Before I start this review, there are some things I need to make clear so you will understand where I am coming from.
First, I have been a part of Rick Warren’s congregation on at least one occasion and very much enjoyed the service. I’ve found Rick to be a very dedicated and caring pastor. He is equally enthusiastic and bold in speaking the Word. I only have praise for him and his work. This present book is moves me and so many others towards putting our lives on personal microscopes and leads me and others to find God’s will for our lives.
Second, this is not so much as review as it is a revelation of where I see God’s direction for my life and the lives of others. I definitely don’t challenge the contents of this book, but wish to compare/contrast how I see God’s purpose for our lives against what I find in the book.
Three, I will go through the book page by page and chapter by chapter until I reach the end. In other words, I will go through the book and bring forth my thoughts as I go. My way is definitely not the right way for each finds the way as led by the Holy Spirit; but I have taught, preached, and been under Bible instruction (both in college and in Church/Sunday School) for most of my life. I do believe I have some very valid insights to bring to the table of God’s direction for lives.
I see many facets to explore within this subject. Here are some to consider. Understand that the following is what I believe. Rather than say “In my opinion”, I would rather say “I am convinced that these statements are true.
God has a “general” purpose for each person’s life. These are universal. Obey His commandments, worship Him, believe in Him, receive His salvation, and all the other things required of a Christian.
God has a special purpose for each of us. He calls us to areas of service and equips us through the Spiritual Gifts which He bestows on each of us. We are each unique and have unique talents and abilities, that when added up, makes each of us an individual in a world of individuals, each with our own pieces to add to the puzzle of a world of the citizens of the Kingdom of God.
We grow spiritually through reading our Bible and through our walk with God, and should always move towards perfection in Christ, even though we can never be perfect while in our corrupt bodies. We also grow through our life’s storms and problems as we live in faith in Him.
God wants us to know our special purpose in life. However, He wants us to know as He is ready for us to move towards His calling for our lives. A person can hear the call to preach at a younger age and move towards that calling as he/she lets God lead him/her. But God does not call every preacher to the ministry at a young age. God has a timing for each individual based on His will and His call for each individual is according to His overall plan.
I believe that every child is called to complete their education and to obey their parents in the Lord. I believe that God may have a different calling for different times in one’s life; that He might call one to teach and then, at a later date, call that one to be a pastor or a preacher.
I believe that when the time is right, God will call and the person called will know that he/she has been called. I believe that God leads us to our occupation, whether it is a pastor of a church or a fireman. God’s plan for our lives includes our spiritual life as well as our work life. He even leads us to make decisions such as who to marry. When one falls in love, he/she needs to be in prayer and attempt to discern the will of God concerning the marriage. I believe that the indications will be congruous, in that we will not “really” fall in love with someone who God has not chosen for us. We may be infatuated with feelings and emotions, but God will move our hearts towards the mate he has chosen for each of us.
With these introductory statements, I prepare to begin the study of “The Purpose Driven Life”.