Are you struggling to find your purpose in God?
If so, you’re not alone.
In law school, I remember reading The Purpose Room by Heather Lindsey. In her book, she says “The Lord sent you here on this earth to solve a specific purpose” and “You need to do what God has called you to do.”
This gave me so much hope because at the time I felt lost.
I was a law student who absolutely hated every minute of my studies and desperately wanted to drop out to do something else.
However, I was more than $100,000 deep in student loan debt and wasn’t sure what I would do next.
I also didn’t know whether it was too premature to give up on law.
Hearing those words from Heather Lindsey, however, gave me hope that all I had to do was figure out what God had specifically called me to do.
If it was law, so be it.
But if I found out that my purpose was something else, then I would have the peace and the confirmation I needed to leave law behind for good.
Furthermore, I would finally pursue something that would make me happy because God was in it.
But there was just one big problem and I reckon it’s the same problem that brought you here.
- You haven’t figured out what God has called you to do or
- You’re not sure if what you’re currently pursuing is God’s purpose for your life.
More specifically, you’re in the dark about the career path God has called you to pursue.
You may have tried many different methods to get an answer from God:
- The Random Finger Method
- The Astonishing Miracle Method
- The Striking Coincidence Method
- Cast the Fleece Method
- Still Small Voice Method
- Open Door Method
- Closed Door Method
I’m guilty of using the Still Small Voice Method to hear from God.
But what if in searching for an answer from God about our purpose, we’ve missed the point?
What if God has already answered our questions about our purpose but somehow we’ve overlooked them?
One final question.
Have you ever stopped to reflect on what you’ve been attempting to do when you decided to try and find your purpose in God?
I believe few of us have and is why so many of us have not been able to find peace about our purpose.
I’ve also realized that the answers to our questions about our purpose are within the pages of God’s word.
Unfortunately, they have been lost in the mixed messages we’ve received from social media and contemporary culture.
In this post, however, I am going to share what I wish someone told me YEARS ago about how we find our purpose in God. It would have saved me so much headache and more importantly, I would have had the courage to leave law school.
I am confident that you too find the clarity you’ve been looking for after this post.
What is Purpose?
First, let’s be clear on what purpose is.
According to Oxford’s Dictionary, purpose means the reason for which something is created or for which something exists.
For example, the reason for a chair’s existence is so humans can sit.
The reason for a fridge’s existence is to preserve and keep food cold.
It’s easy to talk about the purpose of an object because there is no dispute over the inventor’s reason for creating the object.
What about us? What is the reason for your existence?
That’s pretty deep stuff but it’s essentially what we’ve been asking our spiritual leaders to answer and demanding of ourselves to figure out when we ask the question:
How do I find my purpose in God?
However, it is unfair to expect a clear answer from our spiritual leaders or have it 100% figured out ourselves when no one knows the reason for our existence except for God.
Just like we are required to consult the manual of a refrigerator to learn and understand its purpose, we need to go back to the bible to understand why God created us.
But before we dive in, I want to answer an unspoken concern that you may have right now.
You may be wondering how will looking at God’s word get you any closer to figuring out your specific purpose, which you understand to be personal and unique to you?
However, I invite you to put what you understand about finding your purpose aside and read everything I’m about to uncover in the next few minutes.
By the end, I’m confident that you’ll gain the clarity that you’ve been seeking.
Your Purpose in God
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21.
According to David Platt, in his bestselling book Follow Me, “You and I have cravings to be satisfied by our Creator. God hardwired us with cravings which include desires for meaning and purpose which is intended to drive us to God, the giver of all good gifts and the source of all satisfaction.”
Furthermore, when we decide to give our lives to God and get baptized, we become dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
As David Platt explains in his book Follow Me, this simply means that when we become followers of Jesus Christ, our lives are subsumed in his life and our ways are totally surrendered to his will.
As such, you can’t understand God’s purpose for your life without accepting this truth…
We become one in our purpose to pursue whatever Jesus is pursuing and whatever He wants.
And what does Jesus want?
Jesus makes his will perfectly clear to us in Mark 16:15 NLT.
He said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone.”
Now consider these verses:
- “Many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21.
