Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose life is trivial, petty, and pointless.
Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.
Bertrand Russell, atheist
What is your purpose?
It is tempting to focus on everyone else’s strengths, puffing them up in admiration of what you are not. Unfortunately, this tends to leave an empty place in your own heart, wondering what is your purpose in this vast world? Becoming a parent has pulled on this concept of purpose. I know God has blessed me with two beautiful kids that are my heart, and my sunshine. The politically correct answer is they are the reason for living, my purpose. However, although I love them more then myself, and would die for them, my ultimate purpose is to glorify God’s name. (Col. 1:16) I am not always the best at this, but my goal is God as #1, my husband, then my children. If the order gets skewed, that’s when things start to crumble.
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builder’s labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
Now I am not talking about my own religious “to do list” as referring to God as #1, but the idea that I have to be obedient to God above all else including my emotions towards those I love.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
This is not always an easy task, but I have to remind myself that God loves my children and your children, more than we do. This is a hard concept to grasp since I know personally a parents’ love feels infinite.
The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point-ourselves.
How to find purpose?
The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.
1. Ask God for His specific purpose for you
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
2. Believe God at His Word
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me
For I know the plans I have for you, ‘declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
3. Evaluate your strengths
What do you excel at? Many studies revealed that the average person has between 500-700 different skills/abilities. Focus on just 1 or 2 of those strengths to try to understand your uniquely designed purpose. You may want a second opinion in this category, because I could tell my husband my strength was singing, but if it wasn’t true, I wouldn’t be winning a platinum any time soon.
4. Experiment with different strengths
If you think you have a gift with kids, start involving yourself in children’s programs; if you think you can sing, offer your talent that way. Try different avenues. The worse thing you can do is just talk about it. I fall short in this area, but I am making a pact with God and myself to do less talking, more doing.
5. Use your experience
What has happened in the past or is happening in your present has made you who you are. Good/Bad. God does not waste anything. Even your worst pains can be used for God’s glory. And the beauty of it is that your pain will probably be where you derive your greatest passion and empathy for others.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Cor. 12:10
6. Discover yourself
God does not want to change your unique blend. He made you that way. Your DNA is proof of that, allowing for 10 to the 2,400,000,000th power of unique combinations. He just wants you to be the best “you”, you can possibly be.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered…
You are fearfully and wonderfully made
Fulfilling your purpose
Fulfilling your purpose in Christ is so rewarding.
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
I have fought this for many years, and in some ways am still fighting it. The world cherry coats its own agenda so we are tempted by a new car, a new relationship, new clothes, etc. However, we quickly learn that it only temporarily satisfies, and then we need another quick fix. Only Jesus satisfies that empty void, and He not only wants to fill that void, but also use your unique design for a purpose and a plan. We have to stop competing with the person to our left and right and be the person God has handpicked for each one of us to be. You are irreplaceable.
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this? Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
We are to use the gifts God has given us to share Christ with the world. This world will soon fade away, things will not matter, your memory will even soon fade. But those who receive Christ as their Savior will not end at the grave. They will rejoice in Heaven.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
- Matthew 25:13-30, Parable of how various servants used their talents
- Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren