The truth of the matter is, you’ll always be searching for fulfillment until you get to that place. But, there are some steps you have to take first. And this series has been designed to help you figure out what your next step is personally.
Let me show you a scripture on why it is so important to know the plan of God for our lives. This is our theme verse for the series, so it is going to look familiar to you:
Proverbs 29:18 MSG – If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.
Maybe that’s how you feel right now, that you are stumbling in life, stumbling in your marriage, stumbling at work. And when these issues come up you think the solution is to get rid of the problem.
But the problem isn’t your problem. The problem goes much deeper than what you see on the surface. When you don’t know God’s plan for your life, you stumble.
And that’s why these messages have been so important. If you really tuned in to what I’ve been saying the past several weeks, you can now see what God wants to do in your life.
Just like the second part of this verse says, when you attend to the plan that’s been revealed over the past several weeks, it is going to lead you to a place where you are not just blessed, but MOST blessed.
You’ll have joy. You’ll have peace. You’ll have purpose. These beautiful qualities are the result of knowing God’s plan for your life and following it. Just like the Psalmist said:
Psalms 16:11 NLT – You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Notice it doesn’t say God might show you the way of life. No, He will show you the way of life which leads to joy in His presence and pleasures forever.
So what is this way of life? It is talked about many times throughout scripture and it breaks down into four distinct steps.
If you’ve been with us through this series, you’ve heard this three times already. If you’ve been going to church here for long, you’ve heard them even more times than that.
But remember how important it is for us to know what God is up to? If we don’t, we stumble. If we do know and follow it, we are most blessed. That’s why I am going to give them to you again. Here’s step one:
It’s easy to kind of glaze over this one and think, “Yeah, yeah. Of course. I need to know about God.” But we are not talking about knowing about God, we’re talking about having a close relationship with God.
We talked about this in detail last week. Basically I showed you guys a bunch of scripture that reveals God is not looking for a religion. He’s not looking for you to live a perfect life. No, He deeply desires a close relationship with you, hangups and all.
This isn’t about how much you pray, or how much you read your Bible, or how much you give in the offering. This is all about pursuing a close relationship with God, where you know Him even better than you know a spouse or best friend.
If you feel God is kind of distant, go listen to my message called, “Closer to God”. There, you’ll find some practical steps to help you build this relationship with God.
Here’s step two in your spiritual journey:
Hear me on this. God is not looking for you to get your act together first, He’s looking to have a relationship with you first and then He’ll help you get your act together. That’s why you have to know God before you find freedom.
But in the past several years, the church as a whole has kind of started to overlook this step of finding freedom. We’ve been agreeing with culture on issues of marriage and gender and life in the womb and many other things.
It’s almost like we’ve started to believe that freedom is getting to do what we want, how we want, when we want. But, that’s not freedom at all. Freedom is when we get out of sin and live life the way God intended.
Let me put it to you this way. You know there are things in your life, that if they weren’t there, your life would be better. And many of those things our culture is telling you, “It’s okay. That’s just who you are. You do you.”
But you know it’s not okay. Because, although it may be fun for a little while, the end result is always a negative one whether it be regret, shame, or some kind of physical ailment that shows up because of your behaviors.
Jesus paid the price for you to be free from all of that. He wants you to have freedom in your body, freedom in your mind, freedom from your past and freedom in your heart.
If you are in a place right now where you need freedom, I encourage you to go listen to my message from this series called “The Way to Freedom.”
You may feel like you can never be free from whatever you are dealing with. But trust me, you can. And you’ll find answers in that message.
So, first things first, Know God. Then, it’s time to find freedom from your past, your hangups, your habits. Once you get to a place of freedom, here’s what’s next:
A lot of people like to jump to this step, ignoring the first two, and then wonder why they can’t figure out God’s purpose for their life. They’re looking in the rearview mirror at their past but trying to move forward and it doesn’t work.
If you’ve been trying to discover purpose, but can’t seem to find it, stop searching and shift your focus to knowing God and finding freedom. You’ll never fully discover your purpose if you don’t take care of the first two things.
Once you discover purpose, you get to the destination of your spiritual journey which is:
Make a difference.
You’ll never find lasting fulfillment until you are making a difference in the lives of others. And we’re not just talking about making a difference in this life, but making a difference for eternity.
This calling, this purpose, is woven into the very core of our beings. Every human has a yearning desire to do something that matters. And it’s because God put that on the inside of you.
That’s why this whole plan – Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose – leads you to a place where you are making a difference in the lives of others. Because the ultimate purpose for everyone listening right now is to make a difference.
So yes, we are all here to make a difference. But we all make a difference in a way that is unique to us. That’s why today we are going to focus on the third step in this journey:
Studies show that more than 87% of the church doesn’t know what their purpose is. Wow.
