Understanding your life’s purpose is one of the most important aspect of a Christian’s life. We know that we are not here to live for ourselves, and then die. God has something much greater in mind for us!
For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:7-8
Since we live for the Lord, we make it our business to find out what He expects of us. Looking at how we are put together, we recognize some skills, gifts and talents that we have been blessed with. Some of these might be small, seem insignificant, be buried under bad experiences and opinions of others, but still, they exist. Our gifting might be an indication of what we ought to do for the Lord, and it is up to ourselves to develop what we see, and apply it in service to the Lord and others.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
God, in His great love for humanity and His desire to see all men come to salvation through Jesus Christ, does not play games by making it hard to understand what He expects of us. He actually makes it easy so that we don’t have to waste our time to discover our assignment. He equips us for service, and then gives us a desire to do go about it.
…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
Notice how God works in us to to do His pleasure after we worked out our salvation by obeying Him in reverential fear. The will of God is not a mystery!
Having said all of the above, it remains a real struggle for many believers to recognize their assignment, consequently they spend most of their lives seeking God’s will for them. The devil knows that a believer who focuses on God’s will is a powerful force that is hard to resist, so he does what needs to be done to slow them down, or stop them, if he can. He uses confusion, uncertainty and all kinds of distractions very effectively against followers of the Lord. A lifelong seeker is no threat to him!
The first step into the will of God is to understand that you are saved to serve. Nobody gets saved for the sole purpose of going to heaven; we are here to make investments for eternity.
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10
God has no hands, feet or voice on earth, except ours. Our assignment is to do His work while we are here on the earth.
A good second step might be to locate yourself in the Body of Christ, as explained in Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. You have a specific function to fulfill. Report for duty by speaking to your pastor about your purpose, and work with him on the practical issues. Remember always that you will not accomplish anything worthwhile without faith. There will be questions, obstacles and challenges.
Thirdly, develop what you have by putting it into practice. Nurture the seed in you, and grow it to fruition. There is a need for what you have. The best advice always comes from the source, which, in this case, is the Word of God. You cannot be effective if you don’t understand God’s plans, and the more time your spend on feeding on the Word, the clearer the picture will get.
Finding clarity about your life’s purpose is a good fourth step. You cannot attend to all the needs you see around you, and you cannot do everything that needs to be done. The old saying, “if you chase two rabbits, you catch neither,” is true. Your assignment might change as you grow, but you can only focus on one thing at a time. Paul, the apostle, gives some good advice in this regard:
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
Lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of you.
Do one thing, reach forward to things ahead, and press toward the goal of the upward call.
You cannot be scatter-brained about the things of God. Answer His call. It is not about models, methods, brands, titles or appearances – it is applying your faith in obedience to His voice in your inner man. Never try to copy some other person; God did not make copies, everyone is an original and unique. It is pure foolishness to copy the ways of another person, no matter how successful they are. We can learn from one another, but you will miss God’s best if you try to live someone els’ life.
Work hard to be the best that you can be, remembering that you are your own opposition. Fight against your unbelief, overcome your fears, rise above the opinions of others, discipline your flesh and bring it into subjection to your spirit man.
The greatest reward is not what people can give you; it is not the accolades of men or their monetary gifts, it is the words of the Master when He welcomes you with, “Well done, My good and faithful servant…”
Many will not envy the way you live; the hardest thing in life is to explain your call to someone who didn’t hear His voice in your spirit.
Answering God’s call is not for the faint of heart; average man never accomplishes anything. Expect resistance if you plan to take spoils from the devil. Some of the most painful blows might even come from those in your corner. Decide never to be led by disappointment, discouragement, adverse circumstances or trouble, but only by the Spirit of the Lord. Be faithful in all things.
Lastly, surround yourself with people of like precious faith. Nobody can fulfill their assignment alone; we all need help because nobody has everything that is required to successfully complete the work.