Bible Resources...
This month we've been reviewing some of the core principles that drive us at FAST. It's been a serious look at our purpose... This week's article looks at how important having a clear sense of purpose really is.

Electric power lines

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, it's important to cultivate a deeper sense of purpose.

“To enjoy more power, it's important to cultivate a deeper sense of purpose.”

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

Two Parallel Prayers

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.

Other Examples

Once I made that connection, I began to see it in other places too. 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., for example, 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 descent of the Holy Spirit was just the key to accomplishing that purpose.

In the days leading up to Pentecost, I suspect it was the enormity of the great commission that 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.), so they plead for power to make that message clear.

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.

“God has an almost incomprehensible longing to save the world, and He is looking everywhere for men and women willing to commit their lives to that purpose.”

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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 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 requests for 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 another year draws to an end, and we get ready to launch into the next, how is it with you? Is your life filled with a clear sense of God's purpose for your life? If it is, then trust Him to make the year ahead 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?

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Posted by Dan Vis on 05/11/23 - Coach
Purpose and prayer go hand in hand. Glad this memo spoke to you Valerie!
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 05/11/23 - Coach
You and Carlota give me a better focus for I need to do what God is calling me to do:pray. He will give me focus and equip me to fulfill His purpose.
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/28/23 - Coach
Yes, that's it exactly Carlota. The more we focus toward our goal, the more that goal comes into focus. And you are also right, once that goal becomes clear, our confidence will grow that God will make a way...
Posted by Carlota Belmo on 03/27/23
I can start with what I have. Then my purpose would be strengthened and clearer, while the power from the Holy Spirit is increasing more as I pray and work. When God called Moses, he made excuses that he couldn’t do it because of his speech impediment. Genesis 4:12-1312 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.   God ask us to trust Him, and He will make a way out of no way.
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/21/23 - Coach
That's an awesome testimony, and an amazing verse. You comment is very encouraging Lana! Let's keep pressing forward...
Posted by Lana Rose on 03/21/23
Just what I needed today! I have been figuring out what God's purpose for me is here in our church and community. Gives me lots of food for thought as I pray about reaching out.
Love 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.!
I want my heart perfect toward Him!
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/16/23 - Coach
Praise God Sam. Glad this was a help to you. I definitely see a strong sense of purpose in your life. The Holy Spirit is clearly working in you. Keep pressing on!
Posted by Shawnda McKnight on 03/16/23
Thank you, Dan! I was just feeling like I am not getting where I want to be with the Holy Spirit and my relationship with God and I read this!! It is right on time. I will add to my verse pack as the next verses I commit to memory with the verses from these classes. I will definitely pray for a clearer sense of purpose and more of it. I will ask for greater boldness as well to share my precious Saviour with friends and family. I really needed to read this! Thank you, God for speaking to me through Dan!
Posted by Dan Vis on 03/15/23 - Coach
Great verse Barbara! I definitely sense a singular focus in your life... :)
Posted by Barbara E. LaRose on 03/15/23
I want this in my life this year. Ephesians 6:19
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/22/23 - Coach
I think you make a really good point Merilyn, that we need more of the Spirit in order to have that true sense of purpose. Of course the point of this memo, is that a sense of purpose (a commitment to mission) prepares the way for more of the Spirit's power in our life. Another one of those chicken or the egg problems. There are several along these lines in the Bible, I've noticed...

I guess it goes back to the difference between the presence and power of the Spirit. By cultivating the Spirits presence (as you describe), we arrive at purpose. When we commit to that, we are endowed with power. The growth of purpose is thus a kind of connecting link. Interesting!
Posted by Merilyn Aveling-Rowe on 02/21/23
What can we do?

To be Purpose filled has a prerequisite.
To be Spirit filled.

By being consistent in waking early and interacting with God. In reading, memorisation and prayer.
As I do, my purpose each day becomes clearer.

Why? Because in order to be a Purpose filled light
I have to turn the power on!

When? For me, the time is early in the day.

I want that strong sense of purpose. So "now therefore perform the doing of it, that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also!"

It's one thing to recognise this: Another to do it.

In our new role here in this town, into which we've been catapulted head first, it's this determination to make first things first that will drive a Purpose filled life.

