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The Purpose Filled Life
By Dan Vis
January 29, 2017
Comments: 76

Note: Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing several posts designed to help us start the new year with a commitment to making 2018 our best year yet! Today's reading is an updated repost from last January, about the importance of living a purpose-filled life. That's where it all starts, isn't it?

Many of us recognize the need for more of the Spirit's power in our life. But we don't always know how to go about getting that power. I believe one key is understanding the close connection between a life of purpose and a life of power. That is, to enjoy more power, you simply need to cultivate a deeper sense of purpose.

And there's no better time to think about your purpose in life than in the weeks leading up to a fresh new year.

I first noticed the connection between purpose and power when memorizing the two prayers opening up the books of Philippians and Colossians. Many of Paul's epistles begin with a prayer for the believers he was writing to, and I've made it a point over the years to memorize these prayers as guides to help me when praying for believers today. It's been a helpful practice.

Not only did I memorize them about the same time, the prayer is found in the exact same place in both books (verses 9-11 of chapter 1)--which is no doubt why they linked themselves together in my mind. Both prayers ask God to grant those believers a clearer sense of purpose.

In Philippians 1:9-119 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God., Paul prays they would abound "more and more in knowledge and in all judgment", and be able to "approve things that are excellent" as opposed to just good. It shows a clear burden that they grow in their sense of purpose.

Paul's prayer in Colossians 1:9-119 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; asks that they "might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding", in order for their lives to be pleasing to God, fruitful, and continually growing. Again, his prayer is that they would live lives of purpose.

In the first, Paul promises purpose will lead to "the fruits of righteousness". In the second, he promises purpose will lead us to "walk worthy of the Lord". Both are only possible through the reality of the indwelling Spirit. He doesn't pray for more of the Spirit, however, he prays for more purpose--knowing God's Spirit would be the inevitable result.

After reflecting on these verses many times, and praying through them often, I've come to the conclusion that being filled with purpose does indeed lead to being filled with the Spirit.

In Luke 24:49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high., the disciples were told to tarry in Jerusalem until they received power, so they could fulfill a specific purpose: that "repentance and remission of sins" should be preached among all nations (vs 47).

In Acts 1:8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth., the real promise was that the disciples would be witnesses to the uttermost parts of the earth. The power of the Holy Spirit was just the key to accomplishing that purpose.

In the days leading up to Pentecost, I suspect the enormity of the great commission drove their prayers. They were burdened with the realization that all who "call on the name of the Lord" could be saved (Acts 2:21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.).

In Acts 4:29And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,, just before the second outpouring of the Holy Spirit (vs 31), they didn't even ask for more of the Spirit--they asked for greater boldness to speak the word in the face of severe threats. Their purpose drove their prayers. And God blessed with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

To put it differently, I don't believe God gives the Holy Spirit primarily for our own personal enjoyment and growth--though these are certainly outcomes of His presence in our life. Rather, God has an almost incomprehensible longing to save the world, and He is looking everywhere for men and women who are willing to commit their lives to that purpose. And when He sees that determination to engage, He eagerly grants whatever power is needed.

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. II Chronicles 16:9For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Perhaps more than focusing our prayers on some kind of spiritual experience or blessing, we should spend more time like the apostle Paul--praying for a greater and stronger sense of purpose. Make it your goal to be filled with the knowledge of God's will for your life, and He will make sure you are filled with whatever measure of the Spirit you need to accomplish it.

As we draw near to the end of 2017 and get ready to launch into 2018, how is it with you? Is your life filled with purpose? Are you determined to make the coming year your best year yet?


Take a moment to reflect on your life. What is your motive for wanting more of the Holy Spirit? Is your life marked by a strong sense of purpose? What can we do to be more purpose filled?

Posted by Sue Gilmore on 12/22/17
I believe a key purpose for our lives is to reflect Jesus in character. That is m prayer--not merely to engage in working with Him, but living like Him--in my thoughts, words, in what I eat and drink--every part of me.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/10/17
How super that you enjoyed the Breakout Challenge, Carlota. I did too!
Posted by Carlota Belmo on 12/09/17
Yes Dan, this is my first ever Breakout Challenge and I love it!.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/09/17

That's exactly why I posted this, Fiona. I do think we tend to have it backwards. You expressed it so clearly!

Praise God Carlota! Glad you found this helpful. And love the verse! Was it from our last Breakout Challenge?

