Purpose Over Popularity
Are you an all-in person? We all know one if we aren’t one ourselves. That person has to go all the way (or not at all) in every situation. There’s no middle ground for all-in people. Whether you are naturally an all-in person or not, in our walk with God we have to go all in – completely in, without reservations. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) declares: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” See the “all your heart”? Not half or even most of your heart – all of it.
Now, here’s the thing: going all in can be uncomfortable. Going all in can be really hard, but that cannot keep us from pursuing God’s purpose in our lives wholeheartedly. Mathew 22:36 (NIV) says: “‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.’” God wants us completely and entirely, and He goes all in with His love. He has plans and purposes for you that are incredible and impactful.
Now, we want to please God and to fulfill the purposes He has for us, but it can be all too easy to be distracted from our purpose by a desire for popularity. We all struggle with wanting others to like us, approve of us, maybe even be a little jealous of us – and that can greatly distract from the wondrous plans and purposes God has for us.
It is important to remember that living for the approval of other people keeps you from the purpose God has for you. Don’t let comfort distract from your calling – don’t allow the desire for popularity to derail you from your purpose. Even Moses, the deliverer of the Hebrews from Egypt, had to consciously make the choice to let go of popularity in order to embrace the purpose God had for him. Let’s look at this verse in Hebrews: “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:24 NIV).
The Power of Purpose In Our Lives
- Purpose diminishes distractions. One of the biggest distractions for us as human beings is the curse of comparing. We can get so distracted by how everyone else is doing or how successful they are or how much better looking someone else is, and those comparisons take away our focus, contentment, and drive. On the opposite end of the spectrum, focusing on our personal purpose helps tune out those detrimental distractions from our lives so that we pour out time and energy into the purposes we were made for.
- Purpose pushes you through pain. Hate to break it to you, but you are going to experience pain because you are living differently and pursuing your purpose in Christ. The good news is, having your eyes on the prize and your focus on the purpose God has for you helps push you through the pain. Mathew 8:33-34 (ESV) says: “The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.” Even Jesus was rejected because he was walking in his purpose rather than living as the world saw fit. You are not alone in whatever you find yourself facing; Jesus is right there with you.
- Purpose empowers you to please God. Doing what is right can be daunting. The truth is, following Jesus brings conflict because his ways are not the ways of the world we live in. It is written in Acts 5:29 (NIV): “Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” You cannot please everyone, but you can please God. You can choose to reject the lure of human applause for the treasure of God’s purpose – and while that choice can be hard, it is incredibly empowering.
Oftentimes when we think of purpose, we think of grand, glorious things, like feeding orphans and evangelizing all over the globe. While those things are vital (and God may very well call you to those things), purpose sometimes doesn’t look so grand. Sometimes it’s going up to encourage someone you know who is feeling down. Sometimes it’s in the little things – and when you faithfully walk in the purposes God has for you, amazing things happen, regardless of how small the start is.
Imagine a world where everyone likes you, approves of you, and admires you. That world doesn’t exist; it simply isn’t possible. You have to understand at a heart level that it will never happen – you will never be able to please all the other people around you. Now imagine another world: one where you are so consumed with pleasing Christ, you don’t care what others think about you. Choosing to focus on what God wants for you is choosing purpose over popularity.