16 Dec The Purpose Driven Professional of God
Our Lord Jesus Christ is not only our Saviour, but He is also our Maker and Creator God, with complete authority over our lives. When one says “The Lord is my shepherd,” it immediately implies a profound working relationship between a human being and his Maker. God in Christ is deeply concerned about us. This gives us great purpose and enormous meaning to my short sojourn upon this planet. The greater we realize it, the more vital will be our relationship with Him.
- His ownership of me is legitimate —because He created me and cares for me as an object of His own affection.
- I truly belong to Him – because He has bought me again at the incredible price of His own laid-down life and shed blood. This increases my worth and sense of gratitude for Him.
- Jesus literally lays Himself out for us continually, by ever interceding for us, and guiding us by His gracious Spirit. The Good Shepherd spares no pains for the welfare of His sheep.
I. GOD’S DESIGN FOR OUR LIFE
Our Creator God has had a detailed and unique design for each of us, even before He created the world (Eph 1:4). Though He has given us free will, He deserves our decision to follow Him and serve His purposes, rather than chasing earthly passions (Gal 5:13). God’s design for our life consists of the following:
1. GOD’S PLAN: God has created each of us with a great plan before sending us into this world (Jer. 1:5). Living by God’s plan will help us lead a life of purpose, safety, blessing, and prosperity, and anything outside His plan will be a life of lowly nature (Jer. 21:9, 27:3). The purpose of God’s plan is primarily to fulfill His purposes, and that should be our prime goal, more than the thought of how it will benefit us. Nothing on earth is better than playing our little part in the fulfillment of God’s plans and purposes.
How do you value playing a role in God’s plan specially designed for you!?!
2. GOD’S PURPOSE: God also has a specific purpose for creating us on earth (Ps. 139:16). According to that purpose we are born at a particular point of time in history, in our country, into our own family. God’s plan for us is an expansion of His purpose for us to fulfill. In Psalm 138:8(NIV) David hopefully sings, “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me”. As Rick Warren says, “You are not an accident. Your parents might have not planned for you, but God did.”
Acts 13:36 says, “David had served God’s purpose in his own generation”. Paul was talking about how carefully a solider will conduct himself while on duty: “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer” (2 Tim. 2:4). Unless we play our role very carefully, by living our life exactly as intended by God, we will be wasting away literally. As C.T. Studd says, we have “only one life, it will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”
3. GOD’S PROFESSION(S): God called Jeremiah as a ‘prophet’ and not a high priest (Jer. 1:5). He elevated the slave boy Joseph to the role of the ‘Prime Minister’. A Harvard University research publication says that Moses was the greatest ‘Administrator’ in all human history. God told him about Joshua that the “spirit of leadership” was on him (Num. 27:18). God made David, a shepherd boy, a ‘King’, the cup-bearer Nehemiah, a ‘Governor’. He also made the exiled Daniel a Royal Advisor to 4 kings. He also made the fisherman Peter as a ‘Fisher-of-men’, and the torturer Saul to be Apostle Paul. Prof. H. Enoch emphatically said about our professions, “Wherever God places people, they should be faithful to Him 100% … The best place and most useful place for a man to be in is, in the centre of God’s perfect will for him.”
II. GOD’S INVESTMENT IN OUR LIFE
When the Lord calls us, He also equips us. God’s design for our life also contains God’s plan for ‘His provisions for us’ to live according to His purposes. Before creating man on earth, God already created the dry ground for him to stand, light in the day and night to see, leafy plants to produce oxygen, trees full of fruits to eat, water to drink, shades to shelter, and a garden to work in. Let’s see how God invested in us to fulfill our calling.
1. ANOINTING & GIFTING: God used Prophet Samuel to anoint king Saul and David for the role of the king of Israel. God anointed Jeremiah for the office of prophet. To fulfill God’s purposes, He has blessed us spiritually with anointing and gifting. We also see that, the Spirit of God gives required gifts to everyone to fulfill their vocational calling (1 Cor. 12:11). For example, prophets were gifted with the gift of prophesy, teachers with the gifts of teaching, and kings with wisdom and discernment. Thus God surely equips us with all the anointing and gifts required to help us fulfill God’s calling for our life.