The Bible calls the church the body of Christ. So each of us is a specific part of the body with a specific function that works together with all the other parts. Aren’t you glad we all don’t have to do the same thing?
But can you imagine if 87% of your physical body didn’t know what it was doing? You’d probably be in a wheelchair. You wouldn’t be able to talk straight and you’d be drooling on yourself.
I hate to say it, but is that the picture of the church? Is that why the church doesn’t have the power we read about in the Bible, because 87% of us don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing?
What’s the biggest hangup here? What keeps people from discovering their unique God-given purpose? Let me show you.
The Enemies of Purpose
Romans 12:2 NLT – Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
This is sounding a lot like finding freedom. Doing what the world does is going to lead you into bondage. But letting God make you new by changing the way that you think – now that sounds like freedom.
And what happens as a result of letting God transform us into something new? Are you ready for this? This is going to blow your mind. This is the same verse, just the rest of it:
Romans 12:2 NLT – Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
This is a classic if then statement. If you stop copying the world and instead let God transform you into a new person, then you will know God’s will for you. Clear as day.
I am helping you change the way that you think right now. So buckle in and get ready to be transformed. Let me break this down and give you three things keeping you from your purpose and then I’ll show you four ways God reveals purpose.
There’s a lot of people who are just confused. They’re not sure if God even has a purpose for their life. They might think that God calls some people and not others. All this talk about spiritual gifts seems kind of mysterious.
If the enemy can keep you confused, he can keep you from your purpose. But you don’t have to be confused. The Word of God has every answer you need and you can start by reading the book of Ephesians. In chapter four, there is a great explanation of spiritual gifts and the body of Christ.
You can also go on our website and find a message I did last year called “Understanding Spiritual Gifts”. Simply go to the messages page and use the search bar to find it.
Here’s the next enemy of purpose:
Some people struggle to discover their purpose because they’re trying to live out someone else’s. You are browsing your social feed and wishing you had their life, or their hair, or their car, or their family.
You’ll never discover your purpose when you are fixated on someone else’s purpose. Come on somebody, that’s a good tweet right there.
That’s why we have this core value here at NoLimits:
The comparison trap stops with us.
I’m not going to try to be TD Jakes, or Joel Osteen or any other pastor. I’m going to be Kade and pastor this church with the gifts God has given me.
We’re not going to try to be like the church down the street, we are going to be NoLimits Church and fulfill the specific function God has for our church. We don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, but we need to do what God has called us to do.
You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing. You don’t need to have as much money as the other person. You don’t have the same education or the same job. You simply need to be you and be confident in it.
If you were here in-person with me, I’d ask you for an amen right there. Here’s the third enemy of purpose:
There’s something you thought was your purpose, but it’s not. You thought it was all about being successful in your career. But you don’t need a career, you need a calling.
Am I saying that being successful in your profession is a bad thing? No way. But if our core motivation is success, and money, and power, you are going to find out at the end of that path you’ve been running after a counterfeit.
I don’t think any of us wants to get to the end of our life and have God show us the thing that we should have done, and how many lives it would have saved from hell, yet we were so caught up in our own thing that we missed it.
I believe we can even get caught up in doing good things, but we do them to try to earn something from God or get a pat on the back from other people. And although people will praise us for being a nice person, we’ll get to Heaven and realize that we wasted our time doing something we weren’t called to do.
It doesn’t have to be this way. God designed a purpose for you before you were even born. It’s not like He created you and then said, “Hm… I wonder what I am going to do with that one. I’ll just let them flounder around and see what happens.”
No, that’s not how God does things. He designed the purpose first and then He designed you for that purpose.
Hopefully this is starting to resonate with you. But even if you’ve settled the fact that God created you on purpose for a purpose, there’s still a question left unanswered:
How do I discover my purpose?
And I love that question. It may be a bit daunting to you, but it shows me that you’ve realized you have purpose and now you are on a quest to figure out what it is.
One of the best ways for us to answer this question is to look at how people in the Bible discovered their purpose. When you examine the people of the Bible, you’ll find four different ways they discovered what God was calling them to do.
Here’s the first one:
1. The call from birth.
This is people that, when they were a kid, had something on the inside of them that knew what they were called to do. But then problems happened, marriage happened, kids happened, and the list goes on.
Some people get so far into adult life without pursuing what they felt called to do that they think it is too late to even try to get back on track. But the call of God is irrevocable. If you don’t pursue it, it hangs out and waits for you.
No matter how far you’ve gone or how long you’ve waited, God can always get you back on track to His original plan for your life. It makes no sense to our natural mind, but let me remind you, God is supernatural. He can do things that seem impossible.
The best example of this call from birth is the prophet Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 1:4-8 NLT – The Lord gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were even conceived, God knew you and had a plan for you. Which, by the way, is why we are pro-life here at NoLimits Church and we will defend the life of the unborn without apology.
