Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Purpose: People

When we talk about what it is that God has called us to in our lives, there are really three possible broad answers: people, places, or things. It's very rare that God would give us the answer to all three before we move, which is why most of us never end up moving at all. We want to know everything, but God usually only gives us something. 

But moving on something opens up everything. 

For example, if you are one of those persons that God has called to a certain people, you probably know it. Maybe you have a heart for prisoners. Maybe you have a heart for the sick and dying. Maybe you have a heart for the naked and homeless. Maybe you have a heart for the abused and abandoned. I just had a friend this morning tell me that he thinks middle school students are the most absolutely awesome human beings on earth. Great! Then you know the people to whom God has called you.

A lot of us at this point would likely sit back, saying, "Okay. I know the people to whom God has called me, but where do I find these people and what on earth do I do with them?" We wait until God has answered these questions, and as a result, we end up never moving.

What we have to be willing to do is to go. You don't have to know where, exactly, God is sending you. That will all work itself out. And there are some very practical ways to get going just knowing what people God has called you to love. 

If you've been called to prisoners, where do you think you might find them? In a prison, of course! That's your place. You might say, oh, no, I don't know that for sure, but if those are your people, then that is your place. There are no two ways about it. If the sick are your people, then the hospital is your place. If the dying are your people, it's hospice. These are your places not because you're completely enamored with them as destinations, but because you love the people there. 

And when you love the people in your places, you come quickly to know what your thing is. It's a natural byproduct of being there with them and figuring out what it is that they need. If your people are abandoned children and your place is deep within the foster care system, then your thing is being present. It's being there. It's going to basketball games and school lunches and birthday parties. It's showing up when you're expected and sometimes, even when you're not. It's doing all the little things that these kids ought to be able to rely on but can't in the people who are "supposed" to love them - because you love them. They're your people, so this is your thing.

If your people are the poor, then your thing is being a resource. It's being a valuable wealth of information, contact, and love. That's what they need from you. This doesn't mean you have to be their financing. Or their mortgage payment. Or anything like that. That's not it at all. It means that you bring the wealth of who you are and serve as a resource for those who are without resources in the world. It means sometimes, you're a ride for the person without a car. It means sometimes, you're the companion for the lonely. It means you're the one who sees who society often looks right past. If the poor are your people, this is your thing. It just naturally is so.

Most of us wait until we know everything before we're ready to move, but there are those of you right now who know who your people are. You know who God has called you to love. And you know what? That's absolutely enough to move on.

Go to your people, and you'll find your place. Find your people, and you'll find your thing. Your heart for them will tell you what they need, so then, go and do that.

That's purpose. 

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