What’s God’s Purpose for My Life?4 min read
If you’ve asked yourself, “What’s God’s purpose for my life?” you’re not alone. I’ve asked that question, too. It’s a question people ask when they believe in God.
I’ve often wished, even prayed, that God’s purpose would be more plain to me. To hear God speak it to me, would’ve been great. But God wouldn’t have had to speak to me directly. I’d be satisfied if He’d just sent an angel, a dream, or even left a note…
It occurs to me…God did leave a note—a long one at that.
The Bible gives many examples of God revealing His purpose to people.
How God Reveals His Purpose
Off the top of my head, some great Bible stories come to mind, where God’s purpose became clear to the lead characters:
- God spoke to Noah and told him to build an ark (Genesis 6).
- Abraham heard God’s voice calling him out of Haran to Canaan to be the father of a great nation (Genesis 12).
- Joseph saw God reveal his purpose through circumstances. Sold into slavery, and enduring prison, God enabled him to win the favor of Pharaoh, who appointed him to rule all of Egypt so he could save his family and a nation from famine (Genesis 37-50)
- Moses might have thought he’d lost his calling. On the path to be a ruler in Egypt, he murdered a man and fled to another country. For 40 years he tended to sheep. Then he heard God’s voice from a burning bush. God called him to lead the Hebrew’s out of Egypt (Exodus 1-7).
- Like Joseph, Esther won the favor of a king, became a queen, and saw God reveal her purpose through circumstances. In the words of her cousin Mordecai, it was for such a time as this that she’d been placed in the king’s court to risk her life to save the lives of thousands of Jews (Esther 4-5).
- Then there were Jesus’ 12 disciples called to change the world (for example Matthew 4:18-20; 9:9).
The list goes on.
In each of these stories, God revealed His purpose in one of two ways.
- God spoke directly to them, sent an angel, or sent a prophet.
- God affirmed their purpose through life experiences, where His leading was evident, and sometimes affirmed by others in the person’s life.
So God’s note helps me in this way. I have a model for understanding how a life purpose is unveiled.
I’m in group 2. My purpose unfolds in various chapters of my life. I can’t say that I’ve been handed one grand purpose, as was Abraham.
My story is more like Joseph’s. Not that I’ve been betrayed by my brothers and sold into slavery, or that I’ve done time in prison. But, in each season of life, I find my purpose.
Sometimes my purpose is affirmed by the words of another person, like my summer camp director who encouraged me to become a counselor, or the principal of the school I worked at who advised me to get my master’s degree.
Sometimes my purpose is affirmed by a group of people, as when my church congregation calls me to serve in a specific position.
Other times, in a moment of inspiration, everything seems to come together, and something inside me exclaims, “This is what you’re life purpose is today!”
That seems to be how it is for most people who look for a divine purpose for their lives.
As much as we’d rather have God provide a road map with the destination clearly marked, most of us only get confirmation that we’re on the right road.
God only reveals his plan one step at a time so that we don’t get out ahead of Him.
This gives us an opportunity to grow in faith and patience. Who doesn’t need more of these?
Your Grand Purpose
But God doesn’t leave us without a compass. In the Psalms it’s called a light to guide our steps. It’s His word, the Bible. Jesus summed it up in two great commandments (Matthew 22:36-40):
- Love God with all your heart, soul and strength.
- Love your neighbor as yourself.
That really sums it all up.
If you and I fully devote ourselves to these two things, we can’t get lost. God’s purpose for our lives is fulfilled when we put every ounce of our effort into surrendering our ways to His will as it’s recorded in the Bible. And, in short, God’s will is for me and you to love the people next to us so much, that we’re willing to die for them.
I don’t know about you, but that gives me something to do that will keep me busy for a long time.
How has God revealed His purpose in your life? Did you receive a direct revelation? Are you still seeing God’s purpose unfold? Leave a comment below.