Discovering your (True) Purpose

CoupleWalking

Imagine that you are 90 years-old and reflecting back on your life. When you recall most of your past actions, will you have satisfaction with how your life turned out? Or will you be filled with regret over your choices?

Will you say most often, “I am glad I did that” or say, “I wish I had done that”?

If you want to live with meaning and purpose, then these are critical questions to ask yourself often.

The reason I’m asking them is because a TBYT reader asked me the meaning of Jesus’ statement in Matthew 16:25:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

This scripture speaks of someone who aligns their life’s priority, purpose, and focus to walk in step with God daily. Before Jesus spoke those words to His disciples, He had told them about the things He would suffer at the hands of the elders and priests, that He would be killed, and raised up on the third day.

But then Peter had the nerve to rebuke Jesus. He said: “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

Jesus’ response to Peter is a great life lesson on proper priorities for us: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Whoa! It may seem harsh for Jesus to associate Peter with Satan, but He was really speaking to the spirit behind Peter’s words. It is an offense to Jesus when you are not mindful of God’s priorities, but only think of your own gratification. That mindset is against everything for which Jesus stands.

Peter rebuked Jesus because he was likely thinking about how his close association with Jesus was going to affect him personally, in a negative way. So he did not want God’s plan to go forth. Peter was not willing to “take up his cross” at that time.

Another example of someone who was not willing to take up his cross was the rich young ruler (see Mark 10:17-22). He came to Jesus, asking what he could do to obtain eternal life:

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

The rich young ruler had the source of eternal life right in front of him, but walked away from Him empty and sorrowful instead. Why? Scripture says that the rich young ruler had great possessions and did not want to give them up. He was more mindful of the things of men than the things of God!

If you want the best of life, then you must order your actions according to God’s priorities and purpose. Jesus died on the cross so that you might have abundant life. In John 17:3, Jesus defines eternal life: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Regarding your weight loss, the right mindset is to see this health issue as an opportunity to know the Lord better as you rely upon Him daily to overcome your challenges!

While fitting into a smaller clothing size and looking good is wonderful, don’t get it twisted. A twisted motive is just being mindful of the things of men, not of God. When Jesus was just twelve years-old, He was already had His priorities straight:

Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business (see Luke 2:49)?”

The apostle Paul sums up the purpose and reason for taking up your cross and following Jesus daily (boldness is mine for emphasis):

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:7-11).”

That is the essence of your new life in Christ. You value your relationship with God above everything else – yes, even above your necessary food. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things have been made new! What will it profit you to gain a slimmer body, but miss out the daily intimate relationship God wants to have with you through Jesus Christ?

Again, don’t get your life twisted. Put first things first!

When you take up your cross, you commit to walking just as Jesus walked. So even as you are working on improving your health and weight, you are mindful of the things of God. In doing so, you please the Lord. And that is something to be glad about!

Be blessed in Health, Healing, and Wholeness,

— Kimberly Taylor

Take Back Your Temple

http://www.takebackyourtemple.com

P.S. Are you ready to live a “no regrets life when it comes to your health and weight? Let the Take Back Your Temple program be your guide. God’s way is change from the inside out and once you are changed His way, you are never the same!

Click here to learn more about the Take Back Your Temple program

  • Elisha says:

    Kimberly,

    I don’t even know how to start, I struggle with liking myself at all. My actions with food and finances are glutinous to say the least. When I was younger and even just 7 years ago I had will power, it seems as if I have none. Every morning I wake up to the same scenario; feeling guilty and remorseful for choices I have made for the day prior, at times nauseous, mad at myself, feeling guilty for feeling guilty and the resolve that things are going to be different, that today is new and today I won’t be a dissapointment to God. This resolve is at work all day when it comes to food choices, walking by donuts, cake, candy etc., all day long and with each passing denying my flesh, taking captive thoughts that don’t line up with Christ and rebuking the enemy, then I get home, supper is a challenge but for the most part I don’t give in, but then the evening comes, I remember something in the pantry for the kids, at times even cake decor sprinkles and then I go to town, eating and shoveling as much in before I can fill convicted or get caught, yet hearing the Holy Spirit the whole time softly trying to pull me away and yet I ignore Him. I hate myself for this! The same is true for how I spend money and I truly have a hard time looking at the facts. I have a continual fear that I will not have enough, so I better eat it all now and better spend it all now. If I don’t spend it someone else will, most always my spending splurges are on my four girls or my husband, and immediately afterwards I have buyers remorse. I feel unsafe, unprotected and unprovided for, which I know in my head these are not Gods character. I don’t like and do regret many of the choices I have made, and do not like how my life seems to be spirilling out of control, I am afraid of myself. I know the Word and confess it and believe it. I want lasting change, I am concerned at my ability to ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit in these areas and others at times, but do know that I also obey Him at times and that He uses me. I do fill used up and when I get home I just don’t want to be on guard anymore. I am a nurse also. Could you pray for me, I feel
    As if these things that concern me do not concern anyone else, even my “Spirit filled” won’t pray for me when I ask, he’ll say “God knows”, and when I ask my husband he seems to begrudgingly do it, so I just don’t ask, I feel that I am a burden to those around me, and that I should always be strong and the one praying for them and myself. I want to be better and who God created me to be. I feel so weak and defeated. I don’t like this about myself, I hate that I sound like a self-loathing titty baby. Jesus hear me, you know my heart.

