Craig Groeschel - Find Your Why
How many of you know the purpose of an athletic cup? Just type in the chat I do, if you know the purpose. Raise your hand. How many of you know the purpose of an athletic cup? I thought about holding one up to demonstrate, but I thought that might look a little bit weird today. In fact it's challenging to describe it in a way that's both accurate and appropriate. What I did is I went online and I looked for a definition, the exact definition of an athletic cup, and guess what, I couldn't find one anywhere. I went all over the World Wide Web and couldn't find a single definition of an athletic cup anywhere.
Now, I could find a definition for an athletic supporter or for a jockstrap, but not for an athletic cup. After extensive research and reflection, I came up with my own definition. The best definition I could come up with is an athletic cup is a triangular plastic cup that boys wear playing sports to prevent personal injuries. Imagine a catcher, if you will, actually don't imagine a catcher if you will, but it's a triangular plastic cup that boys wear to prevent personal injuries. Is that a decent definition of an athletic cup? It's important that you understand this. It's a little cup, it's got little holes in it and such.
When I was in the 5th grade, I lived next door to a girl named Missy. Missy was in the 6th grade, she was an older woman, and Missy had a crush on me, and I might have had a crush on Missy. She was older, she had a crush on me. She is what we call a cougar back in the day. Missy came over to my house one time and I told you before that my dad was a professional baseball player, played in the minor leagues, and then he continued to play very competitive fast pitch softball in which he would occasionally wear a triangular plastic cup to protect him from personal injury. Well, my dad left an athletic cup, for some reason, sitting out in the living room in plain sight, when Missy, the older 6th grader, came over to our house.
Well, low and behold, as you would know it, she saw it, didn't know what it was, walked over and picked it up, put it in her hand, and said, "What is this"? We all gasped, as you can imagine, and then she figured out what she believed the purpose was of an athletic cup. She said, "Oh, I know. It's an oxygen mask". The moment she said that, all the oxygen in the room immediately vanished and she put the mask to her face and started breathing in and out, and she said, "Oh, it's an oxygen mask". Very disgusting story to prove a very important point.
If you're taking notes, wherever you are, if you don't know something's purpose, you'll likely abuse it. If you don't understand the purpose behind the creation of a thing, you're very likely to misuse and abuse the purpose of the thing. That's the very reason why some of you today are frustrated. You don't understand your purpose. What's the reason? I don't get it. What's the point? Why bother? It might be in a job that you're busting your tail at and nobody seems to notice or care. What's the point, why do I do this? It might be you're trying to guide your teenagers and all they show you is rebellion and disrespect.
What's the point, why do I do this? It might be you're fighting for your marriage and your spouse doesn't even seem to care at all, and you wonder what's the point, what's the reason, why am I doing this? Maybe there are some of you, you're trying to serve God and you're trying to be faithful, and no matter what you try and how faithful you are, life just continues to seem to go wrong for you, and you think, why bother, why do I even try? What's the purpose? I don't know why, anybody say why? I don't why I try.
The title of today's message is "Find Your Why". There is a reason. There is a purpose. What's your why? Find your why. Father, we ask in the name of Jesus, that as we look at your word, your Spirit would speak to our hearts to motivate us, God, according to your divine purpose to do your will, God, for which we were created. God, help us find our why. In Jesus's name we pray, everybody said, amen. Type it in the comments, amen, amen, amen. This is not something we observe. We're going to participate wherever you are.
Let me show you a scripture in the New Testament that I think is really cool and really powerful. Luke was writing the book of Acts. In Acts 13 verse 36, there's one little verse where he talks about David in the Old Testament, this was David, the man after God's own heart. This was the little boy who grew up to be King David. He said this of David. He said, "Now when David had served God's purpose". Somebody say served God's purpose. Served God's purpose. Whenever "David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep", which is a nice way of saying he died, "When David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep, he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed".
Now the last part of that's kind of gross. His body decayed. The first part is amazing. He served God's purpose in his own generation. He found his calling. He understood his why. He accomplished his what. He served God's purpose. In fact, Dr. Myles Munroe is a preacher from the Bahamas. It was in the early '90s I first heard him talk about purpose. In fact I've got notes, and his teaching influences my teaching even today. He said this. He said, "The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without purpose". The greatest tragedy in life is not dying, but it's living without a reason, without understanding your why, not knowing your purpose.