Posted by Carlota Belmo on 12/08/17
Thanks Dan, this is what I have been asking for, I want to understand my purpose here, what is it that God wants of me. I think I now see the light, as I surrender to God and serve Him He will make the purpose visible to me, and then give me the power to execute my mission for Him. “Preserve me, O God for in Thee do I put my trust.” Psalms 16:1Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/08/17
I am intrigued, Dan, about how you suggest exactly the opposite of what most people state : usually we are told that we need to pray for a greater measure of the Holy Spirit, and then we will be equipped for working for God. But no, you suggest just the opposite! That equipped with a purpose inspired by God, the Holy Spirit will be given so that we can accomplish that purpose. Very interesting! It makes sense. God guides and then empowers.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/07/17
Thank you everyone for your positive feedback! I think the Holy Spirit must be tugging on each of our hearts because HE wants us to live a life of purpose. He longs to pour out through us a river of love and grace to a suffering, dying world. But He needs channels willing to be used for that purpose. Let's step up and answer the call!
Posted by Nathaniel C Nwazue on 12/06/17
As I reflect on the purpose filled life, I desire that God may use me to reach many and lead them to the foot of the Cross. This is my purpose that each day of my life will be guided by the Holy Spirit. I have read this lesson three times and it gives me a good understanding of what a life of purpose is. thank you.
Posted by Lynie on 12/05/17
May God's Will be done in our life as we approach new year
and the time to come..
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 12/04/17
Dan Vis,
This really gave me something to think about. I pray often for the Holy Spirit to use me. I ask for the latter rain because I want the power of God to combat the evil that assaults each of us on a daily basis. I want to be like Paul and Peter who were so faithful in their witnesses. Most of all, I want to love others like Christ loves me to win others for His Kingdom.
Posted by Darci Ziegler on 12/04/17
This was very good for me to think about. I have memorized one of these passages before and have prayed it for my children. I am going to do this again because they are teenagers now and need to have purpose in life as they decide what to do in the future. So do I as they are growing and someday leaving home what is my new purpose after all these years of them being my purpose?
Posted by Linda Elliott on 12/04/17
It's easy to get lost in the busyness of life without a focus on purpose. Thank you for sharing.
Posted by Marion Coppock on 12/04/17
We absolutely cannot be a Spirit-filled person without asking for the Holy Spirit to fill you each and every day. I like the "praying for greater purpose" It seems like Life is to busy that I often stay, I will go visit, call etc another day when I have more time.
Posted by Deanna Dekle on 12/04/17
Thank you for this emphasis. We need it.
Posted by John Gilmore on 12/04/17
I need the Holy Spirit to empower me to live for Jesus, both to know and to do His will. And so I pray, Lord, please help me and all of my FAST friend not just to know but also to fulfill your purpose this next year.
Posted by Cristina Bastos on 12/04/17
It is good to remember that I can do nothing, but Jesus does all that is needed, if I allow Him to use me as a tool. My purpose is to be an "ergonomic" tool that the Master uses free and perfectly in the work that He created me to do. For this I need the Spirit living in me, so all the glory is to our Wonderful God!
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/17/17
You are very welcome Liza! Thank you for you inspiring and motivating thoughts...
Posted by Liza W on 09/11/17
More of the Holy Spirit, less of me. More of Jesus, less of me. That God's purpose becomes mine and that in all my thoughts, plans, intents, desires, I am becoming a partaker of the divine nature, through the knowledge of Him who has called me to glory and virtue, that I am surrendering more of myself to be a vessel of use for the Master. Such a challenge because of my brokenness and impurity but such a blessing because of Him who transforms me into a vessel of glory. Blessed again, thank you for sharing this.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/10/17
Praise God Qing! Your words give such a clear picture of the real meaning of life. :)
Posted by Qing Ling on 09/09/17

the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace...

Getting to know Jesus as a personal friend, our mission with Him will become clearer to us. And the clearer our purpose in life is, the more effective we will be in our calling in Life.

This memo has inspired me to dig deeper into my relationship with Jesus, so that His Great Commission drives my prayers the way it did the first evangelists.

