Jesus told His disciples that the only way to find one's life is to lose it (Mark 8:35)—that life is only worth living if one is willing to die for something greater than one's self. This was only one of the many countercultural teachings of Jesus. His teachings are as controversial today in our American culture as they were to first-century Jewish culture. Yet in the face of great opposition, Jesus was able to take 12 men and create the largest, most influential movement the world has ever seen. He lived an extraordinary life and left behind an eternal legacy through His disciples. True influence should increase through the lives we pour into, even after we pass away. Our greatest example of this is, of course, Jesus, whose followers did greater works than He did after His resurrection and ascension.
Jesus never wrote a book and never traveled farther than the general region of Israel where He was born and raised. He had no servants, yet many called Him "Master." He had no degree, yet many called Him "Teacher." He had no medicines, yet they called Him "Healer." He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. Jesus remained steadfast to God the Father's will for His life, never suffering from what I call "mission drift." Mission drift happens when we are caught up in issues that prevent us from reaching our full potential. Our full potential includes unleashing greatness in our spouses, children, friends and families, thereby leaving a legacy for all future generations. We can do this by following the principles that Jesus used to unleash human potential and turn the world upside down.
My book, The Jesus Principles, is an invitation to join me on a journey to release your purpose through the principles of Jesus. Before we begin this journey, I have seven questions for you. Your answers to these questions will serve as indicators of the status of your current purposeful state as well as help you understand the extent to which you are experiencing mission drift. God does not intend for you to live adrift. He intends that you have life, and life abundant—living with purpose so that those who come after you can go forward from the legacy you leave them.
- Are experiencing continual frustration? This is one of the most obvious signs you are not walking toward what God has internally wired you to pursue. In fact, this may be a God-given sign to awaken you to the real passion and purpose He had for you.
- Are you suffering burnout? Another telltale sign is that you have to work hard at accomplishing things in your own strength. When you do this for too long, you experience burnout.
- Is there a lack of fruit in your life? You don't maximize your effectiveness, resulting in a lack of fruit. You have a unique calling, unlike any other. Hitting the mark in your purpose and bearing much fruit is what Jesus called us to do (John 15:8).
- How do you remain faithful to the original call on your life? Every once in a while, I review my prophetic journal to make sure I am still pursuing the original call God gave me years ago. God chose each of us before the foundation of the world and gave us a purpose before we were even born (Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9).
- Do you find yourself losing focus? Activity does not necessarily result in productivity. Many people are are very busy running around focused on minor things and neglecting the primary things God has called them to. Prioritize your time or it will not match your purpose.
- How often do you put things before people? The kingdom of God is built upon relationships, not ministry or work. Everyone is called to invest in key relationships, whether it be immediate family, spiritual children, mentors or key people you are called to "do life" with.
- How good are you at keeping the main thing the main thing? The enemy of "best" is usually something good. The enemy does not come in a red suit with a pitchfork; he comes as an angel of light. Hence, one of his strategies is to get you so focused on doing something good for God or your family that it blinds you to what is best. Always keep first things first, and the main thing the main thing.
As you press in and ponder your answers to these questions, I pray that the Holy Spirit convicts you of your need to explore the principles Jesus used to release purpose in His followers. What worked for His disciples will work for you because "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Heb. 13:8).
Adapted from The Jesus Principles by Joseph Mattera, copyright 2019, published by Charisma House. Your greatest ministry is to the people around you. This book will help you unleash greatness in yourself, but even more important, in your circle of influence—your spouse, children, friends and family. To order your copy, click on this link.
Prayer Power for the Week of October 27, 2019
This week, ask the Lord to reveal any areas where you may have strayed from His primary purpose for you. Recommit yourself to Him and His purpose for your life. Continue to pray for worldwide revival, beginning with our own nation. Pray that our nation would be delivered from evil in all its forms: hatred, bigotry, division, lawlessness, greed and among other things, rebellion against God-given authority. Pray for righteous government to prevail. Pray for our allies and that our leaders would be given wisdom and grace to make the best decisions affecting us and the world. Read: 2 Chronicles 7:14, Matt. 11:28-30, Mark 8:35, John 15:8, Heb. 13:8.
Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He is renowned for addressing current events through the lense of Scripture by applying biblical truths and offering cogent defenses to today's postmodern culture. He leads several organizations, including The United Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us). He also has a blog on Charisma News called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org.
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