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THE POWER OF BIBLICAL PURPOSE AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD


I never cease to be amazed at the perfectly timed and intricate leading of the Holy Spirit. Yesterday, as I was working in the office at Biblical Life, the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly about “purpose.” He shared that true, God-inspired purpose provides direction, insight, and strength in the life of the believer. One of Satan’s tactics is to so involve us with misguided activities that we lose sight of our purpose. When we do, we also lose direction and strength and end up in survival mode.


To be honest, much of the Body of Christ has been in survival mode for quite some time. We have ministers on Christian TV and radio constantly telling us that we can be delivered from survival mode with the power of a sacrificial offering. Yet time and time again, I hear from believers that have given beyond it hurting and nothing has changed, except the continual lowering of their checkbook balance.


There has to be more!


This is where the intricacy of the leading of the Holy Spirit comes to play in revealing this understanding to me. This morning as a part of my morning devotional, I was reading Chapter 25 of the Book of Exodus. Listen to the words of the LORD as He described the showbread:


Exodus 25:30 (NASB)

30 "You shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times.


With our understanding of who Messiah is and what faith in Him really means, the “bread of the Presence” is the symbol of the presence and work of Messiah in the Tabernacle. What a powerful spiritual reality that we have in Jesus! As I commune with Jesus, He releases the “bread of the Presence” into my heart. We are the Temple (or Tabernacle) of Almighty God in the earth now (1 Cor. 6:19). God wants to move or promote us to the place where the bread of the Presence is continually manifested in our lives.


Now how does the aforementioned relate to purpose? I am glad that you asked!


2 Timothy 3:10-12 (NASB)

10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.


Second Timothy is the final epistle written by the Apostle Paul. Tradition teaches that he completed this letter the night before he was martyred for the Kingdom of God. At the end of his life, he was able to share, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7 NASB). What a paramount statement the Apostle Paul makes! In the midst of persecutions and sufferings, he could say that he was able to accomplish every single thing that God had called him to do in his ministry here on earth. But what was the Apostle Paul’s secret? I believe we find it in Verse 10 of 2 Timothy 3: his “teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and perseverance” all helped him successfully navigate through persecutions and sufferings to complete his mission in the Kingdom. These eight words could be used to write a new book or at least eight sermons in themselves. These words are just that significant! We could call them the “Eight Keys of the Apostle Paul to Finish the Race.” I want to center in on just one word today: purpose. Let’s take a look at the Greek word that Paul chose to express the truth of his purpose.


Purpose: Strongs # G 4286 prothesis {proth’-es-is} [i]

Meaning: 1) a setting forth of a thing, placing of it in view, the shewbread 1a) twelve loaves of wheaten bread, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel, which loaves were offered to God every Sabbath, and separated into two rows, lay for seven days upon a table placed in the sanctuary or front portion of the tabernacle, and afterwards of the temple 2) a purpose.


When I saw Strong’s definition of prothesis (purpose), my jaw hit the floor. It not only meant “a setting forth of our purpose in life,” but it revealed the purpose in the showbread: the continual bread of His Presence manifested in His Tabernacle!


What a simple, yet restorative truth. All of us are to have established in our lives the bread of His presence. No wonder direction, insight, and strength flow from purpose! Here are some points to consider:


1.   Only when we center in on creating room for God’s bread of Presence in our lives 24/7, can we have the direction, insight, or strength we need to overcome the tacit attacks of Babylon upon our souls!


2.   Any direction, insights, or supposed strength in our lives that do not flow from His manifested presence, are not parts of divine purpose from the throne of God. It makes us question, “Where did they come from?”


3.   All Satan has to do to facilitate our loss of purpose is to preoccupy us with other things, thereby, losing the maintenance of the bread of His Presence in our lives. Once disconnected from this spiritual mooring, we are easily set adrift in the tidal wave of persecutions and sufferings, becoming either overwhelmed by life or offended at God. Another way of putting it: disconnection from purpose equals discontentment and disillusionment!


