We talk about purpose a lot in our society, but how do we know what our purpose is? And how do we know that we’re choosing to do what God wants us to with our lives?
Purpose is a word that packs a lot of punch. Most of us know God put us here for a purpose, but figuring out what that is can cause a lot of pressure. How do we know what we are meant to do? For a lot of us, there is this low simmering boil- this stress always in the back of your mind of “what am I supposed to do? Who am I supposed to be?”
How can you make sure you’re fulfilling your purpose?
That you’re choosing the right thing?
Here are a few things your purpose is NOT:
1. Your purpose is not dependent on you magically making the perfect decisions.
Life isn’t a checkbox- you’re not going to decide to be a nurse, get to the end of your life, and find out, oh no! You were meant to be a kindergarten teacher!
You missed your purpose and potential.
There’s so much pressure on people to know exactly what you want to do and have everything in your life point to this magical moment where you are fulfilled because you chose the right college, career, and man to marry.
Many of us were influenced by the game of Life as a kid. You know when you have to blindly pick these cards which decide your house, your job, etc., and it kind of sets up who will win from the beginning?
Real life isn’t like that, even if it feels like it sometimes.
Most of us have heard Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”
This makes us feel good, but we often forget the context. God wasn’t telling Jeremiah this because everything was going great. God wouldn’t have to remind him that he has good plans for him if he already saw those good plans. Jeremiah was actually called the weeping prophet -he lived in the final days of the crumbling nation of Judah when all hope seemed lost.
God does know the plans he has for you. So you don’t have to have it all figured out. Even when things look bad and seem crumbling, if life doesn’t go as we think it should, we can rest in confidence that God’s plans are good and that he is faithful.
2. Your purpose is not dependent on you not messing things up.
The Bible is not full of people making awesome, perfect decisions, so God blesses them. The Bible is full of people making terrible, screwed-up decisions & God being faithful anyway. Think about Paul- he was literally killing Christians and then went on to write the majority of the New Testament. If your purpose depended on you doing things right, no one would be able to fulfill it.
Whatever you think it is that will keep God from using you - I promise it can’t.
If your purpose is up to you, your life will fall apart when things go wrong.
If your purpose is in God’s hands, then you can trust that He's still working even when things go wrong in your eyes.
God isn’t doing anything to be mean- He’s doing things to mold us & shape us to look more like Him. That means not giving us what we want or deserve.
3. Your purpose is not about you.
Your primary purpose is to bring Glory to God. Full Stop.
You're not the hero of your story.
Romans 11:36 says, “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.”
It's not about fulfilling your dreams- becoming a movie star, having 2.5 kids, a white picket fence, etc. It’s about loving God, loving others, and making His name known.
THIS IS GREAT NEWS!
God is glorified when we trust Him- so we don’t have to have it all figured out.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
In him are all things.
You don’t have to strive.
You don’t have to stress.
And the awesome thing is- he has already given you what you need to complete these purposes.
In Exodus 3, God tells Moses to go tell Pharaoh to free his people, and Moses tells God all the reasons he thinks he can’t. God’s response isn’t to hype him up but to tell him why he is the man for the job.
God reminds Moses that he is with him and that he is enough.
It doesn’t matter why you think you can’t. God is with you and will empower you to do what he wants you to do.
Your purpose is not your job. It’s not success.
It’s not the physical things you are doing.
It’s using your gifts, talents, and opportunities to glorify, enjoy, and serve Christ wherever and whatever you are.