How Do I Know God's Purpose for My Life?
Over the past few weeks, we’ve considered overall health in the areas of heart, soul, mind and strength. If you missed any of the previous lessons, you can find them here.
As we continue to consider the “soul” quadrant and spiritual health, today I hope to give thought to the question, “How do I know God’s purpose for my life?”
Far too often we stay paralyzed by this question. Many of us know what we are supposed to do, but we allow fear to keep us at a standstill. Some of us are waiting for the perfect plan to appear or for our own version of a burning bush to indicate exact details for us. Trust me, I’ve been there.
However, if we look at scripture as a whole and consider what we’re called to as believers, we might be asking the wrong question. Rather than asking “What is God’s will for MY LIFE?”, we might ask, “What is GOD'S WILL for his people?”
I’d like to consider three additional questions that we can answer from Scripture.
1) What does the creator say about us?
2) What are we capable of?
3) What are we commissioned to do?
What does the Creator say about us?
Each of us is a unique, complex original made in the image of God. He knows us intimately down to the number of hairs on our heads and goes so far as to collect our tears in a bottle. Each of us is incredibly special to Him and each is created with purpose.
• Psalm 139:13-16
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed
• Genesis 1:27
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
• Jeremiah 1:5
I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart
• Matthew 10:30
And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.
• Psalm 56:8
You keep track of all my sorrows You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
What are we capable of?
More than we can even begin to imagine or even conceive. As believers we are not limited to our own resources, but have a helper in the Holy Spirit who provides us with the same power that raised Christ from the dead! We are equipped for good works and can move mountains with our faith.
• 1 Corinthians 2:9
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
• Romans 8:11
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
• Philippians 4:13
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
• 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
• Luke 17:6
The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you!”
What has He commissioned us to do?
We are given a part in the body of Christ to be used for His glory. We are called to spread the Gospel and we are called to love God and love others.
• 1 Corinthians 12:14-27
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 1 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
• Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
• Ephesians 4:16
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
• Romans 9:20
No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?”
• Matthew 28:19-20
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
• Matthew 22:36-40
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Does your heart stir over the same thing on a regular basis? Do others recognize strengths in you that they have mentioned more than once or twice? Are there opportunities in your life that you are dismissing because you don’t believe you are ready for them?
God’s will for His people is that each of us uses our individual gifts, along with the experiences we have had and the resources we have been given to point others to Him and to bring glory to His name.
If your heart’s desires don’t conflict with God’s commandment to love God and love people…then go for it! You can relax and trust that the Lord will fulfill His purpose for you (Psalm 138:8) and that He has plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11) even if you aren’t quite sure what they might be.
Stephani Cook is a life coach, speaker, writer and creator of On Purpose Coaching. Through On Purpose Coaching she helps others to improve relationships and to discover intentional abundant living. She does that through several services including group and/or individual coaching, live event speaking or Enneagram workshops in private and corporate settings.
To connect with Stephani visit her website http://www.stephanicook.org.