Summary: This is not a sermon on tithing. This message is about that evil word in our churches; "change".
What is change?
Change is simply moving from one place to another. Change can take place, individually, corporately, physically, psychologically, and relationally. Change in its self is neither good or bad. It is how we view the change that determines the goodness or the badness. Change is simply a disruption of the way things are. A disturbance of the status quo. Change is simply change.
Purpose (Moses was called to lead God’s People)
Vision, Dream (plan) (Go to the Promised Land)
Goals (Roadmap, determines if you are on the right path)
Do not serve the Goals, serve the purpose!
Purpose is different than Vision.
Purpose lets us know what is important.
When we have purpose we can look at the world around us and figure out what is important from what is not. Where there is lack of purpose everything just looks very confusing. Lots of choices and none of them are clearly the right one.
Purpose gives us the reason.
When we have purpose we can answer the question, “Why?” Purpose gives our actions meaning. We have an understanding of why we are doing something. Our actions are not meaningless when we understand our purpose. Change without purpose is simply meaningless change. Purpose gives us the answer to Why? Why are we doing something? Why aren’t we doing something? In order for us to answer the hard questions about our direction and goals we must have purpose.
Purpose keeps us focused.
When we have purpose we know what is important and so then our purpose keeps us focused on what is really important. Choices that do not fulfill the purpose are easily dismissed because we realize that they are not important to the purpose. Those choices that are important are more easily focused on because we know why we are doing something.
Purpose allows for changing environments.
When we have purpose we can adapt to changes that happen around us. Purpose allows for a change of plan.
Say we are all driving in a car. Driving the car is our purpose we are to be driving. When we started driving our vision or plan was to go north, and our goal was to drive 55 mph. Both our vision and our goal suited our purpose and helped fulfill our purpose. As we are driving the road suddenly turns due East. If we follow only the plan and the goals we will fly off the road because we have continued to go north at 55 mph instead of doing what serves the purpose. Focusing on the vision and the goals keeps us from ending things that no longer work and keeps us from starting things that would work in their place. Sometimes the car needs to follow the road.
Ok, let me try it this way. Your purpose is to drive to Lexington, your plan is to take a left out of the parking lot, and drive down 52 to Richmond and then take the Interstate North to Exit 104 and follow Richmond road into town. Our goal is to get to Lexington in 50 minutes. Our purpose is to get to Lexington, that is why we have chosen this particular route. Purpose answers why remember? As we are driving down 52 we are stopped in Kirksville because someone has crashed into a telephone pole and the pole is now across the street. What do we do?
Turn around and take 21 into Berea then take the Interstate into Lexington. Ok and if you are driving down that road and the road is closed because of construction then what do you do?
Turn around and go into Lancaster, then take Nicholasville road into Lexington.
Knowing our purpose lets us make these changes in our plan and in our goals. Only when we know our purpose can we adapt to changes that come our way. If you were driving in this hypothetical situation and would have made it into Lexington, then you understand purpose, vision, and plan. You apparently understand that the vision or direction must change in order to fulfill the purpose, and when the vision changes then the goals must change as well
Purpose is not dependant upon our situations.
Our vision and our goals are completely dependant upon the situations that surround us they are not flexible. Whereas is we focus on our purpose we are able to change when we need to because we realize that our situation has changed and therefore our direction and goals have to change as well.
Purpose answers the question, “Now what?”
Our vision (plan) does can’t answer this question, our goals can’t answer this question. But, our purpose lets us continue on the journey. We can answer the question, “Now what,” if we know and understand our purpose.
Over the past month we have each encountered change, some of us to a greater degree than others, and the only way that we are able to cope with the changes around us is to understand what our purpose for being is. If we ignore our purpose and seek to find meaning in for our lives by focusing on our situations or our vision or even our goals, then what will we do when those things change? We must seek our meaning in our purpose, but in order to do that we must know and understand our purpose.