The Purpose-Led Life
We Must Become Process-Oriented
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Heb. 11:8). Like Abe, even though we do not know where we are going we have faith in God that He will show us the way. But I have a sneaky suspicion that somehow we can get so caught up in the promises of God that we forget to focus on his Person. What I am saying is this: We are a goal-oriented lot, a purpose driven people—a people far more interested in the end result that our final destination will bring rather than the ongoing journey with our Divine Companion who will bring us there in the first place.
In recent years, a popular book entitled The Purpose Driven Life hit the bookshelves with a bang. This was a book that captured our Christian culture’s heart bringing understanding and meaning for our lives in the here and now, and for eternity. Even if I have endorsed this book, I have my reservations about its title. The word ‘driven’ is an adjective that means “striving to achieve because of a strong need or inner compulsion.” Driven brings about word pictures of someone who pile drives, forces issues, and burns oneself out with exhaustive work. Somehow I can’t help but think that we have adapted the word ‘driven’ from the cutthroat world of business that seizes the day, takes no prisoners, and pushes total dependence upon oneself using whatever it takes just to get the job done—the end justifies the means. As I understand the Genesis account, God drove out the man from the garden to protect him from a doomed destiny. I also know that cattle are harshly driven while sheep are tenderly led. If we are driven by our goals we will end up stepping on each other to get to where we want to go. But if we are like sheep led by a Shepherd before us, we will pay heed not to push, shove and trample our way up to the top. We will lie down in green pastures and be led beside still waters. We will not be herded, harassed and helpless for the Shepherd will restore our souls. We will not be found in want if we are to live The Purpose-Led Life.
So rather than being product-oriented we must become process-oriented. God knows that we will get from point A to point B. That’s a given. He gave us His word that we will arrive at point B as He has promised Abraham the product of his pilgrimage—his inheritance (Gen 17:1-8). What interests God is the whole process of what happens between the two points along with the fact that you and I are willing to take the trip by faith with Him at the helm. God is not simply interested in solving our problems by driving us in the shortest way possible to reach point B. Rather the Good Shepherd leads us in the way that we should go. He’s interested in the process of developing our faith and Christ-like character every step of the way in Him—from start to finish. It is clear from the gospels that our Lord valued faith and wanted his followers to have faith. He commended a great faith when he found it and he rebuked those of little faith. The Bible declares that we are saved by faith (Eph 2:8), the just shall live by faith (Rom 1:17), and without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6).
Copyright 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.
With over 2 million copies sold, Phillip Keller’s beloved contemporary classic spans the decades with its uplifting insights on Psalm 23. Pairing Keller’s sublime reflections with the King James Version, this edition sheds light for a new generation of readers on the nature and ways of sheep—and of the Good Shepherd who cares for them.