Today's episode is titled for those who feel stuck in finding their purpose. Out here, in these internet entrepreneurship streets, there's a lot of talk about finding purpose. I interact with a lot of you guys via social media, via my YouTube channel, via The Society. If we have events in person I meet and talk to a lot of you guys through the Anchored Media events and things like that, I get to meet and talk to a lot of you guys who listen to the show or who are just in my community in some type of way.
And this conversation of purpose comes up so much and especially for those who want to get to follow their God-given purpose. Oftentimes, you find yourself in a place where you feel stuck, you feel confused, you're not sure if it's ‘a you idea’ or ‘a God idea,’ you're not sure what your purpose is. You have this business idea but you're not sure this is what God has called me to do, is this what he saw before he for me in my mother's womb? You feel like you're fasting and you're praying, you're watching sermons and you're doing the devotionals, you're doing all of these things and you still feel stuck and confused about what is it that God has you on this earth to do.
And I believe that this especially has come up during this season because a lot of people are getting laid off. So that leaves you in a place to say well you know what, instead of me just finding another job, let me try to build the business full time or do what God has called me to do for full-time. Or, you may not have gotten laid off but it's just the job insecurity that has happened this year and the increase of entrepreneurship because everybody is now seeing why it's important to own your own thing.
Whether it's to be full-time, part-time, or whatever, everybody is seeing why it's important to have ownership and have multiple streams of income that I believe have sparked a lot of interests and people are finding their purpose. I wanted to talk about this in today's episode because I have a few thoughts. And I tied the story into getting the book deal because I want you guys to understand that God never told me that my purpose is to start a podcast, I wanted to start a podcast. I had this huge functioning and I wasn't "saved saved" when I started the show to be clear, I just knew I had to start a podcast.
I couldn't stop thinking about it and I knew that it was a smart decision for the business that I was starting at the time and so I got it done. Then, as I began to grow in my relationship with God, he used it for his glory and he told me the things that I needed to do like ‘do it by myself, change your name, and all of these things. He didn't give me my purpose, he gave me instructions and I had to make a decision on if I was going to be obedient. And in the midst of those yeses and making the decision to do what God was telling me to do, a big purpose has unfolded and a lot of good has come from that but I want to…
This isn't even an organized thing for the points that I’m going to give you, these are thoughts that I have and responses that I have for those of you guys who feel in this space. And it's my prayer that as I go through these, that you will be able to get new clarity, get new insight, take the pressure off of yourself and just have a new and refreshed mindset on how to just maneuver this space that you're in right now.
1. What keeps many of us stuck, lost, confused, and frustrated as it relates to purpose is that you position yourself under people, places, and things who are inspired by the Word but are not transformed by the Word of God.
The key to getting from where you are to where you want to be is to be transformed by the word of God. The reason why you feel like you're doing everything that you're supposed to do as far as watching sermons or re-doing devotionals and praying, it's like you have this checklist that you just checked things off. And it's like you're waiting to the point where one of those checkmarks is going to get you to some sort of breakthrough. And you haven't gotten that breakthrough that you're looking for yet and that's contributing to you being frustrated but what I want you to understand is there's a difference first of all between being inspired by the word and transformed by the word. Many of us have positioned ourselves under influencers, popular preachers, churches, maybe places that you go to in your life whether virtually because of the times we're in or in person. You've placed yourself in these situations that inspire you, they're Christian- like but then the Holy Spirit isn't there. It's forms of godliness but the Holy Spirit isn't there and so again, the difference between where you are and where you want to be is you can't just be inspired by the word, you have to be transformed by the word of God.
2nd Timothy 3:5-7 and I'm going to read it out of the New Living Translation; it says, “They will act religious but they will reject the power that could make them Godly, stay away from people like that. They are the kind who work their way into people's homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. Such women are forever following new teachings but they are never able to understand the truth.” Now, I want to harp in on this last part for a second because I believe that a lot of you guys who are in this space, this is where you are.
You're forever following new teachings but you're never fully able to understand the truth and that's because you've positioned yourself under these people who act religious but they reject the power that could make them Godly. These are the people who are creating these women empowerment empires who fake like they know the Lord but they don't; it’s forms of Godliness. They act religious and because they're using the lingo and the religious verbiage and the religious sayings and all of these things you think that they know the Lord but there's no power there.
And because you are in a space where you're so vulnerable, you're unable to discern the truth and these types of people prey on that and the only way that you're going to be able to and let me be clear, it's okay to be vulnerable. It's okay to be in a vulnerable place but being in a vulnerable place also makes you susceptible to manipulation. Think about relationships, let's take a romantic relationship, for example, a lot of you think of a relationship that you've been in that wasn't good for you that was toxic, that was manipulative, that was unhealthy.
