The Process, Principles, and Purpose of TPM: Part Four – The PURPOSE
The Purpose: Why we do TPM at all.
- Without understanding the PURPOSE of TPM we have no real foundation or reason for doing this ministry.
- The PURPOSE of TPM is that every believer become rightly positioned so they may intentionally and purposefully cooperate with what God is doing in refining their faith, renewing their minds and transforming their lives.
- The PURPOSE views suffering as a necessity. Crisis, difficulties, injustices, tribulation are all understood to be a part of the refiner’s fire exposing the “dross” in our faith.
- This living out this PURPOSE is not by way of struggle and effort, but as an outcome of the work that He has completed. “… after [we] have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called [us] to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish [us]”(1 Pet. 5:6-7, 10)
- The ultimate objective of this ministry is to equip the Body of Christ with the knowledge and understanding of what God is doing in refining our faith, and to encourage every member, everywhere, to submit to His process and cooperate with Him in bringing this about so that we may live out our lives from a purified faith.
Defining the Purpose
The purpose of TPM can be defined as “a means by which every believer can intentionally and purposefully cooperate with what God is doing in refining their faith, renewing their minds and transforming their lives.” Transformation is the reason we do TPM. Transformation is a work of God by which He illuminates our heart with His truth. When we know the truth with our hearts we will be transformed by it. TPM provides a means by which we can participate with God as He performs His work within us.
To often we extend much effort in trying to conform ourselves to the truth as opposed to being transformed by it. Conformity is what we can do, transformation is what only God can do. Conformity requires constant attention and effort, transformation is permanent and effortless. Transformation produces the fruit of the Spirit. Conformity produces self achieved “fruit” that is not lasting.
The purpose of TPM is not to make bad feelings go away, or even that we come to experience the peace of Christ. Both of these are outcomes of receiving the Lord’s perspective. The purpose of TPM is to cooperate with what God is doing in us. TPM provides the framework and means for accomplishing this “…for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)
Denying and Discounting Our Minor Stresses, Anxiety or Irritations
is to Forfeit Eternal Benefit
When TPM is merely viewed as a “tool for pain management” it will not be considered until the pain becomes intolerable. This means that the “little mild” irritations, worries and anxieties we each feel throughout our day will be overlooked, suppressed and excused, thus missing opportunities for mind renewal and more freedom. However, the “mild” irritations, fleeting anxieties, bad moods and other almost unnoticeable flickers of negative emotion, are ALL rooted in our belief. Each and every minor stress, irritation, or anxious feeling is exposing lies, and are providing an opportunity for us to work in harmony with what God is doing in exposing our impure faith, and renewing our minds moment-by-moment.
Typically these minor emotional flare-ups are ignored, suppressed and denied, thus, allowing the lies to remain only to resurface over and again. Often we make the default excuse of just having another “bad day.” We view the “bad day” as something to simply endure and get through with no realized benefit. Every time we discount and deny these minor “flare-ups” we are making an eternal decision not to cooperate with God, and we lose the appointed opportunity He has provided to have our minds renewed with His truth. Do we really want to forfeit what He has offered? I think not.
Another reason that TPM should not be considered as a pain management tool, is because most people already have several “tools” they are using and they will not see any need in adding another. Many of these same people would probably not consider the “minor” issues with which they deal with day-to-day, as meriting any serious consideration anyway. The pain manager’s moto is often, “Just suck it up” and “Don’t let them see you sweat.” So then, for them to consider seeking out TPM, might be considered to be an acknowledgement of something more serious.
It would be surmised by the pain managers that serious problems are for the “Troubled People’ Ministry (TPM) and not for them. Because of this commonly help perspective, most “performing” Christians will probably not consider TPM. As long as they are able to manage their pain, they will probably not see a need for TPM. It is only if their pain becomes greater than their ability to manage it (their “solutions”), that they may they ever consider seeking ministry. For the successful manager, TPM is for people who cannot manage their pain and not for those who do. This could not be any further from the truth.
Cooperating with God
Understanding the purpose for doing this ministry is more important than just learning the process itself. If we do not know why we need this ministry – other than our wanting the bad feelings to go away – we will miss out on many of the opportunities God provides us to have our faith refined. The real purpose of TPM is that we intentionally and purposefully cooperate with God as He fulfills His inner work of refining our faith -belief, renewing our minds and transforming our lives.
It is true that most members of the church body will not see a need for another pain management ministry since they are managing well on their own. However, most would see the benefit of faith refinement and mind renewal. All true believers want the transformation that only God can bring about within our hearts. TPM is a means for cooperating with God in this work.
When we understand the purpose –mind-renewal, faith-refinement and transformation– we can intentionally and purposefully cooperate with what God is doing in our lives. This is the ultimate objective of this ministry – to equip the Body of Christ with the knowledge and understanding of what God is doing in refining our faith and renewing our minds, and to encourage every member, everywhere, to submit to His purification process and cooperate with Him in bringing this about.
Purpose is the Foundation supporting all we do
Even if we understand both the process, and the principles and yet do not know about the purpose of TPM, we will lack the understanding needed to intentionally and purposefully cooperate with what God is doing in refining our faith, renewing our minds and transforming us with His truth. Without this understanding, we may view life crisis and difficulties as something we have to endure, crying out, “Why God? Why me?” and all the while failing to recognize our suffering as a divine necessity for bringing about God’s refinement, resulting in mind renewal and transformation. The purpose is the foundation on which everything else rests.
