After high school, I left home for the first time and went into the Navy. I didn’t need to pack much to go, and the Navy taught me my purpose for that time of my life. After military service and wild living, however, I came back home to my parents’ house.
Sometimes you must relaunch at least three times. I remember when I relaunched and moved into my first apartment. Mom folded my clothes and assisted in packing my suitcase to be nice and neat. She bought curtains and helped decorate the apartment. Parents typically do this on the first and second launch, such as college and your first apartment.
Sometimes life gets hard, and you change directions and return home one more time to get back on your feet. On that third relaunch, you may have to go back home when your parents are enjoying their empty nest. They may say, “This is the last time, and when you leave this time, pack your own bags by yourself because we already taught you how to pack for life!”
My point is “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). While on earth, you might mess up a few times, but don’t mess up your purpose for living. Don’t reject the grace of God and His gift of eternal life, because there is a time limit to get right with God.
There’s an urgency for you to fulfill your purpose.
That’s why Paul said to Timothy, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:1–2 NKJV).
As we sit at the feet of Jesus, He gives us instructions to follow Him and His example and purpose because He is a sending God. God shows us His purpose for sending His Son to us (John 3:16–17).
In Luke 4, Jesus knows His purpose for coming to earth. He knows His mission to go to other cities (v.43) to preach and teach the kingdom of God. He knows His call is urgent. He does ministries in streets and synagogues (churches). He goes with purpose. He preaches His purpose — to save us. To fulfill His purpose, Jesus knows He must stay connected with His father. Jesus often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed (v.42). Jesus had just been tempted by the devil for 40 days (v.1–13) and had just left Nazareth (v.16–30) where he had opened the book of Isaiah and preached from the text:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And Jesus adds, “This scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Then He goes to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, teaching on the Sabbath. The people were astonished at the authority of His teaching. He casts a demon out of a man in the synagogue (v.31–37). He then goes and heals Peter’s mother-in-law (v.38–39). His intense ministry continues (v. 40–41), and He needs to get away from folks who keep pulling on Him.
When you are anointed, you will attract people who don’t want you to leave. But Jesus is connected to His Father when He is alone so He can stay in one accord with His Father’s will to go with purpose. To go with purpose, you have to know how to retreat to rest and hear God’s plan and voice.
In Matthew 28:16–20, Jesus tells us to go with purpose, and He helps us to pack for the journey. This goes back to God creating time and the universe with a purpose (Genesis 1). He creates Adam and gives him responsibility, but Satan enters, Adam and Eve fall, and sin originates (Genesis 2–3). We fast-forward time, and God sends the second Adam (Jesus) who conquers death, hell and the grave. He now sits on the right hand of the Father, and the Holy Spirit comes to us with purpose.
We can change directions and be redeemed back to right relationship with God. We can be empowered by the Holy Spirit as we go in the direction of our purpose. Hear the words of the Lord in Isaiah 6:8: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” May your response be: “Here am I. Send me!
Kenny Martin is the lead pastor of John Wesley Free Methodist Church — a multicultural, multiethnic, intergenerational church in Indianapolis. He has served in Free Methodist ministry since 1991.
1. How can you unpack baggage that is weighing you down and then repack for your journey to purpose?
2. If our purpose includes to “go and make disciples of all nations,” how should we live our lives?1