8 Min Read

The Makeover Artist

Published on

October 31, 2022

From the early 2000s, a certain message swept across the global landscape of Personal Development in the Corporate world and Spiritual Development within The Church. It carried a unique sense of transcendent superiority over and above every other type of message. It became the go-to for every Motivational Speaker, Pastor or anyone remotely connected to inspiring a group of people. Back on Campus, the urge to write a book on this theme leaped on just about every one. I’m sure by now, you can imagine the message I’m referring to:

Yes, it was the Purpose Message.

Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life became an instant hit with over 35 million copies sold since it was launched in 2002. This message resonated so much with the innate human need for meaning and gave a clear pathway to discovering one’s truest self in this rather confusing world. Every single one of us is in desperate search for meaning. My tail was one of those, lit by the torch of the Purpose Message and it was on the strength of that mandate that I pursued a cause for Christ more passionately.

However, knowing the enemy for who exactly he is: he takes a trending, meaningful, and essential concept like Purpose; discounts it, removes the wheat, and replaces it with chaff, then attractively packages it as the real deal, and sells it for twice the price. Talk about the Master of Unjust Weights and Measures!

Over the years, I have seen a perversion of the Purpose Message, and this time, what it was deployed by hell to accomplish is to get people into a headless and meaningless pursuit to do things that are impressive, many of which may not be effective, relative to the Purposes of God. How ironic that The search for Meaning itself; Purpose, was deployed by the enemy as the perfect grand route to meaninglessness?

Purpose soon became more about doing impressive things like writing a book, organizing an event, starting a Ministry, becoming famous, reaching out to the “less” privileged through an NGO, starting a Company and vowing never to work for anyone, becoming the first black female “anything”, outrunning Usain or Ahab… The subtle attack on our soul was unleashed; If what you were doing wasn’t impressive, then it wasn’t Purpose enough. Oh the pressure! The urgency! The insistence to do something that fills your soul with a transient rush of dopamine derived from the short-lived accomplishments, but leaves your soul twice as lean, burdened under the immense pressure to live up to the unreal social standards by the next cycle!

Your purpose sure couldn’t be raising that child while working remotely; or volunteering to teach those poor kids in your locale; or contributing to the growth of your Company as an Accountant: No! It sure couldn’t simply be praying and fasting privately in the temple for the emergence of a Saviour; or serving a peasant but anointed fugitive while he had nothing worthwhile to give you in return; or mastering hospitality in your tent while building dexterity in the use of mallets and nails. These are sure not impressive!! C’mon kill me some Goliaths, then I’ll pay attention! Part the Red Sea, raise the Dead, preach and get 3,000 people saved in one day…. Wooosh, such wonder! Prophetess Ana, Barzillai, or Jael may not have been impressive or even popular enough for Biblical narratives, because they were not trying to be… Yet, they were effective and submissive to the right Authority; God! And boy did they fulfill Purpose to the letter!

What we didn’t realise with the bombardment and pressure that came with the perverted Purpose message is that, we slowly began to assign weights to assignments on the strength of the assignments themselves and failed to realise that the entire assignment is ultimately defined by Who did the assigning! If He assigned you the lifting up of Moses’ hands, which quite honestly may not be so impressive, you better not go in search of your own 3 million Israelite bunch to lead. Impressive is not the goal, Obedience is! When we go for the impressive, what we don’t realise is that we subtly make people, who themselves are mostly without a rudder, become the standard and Judge of our work. “Impressive” is only measured on scales given by other people. None of those people can tell if you’re being obedient or not, they only want something to excite them, who cares if you listened to your God or not? This perverted message got us to be more afraid of “missing it” than “missing Him”.

The same Purpose message, meant for alignment, fast became the quickest route to derailment… The devil has never been guilty of lacking in wits, and guile!

So what should our purpose be about?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

Purpose is a Journey into a Person, not a destination defined by a place. Becoming Prime Minister wasn’t Joseph’s Purpose, it was a major assignment along the path of his purpose, but his purpose wasn’t merely a position.

Our Purpose is a Journey into the Knowledge of God… Hallelujah! And therein, may be many many assignments, detours, pitfalls, high, lows, promotions, javelins, griefs, betrayals, caves, city gates and madness… All so you could come into grasp with a certain dimension of the Knowledge of God that would otherwise be veiled away from you. I hope you’re still excited?

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. — John 17:3 KJV

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. — Matthew 4:19 KJV

And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach. — Mark 3:14 KJV

God’s priority has never been on simply doing, but on being! Being is a direct function of fellowshipping with The Father and The Son; Knowing Them intimately.

This is why it is possible to see Jesus on the last day and recount all the things you “did” for him, and He retorts with, “I did not ‘know’ you”. He was seeking a relationship with you so you could be with Him, yet you went about “doing things” in His Name, but didn’t even know the first thing about The One you were supposedly serving. Knowing Jesus may never become impressive, because the world doesn’t have our standards. Knowing Jesus intimately will always be a private affair that may never get any Media house to interview you for the “great” work you’re doing of Knowing The Lord, but make no mistake to assume that if no one else applauded here on earth, then it was not lauded in Heaven.

If what you embraced as your life assignment, however unimpressive, was borne out of your relationship with Jesus and your love for the Saints, you lived a far more Purpose Driven Life than if you gave your body to be burned and even sold all you had to give to the poor (oh how impressive!), but lacked the Knowledge of Love Himself. Remember the graphic metaphor deployed by Apostle Paul; Sounding Brass, Tinkling Cymbal!!

Purpose isn’t a Destination defined by a Place, Purpose is a Journey into a Person.

For it’s in Him, we live, we move, and have our very being — Acts 17:28a

That means outside Him, we die, are immobile and non-existent! It does not matter how impressively we lived our lives, if we didn’t live from His standpoint, we didn’t live at all. In Him alone we live, move and have our being! God is His own environment! He is the entirety of dimensions, places and experiences woven into One Grand Being!

So, while you’re studying your Bible so you can conform to His Image, you’re prosecuting Purpose; while you’re exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit in a hostile office environment, you’re living on the cutting edge of Purpose… While you’re following Him, He is making you. You may not even realise the exact dimensions of what He eventually made you into, until the very end, when The Father exclaims in excitement… “Aha, Christ has emerged!” Your only job is to simply Follow Him… His, is to make you.

This week, insist on Following Jesus.

Have a productive week ahead.

Dami Oguntunde

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