Failure isn’t something to fear in the pursuit of your purpose. In fact, I’ve learned far more from my failures than my successes. Much more dangerous than failure is becoming successful at the wrong thing . . . spending your life unfulfilled, not making a real impact, when you could be walking in the significance of your own unique God-given purpose.
It’s usually right before you encounter an open door – the one that leads to God’s chosen destiny for you – that you’ll come across a false path, or what I like to call a dangerous distraction. At first glance it will look and even feel like something closely related to your purpose . . . but in reality it’s a counterfeit.
This is exactly what happened to Jesus! Just before Jesus started His ministry on earth, Satan presented Him with the counterfeit opportunities of fame, fortune, and validation. At first these dangerous distractions feel good, and they usually appeal to our desire for affirmation. But on the back end they only lead to pain, disappointment, and a bunch of lost time!
Of course, Jesus immediately identified the enemy’s tactics and refused to fall for Satan’s tricks, and I want to help you, too, be able to identify these dangerous distractions by sharing what I call “The 3 C’s of a Counterfeit Purpose.”
1 – CASH
Cash does not confirm purpose. In fact, often times when you initially start to pursue your purpose, you may have to sacrifice for awhile. In many cases it takes years for the dream that God put in your heart to come to pass, but any dream given by God is worth the wait! It’s in this season of preparation and development that people are most tempted to bail out on their purpose in order to follow the dangerous distraction of a bigger paycheck.
Refuse to allow the golden handcuffs of a bigger paycheck rob you of your opportunity to walk in the significance of your own purpose. In fact, generally speaking, if you’ll stop pursuing a paycheck and instead pursue your God-given purpose, eventually the paycheck will pursue you. Wealth was actually one of the temptations that Satan offered Jesus just before He started walking in His own purpose on earth. The Apostle Paul said:
“Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10b (NIV)
For some, walking in your God-given purpose may never yield great wealth – and that doesn’t make you or your purpose any less significant! Refuse to buy into the lie that in order to be successful, you have to be wealthy.
2 – COMFORT
Comfort has a way of taking people captive. A counterfeit purpose often appeals to your comfort zone. It probably won’t require you to try something new, start something new, or be challenged in a new way. Our natural tendency is to avoid uncomfortable scenarios, but becoming someone that we’ve never been usually requires us to do something we’ve never done.
God created you for purpose, but He never promised that it would be easy. Big dreams require big faith. When it comes to pursuing your purpose, refuse to let comfort sit in the driver’s seat of your life. Walking in your purpose often requires you to do things you’ve never done before, and that’s not comfortable. Leadership and productivity expert Brian Tracy said:
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
(Learn more about Developing Your Purpose).
3 – CONVENIENCE
Jesus never promised that walking in your purpose would be convenient. In fact, at times it will seem extremely inconvenient.
Initially, fulfilling your purpose may require you to commute further to work than you wanted to. It may mean that you need to change your major in college even though you’re halfway through. You might have to put up with a bad boss for awhile in order to get the experience you need. It might mean doing what you have to do (and don’t want to do) now so you can do what you were created to do later. It wasn’t convenient for Jesus to take a 33 year break from heaven. It wasn’t convenient for Him to take 39 lashes on His back, and it wasn’t convenient for Him to go to the Cross. But afterwards, He rose again with all power and authority, fulfilling every purpose for which He came! In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.,
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Pursuing your purpose might not initially be convenient, but it definitely will be worth it.
So be on the lookout for these 3 C’s of Counterfeit Purpose, and don’t be lured down a false path as you move forward into the destiny God has designed just for you!
Click here to lean more about protecting your purpose.