In fact I would argue that perhaps for many of you, that's one of the things about COVID-19. This season is so incredibly frustrating to you because none of us saw this coming, and it's really, really difficult to understand what's the purpose behind this? I mean here we have this massive global panic. So in order to protect people, we're gonna shut the whole world down. In an effort to save lives, of which we will save some, we end up killing the economy, and so we save some lives and we ruin other lives and you start to wonder what's the purpose? In the early season there was a lot of fear and anxiety. What's going to come? That has moved in some places to frustration. I can't take this anymore.
I know some of you, you're setting in to the rhythms and the routines and you're actually kind of enjoying this, and now you've finally got used to it in time to maybe go back to work and the way it was. Ah, I just got into this. But I have a friend who was just so frustrated, and he said, "No matter what, I just can't get going. I'm not motivated. I don't feel any sense of purpose". The very thing he was saying is I've lost my why. I don't have a reason that drives me and motivates me and compels me to a life outside of myself. He lost his why. He's not finding his purpose.
What I want to do today is I want to show you three principles of purpose. David served his purpose in his generation. The first principle of purpose, if you're taking notes, is this. Number one, your purpose isn't for you. Your purpose is God's purpose. Super important. Your purpose is not for you, it's not about you. Your purpose is God's purpose, and David understood this. You can even see him saying it when he was running from Saul in the Old Testament, in Psalm 57 verse two. He said, "I cry out to God Most High, to the God who will fulfill his purpose for me".
Your purpose isn't for you, your purpose is God's purpose. What I love about David is he wasn't trying to find his purpose, what's my purpose, he was fulfilling God's purpose for him. In other words, your purpose isn't for you, your purpose is God's purpose. Now, what is purpose? If we're gonna clearly define it, purpose is original intent. There is an original purpose by a designer who designed you and created you for a purpose outside of yourself. The challenge is if you don't know something's purpose, you'll likely abuse that very thing.
If you don't know the purpose of an athletic cup, whatever you do, do not put it up to your face and pretend like it's an oxygen mask. Don't do that, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, just say no. In fact the very purest definition of sin, in the church world we talk about sin a lot of times, and people think that's just like something gross and horrible that we do, and yes, sin is gross and horrible, but the purest definition for sin, it comes from the Greek word hamartia, which is an archery term that means to miss the mark or to miss the target. What sin is, is it's missing the purpose. It's an abuse. It's a violation of purpose. It's doing something with our lives outside of the God-given unique purpose and calling for us. That's what sin is.
The very reason why so many people fall into sin is they don't know the purpose, so they're always searching, looking for some type of validation. I'll try this job, maybe that will make me happy. I'll try this relationship, I'll go perhaps on this vacation, I'll get this experience, I'll try to get this brand. Maybe off white will make my light shine bright and then I'll finally be happy, whatever it is, and all of life is reduced essentially to just one big experiment. I'm just looking for something, anything that brings me fulfillment and joy because we don't understand the original intent. We're missing the why behind the reason why God created us.
So we experiment and we search and we treat yourself and we pamper yourself. It's all about you, and you do you, boo boo. We look around and we see all these people that have what we think we're looking for and yet they're not even happy when they have what we think we want. You know people, they're popular, and yet they're miserable because they're missing their purpose. They may be powerful, but they hate their own life. Why, no purpose. They may be prosperous, they may be financially blessed, and yet they're still incredibly dissatisfied because there is no purpose.
What do we need to understand is that we are created for heaven, but so many of us are living for this world. We're searching in this world for something this world cannot provide. That's why we have to embrace our why. Understand our purpose. Your purpose isn't for you. Your purpose is God's purpose. He created you for his will, for his purpose and for his glory. Number one, your purpose isn't for you, your purpose is God's purpose. Number two, if you're taking notes, you don't find your purpose, you serve God's purpose. This is so important. You don't just find your purpose. Instead you serve God's purpose.
When you look at David, I love this, he wasn't pursuing his dream. It wasn't all about I've gotta live my bucket list. What he did, Scripture said, is he served God's purpose. In fact I believe it's no coincidence at all that Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts, used that phrase served. He served God's purpose. David served God's purpose. In fact, let me show you some examples. If you go back to the Old Testament, whenever Samuel the prophet was looking to choose, under the inspiration of God, who is the next king that's going to rule and reign.
