How do we appropriate it? Only through prayer.
CREATED FOR A HIGH PURPOSE Every one of us has a purpose in the Lord, but not all of us realize it. And when we don't have an accurate understanding of our identity, we either strive to be something we are not or compare ourselves to others and condemn ourselves for falling short.
When we don't become who we think we are supposed to be, it makes us critical of ourselves. It causes us to be insecure, oversensitive, frustrated and unfulfilled. It forces us to try too hard to make life happen the way we think it is supposed to.
God doesn't want that for you. He wants you to have clear vision for your life. He wants to reveal what your gifts and talents are and show you how to best develop them and use them for His glory. That's because He knows you will never find total fulfillment until you are doing what He created you to do.
Don't think that if you haven't moved into the purpose God has for you by now that it is too late. It's never too late.
I did everything late. I came to the Lord late. I got married late. I had children late. And I didn't start writing professionally until I was more than 40. The greatest part of my ministry happened in my 50s. I believe my best years are ahead.
Trust me, if you are still breathing, God has a purpose for you, and it is good. But God won't move you into the big things He has for you to do unless you have proven faithful in the small things He has given you. So if you are doing what you deem to be small things right now, rejoice! God is getting you ready for the big things ahead.
Although it may often feel like it, there is never a time when nothing is happening in your life. That's because whether you realize it or not, you are never standing still. You are either going forward or you're sliding back.
In order to keep moving forward, you need to become more and more passionate about God. You need to spend quality time with the lover of your soul every day.
I don't want any of us to wake up one morning and realize we didn't lay a good foundation in the things of God or didn't protect the foundation we had with prayer. This is not about getting things from God, although He has much He wants to give to us.
It's about getting into God and allowing Him to get into us. It's about letting Him make us complete. This is about a deep, intimate relationship with God and the wholeness that will be worked in us because of it.
God wants us to want Him. And when we realize that it's Him we want, it frees us to identify the longings, loneliness, frustration and emptiness inside us as our signal that we need to draw near to God with open arms and ask Him to fill us with more of Himself. It's in that kind of relationship that we will find our purpose.
But this deep and intimate relationship with God that we all desire and can't live without doesn't just happen. It must be sought after, prayed for, nurtured, treasured and protected.
THE FUTURE GOD HAS FOR YOU Though God has a plan for your future that is good, remember that the devil has one too—and it's not good. But the devil's plan for you cannot succeed as long as you are walking with God, living in obedience to His ways, worshiping only Him, standing strong in His Word and praying without ceasing.
When you live this way, according to God's Word and by the power of His Holy Spirit, you can trust that you are in the right place at the right time and that the Lord is working His perfect will in your life. You can trust that He is moving you into the life of purpose He has for you.
So don't give up if you are not seeing all you want in response to your prayers. You will! Just keep on doing what's right and refuse to give way to discouragement if things don't happen as fast as you would like them to. They seldom do.
And don't be concerned about your future. God wants you to be concerned with Him, because He is your future.
If you find yourself fearing that your future won't ever be any different than it is at this moment, please know the truth is quite the opposite. It's at these very times, when you feel as if you're not getting anywhere or you're missing the future God has for you, that God is actually preparing you for your future.
And when the time is right, He will undoubtedly do a very quick work. Though it's good to set goals, don't look so far into the future that you become overwhelmed by it.