By Pastor Royston Smith
A purpose driven life is a productive life. It leads to our holistic wellbeing – social, mental, physical and spiritual. One school of thought suggests that this is a combination of nature and nurture: genetic inheritance and the environmental influence. Being aware of one’s purpose enables one to live an impactful life. Finding your purpose makes for a much more fulfilled life. This can seem an overwhelming task, and in some cases, it could take a lifetime. I would like to suggest a few steps to get started.
Find your passion
What energizes you? What do you enjoy doing? Is there something that causes you to jump out of bed maybe to jot down an idea that you can’t afford to forget-even in the middle of the night? It must be something that you are willing to sacrifice a lot for. Or a cause that touches you so deeply that it drives you forward. Our daughter is passionate about music, if allowed she would sing 24 hours of the day. For her, music offers fulfilment and joy. She puts a lot of effort in learning and finding creative ways to express herself musically, she sings with passion.
“Do not neglect the gift you have … Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.” 1 Timothy 4:14-15
Even though she doesn’t yet know her purpose, but she would like to think it includes music.
Spend time reading
Another way to find your purpose is to become a keen reader. It improves your awareness. Reading connects us to the experiences of others, and in so doing, it can help us to identify possible avenues for service. We are not on this earth by chance, God created each of us for a particular purpose. It is therefore safe to say that an important step of finding our purpose lies in our finding out who God really is. As we get to know God, by studying the life of Jesus, we will begin to see our place in God’s overall plan for humanity. Leslie Francis Professor of Religions and Education found that, “those who read the Bible more tended to find and understand their purpose. Besides, you tend to have a stronger sense of purpose.” Bible reading helps to provide clarity and helps to refocus our attention on what is most important.
“The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple,” Psalms 119:130.
Make your prayers specific
Another step is to spend quality time in prayer. This leads us to surrender our will to God, by praying, we connect to our Creator. God knows our capabilities and our potential that will be realized once we submit to his lead. We have a habit of praying very generic prayers, but if we want God to make your purpose clear, ask him to do exactly that. His word says ‘seek and you shall find’ so sincerely seek Him daily and he will reveal his plan for you.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29: 11.
I know that it is through prayer that my life is being ordered and directed. As you seek guidance, remember that each day lived is a gift from God. Ask how to make the most of your life as you hold firmly to the confidence that God knows and wants only the best for you. Allow God to direct you to your purpose.
John Wesley aptly stated, “I want the whole Christ for my Saviour, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field.” That is what he did. John got up! John got his feet wet! John got his fingers messy! He serves people fervently and ardently. He travelled the world, preaching, teaching and changing lives. Sometimes people stumble on their purpose while serving God, it’s less likely to happen while we’re sitting waiting for a revelation (of said purpose before we make a move).
We need to get involved; every experience helps to build skills we need for the next stage. Become adventurous, embrace new opportunities. Your career or profession is not your purpose, it is an avenue through which your purpose is lived. Being a teacher is not a purpose, it is the means of impacting the youth, changing their mind-set to a more positive one that will hopefully be receptive to God. Another person can have the same purpose but not as a teacher, instead as a youth worker – helping youth offenders to change course. Our skills, gifts and talents must be developed and used to benefit those whose lives we encounter.
Living your purpose, must benefit others and in the process bring you satisfaction. Find your purpose and make a difference.
Heavenly Father as I find my purpose in life help me to positively impact others. Help me to make a difference. Teach me humility in the process so that you will receive the praise and the glory. In the sweet of Jesus. Amen.