Posted by Dan Vis on 09/09/17
Great post, Nena, and a great prayer. :) I like your last sentence especially: "this is a search and seeking process , constant learning, continuous practice and prayer". Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Nena on 09/08/17
I want more of the motives of the Holy Spirit to hope that everything can be done according to the will of God. John 7:17-1817 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. will you always remind me that I am acting to honor myself, or to glorify god? This will keep me praying for this. Philippians 1:9And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;, Psalms 81:10I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it., I think this is a search and seeking process , constant learning, continuous practice and prayer.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/06/17
I'm sure the Holy Spirit was leading your thoughts down those paths, Elizabeth. God has infinite creativity. I'm sure He will give you some amazing ideas...
Posted by Elizabeth on 09/06/17
Today I have been thinking about the needs around me and how God can use me to bring others to him. Especially in a secular paid workplace where I cannot really witness but the Holy Spirit definitely will empower me. thank you for sharing.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/06/17
Glad to see everyone enjoyed this week's post. Always an encouragement to hear people find these helpful! :)
Posted by Violeta Buckley on 09/05/17
Very inspiring article. Thanks Dan.
Posted by Floride Leonce on 09/04/17

Hi Dan,

Thank you for this wonderful article. It's very interesting. I usually pray for my relatives and friends tor them to understand and respond to the message of Christ, but I never thought about using Paul's prayer found in those passages. Now I know what to do.

Thanks again and many blessings!


Posted by Deanna Dekle on 09/04/17
I fully agree for I have had this experience. Thanks you Dan.
Posted by Barbara Davis on 09/04/17
This is one of the most inspiring memos I have read. Stopping to think about it, purpose is behind everything we do. Why we get up in the morning and go to bed at night, why we go to work, why we eat, what we wear,....This is powerful!
Posted by Laurie Wissink on 09/04/17
I really appreciate these Monday Memos! They always get me to thinking and praying! Amen to the message for today!
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/04/17

Thank you everyone for your kind words, and the inspiration it gives to see your commitment to live purpose-filled lives. I especially appreciated what Leslie wrote about Jesus, and how He is an example for us of commitment to a mission. What a privilege to be able to enter into and share in the very heart of Christ by being colaborers together with Him. It's an exciting thought.

Actually, I don't think we can ever fully know Christ until we do. Without that commitment there will always be aspects of His life that remain mysterious. I suspect this is part of what Paul was hinting at when he talked about "the fellowship of his sufferings" (Philippians 3:10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;). Exciting thought, isn't it?

Posted by Debbie King on 09/04/17
I copy exactly what Lynn says above. Our children.   Our children.
Posted by Lynn Badger on 09/04/17
I pray Paul's prayer in Colossians daily for my children. Gives me hope for their future. Thank you for sharing this morning. Felt the Holy Spirit as I was studying your words today.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 09/04/17
recently, I have been thinking about the importance to have a purpose filled life, one that will bring light to this world, and further HIS Kingdom. I don't want to go thru the motions, I want to know HE is pleased, and HIS people are seeing more of HIM.
What a blessing this class is.
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 09/04/17
This is one of the best Monday Memos yet! It excited me and energized me to see how much more the Spirit of God can use me for His purpose. The scriptures you used are encouraging. Thank you for letting God's Spirit use you to help us be more consistent and clear in our purpose for His Kingdom.
My motive in wanting the Holy Spirit is to be more bold for Christ like Paul was. I want to act on the ideas that God gives me in the moment and not hesitate due to fears of failure or rejection.
Posted by Noelle on 09/04/17
I am a homeschooling mom. I want to have clear purpose so I can pass that on to my family, and they will be more prepared to live a life of purpose for Jesus.
Posted by Leslie Caza on 09/04/17

We are living in the perfect age for this message. People are longing to connect with someone authentic, with someone with answers to their needs. God is that Someone. Thank you Dan, for sharing this message over and over again. I need it. We are a church of sound doctrine , which I love, but it is tempting to take the easy way and feel that telling people the truth for them to take our leave is the substance of our mission for Christ.

When I look to Jesus, I see a man who labored long, and traveled far to see the needs of others and then show them that the Father had the answers and the power. Those prayers you shared remind us that God is the One working in hearts and we can be colaborers with Him. We are not alone in disciple making.

I was so encouraged by the verses you shared.I am in change mode in my outreach and see that the key to success is found in the message you shared today.

Posted by Marion Coppock on 09/04/17
Everyday we must ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit, as we cannot be victorious over self on our own.
Posted by Bill Hough on 09/04/17
It is the same as the health message, To be in the best physical, mental and spiritual condition to do our
utmost for Christ and His kingdom.
Posted by Liza W on 03/25/17
Such a great study! I need more of the Holy Spirit in my life because I understand He makes me a better person in every way. Through the Holy Spirit in me, God works to give me a work, to share with others His love and prepare for His kingdom. Determining that time with God is the first priority every day will revive me and help me remember my purpose, which is to serve God, to bless others, to glorify Him.
Posted by Qing Ling on 02/13/17
So much blessing from revisiting pages in FAST and reading comments from our international family. A taste of heaven, I'm sure.
I was really touched by the connection of Isaiah 43:7Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him., Pam, thank you!!
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/09/17

Hi Lisa, glad this post could be a blessing to you. Sounds like God is really speaking to you. Praise God!

