I find myself so busy “doing” God’s work that I don’t take time to think about this question like I should. It is important to consider this question each and every day of our lives. God not only created you and me but, if you are a believer, He also redeemed you. God does not create and redeem a person without a purpose. My friend, Pastor James McMenis, regularly shares with people that every person is a purpose with a name.
He goes on to explain that design defines purpose. A wrench is not designed to drive nails into a wall. Its design determines its purpose. So it is with you and me. God’s design of me defines His purpose for me.
Why is it so important for each of us to remind ourselves that God has a purpose for our lives? It is because knowing our purpose will cause us to understand the course we are to run. God has given each of us a unique course that we are to run as we go through life and ministry. If we never know our purpose, we will never know the course God expects us to run. Once again, I want us to think about Paul’s parting words to young Timothy.
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV)
Paul told his son in the faith I have finished my course. Dr. Tony Evans explained what Paul was saying was this. I did all I was designed to do. Paul completed what he was created and redeemed to do. He had finished his course.
I ran cross country in high school. Each day at practice the coach would map out a course that we were to run. At the end of practice, we had to finish the course that he had laid out. When race day came, we would travel to the race site. Then we would get out and survey the course. You didn’t want to get off course because you would be disqualified — even if you ran farther than required and crossed the finish line.
There was never an excuse to get off course because there were markings made to keep you on the right path. Sometimes a white line was spray-painted on the ground. Colored flags were placed at corners so that you knew when and in which direction to turn. God does the same thing for you and me. Of course, we need to spend time in His Word daily and surrender and be filled with His Spirit constantly so that we don’t miss His guidance along our course.
Running a cross country race was hard. Sometimes you had to run through rough terrain. Some courses included steep hills that would cause your legs to ache and your lungs to feel like they were going to explode. But you had to stay the course and you had to finish the race. It would be tragic to expend all that energy but quit running when the finish line was in sight. If that ever happened, you would know that all that effort was a waste because you were finished but you didn’t finish the course.
When the time comes when God might transition you from what you are doing now to something else or when it is time for Him to transition you from this life, you will want to say that you finished your course! It would be a travesty to come to the end of life or some work and have to wonder why I lived or served in that ministry. It is good to know that whenever God chooses to move you from one thing to another that you have completed what you were put there to do.
As you and I begin a new week, it would be wise to stop and ask ourselves a couple of questions.
- Why did God create me?
- Why did He redeem me?
- Am I on the course that He has set for me to run?
- Am I allowing anything to get me off course either in life or ministry?
- If God transitioned me to something else today, could I say that I have finished my course?
May Paul’s words to the Corinthian Christians ring true in our daily running of our course.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (KJV)