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Choose a Life of Genuine Purpose

Dr. Jeffress says we are eyewitnesses to the decline in our culture.  Laws are no longer based on godly principles and are being enforced without regard for individual beliefs; Christians are increasingly pressured to bow to immorality; and secularism is the predominant theology of our times.  Jeffress says a man named Elijah lived in a culture much like ours: 9th century BC Israel.  “Although Elijah lived in a nation that was sliding further into ungodliness each passing day, he resolved to change the world rather than allow the world to change him,” says Jeffress.  God used Elijah in an extraordinary way in a godless world because of 7 choices Elijah made that we can make, too:

  1. Discover your unique purpose:  Elijah served God as a faithful prophet.  We all share a general purpose to glorify God, but there is a unique story God wants to tell through each one of us.
  2. Determine to influence:  Elijah stepped out to make a difference in his world.  God doesn’t want to isolate us from culture or identify with culture, but to influence it.  
  3. Wait on God’s timing.  Elijah had an extended period of waiting and training before his showdown with the prophets of Baal.  Waiting time doesn’t have to be wasted time.
  4. Burn the ships.: Elijah decided to be all in with God’s plan when he challenged the priests of Baal to a winner-takes-all match on Mount Carmel.  Israel’s future hung in the balance.  Like Elijah, we must decide we are all in with our commitment to God’s plan.  Retreat is not an option.
  5. Unleash the power of prayer: Elijah prayed persistently, precisely and powerfully.  If you want to see God do something big, then pray big for something.  
  6. Learn to handle bad days:  Elijah was not a super-saint, but a normal person who had to battle despair, depression and doubt.  We all experience periods when we doubt the goodness, wisdom or even existence of God.  Bad seasons are inevitable, but they don’t last forever.
  7. Live life with the end in view: Elijah knew his time on earth was limited and knew when his work was done, God’s work on earth would continue.  Elijah made provisions by training a successor.  We, too, can focus on leaving a spiritual legacy that outlasts our time on earth.

Jeffress reminds us that James 5:16 says, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” Righteousness doesn’t mean perfection.  The Bible refers to righteousness as in judicial righteousness.  “The instant we acknowledge our lack of perfection and our complete reliance on Jesus for forgiveness, God declares us not guilty in the great courtroom of heaven,” says Jeffress.  

His daughter, Julia and son-in-law Ryan, put together a prayer list in January 2015 including having children.  In 2016, they experienced 3 miscarriages in one year.  They continued to pray fervently and specifically for God to not only give them children but to give them multiples.  After what seemed like the worst year of their lives, God blessed Julia and Ryan with triplets in December 2017!

Prayer is essential.  Jeffress says, “Pray honestly and what is really on your heart.  Pray boldly if you want to see God do big things and pray consistently.  Elijah prayed 7 times for the rain to come and Jesus tells us to pray until the answer comes.”  If we want to live an extraordinary life, it is essential we learn how to pray at all times and not lose heart.  When we are faced with impossible situations, Jeffress encourages us to keep praying.  A.J. Gordon once said, “You can do more than pray, after you have prayed. But you can never do more than pray until you have prayed.”

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Author of 25 books, Choosing the Extraordinary Life, BakerBooks 2018

Pastor, 13,000 member First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX

Has made more than 2,000 appearances on various radio and TV shows including Hannity, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Fox and Friends, Varney & Co., Good Morning America

Member, Executive Committee, White House Faith Initiative

Host of daily radio program, Pathway to Victory heard on 800 stations

Weekly TV program in 195 countries

Graduate: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, D. Min

Wife: Amy; 2 daughters, 3 grandchildren


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