LACK OF A WELL-DEFINED PURPOSE IN LIFE.
“There is no hope of success for the person who does not have a central purpose, or definite goal at which to aim. Ninety-eight out of every hundred of those whom I have analyzed, had no such aim.”
In Napoleon Hill’s classic book Think and Grow Rich he wrote a list of 31 Major Causes of Failure.
The list covers just about every type of failure that people experience, but just in case he didn’t, reason #31 is “any particular cause of failure from which you have suffered that has not been included in the foregoing list”.
Because this list covers such an extensive list, I won’t add any more reasons to it, but I would like to expound on each of the reasons that he mentioned. We’ll begin with the second one on his list “Lack of a well-defined purpose in life”.
I have noticed that many non-christian books, public speakers, financial advisers, and other influential people have pulled ahead in life through biblical principles. Some of these people had no idea that the principles they lived by were based in God’s word.
A sad fact is that on the other side of the spectrum, there are plenty of God loving christians that are ignoring the same principles that have made unbelievers successful.
Principles don’t care who puts them to work… they just work.
This first reason deals with the principle of having a definite purpose. As Christians we get saved by faith in Jesus, we are to live by faith, walk by faith, and fight the good fight of faith. The only way to please God is through faith! Faith only works when it is directed in a specific area or direction.
Nobody accidentally believed in Jesus and got saved. Nobody just happened to get healed by faith. Everything that comes by faith happens because it was on purpose.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
The opposite of faith is doubt. When you have doubt - you don’t have a specific course or direction… you’re just being blown here and there. There are many believers that are going this way one week and another way the next.
I’ve had men tell me about a business they are going to start. A few weeks go by and they say they are going to go to bible college and go into ministry. After Bible school they don’t know what ministry to start so they get a job at a coffee shop or a used car lot.
People that live like this don’t know their purpose, and therefore can’t apply their faith to anything for long. They never gain traction or momentum in life because their direction is constantly changing.
Next time you drive to the grocery store, turn your steering wheel from left to right, right to left, back and forth, as quick and sporadic as you can and tell me how long it takes you to get there, if you get there at all. That’s what people are doing with their lives when they don’t set a clear course.
Anything that you do in faith is definite, it’s specific, it’s on purpose.
There was a lady during Jesus time, she suffered from a blood disease for many years. When she heard about Jesus she went to Him with a specific purpose, to touch His clothes so that she would be healed. After she did this and received her healing, Jesus said that it was her faith that caused this, not His.
A Roman centurion came to Jesus because his servant was paralyzed and dreadfully tormented. The man told Jesus that He didn’t even need to come to his house to pray for the servant, but if He would just speak the Word his servant would be healed. Jesus was totally blown away by the man’s faith and said “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” Notice that man came to Jesus for something specific and got exactly what he wanted because of his believing.
We could go on with many more Bible examples that show this to be true: faith involves a definite purpose.
A famous old testament scripture on this subject is Habakuk 2:2
“Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.”
If you don’t have a vision for your life, would you be able to write it down? Of course not.
Yet if you had a vision, you knew where you were going, then you’d be able to write it. Once you have it, you can run with it. It doesn’t matter who or what tries to stop you. Jesus said that all things are possible to those who believe. He proved that statement to be true when he raised the dead, healed the sick, spoke to the storm, cursed the fig tree, turned water into wine…
This isn’t to say that you won’t face obstacles. You most certainly will. The difference is that when you have a purpose, overcoming an obstacle will push you closer to your goal. On the contrary, without a purpose you have no reason to move past the obstacle, you’ll just turn and go a different way, restarting the process.
Having a well defined purpose doesn’t guarantee that you’ll accomplish it. Having no defined purpose guarantees you’ll never know if you did.