So Samuel the prophet went to the house of ben Jesse and looked at the oldest son who was handsome and strong and smart and scored really high on his ACT and had everything. God said, no, that's not him. And the next son, the next son, the next son, and Samuel couldn't find the one that God wanted to choose. What do you think David was doing whenever Samuel anointed him to be the next king? Let me tell what David was not doing. He wasn't building his resume. He wasn't strategizing about how we was gonna expand his brand to get known everywhere. He wasn't trying to get noticed. He wasn't trying to get discovered. He wasn't looking for his big break. He wasn't making the perfect TikTok video that he was sure that was going to go viral.
What was he doing? He was simply taking care of the sheep. That's what he was doing. He was serving his purpose, taking care of sheep. In fact, this is what Scripture says in Psalm 78 verse 70, that God "chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens". Some of you are trying to get in the spotlight when you should be in the sheep pens doing what God created you to do. "He took David from tending the ewes and the lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob's descendants, God's own people, Israel". Where was David when God called him to his purpose? He was serving, doing what he was faithfully called to do. He wasn't seeking a position, he was serving a purpose.
If you remember whenever Goliath basically held a whole war hostage and everybody was afraid of him. David walked up and ended up, under the power of God, defeating Goliath. Why do you think God chose David in that moment? Again, little David was just probably a teenage boy. He wasn't the biggest, he wasn't the most ripped warrior, he wasn't verified with over 100,000 followers, right? He wasn't the richest, he wasn't the most powerful. He wasn't the business person who just closed the latest deal. What he was is he was a little boy, he was a teenager, who was bringing Lunchables to the warriors on the front line. He was the guy who was faithfully doing what he was asked to do. He was serving when God chose him for that moment. He wasn't hoping for his big break, he was faithfully serving.
What did David do? David served God's purpose. He served God's purpose in his generation. I hope you'll feel this. You may feel locked down in quarantine, but your purpose is not for you. Your purpose is God's purpose. You don't find your purpose, you serve God's purpose. Now, how do you do that? If I want to serve God's purpose, how do I go about doing his will, glorifying and serving his purpose?
Number three, if you want to serve God's purpose, start serving God's people. This is so important. If you want to serve God's purpose, start serving God's people. I feel some people right now going that's so lame. I wanted something big, something important. I don't want to just serve God's people. I want to write a book, tell my story. I want to be an entrepreneur. I want some followers. I want to make six figures. I want to be an influencer. That's so lame. It is never lame to love. If you want to serve God's purpose, you start serving God's people wherever you are.
If this is not below Jesus, when he came, he said, "Here's my purpose". He said, in Mark 10:45, "For even the Son of Man didn't come to be served", didn't come to be important, "but came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many". If you want to serve God's purpose, start serving God's people. Do it today. It's not about you, it's not for you, it's not for your glory. David was a man after God's own heart. Serve God's people. Get in the game.
Those of you who want to be involved in business and want to be involved in business, don't make it about you. I want to be important. I want to be a CEO. I want to make a name for myself. I want to have a lot of money. No, no, no, no, no. Listen to me, create a product that serves people. Create a service that blesses people, and when you think about blessing people and giving them something that they value, they'll be so excited they'll give you money in exchange for that which you created to bless them, and suddenly you have a business. If I create something valuable to you and you're so excited about it, then I have a little business. If I create something better and the two of you come to me, I've got a little bigger business. If all of you get excited about the value of the product that I've created, I've got a bigger business.
Then suddenly what happens is I can hire somebody else to help me run the business. They're not here to help fulfill my vision, I'm helping them have a job that adds value to their life. It's all about other people. Those of you that are business people, I hope you feel that what you're doing is God-honoring. You're kind of like the guy that that God gave two talents and you multiplied it to four, or God gave you five, you multiplied it. This is God-honoring. What you're doing is you're investing what you have to serve people.
The same is true with content. I want to have a great YouTube following. I want to be verified on Instagram. I want everybody to follow me because I'm so great. No, no, no. You don't start with that. It's not about you. It's about creating something that impacts someone's life. If could even be that it entertains them and just helps them relax. It could be that it helps them get better or closer to God. It's about creating content that serves and blesses people. When I started a leadership podcast, it wasn't like, hey, I want to have the biggest leadership podcast around. It's what I want to do sincerely, and I hope you feel it, is create content that helps you grow better as a leader. If it helps you, you tell people and suddenly there's value in helping other people along the way. You don't serve your own ideas, you serve God's purposes.
