Finding your purpose in God leads to a better altogether life. When we relinquish control and trust God with our lives, our journey is more inspiring, peaceful, and fulfilling. But for me, it took time and several wrong turns.
Finding purpose took me on many paths with some success but a lot of dead ends too. When I finally attached my dreams and goals to God’s plans for my life, finding my purpose in God became clearer.
I sometimes wish I could go back and remove some of the confusion and pain I had to walk through before feeling comfortable with myself and my God-given purpose. But that is impossible.
Where has finding your purpose in God taken you?
My journey of finding purpose in God has helped me realize there is not just one big purpose in life to accomplish but many missions along the way.
I have learned to embrace mistakes and struggles, in order to experience the freedom that comes on the other side. I am still a work in progress, but God has used everything I have faced to form me into a more humble, loving person.
Finding your purpose in God helps you understand what is the real purpose of life.
What is My Purpose in Life?
What is my purpose in life? is probably a question most of us have asked ourselves many times. I know I have.
Understanding why we were created and what we are supposed to do with the time we have on earth can take a lifetime. Some of us may feel we have missed our chance, are discouraged, or don’t have a real purpose other than making it day by day; we may wonder what is my purpose in life?
I believe a life following Jesus offers more than just making it and answers the question of what is your purpose in God and in life. Finding your purpose in God is encouraging and leads to an explosion of hope and possibility!
While contemplating my purpose in life, I was reminded of a family vacation that didn’t turn out exactly as planned.
Discovering Your Purpose in Life
When I started thinking about discovering your purpose in life, I remembered a trip our family took to Disney World with our 4 children and 2 girls we were fostering at the time.
We were excited and planned the trip for months; we thought about where to stay and visit, and what colors to wear each day so we didn’t lose each other. You see, our plans for a wonderful vacation did not include losing a child.
As we walked around Disney’s Epcot, we left the France exhibit and made our way to Morocco. There was one problem, we left France with 6 kids and entered Morocco with 5. Our 6-year-old son was missing.
You can imagine the panic we felt. We quickly spread out and ran around like crazy people looking for him.
As I ran down the crowded fairway, my son suddenly appeared walking toward me holding the hand of a Disney worker. He remembered our discussed plan; if he was separated from us, find a worker to help him locate his family.
The relief was something I will never forget.
After this unexpected diversion, we did not pack up and go home. We learned from our mistake and got back on track, or purpose, following our plan for a great vacation (until we briefly lost another child, but no time for that story!).
What does this have to do with finding your purpose in God?
Our purpose begins with God’s plan for our life. Many of us start off with great plans for our future. We may not have a completely defined purpose but we have excitement and wonder of the unknown in life.
What happens when we get off course and lose our way? Many of us wrestle with disappointment and abandon our original purpose; we settle.
We pack our bags and head into a journey that is either easier, more available, or offers the least pain or resistance.
When you discover that your purpose in life begins with finding your purpose in God and His plan for your life, it takes a huge weight off.
God is faithful and will guide us to confidently pursue a direction. We can pray and ask God to help develop a plan so we can walk toward knowing what is our purpose in God.
Finding Your Purpose in God
My son who lost his way in Disney World was adopted into our hearts and lives from an orphanage in Mongolia.
He does not question who he is, who he belongs to, and what his identity is. He knows we love him and he is part of our family.
Even as the Disney employee questioned him about the frantic lady, who did not look like him, he pointed to me and persisted, “that’s her, that’s my mom.” He had confidence in his identity and persevered until we were reunited.
Just as my son knows we love him and would find him, Jesus loves and finds us. When you truly believe Jesus loves you, you can overcome an inability to move past pain, obstacles, and insecurities to embrace finding your purpose in God.
Confidence in our identity in Christ helps us know our purpose in life. This is an amazing realization!
Once we have confidence in our identity in Christ, the path to our purpose becomes clearer. We can grasp the idea that finding your purpose in God is linked to finding your purpose in life.
Discovering Your God-Given Purpose
One of my favorite books is The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, a World War Two survivor who used her loss and pain to help her discover her God-given purpose. Although she served a valuable purpose by saving many from death during the war, her work was not done.
Most of her family died in the war but at the age of 52, she continued discovering her God-given purpose believing it is never too late to find your purpose in life.
“In May 1945, she rented a house in Bloemendaal, which she converted into a home for concentration camp survivors, fellow wartime resistance collaborators, and the disabled. She also set up a nonprofit organization in the Netherlands to support the home and her ministry.
In 1946, ten Boom boarded a freighter for the United States. Once there, she began speaking at Bible classes, churches, and Christian conferences. Throughout 1947, she spoke extensively in Europe and became affiliated with Youth for Christ.
It was at a YFC world congress in 1948 that she met Billy Graham and Cliff Barrows. Graham would later play a major role in making her known to the world.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, Corrie ten Boom traveled to 64 countries, speaking and preaching about Jesus Christ. Her 1971 book, The Hiding Place, became a best-seller.”
Corrie ten Boom fulfilled her God-given purpose and continues to inspire others to find their purpose in God and in life. Does her story inspire you to discover your God-given purpose? I hope so because every single person has a purpose to fulfill.
How to Discover Your God-Given Talents
Living a purposeful life involves our passion and talents. The biggest clue on how to discover your God-given talents are things that don’t feel like work but accomplish a purpose.
I believe we can have many talents and be called on different missions or special assignments. It is helpful to investigate, research, take aptitude and personality tests on how to discover your God-given talents. More importantly, you can pray for God to guide you.
I have several passions including writing and teaching. One of my God-given purposes is writing for ButterflyLiving and writing Bible Studies. Here is an excerpt from a Bible Study I wrote on Understanding Who I am in Christ & how being secure in our identity helps with finding your purpose in God.