A lot of the times you got into that relationship because it came about when you were in a vulnerable space and because you were vulnerable, you didn't have the discernment or you didn't have the strength so to speak to be like “no, this is not good for me.” Or “this isn't right, this isn't real love, I’m good;” the vulnerability distorted your decision-making. So, you attached yourself to something that you thought was love but it ended up being toxic and bad for you and the same thing happens in faith spaces because you're vulnerable.
Because you're in a place where you want God, you want your purpose, you want to make God the CEO, you want to do all these things and you want to see success. You're in a vulnerable place and sometimes that vulnerability can distort your judgment and because you are in that vulnerable space, people who are acting religious but reject the power that makes them Godly, they prey on that. They prey on that and then you as this vulnerable person, find yourself following new teachings but you're never able to understand the truth.
Because you never get into a position where you are truly transformed by the word of God and the only way to not fall into this is to get in your Word, that's it. And for any of you guys who are in this space right here, I really challenge you to cut the sermons off, put down the bite-sized devotionals and get into your word. Get into a good study Bible and read the word of God to where you understand it, when you study, you should be able to pass a test.
So that's the season that you're in; you should be able to pass this test, you should be able to pass the test of negative thoughts, you should be able to pass the test of pushing past your emotions. You should be able to pass these tests because you should have studied for them and I want you guys to understand that I’m saying this in love, this isn't for you to feel bad but I just want to change your perspective a bit. Because if I can change your perspective about what's going on, I can reposition you to get back to where you belong which is at your father's feet, which is in the word because the word of God has all of your answers.
One thing that I’ve learned over the last maybe year and some change are that the Holy Spirit and my Bible are all I need, that's it. I haven't had a church home in over a year, I joined a church for myself for the first time a couple of years ago and I left last year. I have not had a church home in this whole time frame but my relationship with God has not missed a beat. I do not watch sermons and that's not to say that there's anything wrong with that but I can't afford to hear somebody else's perspective on what the word of God says.
There's too much attached to what God is calling me to do, there's too much attached to my family for me to limit my understanding or to limit my perspective of what the word is saying to what somebody else's perception is if that makes sense. I need to read the text for itself, I need to understand who, what, when, why, how; now Holy Spirit tell me and reveal to me how that's relevant to what your plan is for my life, that's what I need. So how loud somebody can be on the mic, how deep we can cut one minute of what they saying and put it on an Instagram page, I don't care about any of that.
I don't care how shareable the content is, my life is way too important, my purpose and God's plan for what he has me doing and who's attached to me is way too important for me to be put in a box of other people's faith or to put in a second-hand faith box. I need to open my word and sit there and look at it until I get it and read it until I understand it. So, one thing that I’ve learned as I said over the past year and some change is just the importance and how powerful it is for it to just be me and the Holy Spirit, that's it. I want to be clear about something here because a lot of us try to skip the basics to get to the blessing and that's why we're frustrated.
Because you want to go straight to “God put me in the Promised Land” but you got to start at step one. Step one is do you know how to hear from God? If the answer is no, let's deal with that. I tell you guys the book ‘How to Hear from God’ by Joyce Meyer is an excellent book. It's in my Amazon store, it tells you the different ways that God speaks to us and so when I was in that space and I wanted to hear from God myself, I read that book first because I wanted to understand how he speaks in general. Then I prayed and I said, “God I want to learn how you speak to me.”
Then after that, I would start reading my word, I read books, I don't think there were too many popular Instagram preachers or anything back then like that but I was going to church at that time. So, whenever I thought that God was speaking to me, I would write it down and I would say “well God when it’s you can you confirm it to me because I want to be sure that it's you.”
At that time God would then confirm so when I would see and hear things over and over again or I would hear it as the form of in my head, I would write it down, and then if I saw it let's say the words come up on the screen “oh wow, that's confirmation.” I knew God told me that and I will write it down and so because of his confirmation, because of the repetition that I was hearing certain things, I was learning how God was speaking to me.
The more and more that happened, I got used to it so now God doesn't have to confirm anything to me, he just tells me and I go do it but the familiarity with his voice came from me first understanding how to hear from him. Then putting it in action and just learning how does God talks to Tatum; let's say, for example, some people God speaks to through dreams. Some of you need to start writing your dreams down and that's why I recommend that book because it shows you the different ways, he talks through nature, of course, he talks through other people.
Once you understand all the ways that God speaks, you can then determine how he speaks to you but again, these are the basics. So now, if you are in a space where step one is I need to learn how to hear from God, start there. Start there, then if it's “okay I don't understand the word, I see these scriptures, there are some that are very popular but I don't understand it.” “To the point where when something happens in my life, I don't recall it to where I can then apply the scripture right then and there; I’m only getting stuck in how I feel.”
