Main Summary: Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren is one of the most comprehensively written books on man’s mission in earth. It portrays the difference between just succeeding and fulfilling your reason for being here now. In this book, you’ll find out that you can only access your life’s mission in Christ Jesus. Also, it shows God’s relationship with man and how man can respond appropriately. Lastly, you’ll also find that your failure to find and live God’s plan will leave you unprepared for eternity.
After all, is said and done, what will matter about our lives to God is whether you and I have lived a life driven by God’s purpose for it.
In this post, I’ll be sharing with you some of the powerful truths from this book. Hoping that when you find them inspiring, you may read the text. For better understanding and ever increasing growth.
Before I share with you the 34 guides on how to live a purpose driven life, pay attention to this.
This post is the longest I have had since I started writing. It not my intention to make it long. But I must share these truths with you, at least in their nugget form. And then you can thank me later.
3 things to have in your mind as we go on.
i. You can only discover purpose through a relationship with Christ
ii. God’s purpose for your life pre-dates when you were born.
iii. Your purpose in life fits into a much larger cosmic purpose, God has designed for eternity.
Benefits of knowing God’s Purpose for Your Life
i. It will give your life meaning
ii. It will prepare you for eternity
iii. It will define and simplify your life
iv. It will motivate you to go on in life
v. It will give you focus in life
The way you define life will determine what you invest time in. If you define life as a Party, you will take life as fun.
The Bible offers 3 ways God views life, which is as follows:
i. As a Test
The Bible shows how God tested the faith and obedience of Abraham. Everything about you will be tested. Your character, love, integrity.
ii. As a Trust
Life is a trust. God gives you the earth to have dominion over. He keeps blessing you as you manage well. Everything we have, we have received by grace.
Our time, energy, intelligence, talent, relationships, etc.
You must realize that for everything you received by grace you will be accountable for.
iii. As a Temporary Assignment
Life compared with eternity is extremely brief. Don’t get so comfortable as to forget you are supposed to be on the go. Occupy till He comes.
34 Things To Know About A Purpose Driven Life
Before I begin, the author of this book took us on a 40 days journey. Each day with a different focus and prayer.
When I began reading this book, it seemed at first, that I was overwhelmed until I got to day 7. I have read a good number of books, but if there’s any I’ll recommend you must read–then it’s this.
1. You were made to give God Glory
Everything was created to reflect the glory of God. So at the root of all sin is the failure to give God glory. And pride is at the top of this list.
There are only two creations of God who are Champions at not giving God glory. They are Falling angels and Men.
We fail to give God glory with our life’s when we refuse to worship Him with our lives. Worship goes beyond singing. It is a life sold out to God’s will, interests, and purposes.
“We give God glory when we serve others with our gifts.”
2. Your worship is God’s Pleasure
Worship means to bring pleasure to God. It is beyond a meeting–its rather a lifestyle. Whatever gives God pleasure worships God.
It’s not really about what you feel in God’s presence. Worship isn’t really for your benefit–but rather God’s. It is not a part of your life, rather it is your life.
Everything you do can be done to worship God. Your work becomes true worship when it is dedicated to God and performed with an awareness of his presence.
“Every action you can be turned into worship when it’s done for the glory of God”
3. Your life was meant to make God Smile
What God wants is a relationship, not a hangout. He smiles when you love Him completely.
God smiles when you obey Him wholeheartedly. When you delay obedience, to God-that disobedience. You should not wait to understand before you obey. Obedience itself will unlock your heart of understanding.
The proof that you love God is to the degree you obey Him. God also smiles when your heart and mouth are filled with His praise.
God smiles when you use your abilities–He enjoys watching every aspect of your life. The truth is, there are no unspiritual or carnal abilities–just misused ones.
“instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions.”
4. The Heart (Core) of Worship
If all we are meant to do is worship, what then is the center of it. The heart of worship is surrender. A word many never like to hear.
