I just finished watching (and fervently taking notes on) a sermon by Michael Todd of Transformation Church. It was incredibly convicting for me, and also confirmed a lot of what God has been showing me in various ways over the last few years. I’m going to relay some of my notes for you here, and it relates to the content of this blog because emotional and spiritual healing and continuous growth is vital to the healing of our bodies. Jesus isn’t interested in healing our bodies and leaving us spiritually dead and in bondage to emotions and tendencies to sins that enslave us. For me, facing serious illness opened my eyes to the reality of my need for Him, and He continues to use this illness to remind me of my dependency on Him, to remind me that I have limitations, but He does not. And He has placed a purpose on my life that requires freedom from limitations, and I can only find that freedom in Him, through Him.
To make progress toward this purpose, this calling He’s placed on me, I need an inner circle. A small, core group of people who know Him as well as or better than I do. People who know the REAL me. Everyone has blind spots. Who do I have in my life who can speak things into my life even when I don’t want to hear it? I have learned the value of having right relationships that will lead me toward purpose. Not people who necessarily have the same interests as me, but people who point me toward the interests of Christ.
The goal for every person is to reach purpose. To fulfill God’s will in our lives.
The Circle of Purpose
We need 4 things to live out God’s purpose for our lives…
1. God. We need an active relationship with God.
We can do good things without God (charity, community work) but we cannot do God’s specific will for our lives if we’ve excluded Him from the equation.
2. Gifts. We need to discover and cultivate the specific gifts God has given each one of us.
Sometimes we get so caught up in a profession rather than purpose that we think our gift is our profession. It’s not. It may be related. But it may not. Gifts can be a tendency to be organized, a love of giving, an ability to communicate well… whatever our gifts are, it’s our responsibility to develop what He has given us.
3. Calling. We need to intentionally use our specific gifts to impact God’s Kingdom.
Your gifts are not for you. They’re given to you because you have a calling to answer for the Kingdom. God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those who answer the call. Once He has your “yes,” He begins to mold you, to change your desires, to shave off the rough edges. Every day, we must wake up and say “yes.” Answer His call.
4. Godly Community. We need an Inner Circle.
Adam had Eve. David had Jonathan. Jesus had Peter, James, and John. Who gets to see the things that nobody else gets to see unless you show them? Who gets to say, “Come here, your attitude’s bad. You’re too busy. You’re stressed out and that’s when you fall into sin. And I know that because I’ve been your friend for 4 years and I’m in your inner circle.” You cannot complete your purpose if you don’t have godly community.
If Jesus needed godly community, what’s your excuse?
“Well, I’m busy.” Jesus had to save the whole world.
“Well, I don’t like that kind of people.” Then that’s why you REALLY need godly community because you’ve had bad examples of what that really looks like and it’s a dysfunction in your heart.
“Well, I have community.” But what you need is GODLY community. You need people whose direction is set toward Jesus. Because if you don’t have those people, then we’re only moved by “our emotions and what we feel today and don’t feel today and the vibe is wrong…” Forget our vibe. A vibe can be wrong at any time. Jesus is the only thing that stays the same. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He will be the One that lifts us up. We need people that are set on the Thing that we are set on.
Can you name your godly community? Communication with those people must be regular, consistent, and honest. This is God’s plan for expansion in your life and His plan for the church.
“There’s no I in TEAM, but there is an I in ISOLATION.”
And that’s where the enemy wants to keep every single one of us. Yeah, you pray. Yeah, you worship. But you’re alone. According to the Bible, you’re in real trouble. Nobody even knows what you’re struggling with. They don’t know how to pray for you. And they can’t force their way in. You have to let them in. Jesus doesn’t pry Himself into your life, you have to invite Him in.
This is why pornography can get such a grip on people. It’s hidden. You’re fighting it alone. This is why marriages suffer. Because we pretend everything’s perfect. You need other couples who can stand back to back with you, see your blind spots, and watch your back.
But we want to stand face to face. We want to be around people who agree with us, who see eye to eye with us, who are “like minded.” But that’s not helpful. We need people who see what we don’t see. Am I dealing in pride? Anger? Am I getting money hungry? What do I not see? Where am I vulnerable and unaware?
They completed each other in purpose. There was no competition. When you are living out the methods of Jesus in community, you don’t have to tell people about Jesus. They see Him in your life.
The church has it backwards… you don’t need a pastor to pray for you. Get your friend to pray for you. Worship together. Chill together. Pray together. Multiply.
God’s plan was never for you to be “me” focused, but “we” focused.
Who has access? Who can come when you’re not expecting them? Who can call you out in love? If you don’t have godly community, you are going to miss God’s purpose for your life.
If you want to check out this sermon for yourself, here’s the link. But get ready to be convicted and take a closer look at all your relationships.