One of the most important things a leader can know is his or her purpose. It does not matter so much for a hireling, but a leader must know why. Everyone knows when, but many do not know why. When is the day we call our birthday? We celebrate that day every year (at least until our 29th). But it is more important to know why we were born than when we were born. When Jesus was confronted by his impending crucifixion, the disciples suggested other possibilities. Jesus replied, "But for this purpose came I to this hour" (John 12:27). There is nothing so powerful as knowing that all the circumstances you face, even the difficult ones, are all part of a divine plan to help you accomplish your purpose.
During World War II, the American army was making a beach landing on a South Pacific island held by the enemy. A young soldier wading waist deep in the surf with his rifle held high over his head looked beside him and was shocked to see Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The general didn't even have a gun, but was shouting encouragement to the young soldiers. Exploding shells and bullets were flying all around them and the young soldier screamed, "Sir, what are you doing making this charge with us? You could be killed!"
Without looking around, the general replied, "Son, these bullets are not meant for me!"
Here was a man so possessed by his purpose to free the world from oppression that he was convinced that even the threat of death could not stop him. That is just how convinced a leader must be that what he is involved in is so destined, so important, so much a part of a divine plan that it cannot be stopped.
One of my favorite scriptures on this subject is Romans 8:28. It says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." I have heard this verse misquoted and misunderstood many more times than I have heard it correctly interpreted. This verse does not say that all things that happen in everyone's life will be good. In fact, some things that happen in life are horrible! It does say, however, that if you love God and are called, then He will ensure that all things will work for the good of fulfilling His purpose. The word "purpose" is the Greek prothesis. Literally translated, it means "before place." That means when God chooses you and destines your life, He starts at the end and works back toward the beginning!
“Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’”
That means when you were born, God had already designed your life from "end to beginning" and included everything that was destined to happen to you. He divinely orchestrated it all to work from the beginning to the end to assist you in fulfilling your purpose, your "before place." It was prepared for you before you were born. Maybe that is why we sometimes get the sensation that we have been someplace before when we know we have not. The French call it déjà vu. God calls it your purpose. When you love God and are the called, you can rest in the knowledge that you will never face anything in your life that God has not already examined and determined will assist you in accomplishing your purpose.
Mike Hayes joins James and Betty this Thursday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from Influence: Becoming the Leader That Changes the World by Mike Hayes. Copyright ©2008, 2011, 2017 by Mike Hayes. Used by permission.