Purpose Driven Or Presence Led
Articles - Christian Growth
by Lyn Packer
In these days of great harvest we need to go back to some foundational truths and values. One of which is being led by the spirit of God, and having His presence go with us. Moses cried out Ex 33:13 "Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people." 14 And He said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." 15 Then he said to Him, "If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 "For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?"
In Gods plans and purposes for man He never intended that we become Purpose Driven but rather that we be Presence Led and minister out of a place of rest.
I am not bagging Rick Warren here and actually have not even read his book "Purpose Driven Life" but God highlighted these two terms to me a couple of months ago and since then I have mulled over them thought about them and prayed into them letting them form this teaching in my heart. .
A purpose driven life - It sounds good.
We all ask the question – Why was I born? What is my purpose in life? Where do I fit? Our life is spent searching for the answer to those questions and if we do not find that answer in relationship with God we will find it in "purpose" and our life will become a purpose driven life.
We search for happiness, we strive for that next promotion, we must get that next possession, we must find that right person, purpose, purpose, purpose.
A Purpose driven life – if we take those words and build our lives around or on them we will build a wrong foundation, a false base to our Christianity. It is a foundation built on sand, remove the purpose and we have no life, no reason for living unless we find another purpose to live for….
A Purpose driven life is (I believe) the religious spirits counterfeit to the Presence Led life. As Christians we were never meant to live a purpose driven life. The religious spirit loves purpose and will cause our identity to become wrapped up in our purpose. Our identity is always to be found in that place of relationship with God – we are a much loved son or daughter.
Our service for Him must come out of a place of relationship – of teaming with Him. Yes He has commissioned us but that commission was and is supposed to be a co-mission – Him and us Mark 16:20 "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following".
Let's look at some of the things the enemy wants to accomplish by making us purpose driven … Purpose driven says it's all about the purpose – what's the purpose (that's a vision based life). You must have a vision for your life and goals so that you fulfill that vision. There can be a subtleness in this that sometimes will cause us to switch from being led by God to driven by vision and programmes.
Presence led says its all about His presence and His heart – what is his heart for this people (that's a values based life) how does He want to show them his heart for them. That is our vision and goal. – to know Gods heart for a people and show it, leading them to come into the place of his heart for them. It is not about programmes
John 5:19 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.
Purpose driven will drive you and you will end up striving…
Presence led will bring you into a place of rest (Ex 33 as above with Moses.)
Purpose driven says I have a relationship with God – for a purpose – in other words my relationship with God is driven by purpose –what will I get out of it, how will this help me? How can God help me get the job done? I know only what I need to know of God in order to get the purpose fulfilled..
Presence led says I have a relationship with God – first of all it is a relationship, – it is an unfolding and revealing of who we are to each other, a love based relationship, a friendship, it is covenant therefore it will be a end up being a mutually beneficial relationship.
Purpose or vision alone will drive you; it will become your master.
Rom 6:16 "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?"
Presence will lead you, God will be your King & Father, the Holy Spirit your counselor and guide and Jesus will walk with you – they will lead you and work with you as you co-labour with them in the harvest.
Mark 16:20 "And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following."
Purpose driven says what are the things you're good at? what would you like to do for God? It's all about us and what we can do for God. Subtle yet deadly.
Presence led says what does God want to gift you in? What does He want you to do? It might be quite different to your natural gifts Eg Smith Wigglesworth – a plumber – you might mistakenly think because of this he would have a gift of helps when God had a gift of faith to give him and a miracle healing ministry for him to walk in.
1 Cor 12:4 "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. :7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills."
Most Fruitful gift.
There are seasons in God where one gift might be more used by God than another. Don't think – this is my primary gift and that's what I'll operate forever. There is a time and a season where even your primary gift must make way to your most fruitful gift in this season. Eg Smith Wigglesworth – a plumber an evangelist and Pastor of a church with his wife Polly (The couple worked together to evangelize the lost and they opened a small church in a poor part of town. Polly would preach and Smith would make the altar calls.) His primary giftings up until that point – Evangelism and and Pastoring, – were to make way however for his most fruitful gifting - a gift of faith and a miracle healing ministry for him to walk in.
Purpose driven will lead you to possibly devalue and use people to get your vision done and if they don't fit your vision they don't fit and aren't of any value. A purpose driven church will be like this too.
Presence led will always cause you to value people and place people before vision – why? You cannot be presence led without the heart of God filling you.
Purpose driven says – what do I need to get the job done, what are my resources, what can I call on – people, finances etc Then when you don't need the person any longer you drop them. – in the end if allowed it will come down to – by any means.
Presence led says – How do you want to accomplish it God, what does God want to supply to get the job done – what are God's resources for this job, where He calls He supplies, brings team to work alongside us.
Zech 4:6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit", says the LORD of hosts.
No doubt there are many other examples and differences between the two but there is enough here to open Gods heart to us on this and for us to see where we have been purpose driven instead of presence led. If this is the case then we need to repent. Our lives and churches need to become presence led instead of purpose driven again so that people will always be valued and honoured and we will truly serve and be in right relationship with both God and others.