In brief, an active relationship with God produces data points about one’s real purpose. A person can talk with God about these data points to find the common thread through them all (deductive reasoning) and apply that hypothesis to real life decisions (inductive reasoning). The interplay between general-to-specific (deductive) praying and thinking with specific-to-general (inductive) life application leads to further insights. In fact, these insights about one’s purpose enhance one’s walk with God, which will then lead to new data points. In short, releasing one’s purpose is more about a lifelong adventure of manifesting who God can be and what He can do through you rather than arriving at a once-and-done understanding.
Man cannot know his purpose for existence except in God: in light of God’s purpose, in light of God’s design of the man and his story, and requiring God’s light to even see true truth. Man’s limitations include not being able to see what is deep within himself, what he can become, what his capabilities are in combination with other people he has not even met, what conditions the world is undergoing now and in the future, and what the value of his life could be to future generations (the value of a person is not limited to his own life, yet we often constrain our questions to this limitation).
The foundational mechanic necessary to releasing purpose is an active, intentional, and material relationship with God (simply that one’s relationship with God affects everyday material concerns).
This abiding relationship involves experiences of consecration, renewing one’s mind, healing of hurts, obedience, living in fellowship with other followers, service, prayer, increasing in practice of the Biblical disciplines Jesus practiced, and many others. But the three main sprouts of this abiding relationship that affect one’s ability to discover his or her calling are: 1) Intimacy with God (increasing victory in the battle for what is prime on one’s heart), 2) Sensitivity to see and hear spiritual reality (increasing wisdom in receiving revelation from God), and 3) Discerning between true and false beliefs about oneself (increasing victory in the battle over self-narrative). Of all the realities of Christian spirituality we could deal with, Releasing Purpose curricula will focus on fostering these three.
Those three elements produce data points for the follower of Jesus. Data points are deep-seated revelations the follower knows about him or herself in one’s spirit. No one can take these insights away, and only God could have delivered them. They are real knowledge that no one can touch with the five senses, but they apprehended by faith lived out in action.
Through intentional times of reflection with the Holy Spirit on these data points, such as engaging in the YOD process, a person can receive and formulate a new hypothesis of his or her unique design. This new hypothesis, whether stated as “your one degree,” a purpose statement, or a testimony, is a new mental and emotional narrative of one’s own design and calling during this life on earth.
The follower makes new decisions in light of that new understanding and applies it.
The interplay of engaging in #6 (induction) with periods of #5 (deduction) enhances #2 (one’s walk with God), which leads to more #4 (new data points).
Living the above process leads to new data points, which makes #7 (interplay between reason and trust, which is simply faith) increasingly deep, insightful, and confident. The person becomes immovably strong in understanding and living out his or her unique design in a dynamic world.
Relationship with God -> 3 purpose-discovering pillars -> data points -> deductive discovery (Holy Spirit-led reflection) -> inductive discovery (application) -> new data points -> new discoveries (repeated).