The core of worship is offering yourself to God. God doesn’t want many things you give Him. He wants ALL of you.
Three things that keep us from living a surrendered life are Fear, pride, and confusion.
You can’t surrender all to God until you trust Him. And the degree to which you can trust God is dependent on how much you know Him.
“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become because He made us.” C.S Lewis
Surrender is best demonstrated in obedience. You trust God more when you live a surrendered life.
God isn’t looking for the smartest individuals. He is attracted to the surrendered life.
Everyone eventually surrenders to something or someone. You are at liberty to choose who you surrender to. However, you aren’t free from the consequences of the choice you make.
Living a surrendered life is not the best way to live–its the only way. You can’t fulfill God’s purpose for your life when you are so bent on fulfilling yours.
You don’t come into Christ fully surrendered. It is a moment by moment action. The truth is, your journey or growth in God can be traced back to the last time you let God have His way over yours.
“Life is a struggle because we struggle with God. We want to play the God role–and we can’t win this struggle.”
5. You can walk into Close Friendship with God
Just like it is with friends–they converse regularly. You become best friends with God through constant conversations with Him.
Praying Without ceasing is another way of saying the same thing–Conversing with God all the way.
You can make it a habit of praying with simple phrased sentences. Eg; I receive your grace, You are with Me, I belong to you, Help me trust you, etc.
Or you can pray short scriptures. Eg; The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world. Fear not, for I will be with you, I will not forsake you. etc.
Now, because God is with you all the time, no place is any closer to God than the place where you are right now.
You can also walk in constant friendship with God through meditation. Thinking about God’s word all day. What He has done or those things He has said.
If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. Worrying is thinking about a problem over and over again–meditation is just the opposite.
“Prayer lets you speak to God–meditation lets God speak to you.”
6. Consolidating On Your Friendship With God
God loves you and wants you to know Him. He wants you to speak to Him and wants to do the same to you too. That’s really what a relationship is.
God wants you to be completely honest with Him. But you have to choose to do that. Remember He already knows all that you’ll say. It just shows you trust Him to lay all down at His feet.
Obedience to God is another way of strengthening our friendship with God. The proof of your love for God is in your obedience to Him. True obedience is active, not passive. You choose to–willingly.
What you value, will get most of your attention. Placing a high value on what God values consolidates your friendship with Him. God values souls. Friends of God will value what He loves.
“You are as close to God as you desire Him.”
7. The Kind of Worship That Pleases God
Your worship must be based on the truths of scripture. God doesn’t bless haphazard commitment. He looks beyond what you say–into your heart.
In worship, sincerity isn’t enough either. You can be sincerely wrong. The reason worship is in spirit & truth. Your mind and your spirit all combined.
Real worship is when our spirit responds to God. There are many forms of praise. The best of them is that which helps you communicate your love to God. based on your background and the personality God gave you.
“Worship will cost you your self-centeredness. If worship is mindless, it is meaningless. You must engage your mind.”
8. When God Seems Distant
If you are yet to experience this, then be sure to braise up for it. Sometimes God tests us by distancing Himself from us.
This not in any way to say He has left you. But it happens to prove us. At such times you must anchor or hold on God’s word. On what He has done and what He has said He would do.
This is where you walk in faith. Fillings change and aren’t real. Anyone led by emotions can’t walk with God.
“A Friendship based on emotions is shallow indeed”
9. You Are Part of God’s Family
God cherishes relationship–He loves family. Even the Godhead is known by Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Which is God’s relationship in Himself?
God didn’t need to create man. He desired to have a family. So He created man to share with him all He has.
Some of the things we benefit from being in God’s family:
– we get to be with God forever
– we will be like Christ
– we will be freed from all pain and suffering.
– we will be rewarded and reassigned position of service
– we get to share God’s glory
“Being included in God’s family is the highest honor and the greatest privilege you will ever receive.”
10. What Matters Most To God
Love is the foundation of all God’s command. It should be your topmost priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition.
