“if it is God’s will, He will foot the bills” Pastor Timilehin Mogaji @gospelaffairsng
Pastor Timilehin Mogaji who is an associate Pastor at Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos made this known while teaching at the first edition of the online conference of Gospel Affairs Media Network happening on WhatsApp. The teaching which lasted for one hour thirty minutes, ended with questions and answer. Here is the excerpt from the teaching
Understanding Purpose & Vision
The subject of purpose is one the most misconstrued topics on earth. There are different school of thoughts on this subject. But the Bible, God’s word, offers the most accurate view on the subject. I will, therefore, be picking my points and making my submission majorly from this ever true and infallible Word of God. So let’s dive right in.
What is Purpose?
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, it is the intention, aim or function of something, the thing that something is supposed to achieve. In order words, it can be the rai-son d`etre of something or somebody i.e. the most important reason for somebody or something’s existence. And like some people would say about this topic, it can be summarised in three letters- the question ’Why’? Why was the chair made? Why did you study medicine? Why did you give out the car? Why are you here on earth? The question to an extent creates an in-road into discovering the purpose and real essence of a thing in that if you can answer the question why for most things and actions, then you are likely to have more than a fair idea of what the essence or purpose, the motive behind everything is.
However, from a scriptural point of view, it can be simply defined as the discovery or the revelation of God’s predestined plan/intention for one’s life i.e. the realization of God’s predestined intent for one’s existence. Please pay attention or take note of the word ‘’predestined’’. It is the gateway to this subject. Let’s prove this.
The Concept of Predestination
Jer 1:5- 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as my chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Eph 2:10 (Amp) 10 “For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [a] recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearrange” prearranged and made ready for us to live].
I’m sure you can see what played out in this verse of the scripture; God visited a chap (a youth) probably a teenager or young adult and possibly thinking of building a fantastic career in a profession that had nothing to do with public speaking, oratory prowess, persuasion skills or verbal communications skills. This you can confirm from verse 6. In fact, his response and reaction to God’s narrative about him further confirmed that He knew nothing about what God was saying and must have thought, ‘’God, you ‘get’ the wrong guy’’. Proph…What? Not me def.! *shh* (shaking his head). Jokes apart, but there a few things God would have us learn from that verse:
God is the Creator (before I formed you in the womb). He plans our structure, frame, physique, outlook, he decided your height, shape of body parts (eye, head, nose, ear, breast, buttocks…) fingerprint weight tendencies etc. ahead and coded it into you as a seed in your mother’s womb.
So everything about you including your physical features were designed to suit your purpose; designed according to your purpose, customized and tailor-made for His purpose for our lives. So as far as God is concerned, you are not too short or tall or fat or skinny nor is your head too big or small, too flat or oval; eyes not too big or too small… you were deliberately designed, structured to meet God’s spec for His plans and purpose for your life.
You are God’s masterpiece! (Eph 2:10). Anyone that does not appreciate a part of your body or physical features is artistically deficient, shallow-minded and parochial as to God’s purpose for your life. Their opinion does not count!!! Leave them. Even if it’s your fiancé or fiancée. If their input was needed when God was forming you, God would have asked them but since He didn’t their opinion is irrelevant, trash it!!
Even if the world believes that you have to be a size… to be a diva, their opinion does not count, it’s not worth killing yourself over. Do not submit the leadership of your life to other people’s views and opinions. You were created to give God glory and only His opinion count!
PS: It is important to exercise, eat right and well to avoid medical issues. Anything that puts your health at risk is not God’s plan for you. 3 John 2: Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
- He was Equipped with Endowments (spiritual gifts, personality traits etc.) to function in his preordained calling (a Prophet). The forming in the text also applies to our gifting, talent, personality, uniqueness, interests etc. with which Jeremiah would fulfill what He was set separated for. It is important for us to discover our gifts, talents, personality, interests etc. as they are indicators of what God has designed and formed us to achieve.
Gratefully, there are free online tests to discover this. Success and fulfillment in a career or purpose ultimately is a function of discovery, development, and deployment of those endowments. God knew Him before He was formed- we all came from God, we are a part of God sent to show His flavor on earth (Matt 5: msg). We are not strange to God, we came from Him. But on getting to the earth we have to be reawakened by God to the purpose and plans He designed us to fulfill. Eph 1:10
- God had a plan for him hence the reason for separating and consecrating him (before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you 😉
- He had a Preordained Calling – He was appointed and preordained to be a Prophet on earth. This is the dichotomy in which many find themselves these days; they wonder why they are frustrated, not living at installed capacity, unfulfilled and unexcited about life, most times broke or not earning up to what they believe they are worth after a degree or postgraduate degree.
