Last week I had a lot of questions. Who am I kidding, I always have lots of questions. That’s who I am. I often tell people I’m a WHY guy. I continue to ask WHY until I’m satisfied. Annoying for my wife…yes. Helpful most every other time…I think so. It seems everything I’ve been asking myself lately is forcing me to look deeper into the subject of identity.
I looked out over a room full of friends and acquaintances who had just lost their eighteen year-old loved one as I shared words of encouragement. Did this young person fully understand the gift they were? In such a short time could it be fully realized how incredibly special God made them?
I had coffee with a friend as we discussed raising our children. Are we doing the right things with our time to help develop them? What’s a good fit for schooling? What can we do to set them up for “success”?
Sunday morning on our bed, my wife and I led our kids through parts of the Bible. Are they understanding how God sees them? How is our decision to venture out and begin the church Mended going to affect them?
I spent time thinking of my own journey leading to where I’m at today. Why has it taken almost 40 years to be so certain about my gifts and what they are to be used for?
As I have come to a more complete understanding of my own purpose, it has become a passion of mine to help others find theirs, and to make sure that questions don’t rule a person’s life, but answers do. God never put a WHO or WHY over your head, only a PLAN and a PURPOSE. That’s actually the first truth we need to realize.
Last week I spoke of truths and lies and the importance of categorizing our thoughts. We cling to the truth and we discard the lies. If we don’t discard the lies it can have damaging results over a life time. This erosion is often times so subtle that we can wake up one day and not even recognize who we are. I know that each person has a unique passion and dream that was placed inside of them, and I’ve seen too many people walking around spiritually dead because this part of them has slipped away. One thing I’ve gotten good at is being able to pull this out of people after just a few short minutes. When they begin to talk about it, their eyes light up and their whole countenance changes. It’s so obvious to me that it is part of their core. Many have given up on these dreams and let them slip away over time. If this happens a part of that person will never fully be understood. However, dreams can be picked back up!
Jesus was so cool. I never get tired of learning from him. In Mark chapter 2 we catch what I believe is a clue into living our dream. In this section of Scripture Jesus is literally on a healing spree. Sickness is leaving bodies, mental illnesses gone, and demons running for their lives. For those that aren’t certain, I’m here to tell you that demons still reek havoc today. Listen to what happens:
“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.” Mark 1:32-34
I want you to look at this Scripture from a certain perspective. The demons represent the opposite of God. They bring about death, illness, torment, and are the perpetrators of lies and squashed dreams. Jesus removed them and SILENCED them. He did this because they understood the fullness of who he was and they knew the purpose on his life. Literally Jesus’ passion equaled their complete defeat. Some would say that Jesus wouldn’t let them speak because he didn’t want to draw attention to himself, which may be part of it, but I believe he shut them up because everything from their mouths is meant to tear down a person’s purpose, including his.
Passions, dreams, and purposes are those things that have the potential to be world changers! They are the things that are honoring to God and serve others. Hobbies are great and God absolutely gives us things to be excited about for pleasure, but we’re going deeper than that. The demons didn’t care about Jesus’ hobbies, but they were scared to death of his purpose. There is something placed in you that causes the same effect!
Perhaps one of the most crucial sections of the Bible for understanding how to silence the demons is Matthew chapter 4:1-11, The Temptation of Jesus. In it we find Satan himself antagonizing a vulnerable, weary, and hungery Jesus; slinging empty promises designed to cut to the core and throw Jesus off course from his purpose. Christ never waivered and used truth to combat and silence lies. As we grow and nurture the seed of a God given dream in our lives, we can often grow weary too. It's much like raising a child. It takes a lot of work! Tragedy can happen. Disappointment. Failure. All are opportune times to take to heart a subtle lie when you don’t have the strength to silence it. You’re not going to make it. You don’t have what it takes. You’re not cut out for this, what were you thinking?! Time to give up and settle for what’s easy. Silence that demon with everything you know to be TRUE about yourself!
As we learned last week about truth and lies, it’s time to take a look back at your life and determine if any lies changed the course of your purpose. The easiest way to start is by seeing if there are any dreams that have been pushed aside or passions you no longer pursue. I believe we are all cut out for adventure. Perfectly designed by God for a specific course of action. Our logo, the sailing ship, is a representation of this. It’s time to get out of the dinghy because someone told you the ship was going down, and instead put up the main sail. There is a promised land out there just waiting for you to occupy it.