Can you believe that it is almost the year 2020? One of the practices I do at the end of every year, usually starting mid-October is to seek God about the upcoming year. Part of my preparation for the New Years is to take time to evaluate my previous goals and accomplishments, which includes making a list of people I am grateful for, things I am saying yes and no to, making sure what I am doing is serving my greater purpose to Know God and make him known, and to take time to review the things that have sidetracked me. This process helps me see the things that have diverted me and it helps me understand what really matters to me in the big picture.
Through this process, God reminded me of the Apostle Paul. Like many of you, I admire the apostle Paul. Not only because he is AH-MAZE-ING, did more to advance the gospel than any other person, and wrote 2/3rds of the New Testament, but because he did not allow any person or obstacle to get him off his God-given mission. Unfortunately, it is easy for me to get discouraged and lose heart when things are not going exactly like I thought they should, so Paul’s resolve inspires me. Because the truth is, every single Christian has an assignment from God and we, like Paul, can’t do it alone. Paul was on an assignment from God to carry out the mission of heaven here on earth, but he couldn’t fulfill his mission without the faithful partners God gave him. Many of those faithful partners were the people of the church in Philippi. We too have a mission of God that we can’t do alone. We need God and we need one another. Therefore the purpose of this blog article is to help you stay on assignment, so you can fulfill your God-given mission!
Follow these three lessons taught to us by Paul in Philippians chapter one and learn how to fulfill your God-given purpose:
- Accomplish your mission by helping others finish the course.
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians1:6
Jesus is a finisher, a completer; he will accomplish his purpose in us and through us. We need to be convinced like Paul that God is not done with us yet. Yes, we may have made some mistakes. Maybe 2019 had some unexpected bumps along the way, but friend, you are still on the Potter’s Wheel. God is still at work in you and our God is faithful. He will work all things together for the good of those who Love him and called according to his purpose. (Roman’s 8:28)
Often time’s part of our assignment is to help others reach their God-given potential. Paul understood this, and although he was all about accomplishing the assignment on his life, he was also about helping others fulfill their assignment too. Here are a few ways Paul helped others fulfill their assignment that we can apply to our lives too. In doing these things not only will we help people live up to their God-given destiny, but we will fulfill ours too.
• Partnering- How are you partnering with others to fulfill the assignment of God on this earth?
• Encourage- Encouragement should be sincere, personal, specific, public, and frequent.
• Pray- Paul’s prayer in chapter one is a beautiful example of how to pray for those you love.
- Advance the Gospel even when life is hard!
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. – Philippians 1:12
Paul also understood that God is in control and that even when things looked bleak, God can change it around. He realized that God was using his chains for the advancement of the gospel. He literally wrote most of the New Testament sitting in prison.
You may be going through a hard time right now, maybe 2019 didn’t live up to your expectation, but God can use it to grow and mature you and He can even use it to advance his gospel. You have possibly heard the cliché, “Every testimony begins with a test” friends, this is true!
- Appropriate lifestyle is required to truly fulfil your purpose!
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.-Philippians 1:27
Paul understood his character was just as important as his message. Friends, we too need this revelation! We all fall short of the glory of God, but that is not an excuse to wallow in self-pity and sin. When I was evaluating my goals, accomplishments, and praying for God’s will for my life for 2020, one common thread kept coming up. God was showing me, this year is my year to bloom. Therefore, I can no longer make excuses for my anger, insecurities, fear, and pride. These sins have distracted me for far too long, but no more! Not today, Satan!!!!
What is keeping you from living worthy of the gospel? I have wrestled with this thought many times and I want to encourage you to take a self inventory.
Ask yourself these questions and they will help you line up your character with your God-given assignment:
• Have I done everything God has asked me to do in a way that brings him glory?
• Will what I am doing matter to me when I am 80 years old?
• Does my character testify to the message I share?
If we want to stay focused and fulfill our purpose, we need to make a resolution to align our character with our message, find ways to advance the gospel, and accomplish the mission even when life gets hard. You are not alone. God will give you the strength to do all He has for you if you will only abide in him. Make 2020 the year you fulfill your God-given assignment.