The Cause Within You

I have been re-reading Matthew Barnett's really excellent book The Cause Within You: Finding The One Great Thing You Were Created To Do In This World this past week.

Matthew believes, as I do, that God created every one of us for a special purpose. We were not brought in to this world to simply take up space and trudge through life in an empty search for temporary happiness. Jesus made his job description pretty clear in John 10.10: "I have come" he said "that you might have LIFE and have it abundantly!" I don't know about you, but that sounds like God has some big plans for us; it sounds like he has a cause for us if we're willing to discover it. Of course, understanding our cause begins with entering in to a relationship with Christ and laying aside our limited ideas of what our lives are supposed to look like. When we abandon our attempts at discovering abundant life and surrender ourselves to Christ's purposes for us, we will ultimately discover the life we were created to live, and the cause we were created to live out.

I want to share a few quotes from the book which have inspired me and then end with a short video of Matthew talking about the book.

"When you were born, God instilled many things within you. One of them was a great cause that He wants you to embrace. In His unique grandeur, He created a universe in which the cumulative effect of all people faithfully pursuing the cause within them would result in a transformed world - one in which everyone's needs would be met and every servant's heart would be filled with the joy of blessing others. Unfortunately, we live in a traumatized world - in part because so many people fail to identify and pursue the cause He has given them. Even though it would provide the happiness and fulfillment they have been seeking, they have failed to build their lives around that cause."

"A transforming cause is never about you - promoting yourself, achieving greater fame or fortune, experiencing more pleasure or comfort, amassing greater power. It is always about using the resources God has given you - skills, relationships, experiences, money, time, intelligence and all the rest - to make a positive impact in the lives of others."

"We can talk all we want about making a difference in the world, leaving the world a better place, imprinting our mark on the world, having a lasting legacy - but unless our core objective relates to ways in which we serve people to the best of our abilities, it's all just empty talk."

"When you find that sweet spot that reflects your cause, it is at the intersection of your passion (what really matters to you), your gifts (what you do best), and your contribution (how you make the world better)."

"Your cause is an exciting mission that God is sending you on. It transcends the mundane challenges of earning a living or surviving the usual daily crises. Your cause is the engine that will make your world turn. It's more stimulating than anything else you face. It's not about being religious. It's all about being a servant."

"God has given us a cause to focus upon, and that cause is always about helping people; it is never about how successful we can set ourselves up to become."

These are just a few of the many really inspiring statements I have highlighted in this book. I truly believe that every follower of Jesus needs to understand what he or she has been called to do. If we can clearly articulate our cause, we are well on our way to discovering it.

As a churchplanter, I have a variety of responsibilities, many of which are not related to my passion, my talents or my contribution. This can become frustrating, and it has. I am striving to find a way to live in to the cause that I believe God has placed within me. It is not easy, but I know that I need to do it in order to find the fulfillment that I am longing for.


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