    • Sarah says:

      I will pray for you Elisha. I understand how you feel and have been there before. Just remember you have already been forgiven, not just from the sins of the past, but even those you’ve not yet commited. That guilt and self loathing does not come from the Lord. Ive struggled so much with guilt over food, even to the point where I started to feel guilty over every bite that went in my mouth. We are not meant to eat that way, God wants us to rejoice and thank him for the food we eat, not feel shame and self laothing. I know what its like to be doing something you hate, while screaming in your head how much this isnt really what you want. We must be strong, run to Jesus, and either get in his word or sit on our knees in prayer, flee from temptation. But when we fail, dont stoop in self hatred, but ask the Lord for forgivness, thank him for dying for this sin, ask him for his peace and try again!

  • Cathy says:

    Kimberly, this is a wonderful writing. When I had lost weight before it was for vanity. I gained the weight back and am now working the TBYT program and am moving in the rightness of God. My motives were always wrong. I was blind but now I see…
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Kris Smith says:

    Thank you for such spirit filled words about following Christ and taking up our cross. We live for Him and our motives need to be aligned accordingly.

    • I give all the glory to God, Kris. The gift of His Son Jesus is so precious. The best way to show appreciation for the gift is to take up our cross and follow Him wherever He may lead!

  • Sherry m. says:

    If I can’t love myself then I cant love my neighbor. renewing my mind daily in the Bible changes my view point. I understand how precious I am to Father God. He loves me so much. He created me forHimself. the Biblesays that I am His inheritance.i do not have to preform for theFather to love me.our salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ. Not by works, lest an man should boast the scriptures say. if I eat too much today I have not removed myself from the Fathers love.the Bible says NOTHING shall separate me from theFathers Love.if you want( as I have) to see yourself as God sees you then read, study and pray the Word of God everyday.this makes you strong. Come into Agreement with the Word of God, come OUT of Agreement with the Devils lies. The TRUTH makes you free, and whom the Son sets Free is free indeed.The lying spirit of poverty tells us there isn’t enough food for us so we had better eat as much as we can as long as we can and be gluttonous because God can’t provide for us. The same with money, spend, buy, hoard there isn’t enough,God can’t provide for me.Its a LIE from the pit of hell. Renounce,those spirits of poverty and gluttony, repent of believing those lies, reject them and come into agreement with Gods Word which says Jesus is myProvider, my healer,mystrength, my sufficient One. There will Always be enough for me because ofJesus and His finished work ontheCross.may we each one prospers be In health even as our soul prospers

    • Amen and amen, Sherry! Truth straight from the word of God. If we are to be free, we must agree with God’s word. It is a process to get our minds renewed to God’s word but it is the only way to be transformed. With faith and patience, we will inherit God’s promises for us!

  • Pamela Eschenroeder says:

    I am so thankful I am finally logged in Kim, I have to confess, I am so out of control with eating right now. I have been doing low carbs and lost 15 lbs..I know my problem with carbs and sweets has been an addiction for years. I was 303, now 286..I lost more but have been out of control lately..much better with sugar then I was, but still have been messing up alot.I went on a 9 day fast with Anne Graham Lotz for the USA, only sweets, though.. but since.. I have had m.s. for 25 yrs..so exercise is not much, I use a cane and a walker. Well, I am so looking forward for this program
    I pray I can stay on it til the Temple is .back thanks for listening, Kim, Pam

    • Hi Pam – glad you joined us! You will have many who can relate to what you are going through. It all comes down to Jesus’ priorities, being about the Father’s business and being diligent to cultivate habits that will enable you to do it. May God receive glory from your effort!

  • Julie D says:

    Elisha I second 🙂 Sarah, and I will be praying for you also, its so hard and I’m grateful for Kimberly and her site, we have a community of like minded people all fighting the same battle ! You’re not alone I’ve felt exactly how you do the key is to – never, never, never give up. ( think Winston Churchill said that but i’m stealing it )

    Will be praying for you.

    Your sister in Christ Julie.

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