How do we know what God’s purpose is for our lives?
Come on back to the late 90’s with me for a minute.
As a new mom, living in a foreign country, unable to speak the language or even read my mail… I was confused. I had two precious babies at the time and was unsure of my purpose. One foot, was firmly planted on the mom side of the fence, amazed that God allowed me to have a family and raise children. The other foot was straddling the fence and living in the land of “trying to find purpose in a multitude of other pursuits”. Others around me, spent their days at the American club, tennis court, and brunch, and I wondered if I was supposed to be doing all of those things as well. My heart felt very conflicted which led to discontentment.
In the depths of the loneliness and isolation of early motherhood amidst a foreign land, God began to clarify His purpose for me and what He was calling me to. (For the full story, watch the video at the bottom of this post.) This perspective shift was life changing. If we were sitting down together today, having coffee, I would want you to know how God sees you and your purpose. Grab your cup of choice and let’s have at it.
The secret to ‘doing it all’, is not necessarily doing it all, but discovering which part of the all He has given us to do and doing all of that!Jill Briscoe
Sisters, what is our part? Does it include this thing called motherhood? What about our career? Our hobbies? And location? Even our passions?
Firstly, in order to answer those questions and discover our purpose, we need a proper lens. Thankfully, God is very clear about this part of our purpose. For instance, in Mark 12:29-31 , Jesus was asked by the religious leaders what the most important commandment is. He answered them.
If we were to boil it all down, our life lens would be this…
Love God and love people.
Like that is it y’all. That is the lens with which we are to view our purpose. Simple to understand yet harder to actually live out. As we love God with all of us and love people as if they were us, something supernatural happens. You and I become most satisfied and God becomes most glorified.
As we begin living out our purposes, it will be important for us to do that by looking through this lens. Love God and love people.
Secondly, we need some stakes in the ground. These biblical truths will give us some parameters for defining our purpose.
Years ago, as a starter mom, living on foreign soil, God began to show me these guiding principles to living out my purpose no matter what season of life I would find myself in. I’m hopeful they will be helpful and encouraging for you too!
You are chosen.
The Bible does not mince words here my friends! You and I were handcrafted by a loving God… Before the actual foundation of the world. He did this with intention for us to live a life of impact and intimacy with Himself.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Psalm 139:13-14 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are God’s own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light.I Peter 2:9 CEB
You are called.
Not only did Jesus call us out of darkness and into light, but He also called us to purpose. The creator of the universe has called us to be part of His work to bring hope and love to the world. Believing this will absolutely change the way we live! It should impact the way we make decisions, see humanity, treat others, and use our time.
You are gifted.
Graciously, our heavenly Father didn’t just call us to live with purpose but He equipped us to do so. You and I have specific gifts that we have been given by the Creator of all things! These specialties are to be used to worship God, serve others, share hope, and bring satisfaction to our own souls.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:10 NIV
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.Ephesians 12:6-8 NLT
You are placed.
Most of my adult life has been characterized by change. Living in multiple cities, countries and homes has been an incredible experience and at times a challenging one. Moving every few years taught me to depend on God and look to Him for my direction. One day, I was reading through the book of Acts in the Bible and this verse came flying out at me.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of usActs 17:26-27 ESV
As I read this, it completely shifted my perspective.
Given that God divinely chose the very time in which we would live and specific location, so we could know Him and make Him known, our lives carry great purpose. Over the years, this truth has given me hope, courage, and so much peace. It excites me and compels me… To not miss the meaning within the sphere in which we live.
I want to encourage you to sit down with these guiding principles and pray. Asking God to give you His truth, His purpose, and His direction for your life. Next week I will lay out some steps we can take to help us discover what those purposes are. Including resources for you to identify your gifts and passions. Stay tuned!