What’s Your Purpose?

(NEW!  to listen to and download the audio version, click here)

I was having a conversation with a university student recently and he was trying to discern God’s will for His life.  I can’t tell you how often I’ve struggled with this question in my own life as well.  God’s purpose for me. What is it?  Can I know it?  How can I follow it?

Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear the word “purpose” I immediately connect it to “plan”.  If God’s got a purpose for the world, then He has a plan for me.  And if God has a specific plan for my life, how do I discover that plan?  I use to be so convinced that trying to find God’s will for my life was an end result and once found, that I would follow that plan for the rest of my life.  But what if God intended our purpose to just be and not to do?  What if God intended your purpose to simply be a walking witness of his love instead completing a task, accomplishing a goal, or finishing project.

I don’t believe that God has scripted ever detail of every day into a cosmic play in which I’m one of the actors.  Given, there is ambiguity here since Psalm 16 and other Biblical narratives show God is ultimately in control.  But to know the steps in the pathway of my day is impossible for me to discern.  I know that God knows what’s going to happen because He’s not bound by time.  He knows what’s going to happen to you 10 minutes from now as well as 10 years from now.  He sees it all.  But living the detail by detail – that’s up to us.

God’s purpose for our lives is simply to love Him and love others.  Anything past that, God gives us freedom to choose.  Remember, He knows what that choice will be.  So it doesn’t matter if you want to be an electrician, a church-worker, a musician, an accountant or whatever else you want to do.  Here is the key thought:  What you choose to spend your time doing is not your Purpose, that is your life’s work. Purpose is bigger and simpler than what choose to do.

I ended up telling this student to cut the question in half.  Don’t ask, “What is God’s will for my life” but ask, “What is God’s will?”  After that we have freedom to do whatever we want!  (As long as it’s not sin).  God simply wants us to be His children; to love other people the way He loves us.

Until next time, go and lead an extra-ordinary life.



3 thoughts on “What’s Your Purpose?

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  1. I liked your answer, but I have the urge to nitpick at it.

    I agree with what you said, “Purpose is bigger and simpler than what choose to do.”

    I’m a proponent of predestination, so I believe that every detail of our lives were set out in a plan by God, so we don’t necessarily have “freedom” to do what we want, in the sense that we cannot deviate from the path God has already made for us.

    But we are ignorant of God’s plan. So in a sense, we have “freedom,” or at least an illusion of freedom to live how we choose.

    What I got out of this was that it’s maybe not so important what we do with our lives, as it is to serve God to the best of our ability while we are doing it. To love when God gives us to opportunity to love, to serve when we are able to serve.

  2. Todd, this was wonderful I am going to send it to my 2 sons. Mark lives in Denver, and Paul lives in Beijing, China, so see you never know how far something go. They lost there sister Tammy by Murder, which I know I told you a long time ago, but they are doing well, and I prayer oftern they will someday be pastors also. They are both very kind and thoughtful and good listerns:] Nancy in S.D. Forgive my typings mistakes!

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