LIVING FOR A PURPOSE
Jesus came into the world to fulfill a purpose. He realized that there was a statement about his life even before he was born – “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Heb 10:7. There is a stated purpose of God for each life. Your life is not just an incident neither is it an accident. God told Jeremiah “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jer. 1:5). In Ephesians 2:10 Paul tells us that we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God had prepared in advance for us to do. You were created for something.
Your fulfillment in life is tied to your fulfillment of purpose. Your destiny is what you become as a result of the pursuit of the purpose for your life. Consequently, it becomes necessary for each of us to seek and to find, to pursue and to achieve the purpose for our lives. Below are some tips that may be useful for discovering purpose:
1. Align yourself to the General Purpose of God for Man: The Bible Says the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep his commandments (Ecc. 12:13) and that all things (including man) were created for his pleasure (Rev. 4:11). Seek to fear God, to keep his commandments and to make your life a pleasure to him. This implies turning away from sin and a readiness to obey him in all matters. A readiness to do his will.
2. Pay Attention What you Have: this includes:
a. Your Endowments – your talents, gifts, burdens, passions etc
b. Your Spiritual gifts, burdens, passions, visions etc
c. Your Possessions – relationships, education, finances, opportunities.
All these may be pointers to what you were crafted for. Check your inner drives, the problems that preoccupy your mind for which you seek solution.
3. Respond to the needs around you: instead of sitting and waiting passively, employ your capacities in response to needs around you. You may in doing so, discover that your life has a flow in a certain direction.
4. Consult other Matured Christians: fellowship with brethren, share your burdens and desires, wishes and intents. Let others who know you tell you what grace is evident in your life.
5. Sometimes the persons to whom you are drawn because of their own purpose may also be pointers to your own call.
6. Listen to God: above all pay attention to what God says to you. Like Paul, ask him “what wilt thou have me to do?”
The discovery and pursuit of purpose will give you:
1. Meaning and Direction: purpose will explain life to you. It will tell you what to concentrate your energies on and what not to concentrate on, who to company with (in friendship, fellowship & marriage etc.) and who not to company with, where to go and where not to go etc. Purpose is the light of life, if you don’t find it, your abilities and opportunities will be misdirected.
2. Rest: if you don’t find your purpose, you will roam and wander in life. You will spend your life copying others and their methods. But if you do, it will save you sweat and struggle. It will make life easy and fun. It will give you pleasure and fulfillment. It will make you achieve much because you were created for it and your faculties, capacities and energies were all made for it.
3. Divine Commitment and Protection: it is the purpose of God in a man’s life that he blesses and protects and it is the blessing of God that makes rich and add no sorrow. To every person that found his purpose in the Bible, from the patriarchs to the apostles God promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
4. Relevance on Earth: everyman’s relevance is tied to the problem he solves for others. If you pursue the purpose for your life, naturally, you will become a solution provider. Men will recognize you and flock to you. Then you will have opportunity to affect them positively.
5. Eternal Reward: our reward after our lives on earth will be based on how much we are able to do of the sum of what we were created for. Rewards will not be based on how much we achieved but how much of what we were created to achieve.
In his days on earth Jesus said “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” Life is short, opportunities are passing, time is being lost, you cannot afford to wait, you cannot afford to waste. In the words of a songwriter “when to the Lord we restore our talents, will he answer thee well done?”