Being “circumspect” about my life again and this time the question I am asking is: “Am I still living according to God’s purpose for me?” It is easy to get distracted and start living your own plans and purposes for your life, having started out with God’s purpose in mind, have you lost your way?
Living Your Purpose
One of the things I hear most often from the mouths of young people is the desire to live out the purpose of God in their lives. And yet, for many of us, we are still trying to discover purpose for our lives, let alone discovering what God’s purpose for our life is. Irrespective of whether one has found purpose, life without purpose holds no value. We see this in the writings of one of the wisest men that ever lived, Solomon…
Ecc 2:17 “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
Without purpose for our lives, we can often feel miserable, negative and critical, or even that life is meaningless. In essence where there is no clear purpose to life, or a reason why we spend our days, then the only solution is to pursue pleasure. We start to live with the attitude: “Live now, for tomorrow we die!” Pleasure too is meaningless. Solomon tells us…
Ecc 2:1 “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.’ But that also proved to be meaningless.”
The greatest enemy to purpose is pleasure.
It is not possible for anyone to have 24 hours of pleasure (always being happy, comfortable, satisfied). Sooner or later, if you are alive on earth, you will have trouble, storms, difficulty and heart-break. Sooner or later all pleasure ends… eventually. We are not designed for pleasure, we are designed for purpose. That is: God’s purpose, not ours. Rom 8:28
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Nothing in life makes sense without purpose. Purpose is not in riches or performance (like a successful completion of a project, or perfect job.) Purpose is not in perfect relationships (like a perfect marriage or exemplary family.) It is not found in achieving a myriad of goals because what happens after that?
True happiness comes from knowing your purpose.
It brings meaning to life; it simplifies your life; it focuses your life; it motivates you; it satisfies you. True purpose, originates with God.
For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. (Read Col 1:16-17 MSG)
Our purpose starts in a relationship with Christ:
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” – Eph 1:11 MSG
Contrary to what most people say, the bible defines our purpose as:
To glorify God and not to glorify ourselves. Rev 4:11 ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were createdand have their being.’
To bring pleasure to God. Eph 1:9 (NLT) “God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.”
To be in God’s Family. In which He shapes us and grows us into mature believers. Eph 1:5-6 “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.”
To be like Christ and to become Christ-like. Rom 8:29 (NLT) “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
To do good works (and help mankind). Eph 2:8-10 (NLT) “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
To Reach the Lost. Mark 16:15(NLT) “And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.””
To spend eternity with God. 1 John 2:25 (NLT) “And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.”
But we tend to embellish God’s purpose for our lives.
Somehow we seem to think that there must be more to our purpose than what the bible tells us. We want to add to what the bible says and this often distracts us from our original purpose. Embellishment is not necessary, the purpose stands without embellishment. Eg. A cheap, unassuming plastic pen fulfills its purpose by writing. An expensive, shiny, ballpoint pen, which comes in its own little velvet box also fulfills the same purpose. Both get the job done equally well, both are designed for the same purpose, one is embellished, the other is not. We don’t need embellishments to fulfill the purpose that God has for our lives. It is important that we know the purpose of our lives, but embellishments don’t determine our ability to fulfill it.
Being circumspect about my life, I needed to ask myself again, am I still living according to God’s original design and purpose for my life, or have I embellished it?
But what about my call from God?
That said, while you are living out God’s purpose for your life, He may call you to a specific task. He may call you to specific tasks a number of times in your life but let us not mistake our calling, to be the purpose of our lives. They are not the same.
Father, thank you that you have plans and purposes for my life and that they are good and bring meaning to my life. Help me not to surrender my purpose to the pursuit of pleasure, but to ensure that my life is lived on purpose, for a purpose.Thank you that my life counts for eternity and that it has value in eternity and on earth. Help me not to become distracted with embellishments, but to stick to what Your word reveals to me.