You have to learn to love God and then men. It is not automatic. Busyness is a great enemy of love. Because it’s not about what you do but the amount of love you do it with.
The greatest gift of love you can give is your time. Your time is your life. It is possible to give without loving–but impossible to love without giving.
Love is really all about giving up your preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy, or time for the benefit of someone else.
“The best use is of life is love; the best expression of love is time; the best time to love is NOW!”
11. Everyone Belongs Somewhere
The church is an organism–not an organization. What that means is, it has all the characteristics of a living thing. It grows, moves, feels, etc.
You will discover your role in life with your relationship with others. Your role in life is not to yourself. That’s where the church comes in–a place of fellowship with others.
God expects us to give our lives for each other, pray, encourage, admonish, serve, teach, honor, bear burdens, forgive, submit, and more. These family responsibilities God expects you to fulfill through the Church.
We are responsible for each other. Those who separate themselves from fellowship end up defenseless. Satan lives defenseless believers–they are vulnerable to his vices.
The Church was created by God to meet 5 important needs:
– Purpose to live for.
– People to live with
– Principles to live by
– Profession to live-out
– Power to live on.
“The Christian life is more than just a commitment to Christ, it includes a commitment to other Christians.”
12. You Have Others To Experience Life Together With
The fellowship God is calling you to with Him and His Children is one that involves unselfish living; honest sharing; practical serving; sacrificial giving and all the other “one another commandments found in scriptures”.
The most difficult risk is, to be honest about who you are and what’s happening in your life to others. And that’s what real fellowship is all about.
You need forgiveness to have fellowship with anyone. Sometimes you may get hurt. Having the disposition to forgive helps you stay in fellowship.
However, if someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded to forgive them instantly. ,but not expected to trust them immediately.
“Forgiveness must be immediate, but trust is built over time.”
13. Building Fellowship With Others
Real fellowship depends on frankness. It is not been silent when a fellow brother is missing it. Neither is it judging others.
Humility, however, is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of yourself less. It is thinking about others more.
An ideal Christian community is mainly about being able to share with others your doubts and fears without been judged.
Whether it’s marriage or the church real fellowship is not about complacency. It is about honesty.
“The basis for our fellowship with one another is our relationship with God.”
14. Restoring Or Fixing Broken Fellowship
Every child of God is a peacemaker. Peacemaking is not trying to escape problems or pretending they don’t exist.
It is not been afraid to talk about an issue, neither is it trying to make peace with everyone when they should be scolded either.
Nevertheless, God wants us to do it this way.
– Talk to Him before talking to the person.
– Be the one to make the first move, irrespective of who at fault.
– Use your ears that your mouth
– Confess your fault in the feud or conflict.
– Be conscious of attacking the problem rather than the person.
– Cooperate as much as possible, the emphasis is on reconciliation, not resolution.
15. You Have a Duty To Protect Your Church
The soul of fellowship is unity. If destroyed–the church follows suit.
Protecting the church is protecting its unity. This consciousness is so vital, so you don’t destroy what you are trying to build.
The truth is we all cannot be the same. Because we have all spent ourselves differently in building our faith. Some the point is to focus on our similarities.
There are many things we have in common. What the devil has done to the body is to blind our eyes to them to keep disunited.
The issue isn’t in running from pillar to post. Changing churches as you do with your undies. Be realistic with your expectations–there is no perfect church to escape to.
Gossiping is an enemy to unity. you should practice the Jesus method of reconciliation. And most important–support and pray for your Pastors & Leaders.
“When you choose to protect your church, you will rather encourage than criticize.”
16. You Were Created To Become Like Christ
It is in our destiny to become like Christ. The goal God had, in giving you the Holy Spirit, is to develop you into Christ-likeness.
It is the job of the Holy Spirit to produce the character of Christ in you. But then you must be committed to your growth.
These steps will help you.
– Let go of your old ways of acting.
– Change the way you think, by feeding on new information.
– Put on the character of Christ by developing new habits.
