Do You Know Your Purpose in Life?


March, 2001

Dear Ministry Friends,

Why should you stay alive? Why should you even get out of bed tomorrow?

I know you need to hold a job to pay the rent or house payment, or take care of the kids, or some other seemingly pressing need — but what is the longer term purpose of your life? Why were you even put on earth in the first place?

Many people don't even think about the bigger picture because they are so busy "putting out the fires" of every day life in busy America, or just amusing themselves so continuously that they don't have time to think about anything important in life. But who wants to come to the end of their life and realize that the primary thing they accomplished was paying 1,944 utility bills (that's monthly electricity, gas, and water bills, from age 19 through 72).

My father died at the age of 72. But he left behind a heritage of far more than paid utility bill receipts. He had a life-changing experience with God while serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II. When he got back to the states to finish college, he dropped his major in electrical engineering, and got master's degrees in theology and counseling. He went on to pastor in 14 churches over the 50 years of his adult lifetime, counseling many individuals one-on-one, writing newspaper columns on Christianity, and generally investing himself in blessing others selflessly.

He had some struggles financially trying to provide for a family on a ministry income. He sometimes worked second jobs to make ends meet. But he died knowing his life had been invested in truly valuable ways that had eternal purpose and reward. How about you?

I know you are probably thinking that you are not called to the ministry — but did you know that every Christian has at least one (often more) spiritual gifts that God has placed inside you to make a difference for the Kingdom of God? These spiritual gifts are not our natural abilities. We get those from our DNA. Did you realize that we will each be accountable for what we do with our spiritual gifts? And these spiritual gifts are an important reason you should stay alive. You have a responsibility to God for the stewardship of your gift(s) all the days of your life. You need to be using it (them) for the glory of God. And yet my experience is that most people aren't really sure what their spiritual gifts are.

The next reason you should stay alive is that you can make a difference for the Kingdom of God in this life. The moment you got saved, God could have translated you to Heaven. (He's God, and He could do it any way He wanted to!) He wants fellowship with you — and what better place to fellowship with you than Heaven! But He left you and me here for now. That's because there's work to do! People need to be witnessed to, churches and ministries need people to help, and the work of God needs finances. Your life can make a difference in multiple ways if you will be obedient.

That "lousy job" you've got (or the "lousy customers" if self-employed) can actually become much more fulfilling — if you are giving financially in significant amounts to further the work of God. The combination of your time and talent produces finances that could be changing the world for God! The devil tries to make it seem like the two tithes plus offerings you should give to God's work would make you have a 20 percent lower standard of living. But even if it did — so what! It would be better for you and me to drive a used car and have a 20 percent smaller rent or house payment all our lives and have obeyed God, rather than to have shorted God and spent that little bit more on ourselves. And actually, when we honor God by supporting His work financially in obedient amounts, He blesses what's left in various ways so that it goes further — plus we will avoid many tragedies and calamities that might befall us otherwise. I have had special healings in my family, times I saw God deliver me from physical death, etc., which I know were special rewards for serving Him. Now we don't buy God's blessings — but He promised special rewards back when we are obedient in our finances.

I read a George Barna poll this month which said current statistics are that only 8 percent of Christians tithe! No wonder so many ministries have had financial short-falls. I also read this month where one long-time radio ministry said only 1 percent of it's listeners ever sent an offering. Another minister humorously said, "We've done so much with so little for so long, that we can now do anything with nothing." Of course, that is funny — but not true. The factual statistics are that 4 out of 5 non-profit organizations go out of business within 5 years. Churches and ministries are struggling, ministers are struggling, and many Christians are not doing their part. Some even have the attitude, "Then let them eat cake." (That was a statement by Queen Marie-Antoinette of France responding to the peasants' complaint they had no bread to bake in their ovens. The "cake" Marie said they could eat was the black carbon that caked up on the interior of their brick ovens. Of course, Marie was put to death by guillotine not long after that in the 1792 revolt against the wealthy monarchy.)

1st Corinthians 2:8 refers to evil spirits as the "princes" or "rulers" of this age, depending on the translation. The "rulers" or "princes" of this age vary depending on which time period and geographic territory we are talking about. But I am confident that one of the spiritual principalities over America during this age has been the spirit of greed. Christians have been held back almost supernaturally from giving into God's work like the Lord wants them to. Jesus gave all He had to give for us. Relatively speaking, Jesus is asking much less of us when we only need to give 20 percent or so.

The Body of Christ needs to be awakened to their purposes ordained of God. Every person needs be engaged in Kingdom purposes. We are not on this planet just to work cross-word puzzles until we finally die. Life lasts a long time, so each person might as well get to work for the Kingdom of God. Discover (or better understand) what your spiritual gifts are. Don't be spiritually unemployed! And support God's work with the finances of your household. You will be making a difference, you will have purpose in this life, and Jesus will someday say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."

Living for Eternal Purpose,

Dale Leander


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