And this is where the battle (for me) takes place: Every morning... 🌅
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/16/23 - Coach
Amen, that's my constant prayer also Del Jeanne. I think this is actually a really important prayer, but it is evidence that we recognize our complete dependence on the Spirit of God to empower us. Sensing that dependence is so vital!
Posted by Del Jeanne Mathews on 01/15/23
I ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance every day, and in every worship/Bible study setting (personal or with others). I want to be doing God's will, not mine, at all times, and the Holy Spirit can be my guide to do that; and, of course, He can help me understand the Scriptures I am studying in the correct way, and show me how to apply them to my life.
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/04/23 - Coach
Amen Robert! I'm sure God has put this desire in your heart, and He will be faithful to fulfil it as we persevere in seeking Him!
Posted by Robert Gonzales on 01/03/23
I want more of The Holy Spirit to have Christs character in me. I also want more of The Holy Spirit to be a powerful soul winning tool for Jesus.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/27/22 - Coach
Isn't that paradoxical Colette, that we get closer to Jesus by spending time with those who are not close to Him. Very strange, but I suspect it's true.    
Posted by Colette Guthrie on 12/24/22 - Coach
One thing we can do to be more purpose-filled is to spend time with people who are not well-connected to Jesus. Seeing their condition up close gives me a sense of urgency like none I've ever had. It's like hearing someone is sick versus visiting them in hospital and seeing them up close.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/19/22 - Coach
I'm not sure which will come first: the Holy Spirit leading to greater clarity of purpose, or a greater clarity of purpose leading to more of the Holy Spirit. :)

Either way, may the Lord grant both those things to you Carlota!
Posted by Carlota Belmo on 12/16/22
My motive for wanting more of the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the power and to discern what my purpose really is here on earth. To filled with the knowledge of knowing God’s will for my life. Thanks for sharing those parallel prayers, I will review the verses further .
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/10/22 - Coach
Those are great longings Daniel, for divine wisdom, to walk in harmony with that wisdom, and to allow it to produce fruit in our life. Good post! I may have a class on the Fruit of the Spirit in 2023... We'll see!

Yes, a life of purpose indeed Louise! To be "filled with the knowledge of His will..."
Posted by Daniel on 12/10/22
Motive: I seek the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Wisdom to discern the voice of God; Wisdom to discern God's will; Wisdom to know what to speak and when and how; Wisdom for action.
One purpose you have delineated for 2023 is "walk worthy of the Lord" and "the fruits of righteousness" and i think that is fulfilled (or partly) by seeking the fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22-2322 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. ---- one of my goals for 2023.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/09/22 - Coach
That's a beautiful thought Sam, that the more Spirit-filled we are, the more joy will radiate out. And that will definitely affect our witness. Good post!
Posted by Shawnda McKnight on 12/08/22
I used to pass out literature door to door. I was always commented on my smile. I realized that I was living my purpose and I was in so much joy and in love with Christ just passing on information about Him and praying that someone would have a seed planted and possibly bloom into a Christian to share in that love and joy that I felt. I want more of the Holy Spirit so that I can live the life God wishes me to have. He wants all of us to have life more abundantly and that smile was showing on the outside what I felt on the inside. I was never turned away because of that smile. Some would even say that their intentions were to turn me away but when they encountered my smile they were interested in whatever I had to say. I want the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me into all righteousness and eventually to glory, bringing everyone with me who has encountered the smile.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/08/22 - Coach
I love the passion and longing for more of the Holy Spirit in both of your posts Barbara, Tonya. I honestly think that very longing for God is itself evidence the Holy Spirit is working. But let's keep pressing forward!!!
Posted by Tonya Anspach on 12/07/22
I want the Holy Spirit to fill me so that I have a Christ like love for all people that I come across in my life. I want to be more sensitive to their needs. To focus on what they are truly saying instead of what actually comes out of their mouths. If that makes sense. So many people are hurting which causes them to lash out in anger. If I could just step back and see them through God's eyes, it would go a long way in winning them to Christ.
Posted by Barbara E. LaRose on 12/07/22
Another heart touching post. I love these posts. Since retaking this class my heart has been so touched by the things that I’m learning. I long to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that I feel the Lords desire to raise up men and women to help Him in the work of savings souls. I have a purpose now and that is to continue to faithfully learn all I can from Fast Missions so that I am equipped to take what I’ve learned from the Disciples Wheel to my family, friends, acquaintances, community and look for opportunities to be able to witness for Jesus boldly and with glory. How wonderful that experience must have been for the disciples on the Day of Pentecost and yet how much more wonderful can it be for us on the day the Lord’s lightens the whole earth for the last time Just to think that we can be a part of that is really something. We, living in this last generation. In a world darkened by six thousand years of sin. Our minds so tiny, weak bodies from polluted water, air, food and stress it’s truly amazing the privilege of being a part of this work for Jesus. Let’s keep pressing onward and never look back. There is nothing good behind us we know that but before us is the privilege of reflecting Gods glory. Now that’s something to look forward to. Keeping my eyes on Jesus. 🙏
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/01/22 - Coach
Glad this was helpful Deanne! I'm finding myself a bit tired too--so much going on. But like you said, time to redouble our efforts! :)
Posted by Deanne Reinke on 11/30/22
at the end of the year I feel tired and it seems hard to be motivated, to put forth effort for REVIVAL. This article was a wake-up call to me. A stronger sense of purpose seems to imply that I need to WAKE-UP & get moving with more PURPOSE . Thank you for inspiring me!
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/29/22 - Coach
Praise God if FAST can help in some small way Robert. It really does requires a miracle of God to create the kind of change you are talking about, but fortunately God is in the miracle working business!
Posted by Robert Gonzales on 11/29/22
I want more of The Holy Spirit to have the character of Jesus. To die to selfishness and have Gods love in me. The FAST school I believe, helps us in seeing more of what Gods purpose is for us .
Posted by Dan Vis on 05/09/21 - Coach
Happy to help if I can John. Send me a private message if you want to do an article for June! :)
Posted by John Gilmore on 05/09/21
Thanks, Dan, for both the cautions and the encouragement! I see that I've work to do, and I'll get back with you after I've started to figure out what I can do in print form.
Posted by Dan Vis on 05/09/21 - Coach
Wow--that's a really nice list John. And I think you are right that there is not anything out there (that I know of) that really emphasizes these points. So a book idea seems worth pursuing to me.

