Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” Declares the lord, “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
What is Purpose?
When I first started seeking a closer relationship with God, about a year ago, I joined an online bible study group with women around my age. We wanted to learn more about God. We talked about all different topics. At the end of one of our lessons, we were asked a discussion question for the next week. The question was, “What is God purpose for you?” I’m going to be completely honest. I had absolutely no idea what that meant. I thought about it all week and still didn’t understand. I felt to embarrassed to even ask any of the other girls what they meant by it.
So finally, its the day we are supposed to have our discussion. And of coarse I am one of the first women to be asked to tell my purpose. My answer was 'To be a photographer and to one day have a family of my own'. That was what I wanted so I thought it must be my purpose. And honestly, even though I don’t believe thats even close to the correct answer, I don’t think that it differs much from what most people would say. I thought my purpose was what I was already doing and what I wanted to do in the near future.
Phillippians 2:13 "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
When God made each and every one of us he made us with a particular purpose/plan in mind. He didn’t just make us to work everyday for a paycheck or to just procreate. Most people, like myself, confuse their jobs or their roles (Husband, wife, Mom, Dad, ect) with their purpose. Those things can be tied into your purpose. But if you aren’t using those roles or jobs to glorify God you are NOT fulfilling Gods purpose for your life. You are merely existing. And mere existence is not what God intended for his children to do on earth. God made us with HIS purpose in mind. For people to do HIS work here on earth. Your purpose, from God, could be to lead, teach, preach, help, etc. Simply put, it’s a mission God gives specifically to you, to help extend Gods heavenly kingdom here on earth.
How do we start to live out Gods purpose for our lives?
Hebrews 11:40 "since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect."
For me the first step to starting to live out my purpose that God has for me was to really start seeking God in everything I was doing. From my friendships, to my job, to my thoughts, my actions, my words, my emotions. I literally pray for God to help me get myself and my life in check with what he wants it to be.
As soon as we decide the plans we have for ourselves, are not as important as what God has planned for us, then God will start to reveal our purpose. We can start by studying the bible and praying to make sure the people, things, goals, activities, etc in our lives are in line with Gods standard for living. And then reorganize, rebuild and let go of everything that goes against what he says. That’s how we start showing God that we trust that he knows what best. You have to remember God made us. And he loves us so much! He already knows what we desire (want). More often than not, God is willing to give us MORE than we can even ask him for. He is just waiting for us to figure out that if we just trust him, the reward will be so much greater than what we have in mind. Let him make the call about what’s best. When God sees us seeking him to fulfill his purpose for our lives, instead of our own plans, things will go a lot smoother and make allot more sense. Opportunities will start to present themselves. Doors we didn’t know existed, will start to open. And we will be able to use our gifts in a way that pleases him.
Honestly the hardest part for me about accepting Gods purpose, was that it required me to do things I did not necessarily want to do. I had envisioned my life going a certain way with a certain timeline. I thought I would go to college, get a great job, get married and then have beautiful babies. That’s all I was on board with. I did not want to give up control of my life to anyone. Not even God. It wasn’t until after my plans started failing miserably, that I realized how out of my control, my life really was anyway. I was so stuck on doing things my way, when I should have been doing things Gods way. But at the time I honestly did not even know what God wanted so it was impossible for me to be following his purpose for me. I didn’t go to church like that because I thought was I grown and I could do what I wanted. I wasn’t reading my bible. I was rarely praying. Looking back now, it is no wonder things were such a mess. So finally, when things got so bad I couldn’t take it anymore, I started to look to God and see what he wanted from me. It was then that God started to show me that he wanted more from me and for me, than to just have a career and a family. He put me here for a bigger purpose. He wants me to make an impact on peoples lives. To show people how amazing God is through sharing my story with others. Yes God wants me to have a family, a successful career and goals of my own. But my purpose in him is to expand Gods kingdom here on earth by helping people and sharing my life as a testimony. And that is why I am writing you here today. I now realize that when I decided to stop trying to control my life, I gave God the room to make me better for the things I desire to be (daughter, sister, wife, mom, business woman, etc.). I can fulfill those roles much better with Gods help and instruction.
So, are you willing to trust God and let him guide your life into the purpose he has you for? Or is what you want more important than what God wants? I am, by no means, trying to make this seem like an easy thing to do. God had to back me into a corner, for me to start to surrender my own plans. I know how hard it is to let go and trust God. But God loves us more than we love ourselves. And honestly, how good are you at running your own life anyway? I am terrible at it. A hot mess. If you are anything like me, you are praying for some major change in your life. So I had to think about it like this. What if the great job opportunity, the huge raise, the spouse, the family, the dream house, etc. is literally sitting right behind the purpose God is instructing you to fulfill? What if all you have to do is pick up that purpose and right behind it is exactly what you want? I bet if you knew that for sure, you would be more excited about finding out what Gods plans are for you. You wouldn’t hesitate to do what God told you to do. But the funny thing is, that’s exactly what God promises us. That’s what the bible tells us over and over again. Read Hebrews 11 and it tells us all about the people who did what God told them to do and then he blessed them with more than they ever believed was possible. So now its our turn. Lets start to walk in Gods purpose for our lives.