I want to remind you today that you are extremely important to the plan of God.
Sometimes you may not feel like it. Sometimes, amidst the apparent ordinariness of life, it might not seem like what you’re called by God to do, day to day, makes a major difference in the divine scheme of things.
But I can assure you, on the authority of the Bible, it absolutely does.
You were born for such a time as this! You’re not on this earth and in the kingdom of God right now just by accident. You didn’t just show up here one day and put God in the position of having to figure out something for you to do. You and I and every other member of the Body of Christ have been in God’s heart for literally eons!
As Ephesians 1 says, “[In His love} He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him)…”
He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]…In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will. (verses 4-5, 9, 11, AMPC)
Think about that! God considers us to be so important He included us in His plan before the foundation of the world. He loves us so dearly and intricately that ages before we were born, He destined us for a divine purpose. He called us to help Him get His will done in the earth.
We don’t have to do like the world teaches and figure out a purpose for ourselves or look to other people to give us one. Our purpose has been established by God.
We are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus “that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live”(Ephesians 2:10, AMPC).
The problem is, for the most part, Christians haven’t realized this. We’ve had the idea that God looks at us after we’re born again, surveys our gifts and talents, and says, “That person has a lot of boldness; I’ll make her a prophet;” or “That person has a nice personality. He’d make a good pastor.” But really, it’s the opposite. God determined our purpose first, and then made us to fulfill it.
We do the same in the natural when we create something. Whoever invented the washing machine, for example, didn’t just randomly assemble a bunch of parts and decide afterward it could be used to wash clothes. They first determined the purpose, then they built the machine with that purpose in mind.
God did the same when He made you!
That’s why, when He puts it in your heart to do something, you shouldn’t ever say you’re not qualified. God qualified you when He created you. Knowing that part of your purpose would be to do that thing, He equipped you for it in advance Himself.
What’s more, doing those things God has called you to do and fulfilling your purpose will cause you to succeed in life. It will open the door for you to prosper and be satisfied and fulfilled.
“But Pastor Lynne,” you might say, “If each of us are made for a purpose that’s already fixed in the mind of God, how do we discover it? How do we find out what we were born for and what we’re to do day by day in order to walk out God’s plan for our life?”
We do it by looking at Jesus and learning from Him.
He was sent here on the greatest mission ever, and He carried it out perfectly. Living His life not as God but as a man, He completely fulfilled God’s plan and purpose for Him on earth. He made no secret of how He did it either. He said, “I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord—but only as I am taught by God…I tell the things which I have seen and learned at My Father’s side” (John 5:30, 8:38, AMPC).
That means Jesus must have spent a lot of time with His Father! It also means that for us to truly be His disciples we must spend time with the Father too.
We’re not going to fulfill our divine purpose just by walking a church aisle and saying, “Jesus, I receive You as my Savior.” That’s where we begin, certainly. It’s where Christianity starts. But it’s just the introductory offer.
For us to walk out our divine mission, we must keep coming to Him.
We see the importance of this in Matthew 10:1. It says about Jesus that when the Father put it in His heart to send laborers out into the harvest field this is the first thing that happened: “Jesus summoned to Him His twelve disciples.” Before He sent them anywhere else, He summoned them to Him! Then, after they’d come to Him, “He gave them power and authority” to go out and do His works.
He follows the same pattern with us. First and foremost, He calls us to Himself. Why? Because our whole life is defined in Him. It’s in Him that we discover our purpose, our ministry, and what we’re to do every day. In John 15, Jesus made this very clear. He said:
Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from me [cut off from Me] you can do nothi
We must never be so arrogant as to think we can live the Christian life without abiding in Jesus! Our fellowship with Him is what keeps us growing, developing, and producing fruit for His kingdom. Only by coming daily into His presence can we be transformed into His image, from glory to glory, so that the world can see Jesus in us.
And bottom line, that’s really our purpose. We’re here to reveal Jesus!
We’re here to light up this darkened world by letting His life and His character shine through us. To carry on His ministry and do His works. But just as for the branch of an apple tree to fulfill its purpose it must stay connected to tree, for us to fulfill ours we must stay in living contact with Jesus. For us to keep producing fruit season after season, we must keep coming…and coming…and coming to Him.
Jesus is not our weekend activity. He is not just our Sunday morning fix. He’s our life!
