CLERGY CORNER: Living on purpose

Posted on 25 January 2018 by LeslieM

One understanding of purpose pertains to a person’s intent or resolve. The start of a new year provides an opportunity for many of us to make resolutions regarding the days ahead. A life of purpose is about more than making simple resolutions, however. It is about demonstrating commitment and dedication to what we hold dear, seek after and earnestly desire.

The biblical story of Daniel provides insight as to how we can fulfill our intentions. In the first chapter of Daniel, the young Hebrew is taken to Babylon and placed in a program of assimilation into the culture and learning of the king’s court. The daily diet, however, violated the strict religious guidelines that he had been taught to observe. Verse eight relates, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

Daniel’s purpose was established in his heart and provided a strong foundation for its fulfillment. He had determined to honor his God by refusing to partake of the allotted food, choosing a simple diet of vegetables and water instead. It was a risky proposition since he was a captive. His decision made from the heart positioned him to succeed in keeping his vow. With regards to our own resolutions, if the heart is not in it, we will likely never accomplish it. Your noble pursuits will always face challenges, but you can succeed if you purpose it in your heart.

Daniel appealed to the chief eunuch to exempt him from the required diet to maintain his religious purity. The fact that he verbalized his intent further reveals his determination. He needed to activate his purpose by speaking up about it. There is a vital connection between what the heart feels, and what the mouth utters. Matthew 12:34 teaches, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” As Daniel proclaimed his commitment, so too should we declare our intentions and speak them into existence.

Having purposed and proclaimed his intent, Daniel next had to perform what he had spoken. The dubious chief eunuch agreed to Daniel’s 10-day challenge, after which he would examine and compare Daniel’s fitness with the other young men. It has often been said that actions speak louder than words, and Daniel had to back-up what he had declared by sticking to his regimen. He dutifully ignored the sights and smells of the king’s delicacies while enjoying his simple diet. We should be similarly committed to seeing our intentions through. Confirm your words with action. People of purpose keep their word and do what they say.

Finally, Daniel proved himself with respect to what he had purposed. He was willing to be tested at the end of the period to validate his intent. The findings revealed that he was in far better health than those who had feasted on the king’s food.

The evidence of our commitment is often revealed in the test and we should be prepared to so authenticate our purposes. If your intentions are right, God will support your endeavor. Let us determine to be intentional in our living. Let’s purpose, proclaim, perform and prove ourselves capable of attaining our goals. In 2018, let’s live on purpose!

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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