by Carl H. Stevens
Every single person in the universe today is alive for a purpose. Getting up every morning with a purpose – with God, in God, and for God – is the key to my personal walk with God.
Many people, on certain days and at certain hours, live without a purpose. Getting up and fulfilling a duty is not a purpose. Being motivated by God’s love to glorify Him is the purpose for any job or task.
My hope is that after you have finished reading this booklet, you will understand that whatsoever we do, we are to do it with all our might to glorify God (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Whatever you do, do it from the heart unto God, with all your might, and with thanksgiving, because you are alive today with a purpose. That purpose is from God, in God, and for God (Colossians 3:17, 23).
His Purpose for His Pleasure
Studying, pastoring, singing in the choir, everything must be done with a purpose. Many of us have schedules that could become overwhelming if we were to stop and think about it. But when we are in the perfect will of God, we don’t need to be weary, because we live in our heavenly purpose. No one else can give us a purpose or even complement our purpose. Our purpose is in the Word of God and through the Holy Spirit. Still, only a small percentage of Christians really grasp this.
If I am a businessman, glorifying God on the job, taking care of my family, and being faithful to my pastor and the local church, then at the Bema Seat evaluation, I will receive all the rewards the others receive – just as if I had gone out as a missionary to Africa. Someone has to stay and keep the local church strong, and that is what many people forget. That is why I believe in working for Christian companies, or starting one, because they have a great purpose in God’s kingdom. Ephesians 3:11 says our purpose is according to His eternal purpose.
I did not get up this morning just to fulfill an obligation. I didn’t get up to do my job for people. The moment the Holy Spirit brought this message, I was tremendously motivated to have a great day. So many people go from one job to another with no purpose beyond themselves. Even if this were my last day, I am fulfilling His purpose with every breath. Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not partake of the king’s meat or wine (Daniel 1:8).
God will fulfill His purpose, according to Jeremiah 51:29. Ephesians 1:9 says that God’s purpose is for His good pleasure. God could have raised up people to support Paul so he wouldn’t have had to work making tents. God also could have delivered Paul from prison just before Paul was martyred, but He did not because of His purpose.
Setting Your Heart and Mind Above
No one can have a purpose in reality unless his heart is fixed with confidence toward God. The psalmist cried, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed….” (Psalm 57:7).
Now, if you understand the importance of God’s purpose and the great principles involved, then you know what it means to have your mind fixed on things above (Colossians 3:1-2). Though we need to be occupied with the job, our life is not derived from a job. Instead, it comes from the things above that dwell in me.
If we set our minds on things above, then no one can offend us. No one can make us insecure. We don’t need to react. Our flesh doesn’t have to be supported. People without Christ may need to do these things, but we do not because we are in God’s purpose, operating by God’s purpose, and working for God’s purpose.
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
When the heart is fixed and the mind is set, then our conversation will complement the thoughts derived from God and His Word. Our communication is motivated by the imputed righteousness of God with the word of faith ruling what we say in difficult situations (see Romans 10:6-8).
People who get sidetracked from their purpose in God will become troubled in their own purpose. Eventually a dear friend or family member will irritate and trouble them also, adding trouble upon trouble.
Clothed With the New Man
In John 21, Peter was backslidden. He went back on the boat and was fishing with six others. Peter was naked. He girded himself with a fisherman’s coat when he found out that Jesus was on the shore. What was he doing on that boat naked in the first place?
In Genesis 2:25, Adam and Eve were naked, but they didn’t know it; they had no old sin nature, so they were totally God-conscious. After their fall in Genesis 3:7, they knew they were naked. To cover themselves, they sewed fig leaves together.
In Isaiah 30:1, God says the children of Israel covered themselves “with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.” People take on a false covering to hide spiritual nakedness. Another sin covers the last sin, and that usually involves lying. Then, like Israel, they go to the world system for help.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai in Exodus 32:19, he saw that the children of Israel were dancing naked. In Isaiah 58:7, God says, “when thou seest the naked…cover him.”
If we do not have God’s purpose with our hearts fixed on God, if we have not settled the issue of serving Him with our minds set on things above, then spiritually speaking, we are naked. If we do not have healthy emotions that respond to the truth in faith obedience, if our conversation is not filled with words of faith from heaven, then before the Holy Spirit, we are spiritually naked. Spiritual nakedness is far more serious than physical nakedness because it reveals that you are not experiencing the purpose for which you were created.
Living in the Wrong Purpose
The world of satanic influence with its super-natural penetration can so easily control people’s desires and lust pattern. When allowed, those desires become so powerful that people will make agreements to accept certain lifestyles that will put them in bondage. Every day that they live this way, they are naked. Because they do not have an eternal purpose, their covenant with hell and their agreement with the world system goes on. Sooner or later, they will find that their bed is too short and their covering too narrow (Isaiah 28:20).
Satan wants people to make decisions he can use to accuse them in their nakedness.
Isaiah 28:18 speaks of a covenant that is disannulled, or cancelled. The original Hebrew text says that God’s people actually made an agreement with hell, which God said would be cancelled at the Cross.
So often we wake up and do not deliberately put on the new man for that day. We are troubled about the family, troubled about work, troubled about our health, and we do not put on the new man. Instead, we wake up and sincerely try to figure out the old man, but don’t recognize him as the old man. We think he is the new man; however, the new man is not troubled. He is renewed in his mind (Ephesians 4:23) and renewed in the spirit (Romans 6:4-5); he is not led by the old man (Romans 6:6).