I have become convinced that much of what we have called Church and the Christian walk over the past few decades has been nothing more than Babylon with a shiny, religious veneer that we all accepted. And this is one of the primary reasons we have lost our true purpose in the Kingdom of God. We all have sensed that something was awry and change was needed, but we have been unable to identify the problem.


I encourage everyone to watch a very inspiring video on YouTube where R.T. Kendall is speaking on “The Sensitivity of the Spirit.”[ii] This past Sabbath, my wife and I watched this remarkable message. I found myself weeping and repenting in my heart as I listened to this powerful man of God. It made me realize how easily we chase the dove-like “Holy Spirit” out of our lives and services and settle for “pigeon religion” in its place. (You will have to watch the video to really understand this comment.) It is time to reverse this trend and tap back into our Kingdom purpose.


Stop Thinking Like Greeks and Romans – Start Thinking Like Hebrews


Walking With God – Not Just Visiting


The Greco-Roman mindset in the Church has turned our walk with Messiah into a spectator’s sport in which we only participate by cheering from the stands, either during church services or while watching Christian TV. Get off the bleachers and back into life with God. We are all called to walk with the Most High, not just visit on weekends!


Bring Our Spirituality Back Into the Home


The very first letter in Genesis 1:1 in the original Hebrew is “bet.” Each letter of the Hebrew language has a meaning, and “bet” means “house.” It reveals the truth that in the beginning God created a house called the earth to put His family in. The Father Heart of God longed for a family. Everything about the Kingdom is always family centric. God called a man named Abram to walk with Him. Abram was a man who would teach his children the ways of God and how to walk with this wonderful God that called him out of Babylon.


This same God is now calling us, just like Abraham, to leave Babylon and its systems to walk with Him. Therefore, we must transcend the pseudo-spirituality of Babylon to a true faith that is walked out in our homes and in our families.


My good friend and BLCS graduate, Dr. John D. Garr, has just released a wonderful book entitled “Family Worship: Making Your Home a House of God.” I encourage everyone to get a copy of this inspiring book and to begin implementing its truths in your life and the life of your family!


Learn to Draw Your Purpose From the Bread of His Presence


To achieve this, the following two points must be examined and applied in our lives:


a.   Become aware of the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit. In Eph 4:30, the word used for “grieve” as in “grieve not the Holy Spirit” is lupeo. Lupeo means to hurt the feelings of someone, to cause them to be sad or full of sorrow, offended, or uneasy. [iii] The use of this word leaves the impression that the Holy Spirit can easily have His feelings hurt. Which, as R.T. Kendall shares in his message, is why the Word refers to the Holy Spirit as a dove. A dove is easily offended and will fly off. We need to conduct our day-to-day lives in such a way that the dove (or Holy Spirit) can remain and be manifest in all of our activities. This concept will radically change the conduct of our lives. Maybe this is the reason Paul listed “conduct” before “purpose” in 2 Tim 3:10. His “conduct” of disciplining himself to walk in the ways of God continually allowed his “purpose” to be made manifest in his life!


b.   Our true purpose is made plain, energized, and maintained by the dove. The manifested presence of God in our lives is what builds the bread of His Presence within us. It is also what releases and maintains our true Kingdom purpose. If it does not flow from the gentle indwelling of the Holy Spirit and our practicing the presence of God, it cannot be our true purpose. Many Christians are either being driven by fleshly desires or by what the world expects of them and calling it their purpose. Yet they always end up frustrated, discontent, disillusioned, and exhausted. These things must be crucified, and room must be given for more of God’s manifested presence within us. Only when it is established within us can purpose be released to change the world around us.


I believe today that Heaven wants to release a radical reformation into our lives of true Biblical living. This new walk will release a fresh purpose within us that Hell cannot stop! Like the Apostle Paul, Heaven wants our final testimony to be “I have fought the fight, finished the race, and kept the faith!”


Endnotes


[i] Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon.  BibleWorks for Windows 7.0.  BibleWorks, LLC, Norfolk, VA.  Copyright © 2006.


[ii] There are several versions of this message on YouTube. Here is one of the links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfutOOdDVl8


[iii] Ibid. Strongs # G3076

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Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.


Chancellor and Founder


Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Dr. Michael K. Lake - Biblical Life College and Seminary