So, if you understand that, now it's time to one: start remembering the word or committing the word to memory so you can do things like writing down scriptures on index cards and putting them around just where you study. Just the way you'll study flashcards for school or anything like that, you can do that for the word of God; pick one scripture a week and say I’m going to remember this one. Then you read it over and over again until you commit it to memory and then you just keep doing that and we got to understand that everything isn't going to be microwavable.
Understand that this takes time and be patient with yourself, you're not going to know the whole Bible front to back tomorrow, nobody does but starting to commit those things to memory now when something comes up. Because you’ve said that scripture enough and because you've committed it to memory so well now when an issue comes up, you can use that weapon that you have which is the word of God. Like I said if your issue is that you are reading the Bible but you can't really understand it, get a good study Bible; I don't recommend this stuff for no reason y'all.
You need tools to get you the study Bible; the one that I use has a full breakdown on every page it's the scripture and then it's a full breakdown. If you are in The Old Testament, it'll tell you how it relates to The New Testament. In the back there's a whole entire dictionary so if there are words that come up that you don't understand, it’s there, it breaks down the mega themes and each book has profiles on all the characters. It gives you all of the contexts that you need to fully be able to read and comprehend. So again you guys, you cannot skip the basics to get to the blessing and we can't be in a place where we are just constantly inspired by the word and not transformed by it.
2. My next thought about feeling stuck in your purpose is that because of the whole internet entrepreneur age influencer, Christian influencer type of situation, we have made purpose extremely selfish. We've made purpose “God tell me what you want me to do with my life because I want to feel fulfilled.”
“Because I want to stop feeling like I’m wasting my time at a nine to five, I want to stop feeling like I’m only this or I’m only that, I want you to show me my purpose because I, I, I;” our purpose is to serve the Lord. Our purpose is to do our part in his vision right, his will done on earth as it is in heaven; his will but so many of us want to find out our purpose for ourselves. The reason why you're so anxious about not knowing what your purpose is that you're feeling stuck is that you're looking for something for yourself and not something for God.
And if he gives you what it is while you're looking for something for you, you're going to create something that serves nothing but yourself and how can he trust you with his ultimate plan if you're approaching it or coming to him from a self-centered mindset? How dare we? How dare we go to a God who is such a mastermind of all, go to a God who has this brilliant plan for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven asking for our part, not for him? Not to assist in that happening but for us, because we want to feel better about where we’re at in our life.
Come on now, you want him to give it to you? What kind of father would he be if he gave you something that you weren't ready for and the reason why the frustration happens is that you want God to do something, you want to treat him like a genie? You want to be able to say you're using this checklist that we talked about; the pray, read a couple of scriptures, tap on the Bible app a few times during the day, watch a sermon or two, “done, I’ve reached my Christian quota for the day.
You're using this little checklist as a way to manipulate God into doing what you want him to do and he cannot be manipulated; he knows. He knows when you're ready, you can't say “God I’m ready,” he knows when you're ready in a lot of you are not ready. You're not ready, when I think back to when God told me to change the podcast three years ago, I wasn't ready for this now; when God gave me the book title I was not ready at all. There are things even now that I know God is going to take me to eventually but I’m not ready for them.
And I’ve finally come to a place in my life and in my relationship with God to where I trust his judgment when I’m ready for something, it's as simple as that. I trust when he is ready to reveal something to me and I trust when he tells me to wait, I trust when he tells me it's time to go. Because he knows way more than me and it’s very exhausting trying to outsmart God, you can't do it; you cannot do it but go back to this thought though, our purpose is to serve him. And it's through serving, through your obedience that he will take you on a journey through his plan for your life but it's about saying yes to God.
How dare we think that he has to give us a whole blueprint in order for us to take the step he's telling us to take? We talked about Abraham in last week's episode and how God called him, he said yes; he told Abraham what to do and Abraham got up; he didn't say “well God, can you show me what the purpose of this is?” It didn't work like that, he got instruction and he obeyed and it was after a series of obedient yeses, of obedience steps that God told him what his plan would be. How he was going to bless his descendants, he didn't tell him that until he verified through Abraham’s actions that he could be trusted.
So, some of you guys, you haven't verified to God that you could be trusted with what it is that you're asking for; so being frustrated and throwing a temper tantrum is not doing anything but keeping you where you're at, that's it. It's not doing anything but keeping you in this season that you despise so much longer than you need to be. But if you get out your feelings and get on your face to surrender to God no matter how hurtful this season may be, no matter how stressful this season may be. It's in that posture of surrendering that your purpose can be unveiled to you but for as long as you try to make purpose about you and not about him you're never going to get anywhere.