At a young age we’re asked a question and often times our answers change depending on the day, the person asking, or the toy we were playing with.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
My answers typically ranged from wanting to swim with Shamu, be an Olympic gymnast like Mary Lou Retton, skate with Disney on Ice, or to become a teacher. I also remember wanting to be a grocery bagger at one point.
It’s pretty fair to say that we’re all rather lucky that the decision for finding life’s purpose is not determined at the age of four!
But what about those of us who have moved on from the innocent dreams of a child and are still struggling to find our way through the mundaness of life?
How exactly do we go about finding life’s purpose?
What’s your life purpose?
This is something that I’ve been studying and praying on lately. I’m thirty-one years old and growing up, I always viewed women in their 30s to be mature individuals that had their lives on the right track heading towards something special, unlike the floundering around that often takes place in your twenties. So last year as I was turning thirty, I was scared and somewhat depressed because I didn’t feel my life was on the path that I imagined it would be by this third decade of existence.
But you see, all along I have been focusing on this “plan Bree” instead of “plan G-O-D”!
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 MSG says,
What I want to talk about now is the various ways God’s Spirit gets worked into our lives. This is complex and often misunderstood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable. Remember how you were when you didn’t know God, led from one phony god to another, never knowing what you were doing, just doing it because everybody else did it? It’s different in this life. God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can. For instance, by using your heads, you know perfectly well that the Spirit of God would never prompt anyone to say “Jesus be damned!” Nor would anyone be inclined to say “Jesus is Master!” without the insight of the Holy Spirit.
God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:
– wise counsel
– clear understanding
– simple trust
– healing the sick
– miraculous acts
– distinguishing between spirits
– interpretation of tongues.
All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.
That last line is a kicker! “He decides who gets what and WHEN.”
HE, not ME.
I don’t know if you have a devotional that you read through regularly, but if you’re in the search of one, you should definitely check out Jesus Calling. There is also an app that you can download on your smartphone to keep these messages close at all times.
A message that I found in the Jesus Calling devotional and highlighted for times that I started doubting if there was any purpose to my life at all, I think is very fitting with the scripture of 1 Corinthians.
“Approach this day with awareness of who is Boss. As you make plans for the day, remember that it is I who orchestrate the events of your life. On days when things go smoothly, according to your plans, you may be unaware of My sovereign Presence. On days when your plans are thwarted, be on the lookout for Me! I may be doing something important in your life, something quite different from what you expected. It is essential at such times to stay in communication with Me, accepting My way as better than yours. Don’t try to figure out what is happening. Simply trust Me and thank Me in advance for the good that will come out of it all. I know the plans I have for you, and they are good.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prospers you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
So how do we find life’s purpose? Is it being a parent, a child, a student, a teacher, a social worker, office employee, manual laborer, a manager, or CEO of a business?
No, those are our roles in life, but our purpose is something greater, provided from God and in HIS timing, that He will show us our purpose.
It may not be the same from year to year, or even month to month, but in our daily lives we need to be alert and aware of the opportunities that God places before us, that we may administer our gifts to His people. And if you’re anythign like me and question whether or not you have gifts that are worth giving, I remind you (and myself), don’t doubt the Lord. He molded and shaped each of us in His image and designed a plan that will bring glory to His name.
Let’s remember not to turn a blind eye to these opportunities, but seek His assistance as we face life’s obstacles. After all, with Him NOTHING is impossible. Each of us has a purpose for something much greater than we can fathom.