We all want to make 2016 count. We all want to be world changers. And we all want to live a life of purpose. As we wrap up another year of life, how do we focus on all of the above so that we can live a more focused and meaningful life this next year than we did in the past? Here are five ways to stay focused on your purpose.
1. Always look back and smile. What can you glean from 2015? It’s a powerful thing to look back and intensionally celebrate what God has done in your life, the lessons He taught you, the things He set you free from and the truth He deposited deep in your heart. Remember the story that God wrote through you this past year because it will lead you to the next chapter in life.
2. Write it down. It’s amazing how quickly we forget. In 2016, I plan to journal throughout the year all of the things that God speaks to me, the promises He gives me, my hopes & dreams along with my disappointments and doubts. I want to leave a paper trail that leads to the power of God. I don’t want to get so busy doing things for the LORD that I miss what the LORD is doing for me.
3. Define clearly what God has placed in you. Whether you realize it or not, your passions point you to your purpose. They are God given and are there for a reason. It’s what you’re made to do or do something about. List out your passions: What do you love and love to do? What sparks a fire in you? What makes you angry? If you could do anything, what would it be? What do you absolutely have to talk about? Establish your Core Beliefs: (hint, this is done in prayer with the Holy Spirit) Core Beliefs are your governing life principles. They both define who you are and set the guardrails to how you live out your identity. Ask the Lord to show you the unique things He’s placed in you, the things He has said are true about you. Examine your greatest struggles and victories and how those things shaped you into the person you are today. Here are mine, hopefully this will help you get your juices flowing: 1. I can’t afford to take my eyes off God. If I stay focused on His truth in every situation, I will honor God and be a representation of Him. I have the ability to bring His presence into any situation. 2. People are God’s greatest creation. I will honor that and do my part to guard their hearts and handle them with grace. 3. There is greatness God has placed in everyone. I will do my best to bring that out of the ones God places before me. These are written in the front of my Bible and referred to OFTEN. It’s how I process, filter and make decisions in life.Gather your Favorite Scriptures: God draws YOUR heart to HIS words for a specific reason. He places it in you so that He can tell His story through you. Make a list of your favorite scriptures and ask the Lord to show you the common denominator.
4. Allow the Lord to order your steps. Oh, how we get ahead of God! We rush into His promises and freedoms like we know the way and don’t need any further instruction. Before you waste too much time in 2016 telling God what you want and how you want it, can I encourage you to spend more time asking Him for direction, clarity, next steps and truly enjoy Him in the day to day moments? Life is too precious of a gift to give it our best guess or make decisions on what feels right. We must spend time getting our instructions from the Lord and not our gut. “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (Psalm 37:23)
5. Don’t live in a way where the world sees you, live in a way where they see Him. In 2016: In every situation, thought or action, ask yourself: How can I make Jesus known in this? Let’s commit to only chase after the assignments the Lord gives us, not anything else. Let’s spend time with Him so that we develop the “Jesus desires” inside of us rather than our own desires. Let’s feed the relationships that God ordains and be very purposeful about where we invest our time, interests and heart. Let’s spend this year putting God on the throne of our hearts so that the things that flow from it are ruled by Him.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)