“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. ” – Isaiah 55:11.
God has an intention and a purpose and a plan for you. He loves you, and He empowers you. The key is to figure out what that purpose is. Do you spend much time wondering (or worrying) about what career or purpose is right for your life? It makes sense. Most of us are deeply concerned with living meaningful, purposeful lives, and we spend a lot of energy trying to figure out if we are doing it. We want to know what God wants for our lives, and we want to know what we need to do to align ourselves with His plan.
Unfortunately, our overarching purpose in life seems to have little to do with our circumstances. God’s “mission statement,” of sorts, for our life doesn’t include a job title, college degree—well, not directly. When we commit our lives to Jesus, we commit to an enduring, lifelong mission. We commit to a life of speaking, acting, thinking and relating out the transforming and joyful experience of being in a relationship with Christ. That’s it. Wherever you are, whatever you do, whether you think it’s the best fit or worst job ever—God wants you to live out His mission.
The purpose for your life—the deepest place where you find meaning and satisfaction—transcends any role, job or circumstance you are facing. Yet we all worry that our jobs aren’t meaningful enough and our work doesn’t fulfill us—and we want God to change that.
It’s easy for us to fall into a version of Christianity that believes that God is supposed to make our lives go well, that His will is for us to get what we want. We have a picture of what we want our lives to be, and it is easy to fall into the rut of believing that God’s job is to make our pictures become reality.
Living with this “make me happy” god is destructive to our joy and freedom in Christ. If we are constantly bound to the circumstances we believe we need in order to be joyful, we have become the Lord of our own life—believing our destiny is in our own hands.
When we turn from our own ideas and commit our daily lives to His mission, we begin to walk more in step with Him. We take the humble posture of believing that God has us where we are for a reason. Even as we take steps or work toward the next thing, we can keep our hearts present in today. We can ask God to let us be more concerned for His mission and less concerned with our mission.
And in doing so, we start to see the many ways God will be present, active and engaged with our lives—in all our circumstances.
- What is my purpose? What am I chasing after? Why am I chasing it?
- If I had a magic eraser, what is one thing I’d take off my schedule tomorrow? (We don’t have the time to live our purpose if our time is filled with unimportant things.)
- Given your talents, passions and values, how could you use these resources to better serve God? How is God glorified when you’re following His purpose for your life?
- How will following our purpose force us to trust God more? What is God asking you to do today?