Have you ever grappled with what your purpose is ?
Did you ever think that you would have one main purpose, something grand and meaningful ? I know that I have.
Isn’t it interesting that the people who have the most joy and peace in their life seem to know their purpose ?
As with anything that intrigues me, I always search it out starting with the scriptures, because God really has provided the best answers to ALL things!
When I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 12, I remember thinking, “now my life will have meaning and purpose”, God had big plans for me after all that’s what Jerimiah 29:11 says. What I have learned as I have grown in my relationship with Christ is that, mostly I had plans and I wanted God to agree with those plans and make MY dreams and ideas come to fruition. Anyone else out there relate? It’s really hard to find peace and joy in life when you are a control freak and you think God should come along to your way… Trust me, I know! When I look to HIS Word and really take it in, something becomes very clear, IT’S NOT ABOUT ME.
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, That I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” Exodus 9:16
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28
“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” Philippians 2:13
“Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” 2 Corinthians 5:5
And the one that slaps me in the face the most, gotta love the frankness of Proverbs…
” Many are the plans in a persons heart, but it is the LORD’S PURPOSE that prevails” Proverbs 19:21 (emphasis, added my me).
Nowhere in those verses do I see that it’s about me and my plans. Life, my life has meaning and purpose, because God gives me purpose! My first and most important purpose is to fear God and obey him, honoring him with my thoughts, heart and life. Maybe, instead of one grand purpose, my purpose changes by the season, day or even minute…
What if my purpose for this moment is whatever God is calling me to right now, like stopping to help someone or having an unplanned conversation or whatever interruption God puts in my day, seemingly a “monkey-wrench” in my plans? But, perfectly mapped out for our path by The God who created ALL and ordained all of my steps.
“The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are coworkers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:8-9
I am not saying that our lives can’t, won’t or don’t have grand purpose, or that doing “wonderful” or “famous” things isn’t meaningful. I am just pointing out that the most purposeful thing in life is to bring glory to God in all that we do…. God is in the small stuff too!
I’ve come to understand that purpose isn’t about making something of oneself, but is about obeying God and following his lead. My greatest happiness is NOT about me. We don’t make success by pulling up our bootstraps, or effect real change by our determination.
True success and change come when we yield to the Holy Spirit, cooperating with HIS work in our lives.
It’s not natural for us (me especially), to give up “control”. To yield takes spiritual growth and an even greater desire for God than anything else. Self-effort is really a lie that keeps us from true humility and completely allowing God to “take the wheel”. Trusting that God’s plan really is what’s best for us is difficult indeed. But God has been correcting me, as any good father does, yet, his correction is never about guilt and shame, but leading me to true freedom and deeper purpose. Hebrews 12:5-11 tells us that we have nothing to fear when we know and really trust God, He is disciplining us out of love, as His children.
“Almighty, great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. your eyes are open to the ways of all mankind; you reward each person according to their conduct and as their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 32:19
Seeing life on earth in perspective with full satisfaction, comes in seeing God first, fellowship with Him here and into eternity. Our relationship with God is above ALL else, without it there is no true purpose. Our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We glorify Him by obeying and fearing Him, keeping our eyes on eternity and an intimate relationship with Him.
Abundant life comes by following His Plan/Purpose for our life…. True, lasting joy and peace are found there.