It is not unusual for me to meet with two or three people every week to talk about life purpose. I am always thrilled when I see the concept of purpose break through in someone's thinking. Furthermore, I have met with about 3,500 people one-on-one in the last twelve years to talk about purpose and it never gets old or dull.
Last week we started a series on the prophet Daniel, so you may want to go back and read the first entry in case you missed it. Daniel was a success both as a prophet as an administrator in Babylon not only because of his giftedness and anointed, but also because he was faithful.
They could find no corruption in him [Daniel], because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent (Daniel 6:4).
Daniel had skill but he also had integrity and both go hand in hand if you are going to fulfill your God-given purpose like Daniel did.
A BIG MISTAKE
Yet for all my teaching on and love for purpose, I find that many people make a crucial mistake in their life's work or ministry. These people believe the power of purpose or a creative idea are enough to insure success. f you are serving God, however, you cannot overlook faithfulness, sowing, service and heart attitude as important means through which you will succeed in your purpose.
There is one passage that Luke 16:10-12 that is critical to your life and ministry success:
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?"
Here are some things to think about in regards to this passage:
1. Are you faithful in little things? This can include things like punctuality, follow-through on promises and all the other "little things" that can easily be overlooked. As "small" as they are, Jesus said they were important, because if you are dishonest with those little things, you will be the same with the more important things.
2. Are you faithful with money? This would include giving something to the Lord's work when you have the chance, paying your bills on time, paying back money you borrow from others, and being free from greed and theft.
3. Can you handle someone else's property as your own? This includes being faithful with a business, church or opportunity that belongs to another. If you borrow something, you return it in better shape than you received it.
Yes, knowing your life purpose is critical, but so are integrity and stewardship. God is watching you and He does not bless and promote solely on the basis of potential or a good idea. The Lord looks at the heart and He promotes anyone whose heart belongs to Him, which means those who will work and act like Jesus. You need purpose but it needs to be in partnership with integrity and faithfulness if God is going to use you.
I hope one day we will meet to talk about purpose and I am able to help you find or fulfill it. Don't be fooled, however, into thinking that purpose will guarantee your success. It's an important step in the process of success, but you cannot ignore Jesus' words in Luke 16 and expect to get very far in business or ministry. God is watching and you had better make sure that your character matches the size of your purpose vision. Where God is concerned, purpose just isn't enough. Have a great week!
PITTSBURGH SEMINAR: I will host a free purpose seminar on Saturday, May 3, from noon to 4:30 here in Pittsburgh. While there is no cost, you still must register. Let me know if you are planning to attend.
KENYA: Today I wrote the story of one of the orphans we support in a blog post. Please read it and you will understand why our work there is so urgent and important. Then please give to our work there through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. Thank you for your help.
RADIO: This week I will start my fourth weekly radio show, this one called Urban Heroes. You can access the archives of my other shows at three locations for Minstry Beat, Leadership Talk, or Wake Up to Purpose. I have some great interviews in the archives. When you have a chance, you can download them and listen at your convenience.