Same with those of you that want to build that big ministry. Don't start with that. That's almost insulting to God. I want to build a big ministry. No, just love somebody faithfully. Serve them when nobody's looking. Love one person faithfully, and if their life is blessed, they're gonna tell someone else, and suddenly you're loving and serving two people faithfully, and then all of a sudden more people want to join you, and we're coming together saying together we can make a big difference in this world. It doesn't start with what I want, it starts with what God wants. It's you serve his purpose. You get involved where you are. You serve to make a difference, and that's where the fulfillment is. You feel locked down, you feel frustrated because you can't do what you want to do. Don't let the devil rob you of your why.
Serve where you are today. You aren't called to seek a platform or power or position, you're called to serve God's people. Get creative wherever you are. Pick up groceries for a neighbor and deliver them to serve them, to make a difference. Make masks for someone who needs a mask. Volunteer to deliver prescriptions to somebody. Become a prayer warrior right where you are. Nobody has to know. Just God, just you. Get down on your knees and believe for healing for somebody who's sick. Serve at church online. There's 170 or 80 services every week, and we're reaching people, and you're out of the game. Get in the game and make a difference. Do an online life group. Give a gift to someone, write notes to those who maybe are stuck in a nursing home. Get in the game.
Here's the thing. You don't have to launch a non-profit. I'm gonna have my own little organization. No, no, no, no. Just go. Do what Amy did. Go pick up a gift card, sneak over to a widow's house who's on a fixed income, can't get out of the house because she's at risk, drop the gift card in the mailbox, no note, no credit, no name, just drop and run and smile. You served God's purpose. Do what my daughter, Joy, did. Get a bunch of friends together, make a bunch of cookies, write a bunch of notes for leaders who have blessed them in the church. Then go drop the cookies and the notes off in their mailbox and run and smile. But when you do that, save a cookie for your dad. Because my daughter didn't save a cookie for her dad.
Do what my son, Sam, did. He posted a Scripture online and a girl asked a spiritual question. She said, I'm not a believer, and engaged in an on-going dialogue through DMs, and she ended up recognizing her need for Jesus and he led her to Christ like that. Do what my son, Steven, did. Reach out to someone who's down and discouraged and pray for them, encourage them, lift them up. Don't let the devil talk you out of your why. Why might you feel a little empty right now, like you're missing something? It's because maybe you're missing something. You're missing the opportunity to do what you were created to do, to serve someone.
Have you ever found that the greatest joy in life, the greatest thrill is when you're used by God to make a difference in someone else's life? You can get that something you want. I finally got the watch, I finally got the shoes, I got the purse, the brand. It's fun for about that long. You can go to some great place. We finally went there, and it's refreshing, and I hope you do that, but it wears off. Whenever you find yourself in the lives of someone else, making a difference, there's fulfillment. That's your purpose. That's your purpose. That's your purpose. Your purpose isn't one big future event. I'm gonna write a book. I'm gonna produce movies one day. No, no, no, no, no. Your purpose is being faithful to Jesus today. It's faithfully serving today.
I told you about Paco. Paco is my workout partner. I said, what's the hardest thing on you with this whole COVID deal? He's in construction, so he's still working and he's excited about that. He said, I just miss church. I loved hearing that, like yeah. He said, I miss church. I asked him, what do you miss about church, because I knew he was going to say I miss seeing you preach in person. He didn't say that. I knew what he was gonna say. I miss the worship, worshiping with all the people. He didn't say that. What Paco said was, he said, I miss serving. I miss serving. I miss hugging the people and helping them feel love. I like serving them. You don't get paid for that. Nobody gives you an award. There's no, like, you're the best servant. I mean you give your time for free and all you get is a red shirt? I miss serving because there's nothing in life that fulfills you as much as doing what fulfills God's purpose.
