There is this story a certain quite popular man of God told about an encounter he had in London with a popular motivational speaker and pastor from the Bahamas. He was attending a pastorsí conference at which this great speaker had been one of the conference lecturers. He purchased a book written by this speaker and went up to him to have it autographed. The speaker asked for his name and then wrote on the book, ďTony, Die Empty.Ē The pastor didnít quite understand what was meant by that statement until a while later when that same speaker on another occasion expounded on it in a sermon. He explained that the place where you find the greatest treasures on earth, the place where you find the most wealth is in the graveyard. This is because that is where you find books that were never written, symphonies that were never composed, paintings that were never made, houses that were never built, pastors that were never ordained, churches that were never planted, geniuses that never saw the light of the day, babies that were never born, marriages that were never contracted and so on.
The graveyard is full of people that died with their purposes, their visions, their missions, their skills, their talents, their abilities, their ambitions, and their gifts. When Jonah was asked by God to go to Nineveh and warn them of their sins, he felt otherwise and decided to go elsewhere. The only other place in the whole Bible where any other mention is made of Jonah apart from the prophetic book that goes by his name is in 2 Kings 14:25. His primary purpose and responsibility in life was not to any one of Israelís kings. It was to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria (Israelís sworn enemy). When he therefore decided to go against the reason for his being, God caused certain events of catastrophic proportions to take place and happen to him, which eventually forced him to go in line with Godís purpose.
Every one of us on this earth has a reason for our being here. No matter the circumstances of our birth, nobody is here by mistake. There is a particular reason why you were born. Some call it purpose. Others call it assignment. Others call it calling. It is not necessarily full time ministry. You were created to solve a problem for others. It is something you love doing passionately and are very good at. Some of us were committed into it like the prophet Samuel, some of us stumbled into it like Moses, some of us were forced into it by circumstances beyond our control as in Jonahís case and also the Apostle Paul and some of us were born into it as in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ
For some of us, it is big like in the case of Paul and for some of us it is small like in the case of Timothy, Barnabas, John Mark and Silas. Big or small it is nevertheless important. Paul wouldnít have succeeded in his assignment without the help of these men. It isnít all the apostles that have gospels written by them in their name. Dr. Luke was not among the apostles but by association with Paul was able to put together the gospel according to Luke. The same goes for John Mark whose information for the book written by him (the gospel according to Mark) was supplied by the Apostle Peter. I am sure the name Paul Allen does not strike a chord with most of us but Bill Gates is a household name. Both started Microsoft together in 1976 and built it up. Paul Allen is a billionaire in his own rights. Microsoft wouldnít exist today without his inputs. So you need others in the fulfilment of your own personal purpose. Even in the pursuit of a corporate vision, one person alone cannot do it all. Jesus needed the 12 apostles and the over 70 disciples. Whatever your purpose or assignment or responsibility and no matter how small or insignificant it may be, you have to be committed to it and enlist the help of others. You must however be wary of people who donít respect your purpose and vision no matter who they may be and how close they may be to you.
God has supplied the ability each and every one of us needs to fulfil our assignment or purpose. Some call this potential. Others call it gifting. Some call it ability. Others refer to it as talent. Whatever it is however, it is your responsibility to discover it. Nobody can do that for you. Others may prod you in that direction but they canít help you bring it to the fore. Moses was a prophet while Joshua was a warrior. They had different abilities for their different purposes. Haggai was a prophet while Zerubbabel was a governor. While God used Zerubbabel to lead and instruct the returned Jews in the rebuilding of Jerusalem, it was actually Haggai that God spoke to directly, who saw the visions.
To make your assignment on earth to succeed requires you to have passion for your purpose and training to develop your ability and talent. David spent his years as a shepherd-boy and leader of a rag-tag army in the wilderness being prepared for his eventual role as a warrior king. We didnít hear anything about Jesus for eighteen years. Paul studied under the great Jewish teacher Gamaliel and spent years later persecuting the early Jewish Christians. All these eventually paid off when he himself became an apostle of God. Training, learning, coaching is of the utmost importance in the pursuit of your purpose. Zeal, yearning, passion cannot also be neglected. You have got to keep the fire burning. The great motivational speaker Dr. Mike Murdock once said that the saddest tragedy of life is a heart that has not caught fire.
In the race called life, there are going to be lots of bumps on the road, speed tickets, traffic jams and accidents. But you need to be able to defeat all of this in order to reach your destination. Paul was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned and bitten by a snake but he was able to say ďI have finished the race, I have kept the faith.Ē You need to be able to stay above every situation that threatens your destiny. Finally, you need God. You need Him to discover your purpose, you need Him to discover your potential, you need Him to keep your passion burning, you need Him to keep you on the right path and keep that path illuminated. You need Him to bring the right people into your life. However, above all that you need the right attitude and the right frame of mind.
You also need to ask yourself these questions and provide the right, truthful answers to them: (1) What is my purpose and why am I here? (2) What is my vision and where am I going? (3) What is my mission and how will I get there?