- “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who has been called according to his purpose, which is to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” Romans 8:28-29
- “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.” Psalms 138:8
Are you noticing a pattern?
Each verse talks about God’s purpose, not ours.
In fact, from cover to cover of the bible, it’s always been about God’s purpose.
After Adam and Eve sinned and separated humanity from God, God set a plan in motion to save and redeem us.
He called the Jewish nation and then the early church to be a light to the world so that way other nations could know God and see his glory and be saved.
Today, He is still moving his agenda forward by calling us to:
- Let our light shine before men; that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
- Make disciples so that all you who believe will not perish but have eternal life.
Knowing these truths should turn everything we thought about purpose on its head…
That purpose isn’t something to be found (as we thought) but something to be followed.
God is calling us to align everything in our life, including our careers, with his purpose, which he called us to walk in.
So does that mean we were wrong to believe that God has a specific purpose for our lives?
No, we weren’t.
From cover to cover we’ve seen examples of God calling and appointing people to be prophets, apostles, and judges, which became their life-long career.
They served a very crucial role in revealing who was to come–
Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
And today, he is still calling people to a lifelong traditional career in ministry to preach the news of Jesus’ second coming.
However, for the rest of us who have not been called to a career in ministry and are simply trying to figure out which career path to choose, God says this…
But notice what it doesn’t say…
That some will be
- Marine biologists
- Police officers
- Worship leaders
…And that we ought to figure out which career he has chosen for us.
No, in the context of choosing our career path, there is no commandment regarding which job or career we ought to choose.
God gives us the freedom to choose our career path.
Instead, God calls us to use our careers and our space of influence to do good works, bring glory to him, and make his name known to other people.
But don’t think for a second that what you or I desire or ultimately choose as a career takes God by surprise.
When God created us, he planted different desires and different talents in each of us.
Some of us are fascinated with
- science and medicine.
- Bridges and buildings
- Crime scenes
- The weather
- Children Education
- Construction and Interior design
Then some of us are born with remarkable gifts and talents…
- An ability to sing well
- Play basketball,
- Run Fast
- Create plans and designs
Whatever our desires, interests, or talents are, they ultimately lead us to pursue careers that in some way reflect them.
Our careers then put us in unique places, situations, and positions, where we get to rub shoulders with people we’d otherwise never meet:
- Our co-workers
- Our clients
- Our patients
- Our community, and
- Experts in our respective fields.
It is in these unique roles and positions, that God calls us to do good works which he has prepared for us in advance to do.
In other words, God wants us to use our positions, our platforms, our God-given abilities, and resources to glorify him and reach those who don’t know him.
Already, many believers in the body of Christ are using their careers to do just that.
For example, Stephen Curry.
Stephen Curry is a professional basketball player, known for consistently hitting unbelievably long baskets.
He is also known within the Christian Community for being one of us – a believer.
And while many of us, at first glance, would scratch our heads, wondering how God could use a basketball player to make his name known, Stephen Curry has shown us how.
During the Pandemic, Curry used his platform and invited Christian artists to sing to 32.1 Million of his Instagram followers. He did this to provide hope and make God’s love known to people at home during the wake of the pandemic.
He also regularly shares with his fans what Christian music he’s listening to.
There is also Dave Ramsey, a well known financial advisor and author of multiple bestselling personal finance books, who uses his online platform to share his faith.
Lecrae is also yet another great example.
He is a Christian rapper that uses his music to reach people that perhaps wouldn’t be reached through traditional or more conservative evangelistic means.
But these examples do not mean that you have become famous, have a huge following, or a big platform to God’s purpose for your life.
Pursuing God’s purpose also doesn’t mean that some big event will happen…
Sometimes God calls us to do small things that are just as helpful in reaching souls for the kingdom.
He just wants a willing heart.
And if you’re willing, just like Stephen Curry, God will show you ways that you can use your talents, gifts, and desires to reach others for the kingdom.
When You Have No Talent Or No Clue…
So far you’ve learned that purpose isn’t something to be found but something to be followed…
That whatever career path we choose, whatever talent or God-given ability he gives us, God is calling us to do good works, glorify him and make disciples for His kingdom.