“As you walk through seasons of life your missions may change, based on your physical, mental, and emotional availability. However, there are some deep-rooted passions that we carry around with us all of our lives.
I have always loved working with children especially helping those that are disadvantaged. How I served out this call has changed throughout my lifetime. When I was a young girl, I would babysit and put on talent shows in my neighborhood.
As an adult, my husband and I have raised 4 children, adopted and fostered children, and have worked with various age groups in the church. I have experienced seasons where I had to make adjustments, but one of my core passions has never changed.
Sometimes having a passion does not mean you have the ability to fulfill it. We can be passionate about singing but not have the voice to sing professionally or be passionate about sports but not be coordinated, strong, or gifted.
That doesn’t mean God can’t use us in those areas, but it may look different than we expect.”
When I was 10 years old me and my brother were swimming in a large built-in pool as my dad sat nearby. I had attended swimming lessons but my brother had not. I decided I could teach him how to swim.
As he jumped off the diving board and landed on me in the deep end, we both almost drowned. I was barely swimming myself and was not equipped to teach him. My passion to help my brother did not equate with an ability or talent to help him learn to swim.
I learned we can always learn new skills, but when we invest our time in pursuits we enjoy, we are able to give and serve at a new level. (BTW I never became a lifeguard!)
Even if we feel our current job does not complement what we are passionate about or our purpose in God, we can start cultivating a hobby or a place to serve using our God-given talents and skills.
What Does the Bible Say About My Purpose in Life?
The Bible is full of stories and characters with different purposes to fulfill. Regardless of the call on our life, we can all make a difference. Every person is valuable to God and has a purpose.
When we wonder what does the Bible say about my purpose in life, we can look at three important people in the Bible that changed the course of history by fulfilling their purpose.
Fulfilling Your God-Given Purpose
There are people in life and in the Bible that have gone before us and demonstrate the possibility of fulfilling your God-given purpose despite mistakes, obstacles, and a lack of skills. Let’s begin with Jesus who fulfilled the most important God-given purpose to save the world.
Jesus Fulfilled His God-Given Purpose
The Bible says Jesus’ purpose was to be a miracle worker and the Savior of the world. The God-given purpose and mission of Jesus changed the course of history and humanity. Jesus is the reason our existence and purpose matter.
Following Jesus gives us a new identity and helps us find our purpose in life and capture hope.
“This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.”
John 2:11 MSG
“The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit. It looked like a dove descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, the delight of my life.”
Matthew 3:16-17 MSG
John the Baptist Fulfilled His God-Given Purpose
The Bible says John the Baptist’s purpose was to point us to Jesus the Messiah. John was not the main guy on stage. He was content with his God-given purpose to use his talents and skills to proclaim that Jesus was coming to save the world.
“While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life.
God’s kingdom is here.” John and his message were authorized by Isaiah’s prophecy: Thunder in the desert! Prepare for God’s arrival! Make the road smooth and straight!”
Matthew 3:1-3 MSG
Moses Fulfilled His God-Given Purpose
The Bible says that Moses‘ purpose was to lead the Jewish people to the promised land. He did not feel equipped, ready, or worthy to fulfill his purpose, but he had God-given talents and God called and used Him. He stepped out in faith and overcame his fear to fulfill his God-given purpose.
“The Israelite cry for help has come to me, and I’ve seen for myself how cruelly they’re being treated by the Egyptians. It’s time for you to go back: I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt.”
Moses answered God, “But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Exodus 3:9-11 MSG
I am not in the league of Jesus, John the Baptist, or Moses but am encouraged by their willingness to pursue their God-given purpose and fulfill the call to touch humanity.
God is interested in our willingness to listen and contribute not the size or scope of our work.
When we wonder what does the Bible say about my purpose in life, we can look at the many people in the Bible that persevered in fulfilling their God-given purpose in life.
5 Tips to Finding Your Purpose in God
You may be reading this and wondering how you can find your purpose in God? If you feel stuck, finding purpose in God can start with these 5 tips:
- Discover what you are passionate about, what you enjoy doing, and what talents you have.
- Analyze where you can use your God-given talents. This can include jobs and hobbies.
- Talk to people you love and trust to get feedback and ideas.
- Start serving others using what you are passionate about.
- Pray for God to help you find direction and then just get started somewhere.
Finding Your Purpose in God Can Add Years to Your life
There is research that has identified certain “blue zones” around the world where people live healthier, longer lives. In one of the articles that is available on bluezones.com, you can read how finding your purpose can add years to your life.
“Research suggests that you could be living up to seven good years longer. Research shows that people who know their life purpose and why they wake up in the morning live longer, better lives.
Dr. Robert Butler and his collaborators led an NIH-funded study that looked at the correlation between having a sense of purpose in life and longevity. His 11-year study followed healthy people between the ages of 65 and 92 and showed that those who expressed having clear goals or purpose lived longer and lived better than those who did not.
This is because individuals who understand what brings them joy and happiness tend to have what we like to call the Right Outlook. They are engulfed in activities and communities that allow them to immerse themselves in a rewarding and gratifying environment.”
No one knows how long they will be blessed with life, but finding your purpose in God can add years to your life and help you live authentically with more peace and fulfillment.
Finding Your Purpose in God is Possible
Whatever time you have on earth, whether 20 or 90 years, you have a mission or several missions waiting for you to discover. Finding your purpose in God is possible!
I am currently fulfilling my purpose in life by being a wife and mother while writing and teaching and using my God-given abilities, talents, and skills to shine the light of Christ.
Through loving and serving God, you will learn what is your purpose in God and what is the real purpose of life.
Would love to hear about your journey to discover your God-given talents and finding your purpose in God.
This post was originally published on ButterflyLiving.org.