Pam, great connections there as well. I think Marieanne is right about the central focus on giving glory to God through our lives. And the verses you share highlighted that nicely.

What a great testimony Lionel. I'm sure you were a tremendous blessing to them. And I don't down it was divine providence. It's thrilling to be agents of heaven, isn't it?

And love the last sentence about not having to cross the sea but only see the cross. That's definitely a keeper!

Posted by Lionel on 02/07/17

I’m a bit late getting to this read this post, but I’m glad that I looked back. A timely reminder, Thanks, Daniel.

Having been spared death a number of times (another story, another time) I have come to believe that we have but one primary purpose and that is to share the Good News of the Cross, sometimes even using words! How awe-inspiring that God would entrust to us a work the angels would love to do (excepting that it is us who have a personal experience of redemption).

I recently met a Christian couple and their young children (from another denomination) who had advertised that they wished to give the bulk of their Christian books to a church library. As the librarian for our church library, I accepted their offer and visited them. As I journeyed for the visit, I prayed that they were not giving away their faith with their books.

As they shared their books they also shared that they were going overseas in two day’s time as missionaries to … wait for it … my own home town!

As we spoke together they shared some of their fears and anxieties about selling up and moving to a different country. As we discussed faith (and what it is and is not) I was able to reassure them of God’s love and watchcare. I knew that God would bless their obedience to His call, as they were amenable to counsel and learned from our discussion that Heaven is a free gift – that obedience is our ‘thank-you’ for what Jesus has already done rather than what we must do to earn salvation. While referring to me as a ‘Grandfather in the Faith’ they believed that our meeting was a providential Divine appointment.

At the close of my visit I asked if I could pray with them, entreating God’s blessings on their family and ministry. Even though we had just met, we prayed together like a family.

As I was leaving, I silently prayed for them again and thanked God for the opportunity to encourage them in their faith, grateful for the opportunity to witness anywhere, any time.

As I prayed, I could sense the Spirit convicting me that to witness you don’t need to CROSS the SEA, you just need to SEE the CROSS.

Posted by Pamela Kendall on 02/04/17

Marieanne thanks for your thoughts above. I have been wondering what my purpose is and your thoughts help to shed light on the subject.

Interestingly your thoughts enhance what I was reading this morning in connection with this weeks Journey/Survival Kit lesson "Looking to Jesus" One of the verses in the lesson was II Corinthians 3:18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. which lead me to Exodus 33:18-2018 And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. and Exodus 34:5-75 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. about when Moses asked God to show hm his glory and God responded by revealing his glorious character traits (merciful, gracious, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving).

As we behold God's glorious character we are changed into the SAME IMAGE from glory to glory II Corinthians 3:18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. . By beholding we reflect more and more clearly his image / his character and thus fulfill his purpose for us Isaiah 43:7Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Posted by Lisa West on 02/03/17
Dan thanks for your Memo. I was studying this weeks lesson which is all about the Holy Spirit and just realized something that will change my mindset about the HS. It was quite an eye opener for me. Reading your Memo also helped me confirm what I just experienced. I will pray for a greater and stronger sense of purpose and definitely make it your goal to be filled with the knowledge of God's will. I do cling to Isaiah 41:9,10Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.. Thanks and Happy Sabbath
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 02/02/17

These are all lovely thoughts here. I appreciated the quotes, Ian. Powerful words...

I am glad you liked the thoughts, Darla. :)

Posted by Dan Vis on 02/01/17
Nice quotation Joy!
Posted by joy cavins on 02/01/17

This statement was in "Maranatha" on page 159.

...Oh, let it be seen, my brethren, that Jesus is abiding in the heart, sustaining, strengthening, comforting. It is your privilege to be endowed, from day to day, with a rich measure of His Holy Spirit, and to have broadened views of the importance and scope of the message we are proclaiming to the world. The Lord is willing to reveal to you wondrous things out of His law. Wait before Him with humility of heart. Pray most earnestly for an understanding of the times in which we live, for a fuller conception of His purpose, and for increased efficiency in soulsaving. {2SM 399.3}

Posted by Dan Vis on 02/01/17
Thanks Qing! Always appreciate your enthusiasm. I see the point you were making now. :)
Posted by Suzi Woods on 01/31/17
I have appreciated every ones comments. They were thought provoking

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