And while this probably sounds all nice and great…
What if you don’t have a talent or have no clue what your passion is?
You may be like me– you can’t sing, dance, you’re not gifted at sports, you can’t play an instrument by ear…
Everything that you’ve learned, mastered, and accomplished up to this point has come from your efforts and hard work.
And sure it’s been fun collecting awards, recognition, and certifications over the years but none of that has pulled you in one direction or another.
No strong conviction, no strong feeling, nothing. You just chose a field you’d thought you’d be good at (because you’re a hard worker lol) and seemed interesting enough.
Today, however, you’re unhappy in your career and you’d like to make a change but you don’t know which path to take…
You may be thinking…
“I don’t know what you’re good at…”
“How do I figure out what my passion is? I’m interested in multiple careers and business ideas.”
“Which one should I choose?”
Many people have probably put a bandaid over your questions by telling you and others
- “just be faithful…”
- “Wait in God, and pray about it…”
While these are all good ways of helping you exercise your faith muscles, faith without works is dead.
Let me explain by first posing a question?
Did you know before or after you tried pizza for the first time, that you were going to like it?
Did you know before or after learning how to swim, that you liked it enough as a hobby but not enough to make it your full-time career?
Did you know before or after you saw throw up or blood for the first time that you would never consider medicine because of how it made you feel?
Or how about this one…
Did you know before or after you pursued your current career or studies, that you would end up hating it and desire to do something different?
My guess is AFTER.
Which brings me to finding your career path.
While some paths may be obvious (like nope, not interested in this), others will leave you with big question marks because the truth is, you won’t know until you know!
You won’t know if you like, love, hate, are good at, or not so good at something unless you try out and get your feet wet.
Don’t let the unknown or the fear of getting it wrong scare you into staying stuck.
Just because you start on a path only to learn that it’s not what you want, doesn’t mean you wasted your time or you have to continue on that path.
You can make a pivot and you’ll walk away learning more about yourself.
It’s also untrue that you don’t have a talent.
Everyone has a talent. You just haven’t discovered what yours is yet.
Not convinced yet?
Well, check this out.
While attending Fordham University to do his B.A., Denzel Washington decided to take a semester off to figure out what he wanted to do with his life.
He took a job at the YMCA and participated in a staff talent show.
It was there that others discovered his talent for acting and suggested he try acting.
Washington tried out and ultimately found his talent and purpose in God.
And then there’s Anna Mary Robertson Moses.
Moses, famously known as Grandma Moses, was originally a big fan of embroidery.
As she got older, however, she began suffering from arthritis and decided to give painting a try. She was 76 years old when she painted her first canvas and lived the next twenty-five years as a painter.
Her paintings have been featured all over the world, on greeting cards, and other merchandise.
In 2006, one of her paintings The Sugaring Off was sold for $1.2 Million.
That’s a talent.
And the same is true for you.
You have a talent.
It’s just taking you a bit longer to figure yours out, and that’s okay!
You could have a talent for
- Digital marketing
- Content creating
…but you’ll never know until you try out.
If you want to take some action steps now, my advice is that you start by thinking about what your interests are or what your interests were as a child growing up.
List up to five things.
Then choose one that you are most interested in exploring and give it a go by trying out.
Ideally, find a way to get hands-on learning doing the thing you’re interested in.
Not enjoying it as much as you thought, move on to the next interest on your list and keep trying out.
Do not expect this exercise to be completed in a few hours or a few days.
This exercise could take you months before you receive a breakthrough.
But don’t be discouraged.
As I previously shared, along the way, you’ll pick up skills and learn new things about yourself that will help you become more clear about what your passions are.
Finally, I want to leave you with this last piece of advice that I hope will give you some additional peace about your purpose.
You may be worried wondering what if in choosing a career path or abandoning one dream for another, you miss out on your purpose in God.
But God promises you this…
This means there is no way we can mess up God’s plan for our lives.
“For I know the plans for you,” says the Lord in Jeremiah 29.
Yes, we will make choices, but he knows the beginning to the end.
What you do next will not take him off guard.
He already knows every step that you will take.
If you trust him and submit to him in everything you do, he will work everything out for your good who he has called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.
And that’s a promise.
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