America, listen up. The acceptance of abortion has welcomed darkness into our country. And when the Bible tells us to repent of our wicked ways so God can heal our land, this is one of those things we need to turn away from.
This scripture goes on to say:
Jeremiah 1:4-8 NLT – Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
Here are the specifics for Jeremiah. God set him apart and appointed him to be a prophet to the nations.
Can I tell you something? God knows you. He set you apart. He appointed you for a purpose. This isn’t just for Jeremiah, this is for you. But you may have the same response Jeremiah did:
Jeremiah 1:4-8 NLT – “O Sovereign Lord ,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”
I had this same excuse when I felt the call of God to pastor this church, “But, God… I’m too young! People won’t take me seriously!”
And maybe you’ve talked yourself out of your calling because you don’t think your resume is impressive enough, or you are not old enough, or you’re just not ready yet. Well, here is God’s response to all of that:
Jeremiah 1:4-8 NLT – The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Stop disqualifying yourself! God wants to place His power on the inside of you so you can accomplish what He’s called you to do. You don’t have to do this in your own power, and trust me, you don’t even want to try.
Lord, I pray for a deep revelation for everyone listening right now to understand all they need to do is learn how to let Your power work through them. Help us to get ourselves out of the way and trust in you.
Man, I want you guys to get this. Stop talking yourself down! Stop saying you aren’t ready! Stop being afraid of what other people will think!
Don’t be afraid of people for God is with you. God is protecting you. God’s power is working in you when you allow it. Therefore, GO wherever God sends you and DO whatever He calls you to do. He’s equipped you! You’re ready.
Here’s another way God reveals our purpose:
2. Growing awareness.
This is when you get an idea but you don’t see the full picture yet. It is revealed to you once piece at a time, often a lot slower than we’d like it to be.
Joseph in the Bible is the best example of this. He had a dream and saw all the nations, including his own brothers, bowing down to worship him. He was so naive he told his brothers about this.
Believe it or not, they weren’t too fond of this story. So they arranged for Joseph to be sold into slavery and then he spent a big part of his life in prison. Joseph was called by God, but everything in his life seemed to be going away from God.
Maybe this is the one you relate to. You know you are called of God but everything seems to be headed in the wrong direction.
But what you find at the end of Joseph’s story is that God used what seemed to be wrong turns to create something good that only happened because of the things that seemed like they didn’t fit.
If you are looking back at all the bad things that have happened to you and all the mistakes you’ve made and thinking, “God can’t make anything good of this”, you are badly mistaken.
God didn’t cause those things to happen to you, but He can sure turn them into something good. That’s His specialty! He takes what the enemy meant for evil and He turns it for good.
This reminds me of what’s going on with the coronavirus. God is about to take all this bad stuff that has happened with the economy and create the most incredible blessing for those willing to step out in faith and receive it.
I was actually reading this past Tuesday about when the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness for forty years. But now it was time. And it’s like the words jumped off the page at me, “Possess the land.”
This is God’s word to His people today. A tremendous blessing awaits those who will possess the land. But remember, in order for the Israelites to possess the land, they had to go in as an army and destroy the evil.
What does that mean for us? We must cleanse ourselves of all that stuff we’ve allowed into our lives that we know shouldn’t be there. We gotta find freedom.
But just like God was with the Israelites as they defeated their enemies, God is going to be with you as you defeat your enemies. Allow the power of God to work in you as you find freedom. Then, possess the land.
You just wait. It’s going to blow your mind. I prophesy right now that we are going to come out on the other side of this virus most blessed. God is equipping us to make a difference for eternity.
Now look at this. This is how Joseph’s story ended up. And its mind-blowing how much this applies to us right now:
Genesis 50:20 NIV – You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
I could run around this room right now! COVID-19, you intended to harm me. But God is going to turn it for good to accomplish this: leading people to Jesus. Making a difference for eternity!
When bad things happen in your life, might as well just smile. God’s going to use it for good as you trust in Him. Push away the fear and stand in faith. God is with you. God will protect you. He is always good to you.
I could stay here for a while, but we better move on. Here’s the next way God reveals our purpose:
3. Walking through open doors.
In other words, sometimes God can only reveal His purpose when you first take a step forward into an opportunity He’s placed right before you. Man, this has happened so many times for me personally.
God put an opportunity before me to start a blog back in 2012. I didn’t think I had anything to offer, but I decided to peek inside the door of opportunity and here we are 8 years later and I’m training hundreds of thousands of worship leaders and church sound techs each year.
It blows my mind! But God knew when He opened the door eight years ago. I just had to take a step inside.
Or, how about a job that I was in no way qualified for, yet I applied, got an interview, and they chose me. Not only that, but they gave me a $9 per hour raise less than a year later because they were so grateful for my competence in the work that I wasn’t qualified for on paper.
