“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” -Jeremiah 1:5
I want to be happy; I think everyone does. But sometimes life can seem pretty hopeless if we don’t know what our purpose is. The dictionary defines purpose as:
The reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.
In a nutshell, since God created each of us, that means our purpose isn’t our choice – it’s God’s. So it’s got nothing to do with your parents, or your connections, or a particular industry you think your skills fit into. Your purpose is between you and God.
Many of us don’t realize we’re here for a divine reason. Since God has created us for something special, I have a hunch that the world would be a really great place if we all knew why we were here, and were encouraged to pursue whatever that reason is. But before we realize how purpose is revealed and how it all works, society provides all sorts of fast-food methods for us to claim one, which leads us to think:
- “I want to work in the ______ industry”.
- “People on television who are like me are doing_____”.
- “_______looks like fun!”
- “My parent was a ______, so I’m going to be one too”.
- “_______makes me happy”.
None of these have to do with why God created us. To find the answer, we’ve got to turn our own ideas inside out. Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
So if you’re serious about this journey, then you’ve got to fast, pray, meditate on the Word, let go of your ego and:
- Ditch society’s idea of who you should be. This is one of the most important mind-clearing steps. Turn off the television and spend time with Him. The media is soul-numbing and fills your ears with a million voices – but none of them are God’s. Even if you could find your purpose by watching endless hours of talent shows, cat fights, music videos, or sports and news shows, finding it would be like locating a needle in a haystack! Jesus was sent to be our role model; use His behavior as your guide instead.
- Listen to God. He speaks to us in a myriad of ways. Hearing, listening to, and following Him takes commitment. You have to do the work, but in the end, it’s worth it.
- Keep a journal. Record your dreams and visions. Let scripture define your thoughts, and each task you create or do.
- Go back to your childhood. Who you were and what you did best in childhood will reveal the skills you’ll need to manifest your purpose.
- Know that you are not your parents. You were created for a specific, unique reason.
- Understand that it’s not about your happiness. It’s actually about someone else’s. Everything we’re here to do is meant to uplift others. But the path to seeking your purpose can actually bring difficult times because sometimes our faith will be tested.
- Get off the career ladder. That’s society’s vision for you. Let God direct your steps in life. You were born with your gifts and skills for a higher purpose.
- Listen to your elders. Respected elders have a vision for your life and can confirm the path God wants you to follow.
What voice is unique only to you? You have to clear out the noise of the world in order to hear God’s unique plan for your life. Psalm 139:14-17 says that we’re “fearfully and wonderfully made”, so in the end, everything we do is supposed to be a reflection of God. We’re here to represent Him, to be like Him; to show what miraculous power humankind has, and to make the world a better place for all. When we make the commitment to do so, that’s when He can guide us toward our purpose in life (Proverbs 3:6).
Our purpose is to show that man is meant for love; to live for the good of others, and to live in harmony with all other living things. Use your gifts to evangelize, and to manifest His kingdom on earth: that’s the secret to true happiness and fulfillment. When you answer that call, you’re on your way to living for purpose.
Check with Westa.org soon for our EMPOWERMENT CHALLENGE, a 30-day program for manifesting your purpose!