Purpose and destiny tend to be buzz words these days. Everyone wants to feel they are living a purposeful life and nothing stirs our hearts afresh like doing the very things you feel you were created to do. But how committed do you remain to the assignment when the path to fulfillment involves trouble?
And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city that Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:22-24/NIV
Paul’s ability to remain focus on completing his assignment regardless of the prediction of future discomfort and imprisonment jolted me as I read this passage. And the words of impending trouble did not come just a few times but rather he heard these warnings in every city he entered. Now I can just see myself quivering a bit and probably trying hard to avoid Jerusalem. But that’s not what he did at all. He trudged ahead keeping in mind his purpose rather than what he would encounter as a result of pursuing his call.
To do so takes not just maturity but commitment. Yes, it requires them both to move past well-meaning people who offer words encouragement designed to get you off your assigned track. Nice people who loved Paul urged him not to continue to Jerusalem but he didn’t allow their pleas to deter him. Paul goes on to say that not only was he ready to be bound, but he was also prepared to die for the sake of his assignment. A brave and powerful statement don’t you think?
Although the circumstances and consequences of fulfilling our individual assignments differ, in the end we each must be willing to die to ourselves to be fully committed to completing our assigned work.