David served his purpose in his generation. He served God's purpose. If you don't know the purpose of a thing, you'll likely end up abusing it. What's your purpose? Your purpose isn't to binge watch Netflix. Your purpose isn't to save up whatever money you have. Your purpose isn't to become famous or well known or powerful. Your purpose is always for God's glory. You serve his purpose. What was David doing? He was taking care of the sheep, he was serving his brothers bringing lunch. Wherever you are, don't let the devil talk you out of it. Are you going to have to be creative? Yeah, be creative. Use your brain. Get innovative. If you love people enough, you will find a way. You can make excuses or you can make a difference, but you can't make both. Tell the excuses to get behind you, tell the devil to get behind you and serve God's purpose.
David was a man after God's own heart, and that's why he served God's purpose. I couldn't be more thankful for a church of people that are God-centered and others focused. You are generous, you are prayerful, you are evangelistic in heart. This isn't a season that we're trying to get through. This is a season that we're maximizing. I charge you to fulfill your purpose today. You will never find more joy than when you share God's love. It's not about you. It's never supposed to be about you. David served God's purpose. I pray you would do the very same thing.
Father, today we ask in the name of Jesus that your Spirit would speak into kitchens and living rooms and bedrooms and back porches through mobile devices and televisions and computers today, and that you would stir up your church to move from frustration with what we can't do to passion to do what you've called us to do, God. We're not gonna wait for a red shirt and church to be open to serve. We're gonna sense your Spirit and follow your voice and do what you've created us to do today, God. Stir within the hearts of your people.
Living rooms, bedrooms, wherever you are, those of you who say, yeah, I want to serve God's purpose, just by faith lift up your hand. It may be seem silly right now. There's a lot of things silly. Just do it. Type in the chat, I'm in, I'm in, I'm in, I'm in. I want God's purpose. I want to serve God's purpose. Just type it in.
Father, I pray that there wouldn't be a day go by that we wouldn't see divine opportunities to serve someone in need. God, not for our own glory, not just for our own benefit, but, God, to do what you created us to do, to honor you in every way, fulfilling the purpose for which we were created. God, help us to serve you by serving others. God, I thank you in advance for all the ways that people are gonna be blessed, both those who are receiving and those who are blessed by being a blessing. God, may we be a church full of people more blessed because we give more to make a difference for your glory in this world. God, use us wherever we are to serve your purpose.
As you keep praying today, wherever you are, some of you may realize I'm empty, I'm hurting. I feel alone, I feel desperate, I feel afraid. Maybe your life has been an experiment. Maybe you've been missing God's purpose. What is sin? We talked about it. Sin is missing the mark, and the reality is that every single one of us, we've all sinned. You've sinned, I've sinned, we've messed up. Why do you feel that sense of guilt? How does it just happen? It's because God created you for him, for his glory, and you recognize, even if you're not a Jesus person, you feel a sense of I did something wrong.
The truth is all of us have sinned. But the good news is God sent Jesus, who fulfilled his purpose. Jesus was the Son of God, who never ever sinned. He came to serve and to give his life as a ransom to pay back, to purchase the forgiveness of our sins with the shedding of innocent blood. When someone sins, someone must die. We sinned, and Jesus died in our place. The good news is our God raised him from the dead, so that anyone, everyone, this includes you. It doesn't matter who you are, it doesn't matter the questions you have, it doesn't matter the doubts in your mind, it doesn't matter how ashamed you are of what you've done, what you said, what you thought, what you feel. Anyone who calls on that name, the name of Jesus, the name that is above every name. God will hear your prayer. He will forgive every sin you've ever created. He will fill you with his Spirit, and you can start serving God's purpose today.
Those who say, I need him, I want his forgiveness for my sins, I want his Spirit to lead me, I want to serve his purpose today, I turn from my sins, I turn toward Jesus. Jesus, I give you my life. God, I want to serve your purpose. That's your prayer. You can lift your hand wherever you are. You can type it in the chat. I'm giving my life to Jesus. I'm giving my life to Jesus right now. I can feel it. I can't see it, but I can feel you all over the world saying, yes, Jesus, I surrender my life to you, and I would love all eight people in this room just to join your faith with those around you and pray this aloud where you are. Just everybody pray.
Heavenly Father, forgive my sins. Jesus, save me and make me new. Fill me with your Spirit so I can live for you, so I can serve your purpose. My life is not my own. I give it all to you. Use me today and every day to serve your purpose by serving people for your glory. In Jesus' name I pray.