However, if we understand the principles and purpose of TPM, we can become aware of those moments each day when our emotions become stirred (even slightly) that indicate a lie-based belief is triggered. When this occurs, we will use the process (TPM “tool”) as a way to cooperate with God as He exposes some measure of our lie-based thinking making it possible for us to identify the true source of the negative pain we feel.
As we have seen, TPM is not designed to relieve us of pain, but rather to use the pain as an indication of an impure faith that needs to be refined and a part of our belief that needs renewal. When we understand the principles and purpose of TPM, our motivation will not be pain resolution, but may become a passion and a desire to be transformed and experience the fruit of His Spirit.
God’s Part and Our Part
The Scriptures are clear that this is a shared work in which we participate with God where it says, “… work out your salvation with fear and trembling (our part); for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (God’s part).” (Phil. 2:12-13) However, our part is not in the doing or producing the “good works” that we were destined to do (Eph. 2:10) or performing the fruit of His Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), but rather that we “… humble [ourselves] “… under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt [us] at the proper time, casting all [our] anxiety on Him, because He cares for [us].”
This passage is written within the context of suffering. Our part is to submit and humble ourselves under God’s hand as He does His work. His part will be to bring about the inner transformation resulting in the effortless expression of the good works we were destined to live out. This living out is not by way of struggle and effort, but as an outcome of the work that He has completed. The Scriptures go on to express this where it says, “… after [we] have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called [us] to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish [us]” (1 Pet. 5:6-7, 10) Notice who is doing all the work.
There are three elements that make up the purpose of TPM: 1) Refining of our faith, 2) the renewal of our minds, and 3) transformation of our lives.
Note: No where in this training will we ever suggest that TPM is THE way or the ONLY way to cooperate with God in His faith refining process. God was doing this work a long time before the TPM Process was developed. TPM is only A way that we can cooperate with what He is doing. Whether a person uses the TPM Process or some other means, all true believers should be continually moving into deeper levels of truth and freedom. All believers should be experiencing the effortless expression of the fruit of God’s Spirit in differing measures in their lives. If this is not the case, then something is amiss since this is what God is doing.
The Mentor, The Mentee and Pain Management
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What follows are two separate videos that share more information on the overall purpose of TPM. The first video is focused on the importance of understanding the principles. The second looks briefly at the importance of cooperating with God in His faith refining work.
Jesus said that in this world we would have many difficulties. (Jo. 16:33). James the Apostle said it is not a question of IF we will encounter trials but rather “… WHEN we encounter various trials…” (Jas. 1:2) Suffering is a part of this life. The Apostle Paul declared that he was “destined to suffer…” (1 Thess. 3:3). He also cried out to God to rescue him from his great suffering (that he referred to as a “thorn in the flesh”) and the Lord refused to comply. He explained to Paul that the suffering was a necessity that was working for his benefit.The Lord could rescue us out of all of our troubles, but it seems that he generally does not. This fire of refinement is a necessity for refining our faith.
God is committed and highly invested in our finding freedom. He is willing to allow us to suffer in ways that we may believe are beyond what we can bear. Job is a good example of how God is willing for one of His own to suffer unjustly in order to bring about a greater eternal good. Paul described our suffering in this life as “… momentary, light affliction [that] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison…” (2 Cor. 4:17)
When the fire comes and the pain increases we must never lose sight of the Father’s heart. Anything that He allows us to experience –as grave as it may be– is passing though His perfect heart of love. He does not have evil planned for us, but only good. The Apostle Paul understood this relentless love of God when he wrote, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? [the suffering] If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32)
God does not create the evil that may come into our life, but He has no problem using “all things to work together” to bring about His perfect plan and intention for those whom he loves.
It is also vitally important that we recognize that though there may be genuine physical pain and suffering that comes into our lives, the emotional pain we feel is not caused by the trial, but rather flows from our interpretation of our “fiery ordeal” (1 Pet. 4:12-13) If we interpret the “fiery ordeal” through a false understanding we will feel whatever that interpretation may be. Emotional pain is a reflection of our belief. Outside forces cannot cause us to feel anything that we feel. We always feel whatever we believe. This is why Jesus passed through His suffering with peace, assurance and even joy. It was “…because of the JOY that was set before Him that He endured the cross… (Heb 12). Jesus interpreted His situation through the truth He knew in His heart. He was not emotionally distraught, stressed, anxious, fearful or discouraged. He knew the Father’s will and purpose and had submitted to it. When we know the truth in our hearts the fire may still physically burn us, but it will not disrupt our peace.
CONSIDERATION: Are you a sustaining supporter of this ministry? We genuinely need your help in making this training freely available. Will you consider partnering with us on an ongoing basis? If you are a pastor would you consider leading your church to partner with us by making us a part of your yearly budget. Operation costs as well as the expense of translations are great and we need the TPM community to share with us in this mission. Feel free to contact us directly by email at [email protected] with any questions you may have. Either I (Ed) or Joshua will respond back to you directly.