It’s not surprising, given that there is no shortage of starters in this world, but finishers are hard to come by. After all, it’s exciting and fun to start a goal or a project. Many of us are eager to dive head first into our purpose and start swimming for the finish line.
Purpose, however, is not a destination. It’s a journey.
This is a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over again.
When I discovered that the 24 years I had spent in the fitness industry were coming to an end and God was calling me into ministry, I was overjoyed. I couldn’t wait to start walking in my God-given purpose. But as I journeyed, I started to get frustrated that I hadn’t reached my destination yet.
I questioned God repeatedly: “Did I hear you wrong, Father? Have I somehow misstepped?”
I hadn’t done either of those things. I simply found myself in the messy middle—the gap between where I was and where I want to be.
I knew there was only one thing left to do…keep walking.
But as I walked along on my journey to fulfill my calling, there were a few mistakes I made.
You can sail through the messy middle and make your revelation a reality if you adopt these 3 mental strategies:
Don’t expect it to happen right away (or without hindrance).
You may have received clarity on your purpose in life, but rarely does that purpose come to be right away. Rather there is typically a refining and testing process that happens before God releases you.
Even King David had to wait 15 years to take the throne after being anointed. It was a while between Paul’s Damascus Road experience and his first missionary journey. After 15 years of waiting for the promise, God visited Abraham again and assured him that the promise would be fulfilled. It still took another 10 years for him and Sarah to give birth to Isaac.
All of these men had great purpose in life and clearly heard from God, but their purpose didn’t manifest overnight and neither will yours.
Don’t get comfortable.
Doing God’s work is not for the faint of heart. It takes faith, perseverance, and oftentimes ridicule. If your goal for fulfilling your purpose is to build a comfortable life, you are likely going to miss your ultimate calling.
Yes, it is possible that God will give you many comforts in life, but if you value comfort over purpose, you will miss the mark.
Our journey toward purpose is frequently mapped out with periods of striving and rest. If you were always working, you’d burn out, but if you remain resting in a place that was only meant to be a pit stop, you will soon find yourself stuck again.
Instead, as you step out to fulfill God’s call on your life, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Despite the numerous times the Bible says, “Do not fear,” many Christians are afraid of the unknown. They’d sooner settle for the good this world has to offer than reach for the greatness that God has for them.
I’ve encountered many who refuse to move forward until God lays out a road map and assures them that they will prosper. And since God is unlikely to do that, many Christians remain stuck in the known and fear stepping out into the unknown.
God rarely gives us the entire picture upfront. Rather, He illuminates one step at a time (two, if you’ve proven you can be trusted) and He asks for us to rely on Him for each next step.
As you journey from revelation to reality, allow God’s Word to be a lamp unto your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105).
He can guide you through the messy middle.
Will you trust Him enough to put one foot in front of the other and say “God, with you by my side, I will walk out my purpose?”
If you are ready to answer the cry for purpose with the determination to discover, my book Make it Matter – A Roadmap to Living a Life of Purpose can help.
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