Note three concerns though: books require a pretty big investment (time to write and money to print), it's hard to get published if you don't already have an audience, and it takes a lot of promotion to get a book out there, even with a great book. I can share more on these points privately if you wish.

If you want to take a stab at writing up a short article on this and giving it a test run here at FAST--I'd be open to publishing it in June as a Monday Memo. I'm hoping to do another community month, and I'm looking for articles!

So yes, I definitely think there's a lot of potential here! Let me know if putting together a memo interests you!
Posted by John Gilmore on 05/09/21
Dan, you ask about the other 4 M's? I won't say that this list is exhausive, but what I've found is:

Motive - I focused on the love of God which, as He saves us, becomes formed in our hearts and becomes our primary motivation.
Merit - We recognize that inherently only God is worthy of praise, yet His goal is to make us worthy, worthy of His commendation and to be in His company(Revelation 3:5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.).
Method - Salvation is a multistep process, consisting of a combination of God's actions with ours, including a process of individual character development.
Measure - Our minds can only dimly envision the immensity of God's gift, as He gave all He could (an infinite gift) so that we could have eternity with Him. Likewise He calls us to give all that we are to His service.

Having finished the sermon series, I feel challenged to put it in book form. I'm sure that I've not read most of what has been written on the subject of salvation, but at least I'm not aware of it being approached this way. There was more that I might have shared from the pulpit, but for the lack of time. And then I also see this subject as central to our destiny yet sometimes misunderstood, having facets that are sometimes emphasized to the exclusion of others. Perhaps in print it might help more. Your counsel and prayers would be appreciated.
Posted by Dan Vis on 05/06/21 - Coach
Sounds like a great series John! I'm curious what the other 4 M's were. :)

Also appreciate the discussion about 2020 being possibly a call for God's people to refocus on their walk with God in preparation for what is coming next. Very possible (Qing), though I have my own thoughts about its cause/purpose. I resonate even more with your statement about crisis revealing character. It certainly has revealed some longstanding weaknesses in our own country that are disturbing.

Regardless, I think this is a good reminder to make the use of whatever opportunities we have to seek God. You're right that the final scenes seem much more imminent now...
Posted by John Gilmore on 05/06/21
Qing, Thank you and Amen.

I'm sure that everyone is further along on their journey, in one direction or another. I've heard it said that "crisis reveals character." I'm sure that's true. I'm also sure that crisis gives opportunity to develop character, either for good or for bad. So as crisis builds on crisis, characters will more rapidly be formed, transformed for One or deformed for the other, until every person shows well their allegiance. It may not be long now.

Posted by Qing Ling on 05/06/21 - Coach
John no doubt many were thinking the same as you've mentioned re the connection with Elijah, Moses and Jesus. 2020 and its "iso" periods were definitely opportunities for us to take time out with God. Almost halfway into Covid year #2, I wonder where everyone is up to in their Purpose-Seeking journey.....

May God anoint your lips and convict the hearts that hear your (His) message on mission. :)
Posted by John Gilmore on 05/06/21
As I'm preparing a sermon on mission (part 5 of a series, the 5 M's of Salvation), I see a lot of overlap with what you've written here on purpose.