2. SKILLS & TALENTS: God has also blessed us with unique skills and talents that are required to fulfill our calling. We are well equipped physically, emotionally, and intellectually so as to deliver on God’s plans. Some of them are invested in us even before we were born, whereas some others we developed along the way. Many of our talents we ourselves can find out, while a few others, people can highlight. It is so important for us, not only to be aware of our own anointing, gifts, skills and talents, but also to consciously identify them in EU students and young graduates, so that we can encourage them to enflame and put them to work for God’s glory.
3. EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, EXPOSURE & EXPERTISE:
The Lord also invested in us those things that have professional relevance like our education, job opportunities, job roles, favour (Luke 2:52), promotions (Ps. 75:6,7), exposure, wisdom, and expertise. In Psalm 119, David talks about having become wiser than his elders, teachers, and enemies, by learning God’s precepts. Solomon talked about God’s precepts as the source of wisdom. Usually, job roles come with opportunity for us to fulfill our godly calling while handling our work there. Our Lord will help us further sharpen our expertise and create right opportunities to use it so as to fulfill His purposes for our life.
III. GOD’S RETURNS DUE FROM OUR LIFE
Anyone who makes investments deserves to receive back the accruing interest/dividend. In the Parable of the Talents (Mat. 25:14-30), we clearly see the following principles:
- God gives us abilities and professional responsibilities (v15).
- God wants us to deploy our capabilities in full (v16-18). We cannot afford to bury them.
- God wants us to optimally use (not under-utilize) our capabilities (v19).
- The Master eventually will call for each of us to “settle account” with Him (v19).
- While the Master will surely appreciate our good results, the reward and recognitions that will come to us will be in exact proportion of how we have performed in our job roles (v20-23).
- The one who fails or underperforms will typically blame his Master (v24). However, he will be always fearful about his Master and job security (v25).
- How much ever, a master can afford to be graceful, while appraising performance, he will choose to be more objective as well. The real performance will be rightly rewarded… either good or bad (v30).
Similar lessons can be learnt from the Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:11-27). God always gives us the best, and surely He deserves from us also the best possible results – be it in our professional roles, or ministry roles!
IV. DISTRACTION & RISK MANAGEMENT
‘Abrahamic Blessing’ clearly states that we are blessed so as to become a source of blessing for others (Genesis 12:2).
As students we strived our best to score good marks and grades. Then after getting a job, we continue to strive rigorously to get a better job, better salary, and better positions, by making any sacrifice, so as to get better possessions. Then, the pursuit goes on chasing after fun and entertainment. In this long pursuit, one realizes at the end of one’s career that they have not achieved a greater impact for God.
Nothing is wrong with obtaining possessions or reaching positions or having fun and entertainment. But the problem with them is that they are “to be just added” along the way (Mat. 6:33), than to be “direly sought after”. Providing us with them is the Lord’s role, and our role is to seek after God’s Kingdom and fulfill His purposes for our lives. It is also important to use these possessions and positions for the sake of His kingdom. However, it is often seen that people easily get entangled in the seamless pursuit of chasing such earthly gains, while losing time and opportunity to work on God’s plan for their lives. In the Parable of the Sower, the Lord warned us about the coercing and distracting nature of earthly things, worries of this life, and the deceitfulness of wealth, in comparison with thorns that choke the eligible growth. (Mat. 13:1-23).
While we understand God’s design for our life and His investment in our life, it is our responsibility to serve His purposes yielding better results. Earthly blessings “will be added” to our life, when we realize the need to be more focused on the higher purposes that serve in our life!
(For a further detailed study, you may read the book “Hi-Pot(ential) Hi-Per(forming) Professional of God” recently published by IVP)
Peter Christopher Raj, has been with UESI since 1985, starting as an EU student for 8 years and later as a graduate in all major 6 cities of India. Currently he is part of the OPEC. He served in corporate world for 17 years in Investment Banking sector from middle to top management roles. His specialization is in Operations, Quality Management & Process Transformation. Since 2014 he is freelancing as a Management Consultant. He is married to Anne, a structural engineer and works for a USA company, being part of global Quality Leadership team. He is blessed with two daughters, Mitchelle & Sharon. They are based at Chennai.