When the purpose becomes an idol

Some of my best sermons have always been the ones on ‘Purpose’. I could sit hours and listen to a man of God talk about purpose.

Some of the first rhema words I received when I became a christian was on ‘purpose’ and my best bible characters, their lives teach purpose before anything else. So it was no shock to me when I found out that it was a word I loved in the sense of its definition and also loved to talk to people about. Most people who have met me would attest to the fact that one of the questions I would ask within the first few times we meet would be around purpose, it would usually come out as ‘what’s the plan?’ or ‘whats the big picture?’

I mean, what could be better than finding your purpose and actually living it out? The statement that backs this up the most is the one that says that “when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable”. Once you don’t know the use of something, you begin to create job roles and descriptions for it, whether or not that was the use it was created for.

And who knows best the purpose of a thing than its creator???

I lay in my bed this evening and a very familiar part of me spoke in my heart and asked God, ‘what exactly have you created me for? Give me a picture’ and yet again, another very familiar silence followed.

And a question came that said ‘would that be more valuable than walking with Me as I lead you into that purpose?’ and best believe I couldn’t say anything again.

I have been there before and it is an idol I’ve dealt with making a comeback so I’m writing this blog-post to remind myself and you out there not to go back to where I was.

At a very young age, I wanted nothing more than to know my purpose. I didn’t pray and fast for anything like I prayed and fasted about knowing my purpose. I would get so excited when I opened my devotional and we we’re talking about purpose that day. automatically, my attention and focus would be a complete 102% and an excitement from within would completely engulf me.

Don’t you think that is amazing? like someone yearning so badly to know why she was created so that she could live it out and please her creator? at least that was how I saw it. I would tell God that ‘if He revealed it to me, no one would serve Him better than I would’. That was how deep it got.

It took a while before I realised that I had made this quest an idol. I had enthroned it in my life without me even realising it. I prayed more about it than my spiritual growth. I was more concerned about my purpose than whatever it was God had to teach me.

It took me a 21 day fast to realise 2 things. First, that I had made it an idol and there was no way God was going to facilitate my idol worship and secondly that the journey was just as important as the destination, so instead on being focused on where exactly it was I  was heading, God wanted us to enjoy the journey together and discover it together too as I clung to Him and obeyed Him as He leads me into this thing that created more excitement in me than anything.

Just like a lot of people, I have beautiful dreams, big ones that are far bigger than I am and I have been blessed with friends who I know have dreams as big as mine too. I have encountered people who are also exactly like I was, and have exalted their purpose above the creator and are blinded by thinking that achieving or fulfilling the purpose is the same as walking and obeying the creator.

Because I am also still a work in progress, it’s been hard to actually point out to some people that they have made their purpose an idol without suggesting that they should be complacent with their lives, so I took to fighting that battle in prayer and let God open their eyes like He did mine.

I remember Sunday school growing up, they would always say that ‘Anything can be an idol’. In my little head, I would always think maybe my parents, or my phone, or a TV program or even a friend could become an idol, but never in my wildest dreams, even in my adult life did I ever consider that my desire to find my purpose would become an idol to me.

So I immediately got up after that little dialogue in my heart this evening and have told myself, I AM NOT GOING BACK TO IDOL WORSHIP and I beg you too, search your heart and make sure you are also not on the same course as I was. Nothing is too good or too ‘righteous’ to be an idol and idol worship will remain idol worship.

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