Qing, re: "pause" and "reset" -- I was thinking of that, too, not long ago, in regard to the pandemic. Didn't God have many of His servants do just that? Moses spent 40 yrs raising sheep, Elijah spent time by the brook, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness and Paul spent 3 yrs in Arabia. All of them had time for prayer, study and meditation, in preparation for service. We need it, too. And we certainly need it no less than they did as the last events begin to unfold.
Posted by Dan Vis on 05/05/21 - Coach
Thanks Valerie! I think that's an awesome application--to seek to be more intentional and deliberate in everything we do today. That really spoke to me too. Always room to become more purpose-filled, isn't there?
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 05/05/21 - Coach

This is a power-filled memo. I intend to let the words: “ Being filled with purpose does indeed lead to being filled with the Spirit”, guide me today. Instead of going from one task, one meeting to the next, I pray for more evidence of His purpose in my life that I may receive more of His Spirit.
This is clearly a Spirit-filled memo. Praise God!
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/30/20 - Coach
Wow, "pause" was an appropriate word indeed. Not my nature to like to pause (life's always been a race against time to me), but I guess I needed one this year for whatever reason...

As for a common experience, I think in this country, people are more divided than ever before.
Posted by Qing Ling on 08/29/20 - Coach
Yup, sounds like the experience the whole world has had this year Dan. 2020 = reset and rewind
In a way its kinda cool how this pandemic has brought the world into a common experience.

I was just teasing about the closing paragraph of the article :)

"As another year draws to an end, and we get ready to launch into the next, how is it with you? Is your life filled with a clear sense of God's purpose for your life? If it is, then trust Him to make the year ahead your best year yet!"

in a way, we can choose to turn over a new leaf anytime of the year. So the question of revival and renewal of purpose is poignant always. I usually find sometime along mid year i find new words for my one word theme of the year. Because life is full of curve balls. But my word this year was PAUSE and it's turned out to be quite appropriate given lockdowns everywhere.
Posted by Dan Vis on 08/29/20 - Coach
Well actually, I haven't been thinking too much about 2021, yet Qing. I have my hands full right at the moment with a number of projects. I am praying 2021 will be a very different year though.

In our church, we decided to forego officer elections for next year, and just repeat the same officer list--because the pandemic hindered so many plans. Kind of as if 2020 was a wash, and we need to reset.

That's about how I feel about 2020. I had big plans at the start, but things didn't quite turn out like I expected. I guess I wasn't quite ready, really, so a reset sounds pretty good to me...
Posted by Qing Ling on 08/29/20 - Coach
Dan we just clicked over into the second half of 2020 and you're talking about gearing up for 2021 already? I suppose this year is a bit of a write-off due to covid basically deleting a lot of our plans. i'm just kidding, i know the last time you had this article out it was December - the actual end of a year. haha.
I am grateful for the prompt at this time to re-align my path with God's Purpose for my life though. Purpose is everything. I want more of the Holy Spirit because I know I can't fulfil God's plan for my life without His power.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/05/19 - Coach
Excellent post Sheri. I agree completely. Should probably work some of those ideas right into the article. Purpose does have a sanctifying influence, because the more committed we are to achieving something the less likely we are to do something that will sabotage our success, or neglect something essential. And if the mission is right, then those tendencies work in the right direction. Thanks for articulating that so well.
Posted by Sheri Trueblood on 12/05/19
I am thankful for this post, it has put into words things that I have thought, though I didn't see these scripture texts that connect purpose with Holy Spirit Power. Good food for thought, and texts to chew. I appreciate this and the counsel to pray for a knowledge of God's will and to pray this for others.

I know for my life, when I have a purpose or a mission it actually has had a sanctifying influence on me, because I don't want sin to get in the way of fulfilling God's perfect plan. Specifically, I didn't want my foolishness/sin to get in the way of someone's spiritual walk or them having an opportunity to know about God.

Over the years, John 17:19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. has helped to keep me, "I have sanctified myself, that others maybe sanctified." This is Jesus speaking, our Example. I can't sanctify myself, but I can pray an ask God to sanctify me, and then I have reason and choice to follow God's words and impressions. Looking back, times when I did not have a strong sense of purpose or times of "idleness", or not being involved in some kind of mission or project has been times when I grew weaker spiritually. Its kind of like David when the war was going on and he was at home idle and then got into trouble with Beersheba...
Posted by Floride Leonce on 12/04/19
You’ll find me there.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/04/19 - Coach
I'll look for you there! :)

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