Christ at Work in Us
The new man always lives in quietness and he always experiences peace. Why? Because he is living in Christ and Christ is lives in the new man, filling his humanity to reveal His purpose, provision, power, person, and peace.
David said, “I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress” (Psalm 17:3). Solomon, in 1 Kings 5:5, purposed in his heart to build God a house. In Nehemiah 8:4, a pulpit of wood was built for a purpose. The pulpit has only one purpose: to be used to preach the Word of God. It has no other purpose.
The Word of God says clearly that Paul sent messengers to Ephesus and Colosse on purpose, to know their estate and to comfort their hearts (Ephesians 6:22; Colossians 4:8).
This means we are to go to work in the morning on purpose to do what we are going to do with all of our might, loving what we do and fulfilling God’s purpose, whatever it is. Whatsoever we do, we do it with all of our might (Ecclesiastes 9:10). “Whatsoever” takes everything into account.
Paul said, “Timothy, you have fully known my purpose to communicate truth and to impart life.” (see 2 Timothy 3:10). In Acts 11:23, Paul said that our purpose is to cleave to the Lord. The purpose of God shall stand (Romans 9:11). Jeremiah 51:29 says the purpose of God shall be fulfilled and performed.
Abiding in the Call as a Member in Particular
“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?” (Isaiah 14:27).
“I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it” (Jeremiah 4:28 b).
Nearly fifty years ago, I purposed to follow Christ and preach His Word, no matter what. Many others have purposed the same thing and they are co-laboring in Christ. Many have purposed in their hearts to follow Christ and there is not a single thing that can take away their purpose.
They study the Bible like they have never studied before. They meditate on the Scriptures. They learn the whole Bible. They claim the promises and then go out and let the Word flow out of them with an anointing. They go out soul-winning every opportunity they get. Their walk with God is through preparation from a divine provision.
Hebrews 3:1 calls it a heavenly call. Second Timothy 1:9 calls it a holy calling. Philippians 3:14 says there is a prize for answering the high calling. Abide in your call.
Your call includes attending a Finished Work, grace-oriented church where you can best get prepared for meeting God at the Bema Seat. Your call is not just in sitting under the preaching, but also in operating in obedience to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
A Need is Not the Call
A man who was touched by God in our church, but then he left for another place where he served God and drew closer to Him. He was gone for about two years.
Finally, he said to me, “I think I am being led to come down to Bible college.”
“Wow!” I said. “Come on down.”
In other words, if this man had not been encouraged in the call for his purpose, which was to go to Bible college, he might not have come. People have to be very careful not to discourage someone’s call to follow God.
On the other hand, a need does not constitute the call. There has to be a call from God. Witnessing is a call wherever you can witness. A need in a place is not a call.
Jonathan was called to be David’s friend. That was his call, and he initiated friendship to David. His call was to just be David’s friend.
Listen prayerfully to people when they speak and represent certain fields and ministries. Listen, please, because they are precious and they have to share their needs. Is that clear? Listen to them and always pray. But, remember, all of them have needs. Their needs do not promote your call. Otherwise, you would be obligated to go everywhere.
The only One who determines your call – whatever you may be doing – is Jesus Christ. Why? He is the Author and Finisher of your faith. Knowing the end from the beginning; He has a place just for you (Ephesians 2:10,11).
Teaching Your Children to Hear God’s Voice
We need to understand the difference between a vocation and an occupation. The word “vocation” has the root vocare which means to call with a voice. Therefore, a vocation is that to which we are called by the voice of God. Being conformed to Christ’s image is a vocation, whereas working to make money to supply temporal needs and wants is an occupation. Most parents only train their children for an occupation, considering that the vocation will just happen and they will go to some church. Those parents will regret that at the Bema Seat.
Be sure you train your children to hear God’s call on their lives. I don’t mean that you harp on them and try to legislate to them. But make sure they are trained in the Word, in the love, in the power, and in the convictions of God so that when He speaks, they can hear His Word and receive His call. By the way, children are called. Their calling is also heavenly, holy, and high.
Never train your children that social drinking is acceptable. If you let them think it is okay, it will have a negative affect on them. Guaranteed, some of them will become secret alcoholics because they were trained against what the Bible teaches.*
I know this is true, and nobody will ever change my stand on what I have taught from the Bible for over forty years. Nobody! I will preach what the Bible says, and teach what I believe without compromise. Even when someone becomes angry because he is convicted by the truth, eventually he will have to deal with the Bible, get right, and repent.
Hearing Specifically from God
It is so important to draw near to Christ with a true heart and full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22). Wouldn’t you rather meet God, face to face, at the Bema Seat, having fulfilled His specific call and purpose for your life?
In fact, there is no such thing as a general call. We have a specific call “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29), through the preaching of the Word (Romans 10:17).
It is possible to have an occupation that is also your vocation. Any company or ministry that glorifies God will abide in God’s call. We are going to be evaluated at the Bema Seat based on how much of our lives were involved in the eternal purpose of God and its high, heavenly, and holy calling, and how much was just existing without a purpose, going along in a general call, fulfilling duties and obligations in a human life.
*For more on this subject, read Social Drinking: Opinion or Conviction? by Carl H. Stevens
The reason I haven’t quit through all these years is because I am called by God to live in His purpose. There are many others with me who can say the very same thing.
Remember, it isn’t what you do that matters. It is how you bless and obey God in your call. Then, you get the preacher’s reward, the missionary’s reward, and your own reward for serving and obeying God and His Word. Not a bad deal, is it?
Be confident as a member in particular in God’s call for your life. May God bless you as you hunger and thirst after His purpose.