CHURCH BUSINESS: Finding God’s purpose in a perverse world
By Oludare Mayowa
Recently, I drove through the popular Oba Akran Road in Ikeja but what I discovered was quite shocking. The former warehouse which used to accommodate Dunlop Nigeria Plc has been turned into a worship center.
The same scenario presented itself in other locations along the industrial area of the state capital. It was either a former factory has been converted to a Church or a trading store.
Not that am against the conversion of those places for churches or for other use, but what readily comes to my mind was that THE ORIGINAL PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT ALLOCATED THE INDUSTRIAL LAYOUT HAS BEEN CHANGED/ALTERED.
The reality is that the building or structures which were built for an industrial purpose have been altered and now serve other purposes for the reason of economic downturn or some other unspecified reasons.
The same scenario is playing out for many of people today, some people have perverted the purpose for which they were created and substituted it with other activities which may be sometimes mundane unrelated God’s ordained purpose for them.
The reason for this could either be that some people are yet to yield to the full understanding of THE PURPOSE for which they are created, while some are still struggling with how to live that purpose.
To live a life of purpose, we must first know and discover the purpose for which we are created.
Someone once told a story of a daughter who bought a parrot for her grandma for the purpose of reading Bible passages to her daily, but when the granny received the gift she simply ordered it killed, fried and eaten for dinner.
From my own perspective; purpose could be defined as a reason for which an object was designed, manufactured, or produced.
A mobile phone is produced to function as a communication garget; clothes are designed to cover our nakedness among other reasons.
The question then is what is the purpose for man’s creation?
For us to fully digest this we need to consult the Bible, which is the owner’s manual for every creation. In the book of Revelation 4:11; we were told that: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure, they are and were created.” KJV
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36
The primary reason God created human being is to give him pleasure, any other assignment is secondary.
How do we then give Him the pleasure that He deserves?
“Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” Col 1:10 NLT
What purpose is not
1. God does not create us so that we can all become a Pastor. It is not until you abandoned your profession for a full-time ministry that you are fulfilling His purpose for your life. Many have made shipwreck of their faith because they could not decern the purpose of God for their lives and they jumped into the ministry.
2. Purpose is not about being religious and attending all the services and reading the Bible the way the Pharisees would do to please men rather than doing the right thing.
3. Purpose is not about seeking what will generate for you good and abundant money to spend on your needs. Those who lives a life of purpose do not think of the money first but of the satisfaction they get from doing what they love doing.
What then is God’s purpose for us?
Everyone of us has inner yearnings for something greater than us; something that could connect us with our real self in order to make a difference in life.
Many of us sometimes struggle with our inner selves daily because we find ourselves in certain vocation/profession and callings that seem to be in variant with our callings.
There are many people today who have deviated from their initial pursuit and embrace new line or calling simply because they discovered middle way that they were labouring to accomplish little when they knew they can accomplish much more.
God indeed speaks to us through our inner mind and if we carefully listen to Him, we can truly connect with our life purpose with ease.
Our passion will usually point us to the direction where God would want us to serve and please Him. Those things we do without struggle and yet accomplish better results should really speak to us about our life purpose and if we follow the direction of our inner yearning, we would definitely discover our life’s purpose.
The reason why we have people who study Law, Medicine, Engineering etc in the University and today practicing some other vocation is because they chose to yield to their passion and follow their inner yearnings.
As believers, we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the direction which the Lord would want us to follow. When we connect our will with God’s will what we get is the fulfillment of His purpose for our lives. And whatever we find our hands doing, it must be that which will brings glory and honour to His name.
How to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives
It is imperative that we firmly live a life of purpose as ordained by our maker in spite of the murkiness of the environment that we live in today. Either you are a lawyer, Doctor, an Engineer, or Journalist like me; we must live a life that pleases God always. Our conduct and attitude must be such that people will see us and praise God on our behalf.
We are designed by God to be the light and salt of the world, so our conduct must lightens up our environment and season the world.
Our faith must have a bearing with whatever we do.
As a teacher and custodian of knowledge, it is imperative that you impart knowledge in such manner that your students are moulded to produce good fruits.
The knowledge you impart must be profitable to your student with positive implication to their total being. If you are a judge you should understand that God placed you in such an exalted position to deliver righteous judgment and not pervert justice. Indeed, people around you must know that you abhor pervert judgment.
Key principles that you must follow:
1. Don’t follow the multitude in your pursuant of your life purpose. It does not matter if others are doing it, you are not expected to join the bandwagon because you are peculiar people, a holy nation, and royal priesthood.
2. Be exceptional in whatever you are called to do. Diligence is the attitude you must possess at all time. Don’t be slack in your duty and responsibility; it does not matter if you are been rewarded, noticed or acknowledged for doing it. Keep doing good at all time and not only that; do it well and exceptionally well too.
3. Be committed to your calling. I have seen a lot of my colleagues who practice journalism because of “brown envelope” and the peck they enjoyed in the practice.
They are quick to ‘kill’ a story once you are able to pay them for doing so. But a person of purpose will never engage in such practice. Such person understands that the reason for his calling is to disseminate news that will uphold the course of truth and justice.
4. Be accountable to God first and then man. Many live their lives as if it belongs to them. Your life belongs to God, so be accountable to him either in the open or in the secret. Also be accountable to man. If you are put in charge of people’s money, make sure you give the accurate account to those you are serving. Don’t manipulate the book simply because you can do that and no one will ever catch you.
5. Be the benchmark and not the other way round. Our world is getting polluted with all manner of ungodliness; it is our responsibility as Christians to be the standard bearer. “Do not conform with the world” but let the world take a cue from you.
God needs you and me to help reshape the world and bring peace, justice and restoration of righteousness in this perverse world. We are duty bound to carry out our mandate with full conviction that we are doing what we are doing because God want us to do it.
The world is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. The world is waiting for your godly counsel, life inspiration, righteous direction and a wise coach.
Be the one to fulfill all of these, be the one that will make the word goes round with your conducts and be the one who will light up the darkness that has pervaded the whole earth.