Rick Warren is now preaching a series which revisits his Purpose Driven Life again, highlighting the 5 purposes of every person. It is a wonderfully simple yet revelational and practical series of messages which I started listening to yesterday. The first one I heard was “Called to Become”, which is actually the 3rd in his series. Here are my notes- May they bless you too! You can listen to all the messages here.
Marathon to Maturity (or 8 Keys to becoming who God wants you to be)
by Rick Warren
1. Simplify my life
Cut out and clean out all the junk that is preventing me from being the person God wants me to become.
We do not want to carry extra baggage.
Let go of some stuff.
Everybody wants you to run their race.
We have to think about what race God wants us to run. We have to decide which race to run that God has created for us.
We have to let go of some expectations too. We can’t please everyone.
We cannot just let go of sins, but also what everybody expects of you.
2. Don’t get impatient or in a hurry.
This race will take your entire life and you can’t run the race quickly.
When u first become a Christian, you will grow really fast!
Growth slows down but it gets stable and secure. God is not in a hurry to grow us to where He wants us to be.
We want to be solid like an oak tree, which takes 60 years to form.
Hebrews 12:1 let us run with patience!
Take a baby step each week.
3. Spend time focusing on Jesus everyday.
Whatever you want to become, you need to think about it. You need to spend the most time with people you want to become.
Whoever you spend the most time with is who you become most like.
You become more and more like Him.
We have never been quiet long enough. God doesn’t have to speak aloud – He can put thoughts in us.
We keep our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends.
We cannot become like Jesus, unless we spend time with Him.
I need to revive my quiet time.
I need to find a special place where I meet with God everyday.
We need to go where we can be alone and pray aloud.
We cannot close our eyes and pray and talk aloud.
Jesus went out as usual!
It was His custom. He likes to go there and have His quiet time.
We need to go to a special place and have time with Him.
Moses spent so much time with God that he glowed. He had a presence which glowed.
2 Corinthians 3: we have that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that reflect the glory of the Lord.
As Gods spirit works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory.
It takes time – it is more and more – it is sequential.
Many of us want a quick fix in our lives so we go around looking for that one book that will change our lives. We want a magic experience that transforms us immediately!
That won’t happen! It takes time.
We reflect His glory- His love, joy, peace and patience.
In our brains, we have mirror neurons. They allow you to feel what others feel when you look at them. That’s why you empathize with others. Your mirror neurons are firing in our body. When we see someone win a game, we feel the same joy because of our mirror neurons.
When we spend time with God, our neurons begin to reflect God’s qualities in our life.
4. When it gets hard, remember the reward.
This goal for God to makes you the person He wants you to be is a life time process. It’s not going to be easy.
His number one goal is for u to become more like Christ.
He is going to take you through everything that Jesus went through.
There was time where He was alone, rejected, misunderstood…
God wants to use circumstances to make us like Christ.
Jesus learned obedience through suffering.
Now it’s not the easy stage! That’s in eternity.
Now is where we do the character development.
Jesus did not give up because of the cross.
Because of the joy, He thought nothing of the suffering He was going through. He put up with so much hatred from sinners.
1 Peter 5
God will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called us to share in His glory in Christ which will last forever.
God does not promise an easy life!
Everything on this planet is broken!
There are moments of joy, but as a general rule, life is tough.
Since we are his children, we share in his inheritance… But.. If we are to share his glory, we must also share in his sufferings.
God is no glory – no pain, no gain.
In all things…. Called according to His purpose. Memorize this verse!
5. Gather a team to run with me.
It’s your race and nobody can run, but people can support you.
At different stages, different people will run with you. That’s a small group.
If you don’t have anyone, not everyone will make it with you.
We do not need 100 people.. We just need a few people.
Let us consider how we may spur each other on.. Let us not give up meeting together, but let us encourage each other as we see the day approaching.
Why do we cop out?
Many times, we don’t even realize how fearful we are.
Fear causes us to miss Gods best. The small group helps you to love and feel belonged and that gives you the courage to stay in the race and finish it!
That is a safe place and it doesn’t happen over night. A small group takes time as we begin to know and love people – we begin to become more open. We have more openness because we mature as a small group.
6. Realize God is cheering you at every stage.
Some of us have the mistaken idea that God only cheers us when we reach the finish line or do things right.
Nobody shames a baby for not being able to read. Nobody shames a 10 year old for not being able to drive.
There are different things that are perfect for different stages of development.
We are already okay in Gods eye.
We need to be not ashamed of whatever phase of spiritual growth we are in.
We shame ourselves because we think God is ashamed of us.
The major reason we don’t become the man we are supposed to be is shame. Instead of admitting that we don’t have it altogether, we wear a mask when we know inside that we don’t have it altogether.
God knows that we don’t have it altogether!
We must become vulnerable and change the energy from pretending to become who God wants us to be.
Get out of denial. Quit trying to pretend that you don’t have problems. God needs to be that manager.
God is still cheering us on at whatever stage we are at.
Everybody needs recovery because everyone is broken.
Many of us don’t think great all of the time. We all need recovery.
Everybody needs to grow.
Paul says… We have not already achieved these things or attained perfection. He is not!
Thank God we are not what we used to be. We have not got perfection, but we keep working towards that day where we become what God wants us to be.
We must focus all our energies on one thing.
We must forget the past and look forward to what’s ahead. We strain ahead to receive what God is calling us up to heaven for.
God is cheering us at every stage!
We start cheering our kids the moment the race begins.
God is cheering us even if we stumble!
We cheer more when we see a child stumble in a race. God cheers more when we stumbles, encouraging us on and spurring us to do better.
Don’t project an unpleaseable parent image on God.
God created us. He cheers even louder.
7. Take every step with purpose.
Whatever steps we take, we must do them with discipline and self control.
We have to deny ourselves.
We will not do everything that everybody else. We cannot follow everybody’s plans.
An Olympic winner gives up a tremendous amount of things.
It’s either plan A or plan B. We have to be purpose driven.
1 Corinthians 9
All athletes practice self control to gain a prize that will fade away.. We must run straight to the goal, taking each step with purpose.
Each punch must have contact.
Lift up your tired hands and strengthen your tired knees… Ask God for more strength. Keep walking!
Keep walking on straight paths so that your lame foot will not be disabled.
When things aren’t working out, we must not be tempted by short cuts.
In the race of life, we all run with a limp.
We have relational limps, physical limps, spiritual and financial limps.
We have all kinds!
Everybody walks through life with limps.
The only way we stumble less is if we stay on Gods straight path.
Michelle beesman’s story
She decided to Start running cos her small group of friends kept pushing.
8. Realize that what I don’t finish, God will.
God that began the great work in you will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.
On that day when we see Jesus face to face, every mirror neuron will go on overload and we will be transformed to become just like Him.
All our fears and faults will be gone. All blemishes and flaws will be gone.
We will reflect the glory of God. That is such good news.
We are not a fraction of who we are meant to be.
One day God will finish what we didn’t if we have put ourselves in His hands.
1 John 3:2
We are already Gods children and we can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns.. But we know that when he returns, we will become like Him.
In this race of life, we might have struggled. All of us have been there.
Our race is not over!
It is never too late to get back up and get into the race again.