In Spiritual leadership Principle-Purpose (pt.1) I wrote about how Jonah initially tried to run away from his purpose until God abruptly intervened in his life, which caused Jonah to stop running away and fulfill his calling.
Three reasons why leaders are not purpose driven
Each of us have a purpose however not everyone is living their purpose out on a daily basis. I have found three reasons why a leader done not move in the direction of their God given purpose:
1. Fear- The fear of failure or the unknown future can prevent a person from pursing their purpose. To live a life of purpose requires being outside our comfort zones and not allowing fear to control our actions. One of the best ways to conquer a fear that has the potential to hold you back from your purpose is by taking action. For example, a common fear is public speaking so to take action to overcome that fear a person should consider joining a speaking group like Toastmasters. Move through your fears toward your God given purpose.
2. Low self image- The word self image is defined as “the idea, conception, or mental image one has of oneself.” A person who has a low self image will have a difficult time in moving toward their purpose. This is because their perspective or idea of themselves will prevent them from taking the steps required to work in and fulfill their calling. It’s nearly impossible to accomplish great achievements when you have a low self image. To raise our self image make sure you are closely connected to God, founded in the Bible, and are managing your thoughts and self talk.
3. Lack of faith- Faith is a key element to accomplishing our purpose. Hebrews 11: 1 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Having faith means we know and hold onto the promises God has given us no matter what we are currently going through in life. Those who lack faith allow their present circumstances to control their life, preventing them from taking the small or daily steps toward their purpose. Faith is about trusting in God and the promises He has given you.
The best response to God’s calling
The story of Jonah is a perfect example of what can happen when we resist or move toward our own plans. God’s shepherding hands will gently direct and guide toward your purpose, just like what happened to Jonah.
So the best response a leader can have to the calling and plans of God is to be obedient in walking toward our purpose. This means when God tells you to “go” or “do” the answer should be yes Lord! The younger you are the better, but it’s never to late to say yes! If you have not yet discovered your purpose I suggest taking time to pray for God’s guidance, find and concentrate on your strengths and passions, and spending time with people of influence.
The potential impact of your purpose
When Jonah stopped running from the calling of God and went to Nineveh. He shared the message of the Lord to the entire city which resulted in the people repenting, glorifying God, and saved the entire city from being destroyed. Leaders who are moving toward their purpose will also see God’s name being expanded and glorified. The greatest reward of a Christian leader has is to see they had a positive impact for the Kingdom of God.
Questions: What have you had to overcome to move toward your purpose? Are you obeying God’s leading toward your purpose?