Sometimes, some are rich or wealthy but no personal fulfillment or meaning to life. God did not send us to the earth without designing a role, calling with requisite skills with which we would achieve His preordained assignment. He has a preordained calling, profession that He has separated and consecrated us for. Many are in careers or jobs that have nothing to do with what they are wired for or called to do.
Jesus prayed in Matt 6… Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is because there are other wills that come into play apart from the Heavenly Father’s will and desire.
Two of these are 1. Our Earthly Parent’s (Father or Mother’s) Will. They might want us to study a course they studied, take over a family business which might just be off tangent God’s purpose for our lives.
2. Our Individual Will- As humans, we can choose our own path because of our composition and make-up, we can exercise the power of our will to choose and decide what we want for our lives which may not be consistent with God’s purpose for our lives. In fact, some of the people God called and chose to do His will had other plans for their lives; they never knew that there was still a higher life, a higher calling beyond what they were currently engaged in. For some of them, it was a career in a profession e.g..Luke a Doctor, Matthew a tax Collector was a civil servant, some fully into business ( Peter, James, John and James sons of Zebedee were fishermen), this will lead me to share a bit on the difference between purpose and career later.
Another prominent person in the New Testament also laid claim to an experience of predestination- Paul the Apostle. In Gal 1:15, he clearly affirms the principle of predestination just as Jeremiah did.
15 But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased
16 To reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) as the glad tidings (Gospel), immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood [did not consult or counsel with any frail human being or communicate with anyone].
So we can see the principle of predestination again. Paul clearly affirmed that he had been chosen, set apart and called (preordained) by God to proclaim Him among Gentiles. He also confirmed in Col 1: 1, & Gal 1:1 that he became an Apostle by the will of God. Paul, an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the will of God, he interesting things about is that Pau emphasizes the fact that he became an apostle because God the Father willed it (designed it, planned it ahead, predestined it).
Food for thought: The question is how many of us can boldly say that we are doing or engaged in right now has the approval of God? That you are so sure and can boldly say that you are a Banker, a Sailor, an Accountant, Engineer because you discovered that God would have you do what you are doing now? That you are a Banker, Engineer or Comedian, Fashion Designer by the will of God?
- Purpose Originates from God- Jer 1:4
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me [Jeremiah], saying, 5Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
The purpose is not decided, it is revealed. God’s purpose for one’s life cannot be determined or decided by Parents, Uncles, Guardians or even you, it is always revealed by God (and it can be through all the forms or media through which God speaks to us) Jer 1:5. For the purpose to be the purpose, it must have divine input. It must be discovered through revelation from God. For everyone that worked in God’s plans and purpose for their lives, they had an encounter with God spoke to them. From Adam (Gen 1: to Noah Gen 6: 13, to Abraham (Gen 17:4, 12:1-3, Joseph (Gen 37:5, Moses, Paul, etc…
That is why most of the times when you have just discovered God’s purposes for your life, the first set of people to antagonize you are likely to be your parents or members of your immediate family. (Remember Joseph and his family- Gen 37:5, 9-11? You remember Jesus and His Brothers (John 7:2-5)?
Until you begin to walk fully in it and there are results some of them do not want to identify with it. The reason Joseph and Mary allowed Jesus be was that they had been notified ahead of His purpose even at that they did not fully get the picture.
This is because purpose can only be seen, known and fully understood by you alone. Your purpose is different from your Mum’s or Dad’s purpose (including Uncle’s Auntie’s Teachers, Mentor or Pastor’s purpose) except God reveals it to them they might not realize that they are fighting God’s purpose for your life. Peter was an Apostle to the Jews, Paul an Apostle to the Gentiles. They nearly killed Paul’s ministry if not for God
So let talk briefly about Career vs. Purpose: Jeer 1: 4- 7, Gal 1:13-16
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me [Jeremiah], saying, 5Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Here, we can see judging from Jeremiah’s response (afraid, shocked) that he had no inkling whatsoever as to what just hit him. Just like I mentioned earlier, left to the young man (Jerry), if he was asked to choose a career or get a job, he would never had pursued a career in a profession that would require oratory, persuasion or presentation skills because he had identified an area that was not his strength- a weakness but as far as God was concerned, what he considered as his area of weakness was a strength before God; it was what qualified him, it didn’t disqualify him.
In a career, it is your area of strength that qualifies you and your area of weakness disqualifies you; but for God’s purpose for your life, your area of weakness might just be God’s own area of interest. He uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Cor 2:27-29). Our career is usually based on our area of strength, gifting, etc. but it might not be synonymous with purpose. It is possible to build a career in a profession that has nothing to do with God’s purpose for one’s life. Gal 1:13-16 (Amp/Msg)
13 You have heard of my earlier career and former manner of life in the Jewish religion (Judaism), how I persecuted and abused the church of God furiously and extensively, and [with fanatical zeal did my best] to make havoc of it and destroy it.
