Have You Found Your Purpose Yet?

This week I woke up one morning thinking about an intriguing phrase contained in this statement by Paul to the Colossians:

…to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me (Colossians 1:27-29 NASB).

Wow. Paul knew what his purpose in life was! He realized he had a mission to proclaim Christ and make disciples, and he also recognized that God’s mighty power within him was enabling him to fulfill that mission.

So, what is YOUR mission and MY mission? Do we, like Paul, have a clear answer to that question?

Of course, to some extent our mission should be exactly the same as Paul’s – the Great Commission given to every Christian. However, in other ways, our purpose is a unique and personalized calling the Lord has given us. For example, Paul and Peter were contemporaries and both were apostles. Yet they didn’t have the exact same focus and calling.

A few more thoughts…

  • Paul said he had been given a “high calling” and “upward call of God” (Philippians 3:14). In the same way, we should recognized that we’re called to go HIGHER! We must resist the temptation to settle for a LOW or substandard Christian life.
  • Acts 13:36 says David “served the purpose of God in his own generation.” That should be our objective too! In each generation, God has certain things that are particularly on His heart. Do we know what He desires to do in this generation?
  • For each of us, there are SEASONS for how God’s calling is being walked out in our lives (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Ecclesiastes 8:5). For example, when we’re raising young children we must inevitably give that responsibility a great deal of our time and attention.
  • As you pursue your calling and try to discern the season of life you’re in, it’s important not to forget a vital principle found in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. When asked “What is the chief end of man?” the correct answer is “To glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you aren’t glorifying God with your life – and truly enjoying your relationship with Him – you’ll inevitably find yourself frustrated and unfulfilled.

So…

I encourage you to prayerfully write a personalized mission statement like Paul did, ending with his conclusion: “for this purpose I labor.”

Psalm 84:5 promises, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” May you be blessed with a joyful pilgrimage toward your high calling!

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3 thoughts on “Have You Found Your Purpose Yet?

  1. Some wonderful thoughts Jim. I think at this season in life we should have come to terms with what our purpose is. In the broader sense Isaiah 43:21 is true for all of God’s people; “the people whom I formed for Myself that they might declare my praise.” (Isaiah 43:21) But there is a more specific purpose which we are designed by our Creator to accomplish for His glory.
    Jesus, praying to His Father at the last supper, said “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” (John 17:4) Of course we realize He was referencing His three and a half year ministry and pending crucifixion and resurrection. This verse tells us that there is a work, an assignment, unique to all of us that we’re put here on earth to accomplish. One way we can bring glory to God, or to worship Him, is to be obedient to that call and fulfill our divine destiny… not someone else’s. Eric Liddell, the Christian Olympian runner whose story was told in the movie “Chariots of Fire” said, “God made me fast and when I run I feel His pleasure.” I feel His pleasure when I’m writing. When do you feel the pleasure of God?

    • Excellent observations, Susan. I purposely didn’t include my personal mission statement in this blog, but the key ingredient is this: “To change the world through the written and spoken word.” Like Eric Liddel, that’s when I feel God pleasure, and also when I have the most impact. Another important part of my purpose, especially at my advanced age, is to pour my life into people in younger generations. I think that is one of the things Paul had in mind when he said, “For this purpose I labor.” Thanks for sharing your insights.

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