“So you must take care to do as Adonai your God has commanded you—do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 30 You are to walk in all the way that Adonai your God has commanded you.” —Deuteronomy 5:29-30a
God chose the nation of Israel for a specific purpose and to fulfill that purpose they needed to follow a specific path—to do all that God commanded them. This is re-emphasized in the warning not “to turn aside to the right of to the left.” In other words, God was saying follow the path exactly as I have laid it out to you and you will fulfill your purpose.
The same is true for us. God has blessed us with spiritual gifts for a particular purpose and put us on this journey. The first and most important part of our purpose is to glorify God. The second depends on what our particular gift and purpose is. This is not the same for you as it’s for me. I love to write, encourage, and advocate on behalf of others but you may not have that same set of gifts. We must all pray and ask the Lord to help us discern how to use our gifts to fulfill our purpose in this life.
The command to not turn to the left or to the right may also apply to the temptation to desire another person’s gifts or to look at what they do wanting do the same, even though our particular set of gifts may be different. If you waste your time looking around at other people and what they are doing, you will inevitably drift of course from what God has sent you to do. Focus instead on strengthening your own gifts and using them to glorify God by ministering to others in the matter befitting of your particular gifts.
Yes, it may sometimes feel as if you are not making an impact or that your efforts are not bearing any fruit. You may receive more criticism than accolades and you may want to give up and try something different. My encouragement to you, and to myself, is to keep on doing what God has gifted you to do. If you make a difference in one person’s life, and God is glorified in the process you will have accomplished much toward your purpose.
Nothing can stop what God has ordained. “Adonai Tzva’ot has sworn, saying: “Surely, as I thought it, so it will be. As I have purposed, so it will stand”” (Isaiah 14:24). We, like Yeshua, must know and work toward fulfilling our purpose for the kingdom—”But He said to them, “I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns also. It was for this purpose I was sent”” (Luke 4:43).
We should endeavor to be like David, who—”after [he] had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he went to sleep” (Acts 13:36). Or like Paul, whose purpose was to be a “servant and witness to the things you have seen as well as to the things I will yet reveal to you” (Acts 26:26). Even Pharaoh had a purpose, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up—to demonstrate My power in you, so My name might be proclaimed in all the earth”” (Romans 9:17).
Remember this too, as you go about living out your purpose, that “all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).