You should know that God helping you grow means, He’ll use His words, people, and circumstances to help you grow.
“Growing into Christ is a slow process–you can’t rush it by any standard.”
17. Growing Into Christ
It all begins with a decision. An intension backed up with a decisive commitment.
The difference between a follower and a disciple is their commitment. The follower is afraid or unwilling to commit to his growth.
But sincerely, commitment defines you. You become what you are committed to. The Holy Spirit can’t help you beyond your commitment. Your growth is a collaborative effort between you and the Holy Spirit.
Your understanding of the eternal implications of your growth will separate you from being casual with growing.
Your decisions originate from what you know. What you know is how you think. How you think will affect your feelings–which will automatically generate your actions.
“for as a man thinketh, so is he”
Thinking of others is the heart of Christ-likeness and the best evidence of spiritual growth.
“The best evidence of your spiritual growth is measure by how much you think about others–instead of yourself.”
18. Growing By Truth
The whole essence of spiritual growth is to replace lies with truth–changing how you think.
For this to happen, you must abide in the vine-the word.
Here’s How To…
– You must accept God’s word as an authority. You should begin with it and end with it. Taking the first and last place.
– You must assimilate its truth. By these five “r”. Read it, Receive it, Research it, Remember it, and Reflect on it.
– You must apply its principles. The only time you’ll get blessed by the word of God is when you do it.
“The best way to become a doer of the word is to always wroth an action plan after reading the word or a text.”
19. Growing By Persecution
Many are forced to a corner to seek God anytime they face persecution. That’s when some want to change their worship centers. Others just choose the easiest option–to quit.
Problems force us to look to God and depend on Him solely. Man is naturally full of himself. He desires to lead himself–always seeking self-glory.
But God already knows all that, since he makes room for some persecution, to refine you.
“All things–including persecution–work together in the process of making you like Christ.”
20. Growing by Temptation
While the temptation is Satan’s No.1 weapon to destroy you–it is God’s method to make you grow.
You’ll never know how much joy you had in you until there is a reason for gloominess and you rise to rejoice before God.
God uses temptation to grow the fruits in us. You can’t say, “I’ll not steal, until you have an opportunity to steal without been notice or any present consequence.
Satan has been at this temptation game for so long now. But his gimmicks have not changed.
– He firsts identify’s a desire in you
– Then get you to doubt what God has said about that sin–that is if you are aware.
– He then engages deception, deceives you to see that every other person may be wrong.
– Disobedience: when you eventually agree and act on that thought.
That you are tempted isn’t a sin. It becomes a sin when you fall into it.
“The worse state to be in any temptation is to be quiet. Get the devil out of your mind.”
21. Overcoming Temptation
Every battle of sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you. How then do you overcome?
i. Refocus your attention on something else. It is not saying,” I am not going to do it again” –your attention is on it.
The more you are tied into saying, “I will not do this again” the more it draws you into its web.
Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. What do I mean? You defeat a bad thought by replacing it with a good one.
Don’t close your eyes when watching some nude scenes in a movie. Change the channel, you mustn’t watch it. You must guard your mind jealously, it’s your most vulnerable spiritual organ.
ii. Resist the devil. Only those who are submitted to God can resist the devil. The devil can tell when you are not submitted.
Also, the volume of your voice is not what counts in resisting the devil. Rather the volume of God’s word in your heart.
iii. You are vulnerable. Don’t try to play the smart guy with the devil. For by flesh shall no man prevail. Don’t go into any temptation in your flesh.
Overconfidence is the recipe for disaster. Given the right circumstances, any of us is capable of sin. That’s why God says to flee every appearance of sins.
“Don’t carelessly place yourself in any tempting situation. Flee!”
22. Growing to Become Like Christ Takes Time.
God is not worried about how fast you grow, rather He is concerned about how strong you grow.
You’ll probably say, “I have surrendered all to Jesus” if I asked you about it. But the truth is there is still a lot about your life you aren’t aware of.
