Right now, everyone is thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy and how it’s affecting everything in our lives. It’s a massive interruption to our normal, day-to-day lifestyle. But it’s also a great opportunity to step back and take a look at our lives from a different perspective.
Are we as Christians on track? Are we living according to the purpose that God has designed for us? When it comes to the big and little decisions we make, do they align with God’s purpose for us?
Wouldn’t it be great if this time of crisis led to clarity about our purpose and clarity for our decision-making! 2 Corinthians 2:12-13 will be helpful to us as it gives us a glimpse into how Paul decided things.
Understanding What Your Purpose Is
To begin with, Paul knew what his purpose was. He was traveling around as an apostle of Christ and was crystal clear on his objective. He knew he was called to preach the gospel, as he wrote in verse 12:
When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ …
We aren’t called to be apostles just like Paul was. However, we too have been given a purpose by God in His Word. If you are a Christian, you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit who empowers you and gives you spiritual gifts. You also have the Bible – access to God’s commands and directions. You have everything you need to be clear on your purpose in this world.
This COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect time to ask, “Am I clear on my purpose as a Christian?” Our situation could get worse – we could lose loved ones and maybe face death ourselves. It’s a reminder that life is short. Do you have a clear objective for your life?
If you don’t know what you’re supposed to do with your life, you’ll either be aimless or use the wrong decision-making criteria. You’ll float around, going with whatever is going on at the moment. Or you’ll just make decisions based on what’s easiest, lucrative or popular.
Once you figure out what your purpose is, it’ll give you traction to move forward.
Considering Doorways of Opportunity
Paul knew what his purpose was, which gave him direction for the decisions he made. He also considered doorways of opportunity.
When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord …– 2 Corinthians 2:12
When facing decisions, we are to look for open doors. If we have a clear purpose going into our decision-making, then we can ask, “Is this an open door? Will this help me fulfill my purpose in life?”
Whatever decision you must make, be clear on your purpose and consider open doors to fulfill it.
Listening to Your Spirit
Even though Paul knew what his purpose was and saw an opportunity in Troas, there was still a conflict within himself. He was aware of the facts as well as to what was going on in his spirit.
When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.– 2 Corinthians 2:12-13
What does it mean to make decisions from your “spirit”? Well, here are some answers:
- It’s not following your gut feeling or your heart because “the heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9).
- It’s not doing what seems instinctively right. Proverbs 16:25 tells that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
- It’s not doing whatever is easy. Following your spirit may lead you to do difficult things, as it did for Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:9.
In pursuing his purpose, Paul realized that he cared so deeply for the Corinthians that he couldn’t pursue the opportunity in Troas until he mended issues with them. He could not have mental or emotional peace because his passion and purpose pointed him a different direction.
Making decisions by your spirit requires walking closely with the Lord, being prayerful and in the Word. Christians aren’t only aware of open doors – they’re also aware of what is going on in their spirit.
You may have an open-door opportunity that will help you fulfill part of your purpose. But it may also hinder another part of you purpose. How do you decide what to do? This takes discernment and following your spirit. For Paul, it meant saying no to the opportunity in Troas.
To wrap things up . . .
Use the unprecedented interruption in your life right now to get clear on your purpose. Look around for doors of open opportunity to fulfill that purpose. But also be sensitive to your spirit.
Devotional streamed on Facebook Live – Friday, Mar. 27 @ 3:00 PM