing”. Job 26:7 [He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.] If you’ve got nothing, that’s great, God says, bring it, and you will see what we can do with it.
How Jesus scaled from a one-man-band, to a start-up, right up to a global blue chip without funding, presents profound universal and timeless life principles to be studied through endless ages.
Jesus won against all odds
What can you achieve with 30 years of preparation/planning and 3 and half years of execution!
Jesus’ sterling accomplishments are beyond enumeration. However the 5 below are enough home work for us when we appreciate them in cognizance of the fact that He achieved these, against all odds.
Jesus turned the world upside down. In a world with over 7 billion people more than 2 billion of these are Christians. You have over 2 billion people called by the name of a man who lived down here only for 33 and a half years and had no biological offspring to see to His legacy and posterity. When Jesus said that many would come in His name and cast demons and ultimately He would reject them and tell them He never knew them (Mathew 24;5), He was not a celebrity. He was not an Instagram influencer. He had no followers on Facebook neither did He have a Twitter handle. He came and changed the world in an era when there were no cars and means of mass communication. He worked from the ground up and achieved His goals against all odds.
Jesus trained 11 disciples successfully. Notwithstanding that the team He worked with did not get the object of his mission until He died, resurrected and left for heaven, Jesus had the wisdom and the grace to identify men that had the potential to grow and transform and be similarly on fire for the gospel as their master was. Jesus had a strategy for His 3 and a half years of public ministry and what would happen when He was no longer down here and that worked to the dot.
Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, preached, taught and reached out to outcasts and the downcast. While He had a very short span of time for His ministry, He was never too busy to meet human needs.
He conquered sin. Hebrews 4:15: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Never was He at any point tempted to be impatient or to cut corners on the basis of the weight of his mission and its urgency. He had normal “down time” as me and you in that He also got tired and retired to sleep when He needed to.
Lastly: He died for us. Jesus accomplished the complex mission of avoiding murder while committing to die for us without being suicidal about it. This is a hard saying. If you were to ask Jesus what He wanted to be when He grew up His dream was neither to be a pilot nor an engineer, or whatever the lucrative mainstream career paths were for that time. His dream was to die. He ultimately accomplished that. On the very cross before He gave up His spirit He declared, “It is Finished”. That meant quite a mouthful and part of what it meant was that His earthly mission had been accomplished.
When He said “It is finished the essence of Isiah Chapter 53 had been accomplished.
Isiah Chapter 53
1.Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
When I grow up
When I grow up, I want to own a big car, when I grow up I want to own that big house and live with my big happy family. When I group I want to obtain a prestigious qualification and excel in fronts academic and professional.
But to grow up I need to grow down and become as humble as a child. To grow up I need to aim higher than that. To grow up I need to aim higher than high. To grow up I need to aim higher than the clouds. To grow up I need to aim higher than the crowds.
When I grow up I want to deal with bigger things. Forget politics, terrorism and global warming. When I grow up I want to deal with bigger things. I want to fight sin, I want to conquer lust and pride and ultimately, through Christ I want to conquer death. Ultimately, I would like to have an interview with death and pose a question, death where is your sting. When I grow up I want to deal with real issues.
But to grow up I need to aim higher than high. To grow up I need grow down and be as humble as a child.
When I grow up I want to go places. I mean real places. Forget table mountain, Dubai and the Grand Canyon. When I grow up I want to go up, fly across the sun, scale neptune and explore orion. When I grow up I want to go planets. When I grow up I want to follow the Lamb wheresoever He goes.
But to grow up I must realize that I am destined for greatness. To grow up I need to aim higher than high. To grow up I need to bury all excuses. To grow up I need to realize that my time is now. To grow up I must realize that “Yes I can”.
What do you want to be when you, Finally; grow up?
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