14 And [you have heard how] I outstripped many of the men of my own generation among the people of my race in [my advancement in study and observance of the laws of] Judaism, so extremely enthusiastic and zealous I was for the traditions of my ancestors.
15 But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased
13-16 I’m sure that you’ve heard the story of my earlier life when I lived in the Jewish way. In those days I went all out in persecuting God’s church. I was systematically destroying it. I was so enthusiastic about the traditions of my ancestors that I advanced head and shoulders above my peers in my career. Even then God had designs on me. Why, when I was still in my mother’s womb he chose and called me out of sheer generosity! Now he has intervened and revealed his Son to me so that I might joyfully tell non-Jews about him. The message version
It is also possible to be in a career in line with God’s purposes for our lives- Just follow your heart. (Ecc 3:11) He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Let’s also talk about this-Purpose vs. Vision Acts 26:15-20
So let’s attempt to use scriptures to interpret and differentiate between this two. Please consider the following scriptures.
15 And I said, who are You, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting.
16 But arise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, that I might appoint you to serve as [My] minister and to bear witness both to what you have seen of Me and to that in which I will appear (reveal you)to you,
17 [a] Choosing you out [selecting you for myself] and [b]delivering you from among this [Jewish] people and the Gentiles to whom I am sending you—
18 To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me.
19 Wherefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision,
20 But made known openly first of all to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the whole land of Judea, and also among the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works and live lives consistent with and worthy of their repentance.
Vs. 19 has talked about vision. If you back up to 16- 18 you will understand what the vision is
Hab 2:2-3 (Ampc & TLB) AMPC
2 And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarries, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.
(TLB) Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, [b] do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!
It is not always when God reveals your purpose to you that you are commissioned. Even though Paul’s purpose was made known to him, He did not start immediately, he went first to Arabia for three years to fine tune the vision and came back to share with Peter and James.
Even at that, he did not start until Acts 13: 2 2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. They knew what God wanted them to do already God just commissioned them.
They have been having visions of going to the Gentiles but they had to wait with the Jews until the appointed time. God had been discussing it with them before He commissioned them. Within the context of the scriptural definition of purpose which we are looking at, Vision is fulfilling the elements of purpose according to divine timing. Vision always have the appointed time.
Elements of purpose
Wait for it… Hab 2
Vision consists of how and when; it can be a subset of purpose; it can be the activation and entry fully into purpose and how to go about it. It is the gradual fulfillment of purpose. It has to do with timing and what is to done or achieve. It can be in phases, 3 years, and 5 years as determined by God. The vision is for an appointed time.
My submission. Finally
how do you Discover Purpose?
Be God’s friend (Ps 25:14 NLT):
- Give your life to Christ- Eph 2:10-10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [a]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
- Pray to God to reveal His plans for your life to you- Jer 33:3, Matt 7:7,
- Study or at least Read the Bible daily- Luke 4: 18 -20, Acts 20:32. Your purpose can be found in God’s word. Jesus found His purpose and assignment in the Books (God’s word), I also found mine too. Ps 40:7-8:
Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: 8 I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”
- Obey God’s word- Jos 1:8
- Read Books – Read books authored by people who have discovered purpose- Job 1:8 Msg
- Mentoring-Gal 1:18-19
Thank you for your time.
Questions and Answers
Questions: The issue of mentoring, in what way?
Pastor Timilehin Mogaji: Just guidance, or should I say rubbing minds. Sharing what God has told you with someone you are divinely directed to or you have identified as to have something similar. Even though God was calling Samuel but He didn’t know how to go about accessing the next stage until Eli told him. Even if that was the only useful thing, he couldn’t have known without his guidance.
Question: Can you please help us out on the issue of money when it comes to purpose
Pastor Timilehin Mogaji: Hmm! What I know that whatever resources you need to fulfill purpose be it money, people, materials etc. God will make available. It is important to note as someone said “if it is God’s will, He will foot the bills. Money is very critical to fulfilling purpose but the favor is better. Favor attracts every resource.
What I have learned in my little walk with God if you have a need God can choose any of these ways to get it done. God can supply enough money to meet that need, or you get it for less or you get it for free. That is the power of favor
Question: About vision being for an appointed time…How does one know d appointed time?? And, what are the recommended books to read?
Pastor Timilehin Mogaji: God will always signal Jesus said timing is the Father’s business. You may be dissatisfied with the current situation. Etc… A yearning for the next with a witness to go ahead. In a nutshell
Books- In pursuit of purposes-Myles Munroe, Purpose Driven Life- and Purpose Redefined by Sam Ore