For Jesus, He was born without the sin nature in Him. But we weren’t born that way. So you have so much to unlearn. No pill will instantly undo the damage you may have done to yourself for many years.
Just don’t quit moving.
“The snail also reached the ark of Noah”
23. You Have An Assignment: Accept It
The truth is you are saved for service. But that doesn’t mean you can serve whichever way you desire. You must serve out of joy and gratitude for what God had done for you.
Ministry in the kingdom simply means–serving God through your purpose with Love.
Here is what it is; God has a ministry for you to the church and a mission for you to the world. We grow to give out not to accumulate.
True maturity is not about who meets your needs, it is rather about whose needs you’ve met.
“The highest proof of Love is SERVICE.
24. You are Shaped for Service to God.
You are the way you are because God made you for a specific ministry. Everything about you is peculiar to what you were made for.
God gives you abilities, talents, gifts, a personality, and life experiences because He’s made you for a specific purpose.
There are five major things God gives to believers for service. They are hidden in the acronym SHAPE
– S – Spiritual gifts
– H – Heart (what moves you)
– A – Abilities
– P – Personality
– E – Experience
25. Understanding Your Unique Shape
We are all peculiar. Uniquely different from each other. Even in prayer, we all have different utterances as given by the Holy Spirit
Even if you had the same abilities as another person, you may not have the same personality and experience.
However, despite our differences, God created the church to serve as a platform where we can easily identify and engage or use your abilities.
Dominion has forever been God’s purpose for man. And this hasn’t changed on God’s side. He wants man to rule.
It is in engaging in serving, that you find yourself in ur place.
26. Using The SHAPE God gave you
Whatever you are is God’s gift to you, but what whatever you do with yourself is your gift back to God.
You will best serve God when you do it from your SHAPEShape. (Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience).
But you must first discover your shape before you can now develop it to its fullest potential. It is in serving you’ll find out what you are good at and not good at.
Serving at different opportunities as they present themselves, will help you discover where and what you are made for.
“If you never try any service area, you’ll also never know what you are good at.”
27. How Real Servants Serve
God measures greatness in terms of service. Many claims to be serving, but all they are really doing is serving for personal gains.
Real servants are available to serve. They pay attention to needs. It’s not about not been gifted enough. True servants give their all with what they have.
They are dedicated to doing every task. Faithful in season and out of season. To be faithful means you don’t quit at any slight issue–not Even when discouraged.
They finish their task and keep their promises. With humility as their tag, they put up a low profile.
“You may retire from your career, but not from serving God with your SHAPE.”
28. The Mind of A Servant
You are a product of your thoughts. Until you can see yourself as God sees you, you may not serve acceptably.
4 Attitudes of servants
i. Servants think about others than themselves. They don’t think less of themselves, but rather less about themselves. Until you stop thinking about yourself, you may never see others.
ii. Servants think like stewards, not owners. A steward is a caretaker, someone who manages a possession that belongs to another. To bring the best out of it. You must be aware that you will give an account of your stewardship.
iii. They think about their work, not what others are doing. Service to God is not a platform for ranking and comparison. Or a place to criticize or compete. They don’t think status, rather they think responsibility.
iv. They see ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. Every opportunity to serve is an avenue to be blessed. God is particular about willingness in serving–not just availability.
“Serving God without joy and gladness will bring you a curse instead of a blessing.”
29. God is Most Powerful in Your Weakness.
Weakness is not a sin. If you are susceptible to certain sins, that’s not what a weakness is. It is neither a character defect nor a flaw.
A weakness is something you don’t have the power to change. When it comes to obeying God, Man is weak on his own. And that is s why it takes a partnership with God to walk with God.
Be honest about yourself, your weaknesses should draw you closer to God. Make you depend on Him fervently.
Don’t pretend to be strong in prayers, or in anything God expects of you. It is your honesty and acknowledging whatever weaknesses you have to God. That attracts His strength.
