The purpose driven life is one that is aligned to why you were created. The reason to live with purpose is that it gives your life direction, brings joy, fulfillment, significance, and glory to God!
How can I choose a purpose driven life for myself?
In the previous posts, we shared the crucial phases to choosing a purpose driven life which are:
- Understanding whose you are
- Understanding who you are
- Discover what you are created to do.
In the first article we discussed phase 1, which is about really getting to know the Father and His love for you. In phase 2 we discussed your identity in Christ which is intrinsically linked to our purpose.
In this article we will discuss phase 3, which is about discovering what you are created to do. Often, when we start our journey to live a more purpose driven life, we start with phase 3 and skip phase 1 and phase 2, which are essential foundations to uncover your purpose.
In discovering what you were created to do, there are 3 key areas:
One: Uncover the insights in your life story that point to your purpose
Your life’s purpose is uncovered not found! Psalm 139 reveals to us that before we were born the Lord had written down all the days of our lives. Your purpose is written in your heart and on your life, it is already there for you to uncover! Some key questions for you to consider uncovering the purpose that is written in the story of your life include:
- What themes or threads run through your life?
- What are some of the biggest life lessons you have learnt through the trials that you have overcome?
- What do people say they constantly value about you?
- “Who are you when you are at your most generous, most loving and showing the most integrity?”
- What do you want to leave behind you as a legacy?
Two: Go beyond your obvious natural abilities to find your God given purpose
One mistake people often make in seeking a purpose driven life is that they assume that whatever they’re good at in the natural must be what God wants them to do.
If we consider Paul for example, given his impressive Jewish education and understanding of the Torah one would have assumed God would have called him to minister the gospel primarily to the Jews. Yet Paul clearly identifies himself and focuses on his ministry as an “apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13).
God calls us to do what is beyond our natural ability so that we would have to rely on Him to get it done. If you can do something yourself, naturally, you wouldn’t need God’s empowerment. Sometimes people’s talents may be an indication of what God’s will be, but many have gifts and talents they don’t even know exist.
For example, I was quite talented at math and science in school and always assumed that it would be an integral part of my career. I did not see myself at all as a creative and my language skills, while strong, were nowhere close to my gifts at math and the sciences. However, in my search for my purpose and in my life’s story the Lord has put me in positions and places that required large amounts of ‘classic’ creativity – marketing and innovation. In addition, I also had to hone my language skills, in that I had to often write copies, documents and speeches. I also have always loved helping people get clarity and work through their issues from primary school, however I never considered this as part of my purpose or even placed too much emphasis on it at all.
How do we then find God’s will for us if it does not entirely rely on the abilities that are obvious to us?
We need to pray and ask God for wisdom, which according to James 1:5-8 the Lord “gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Once you have asked the Lord for wisdom, rest in the knowledge He will reveal it to you and listen for His still, small voice. 1 Kings 19:11-13.
Three: Give space to the ‘unpractical’ dreams or ideas in your heart that may be clues to your purpose
Often what we were created to do may not seem the most practical thing to do. You can hear the still, small voice of the Lord nudging you in a specific direction, however, you may dismiss this voice because you may not have the right qualifications, experience, or connections. It seems too much of a risk, so you may push it to the back of your mind for ‘one day when…’. Here are some questions to consider:
What are the things that you would love to do that you but:
- You continually dismiss it as unrealistic or not practical because of your family commitments or responsibilities?
- You think you don’t have the money, time, or resources to pursue?
Write out these non-practical dreams or ideas and lay them before the Lord. He will show you the next steps to take, if any, and bring the right people, resources, and opportunities into your life. You do not need to make it happen in your own strength. If the Lord has called you to pursue a specific direction, He will make the provision available to you.
The 3 keys to uncovering what you were created to do as part of your purpose driven life include:
- Understanding the direction provided by the highlights and themes in your life story.
- Going beyond the abilities and talents that are obvious to you and trusting the Lord to reveal the path He wants you to take.
- Listening for the direction of the Lord’s still, small voice and start exploring the ideas or dreams you push away because they may not seem practical.
If you feel dissatisfied or unsettled with your life and are tired of just going to work, coming home, watching television, going to bed, and getting up and doing it all over again, it may be God prompting you to start seeking out a more purpose driven life that He ordained for you.
My prayer for you on your journey to find purpose and fulfilment is that you would “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.