This means our priorities are different than other people’s. When it comes to exercise, for instance, although we’ll include it in our lives because we want to take care of our body, we’re never going to put it first place in our life. Even if we enjoy it, we’re not going to make working out our purpose.
I’ve seen people who do that! They become so devoted to exercising that it takes precedence over everything else. Come hell or high water, sink or swim, live or die, they’re at the gym every morning first thing because they’ve made physical fitness their primary mission
Sometimes I think, Dear heavens! If those people went for Jesus like they go to the gym, they’d be spiritual powerhouses. They’d be the most fruitful, victorious, joyful people you ever saw.
I’ve even had that thought at times about believers and realized that somehow in this area the Church has missed it. We haven’t emphasized as we should how vital it is for us as Christians to spend time every day with the Lord. We haven’t kept reminding each other that our very lives depend on hearing from and being led by Him.
Even if we understand to a degree what we’re called to do, our purpose can look different next year, or next month, or even next week. So, on our own we don’t know on our own what to do day to day. (Especially these days!) But Jesus does. He knows the plan for our lives, and as we come to Him, He reveals it to us step by step and we’re able to walk it out.
I learned a lot about this early in my Christian life from a very precious nun.
I met her at a Catholic retreat center, near our home in Mississippi. I’d gone there with some praying friends to seek the Lord, and I would see her early in the mornings in the chapel. She’d always stand by herself in the corner with her face toward the wall, and I recognized the presence of the Lord on her.
Eventually, I got to talk with her, and she told me that the spiritual people she’d met throughout her life were always people who enjoyed the presence of God in heavy doses. People who practiced what I call “quiet prayer.” Different from prayers of intercession and supplications, quiet prayer is just bringing your heart to God. It’s moving away from the distractions of this world, letting go of everything else, and abandoning yourself to Jesus only.
As I found out later, this nun had worked for a while with Mother Teresa. Undoubtedly, she saw that precious saint practice this kind of prayer and noted its results. Mother Teresa found and fulfilled her purpose. She displayed before the whole world how much Jesus loves the poor. She discovered in her times with the Lord what her calling was, and she defined it excellently.
“But Pastor Lynne, surely you’re not saying we’re all called to be like Mother Teresa!”
No, we each have our own calling. God created each one of us with a unique identity and destiny. He made us all very different—and we are all very important to His great plan.
So, let’s make sure we find real quality time to spend with Jesus every day.
Just having a quick little devotional time isn’t enough. It’s an okay place to start, but don’t stop there. Give Him enough time to really speak to you, and yourself enough time to really hear. Plan your schedule around Him. Determine what time of day works for you and find a place where you can get away from the demands of life and get alone with Him.
The best time for me is early in the morning. Not only is that when I’m most alert and able to focus on God, it’s the time I established when I first began praying many years ago. My children were very young then, and the feet of my oldest son Jim always hit the floor at 5:00 am. So, I had to make sure I was up at least an hour before then. (I wanted to spend at least that much time with the Lord because He said in Matthew 26:40, “Could ye not watch with me one hour?”)
I also learned in those days that it’s good to make sure that wherever you choose to pray there are there are no distractions. No TV. No outside voices. No emails or text messages. I won’t even take my cell phone to my prayer place with me—just my Bible and my journal, so that I can write down what the Lord says.
Sometimes I start my times with Him by meditating on the Word. Other times I start with worship, or I pray in other tongues to help quiet my mind. But regardless of how I begin, this is my purpose: to come to Jesus and bring my heart to Him.
Dear praying friend, if we’re going to fulfill our purpose, now more than ever, we must remember this is our first priority. Even with all that’s going on in our lives and in the world right now, there’s nothing more important than our fellowship with Jesus. Nothing as vital as abiding in Him.
This message is simple, I know, but it’s big in my heart. So, thank you for letting me share it with you—and thank you, too, for helping me to share it with others around the world. Your prayers and your generous support are such a blessing. They mean more to me than I can say.
Until I write again, keep coming to Jesus…be blessed…and be sure to remember—
You are loved by,
I have a special CD I want to send you today as a thank you for any size gift you give. You can donate online at mac-hammond.org, in the Prayer Notes/Lynne Letter designation, or call us at 1.877.358.3327. It is my message entitled, Applying the Blood of Jesus. Now more than ever, this is an important message to put into action. Just request it when you call, write, or give online.