The thing is even with the Holy Spirit, man is so proud. We always want to do things on our own.
“True humility is being honest about your weakness.”
30. You Were Made For a Mission
Your ministry is your service to believers, while your mission is your service to unbelievers. This mission is to introduce people to God.
How Important Is your Mission
i. It is first a continuation of Jesus’s mission on the earth. Jesus gave His place to have us saved. It is our responsibility to finish what he began–save the world from sin.
ii. It is a wonderful privilege. We are ambassadors, representing the government of Christ here on earth. A privilege to be first called, and so you u must call others too.
iii. It is the greatest gift to give any man. Jesus once asked, “what shall it profit you if you gain the world and lose your soul”. Anyone can lose anything, but if we lose eternity with God–that’s forever. The reason, God had to become a man–for the sake of man’s salvation.
iv. It gives life meaning. A reason to live. A Purpose to accomplish. Life isn’t about what you do for yourself but about others. Until you are on a mission, you aren’t living–bt existing.
v. The end of time is connected to the completion of your mission. As long as you don’t embark on God’s mission, the end is stretched further.
31. Sharing Your Life’s Message
This is your own story. What you’ve encountered in God and how it’s affected you.
Your life’s message has 4 parts to it
i. Your testimony
– Telling others how you began a relationship with Jesus.
ii. Your life’s lessons
– The things God has taught you in your walk with Him.
iii. Your godly passions
– These are the issues God shaped you to care about most. We all don’t care about the same things. Share your passions about God.
iv. The Good news
– The message of salvation. What Jesus came to do.
“We must learn to love what God loves–and that includes the lost.”
32. Becoming a WorldClass Christian
This is a shift from self-centered thinking to others-centered thinking. Shift from local thinking to global.
God has always cared about the whole world. When you think globally, you’ll pray for the nations.
A WorldClass Christian thinks more of eternal purposes more than the present. He is therefore wiser, and able to separate what’s important now and what’s not.
“Excuse only have one goal, which is to limit you.”
33. Living a Life of Balance
If you know what’s important, you automatically know what’s not. If you know where you are headed–you already know where you aren’t heading.
God’s purpose is not ambiguous. These are His 5 purpose for your life.
1. Love God with all your heart.
– You love Him through worship.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.
– You are shaped for service. Show your love for others through service.
3. Go make disciples.
– Share God’s message through evangelism.
4. Baptize them into…
– Bring them into God’s family. You are obligated to identify with the family of God on earth. That’s through a church.
5. Teach them to do all things…
– You are created to be like Christ. So part of your purpose is to grow into maturity through the platform of discipleship.
34. Live Your Purpose
After coming to know God’s purpose for your life, you will only enter into the blessings when you run with it. Of course, what’s the use of a purpose, if you won’t engage it.
Well then, for this you’ll need a purpose statement.
A Purpose statement summarizes God’s purpose for your life. It answers you “Why”. It defines success for you. It also clarifies your roll and expresses your shape.
Here are 5 questions that will help you to write your purpose statement.
i. What is the center of your life?
– This is the question of worship. Whatever is the center of your life is your God.
ii. What kind of character will your life portray?
– This is the question of discipleship.
– What kind of person will you be?
iii. What will your life contribute to existence?
– This answers the question of service.
iv. What will your life communicate?
– This answers the question about your mission to unbelievers.
v. What will be the community of your life?
– This answers the question of fellowship.
– Where will you practice your, “love one another command.”
Finally, if you read this review to this point, you sure must have been blessed. God desires you to live a purpose driven life.
For me, my action points after reading this book were quite something to tell about.
I will love to hear from you, please leave your answer and comments in the comment box below.
This book is available on Amazon, you can get a copy for yourself using my affiliate link here.
If this book summary was a source of inspiration to you, do well to SUBSCRIBE to my blog, so you don’t miss more inspirational book summaries coming next.
Also, do well to share this with your friends and loved ones. I know you were blessed by this and they will too.