I didn’t have the degree they wanted. I didn’t have the experience they wanted. Yet, God opened the door, I took a step inside and the outcome blew my mind.
The best story of this in the Bible is Esther. She was adopted, from a broken family, her biological parents were dead. She was Jewish in a Babylonian culture. In other words, she was a misfit.
The king was looking for him a new queen to be by his side, so he pretty much held a beauty pageant and picked Esther.
Then there was someone in the King’s cabinet who was trying to kill all the Jewish people. As you know, this is something that’s been going on forever. There is a demon spirit that keeps trying to kill off the Jewish people.
So here Ester was, the queen, and also Jewish. Her uncle reminded her that she wasn’t chosen so she could enjoy the pleasures of being queen. She was chosen so she could have the king’s ear. Here’s what her uncle, Mordecai, said:
Esther 4:14-16 NLT – “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
In other words, God gave her an opportunity. He opened a door for her. And now it was time for her to walk in that door and take advantage of the opportunity to save her people.
Esther 4:14-16 NLT – Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “…though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”
What happened as a result of Esther stepping through the open door? They guy who was planning to annihilate the Jewish people ended up getting hung himself and the Jewish people destroyed their enemies.
When God places an open door before you, most likely, you’ll just kind of look at it and wonder, “How did that get there?” The only way to find out if it is the right opportunity is to take the first step and look around.
At that point, it becomes clear if it is where you are supposed to be or not. If you still have peace, press on. If you are hit with anxiety, retreat.
But hear me on this – you have to take the first step. Otherwise you’ll just be wondering what could’ve been and you’ll never know.
Alright, we need to move on to the last way God reveals our purpose. Here it is:
4. A God encounter.
The best example of this in the Bible is the Apostle Paul. Saul was his name before He got saved. Take a look:
Acts 9:1 NLT – Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers.
So he was out on this mission to kill anyone who proclaimed the name of Jesus. Men, women, children, he wanted them all dead.
Acts 9:3-6 NLT – As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him.
This is my prayer for you today, that you would experience a “suddenly” moment. I can stand here and teach you all day, and although teaching is good, you need a God encounter, like a light shining down from heaven.
Acts 9:3-6 NLT – He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Isn’t it interesting that God didn’t write him off in this moment? God could have turned him into a puff of smoke to get rid of the problem, but He didn’t do that. Instead, God called him to his true purpose.
Some of you are carrying around so much shame right now because of what you’ve done in the past that you think God has written you off can never redeem you to your true purpose.
But look at what God did with Paul. They guy who had a focused mission to kill as many Christians as he could. Yet, God didn’t give up on him. And He hasn’t given up on you either.
Today God is saying to you, “Get up and go into your purpose. It’s sitting there waiting on you. You haven’t messed it up. It’s not too late. Get up. Let’s do this.”
I remember a God encounter just two years ago. I was out hiking and just thinking about all the reasons why I wouldn’t be a good pastor. I was too young. I didn’t like to prepare messages. I didn’t speak with enough passion.
I even had a man bun back then. Many of you are thankful I was delivered from that.
God stopped me right in my thoughts and from within came a question, “Who says you have to pastor like everyone else?” I couldn’t come up with a good answer. And it’s like God said exactly what He said to Jeremiah in that scripture we read earlier:
Jeremiah 1:7-8 NLT – The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
This encounter is what gave me the courage to lead this church. And I believe that God is going to use this church to save many lives. We were made for this and we are making a difference for eternity.
But it takes more than just me discovering my purpose. You need to discover your’s. I encourage you to get with God in prayer and ask to experience a God encounter so He can speak to your heart exactly what you need to be doing right now.
If you realized at the beginning of my message that you need to back up in this spiritual journey and first get to know God and then find freedom, there’s no better time than now to begin that journey.
It all starts by realizing that Jesus went to the cross, died, and then rose back to life all for one purpose: to restore your relationship with God. Jesus washed away everything you’ve done wrong so there’s nothing between you and God.
All you have to do is receive this by faith. Even though it may not fully make sense to you, even though it doesn’t feel fair that someone else paid for your sins, you receive it by faith and step into relationship with God.
If you are ready to do that, simply make that decision in your heart right now. And then pray the following prayer out loud to solidify that decision.
God, I need a real relationship with you. Today I open up my life to knowing you personally. I ask you to forgive me for living life my own way. I receive the forgiveness provided for me through Jesus Christ. God, I give you my life.
If you just prayed that prayer, we want to support you along the journey that’s ahead. But we can’t support you if we don’t know. So we set up an easy way for you to tell us. Simply text the word Jesus to 918-373-9883.
We’re not going to bug you. We’re not going to spam you. We are just going to help guide you through your next step. We’re here for you. So please, go ahead and send that text.