It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
As Christians, we all have a general purpose of glorifying God, having fellowship with Him, and leading people to faith in Christ, but each of us has a specific reason for living as well. God is telling a story throughout the universe of His love and redemption through Christ, and God is also writing an individual story in your life to tell His story. The first key to discovering your unique purpose is to identify your passion. What do you see that causes you concern in the world today? What inspires you? What makes you angry? What needs keep you awake some nights? God puts a passion in our hearts to meet a genuine need in the world.
Bobb Biehl gives five questions you can ask yourself to help you determine your passion:
- What needs do I see in the world that concern me?
- If I could meet any need in the world, what need would I meet?
- What are the most urgent needs in my country, my community, my work, my school, and my church?
- What age group or type of people naturally interests me?
- What are the major needs among my neighbors, my friends, and my family?
How do you know which need you should spend your life trying to fulfill? If God has called you to do something, He is not only going to give you a passion for it but He will also give you a special gift to fulfill that passion. That’s why the second key in discovering your purpose is identifying your gifts and abilities. Let’s just say, for example, I said, “I think the greatest need in the world is finding the cure for cancer. I’ll devote my life to that.” I could develop a real passion for that because cancer took my parents prematurely. The problem is that I have no gifts in science whatsoever. I almost flunked out of high school biology. So I’m probably not the one to find a cure for cancer, because when God wants you to do something He not only gives you the passion, but He also gives you the corresponding gifts and abilities. Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
Back in 1984, I sat in a coffee shop at the Houston Intercontinental Airport while I was waiting for a flight. I got out a legal pad and asked God to give me discernment in writing down a clear purpose statement that would guide the rest of my life. And I wrote this simple statement: “My purpose is to be an effective communicator of God’s Word.” Now suppose I had that passion but I had no communication skills. That probably wouldn’t be my calling if I didn’t have the gifts to go along with it. If God has called you to do something, He will give you the gifts to do it.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Purpose over Aimlessness” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Bobb Biehl, “Masterplan Your Life in One Day” (Laguna Niguel, CA: Masterplanning Group International, 1985), 6.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.