Discover Your Purpose…
Esther 4.14: Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for such a time as this.
Our culture stares ahead towards the next millenium with a curious blend of anticipation, anxiety, and antipathy. Some forecast years of unparalleled economic growth and international cooperation while others see devastation brought on by environmental decay and militant nationalism. Others just see the “same ol’, same ol.” One thing is certain: this millennial “shadow” provides followers of Jesus Christ with an opportune moment to influence and lead our world. To say it another way: “Look around you and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting” (John 4.35). It is no accident that you are alive for such a time as this.
God is purposeful.
Before your parents conceived you
He conceived you.
You are not an accident nor
are you the fruit of a moment’s passion.
You were deliberately fashioned
and richly endowed.
You were born of God’s purpose
and you were born for God’s purpose.
Therefore anyone, who recognizes that they have been created by God and born twice through Jesus Christ, can confidently say:
I have a purpose…
My purpose is to impact people
with the person and power of Jesus Christ.
I will not be satisfied with my life
until I am fulfilling my purpose.
I can best fulfill my purpose on a team.
I have no promise of mortal life tomorrow…
How do we (re)discover our sense of purpose? Let me suggest four simple affirmations…
1. Acknowledge that your purpose exists even if you do not know what it is! Consider your gifts and your inclinations… significant life experiences (both the good and the bad)… those towards whom you have compassion… strategic answers to your prayers… biblical promises/verses that have always stayed with you…life-shaping Christian experiences… your present circumstances… your spiritual gifts… your primary relationships… your core values…
2. Admit that you cannot (re)discover your purpose without God. While your sense of purpose may be galvanized through reflection, reading, and relationships it will not be catalyzed apart from God’s inspiration. There is a world of difference between being called and being driven. Good intentions are no substitute for strategic living. “Think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (Romans 12.3)
3. Accept the place of your purpose even if you are uncertain where it ultimately is! When I go shopping with my oldest daughter she is certain that the perfect outfit for her is somewhere in the mall even if she doesn’t know where it is when we start out! (I can only guarantee you that it will never be in the first couple of stores we visit!) Do not underestimate the value of the search itself. Your present circumstances, relationships, opportunities, the Scriptures you read, and the prayers you pray are essential milestones along the way. They reveal, refine, and redirect us as we seek to be embraced by God’s purpose in our lives.
4. Assent that whatever your purpose, it is good in the eyes of God. Do not let ego obscure or mar the significance of God’s purpose through you. We must be ready to surrender the stage of human favor for the prayer closet of our Father’s pleasure. This week take 10 minutes to read the book of Ruth- the most faithful daughter-in-law who ever lived! Her purpose in life was to live faithfully. Nothing more and nothing less. But her purposeful living was a strategic link in the chain of God’s redemptive purpose. Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David and given the right to be an ancestor, in the human lineage, of Jesus.
You were born of God’s purpose and you were born for God’s purpose… Pray about this in the days ahead.