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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Discovering My Purpose

Many times we get caught up in our work, families, children, circumstances, the economy, our personal achievements or failures; that we become overly concerned about what to do next, what we have or don’t have, our limitations, and failures.
But we seldom stop to consider the question, why I am here? Or most importantly, what is God’s purpose for my life? 

Sadly, many people go through life without knowing their purpose in life. But, can we really know what our purpose in life is? To answer this question let's go to the Bible, God's word, to find out "WHY" He created us. Here we find God's purpose for creating us printed on its pages. 
  • Firstly, He created us in His image. Having the “image” or “likeness” of God means that we were made to resemble God who is spirit (John 4:24), and therefore we were created in perfect health and was not subject to death. 
  • Secondly, we were created as rational beings to reflect God's intellect, and freedom. As free moral beings we can reason, make choices and commune with Him in worship. The Lord gives Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding (Prov. 2:6). 
  • Thirdly, God created us to rule. He made us different from the rest of His creation with the intent that we should have dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:28). 
  • Fourthly, we were created in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness. "The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them" (Hosea 14:9). 
Having answered the why question, we can now move on to discover "WHAT" is my purpose in life? But before we can go any further we need to hear what God has to say to us.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. 
"They are plans for good and not for disaster, 
to give you a future and a hope" (Jer. 29:11).

Yes, God created us in His image, but He has a specific Plan and Purpose for our lives. Here is what He had to say to Jeremiah, "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appoint you as my prophet to the nations (Jer. 1:15). 
God's will is good and perfect; therefore, His desire for us is always good (Rom. 12:2). He Loves us and wants us to have a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4). 
The Christian's way of life is one of commitment and total surrender. We're expected to die daily to the world and sin. Jesus said, “If anyone would come to me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). 
The bible instructs believers to be doers of the word, and not hearers only (James 1:22). God's word helps us make right choices that we might not sin against Him (Ps.119:11). However, our obedience to God's word keeps us safe and gives us direction in life. David in the Psalm said:
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
      and a light for my path
(Psalm 119:105).
In Matthew 4:4, Jesus stated, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that comes from the mouth of God.” Therefore, it's important for us to read, meditate and obey God's word. 
God's will for us is known from His word. But we'll not know what our purpose is without first consulting God, through His word. To understand what God's word is saying to us we need to rely on the Holy Spirit. God gave us the Holy Spirit to help us. He's the Spirit of truth (John. 16:13); He will not lie to us, because "God is not a man that He should lie" (Num. 23:19).
God answers pray, and all that we need to do is pray to God and ask for wisdom to understand His word. James 1: 5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” 
Therefore, we should heed this scripture “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6)
Another important requirement in knowing God's will and purpose for our lives is; God's word gives us confidence. In Philippians 1:6 we are admonished, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." 
God's ultimate purpose for all of us is that He would be glorified (1 Cor. 10:31) and that the gospel and God's kingdom would be advanced (Phil. 1:12); and as such He equips us to do His will. 
As I was preparing this article my mind reflected on the Hymn given below, "God make my life a little light." It meant so much to me then as it does now because it was my prayer asking God to direct my life. I do hope it will minister to you also.

Hymn: God Make My Life
  1. God make my life a little Light within the world to glow; a little flame that burneth bright, wherever I may go. 
  2. God make my life a little Flower that giveth joy to all, content to bloom in native bower, although the place be small. 
  3. God make my life a little Song that comforteth the sad that helpeth others to be strong, and makes the singer glad. 
  4. God make my life a little Staff whereon the weak may rest, that so what health and strength I have may serve my neighbors best. 
  5. God make my life a little Hymn of tenderness and praise, of faith, that never waxeth dim, In all His wondrous ways.
As you set out to discover God's purpose for your life, you'll know if you're on the right path because doors will open. Things will come together without much effort and you'll have good success. In all your ways acknowledge God and He will direct your path.

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