When you hear the term ‘purpose’, what words come to mind? Success? Happiness? Meaning? Wealth? Marriage? Influence? Affluence? Talent? Relationships? As a Christian, I find my answer in God’s Word.
Romans 12:1-2 (TM) puts it like this, “So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognise what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.”
For me, purpose looks like relationship. Walking with God and working with God.
Purpose looks like surrender. Letting go of my own agenda for God’s mission and mandate.
Purpose looks like transformation. Living free from fear and shame and walking in wholeness.
Purpose looks like obedience. Simply doing what He asks me to do.
Purpose looks like worship, like service, like sacrifice.
But the one thing that I really love about that verse is purpose takes place in the right here, right now.
Purpose looks like my ordinary everyday life, with God in the middle of it.
I remember when I was younger, I had this distorted image of purpose. I thought my calling was to become a youth pastor. So at 20, I became a youth pastor. I then thought my purpose was to grow a big youth ministry and be the best pastor I could be. It grew and the questions in my head continued. “What now? Is my purpose to become a young adult’s pastor? But I really do like teenagers, God.” Thankfully as I’ve aged and grown in maturity, I’ve realised that purpose, is less about getting somewhere, and more about walking with Someone.
Our greatest purpose and highest calling will always be to walk with God Himself. To truly know Him and be known by Him. Living with purpose starts with intimacy with our creator. First and foremost, our purpose is;
1. To Know God Intimately
The Bible tells us that God walked with Adam in the cool of the day. At our very core we were born to walk with God.
Song of Solomon 4:16 (TPT) paints this picture so vividly. “Then may your awakening breath blow upon my life until I am fully yours. Breathe upon me with your Spirit wind. Stir up the sweet spice of your life within me. Spare nothing as you make me your fruitful garden. Hold nothing back until I release your fragrance. Come walk with me as you walked with Adam in your paradise garden. Come taste the fruits of your life in me.”
We are made for God and nothing less will really satisfy us. – Brennan Manning
Our highest calling isn’t what we do for God, our highest calling is knowing God Himself.
2. To Show God Publicly
As Christians, we are called to show God publicly. Whether that be preaching the gospel from a stage (which very few people will do) or preaching the gospel with our lives, through our demeanour, our character, our Christ-likeness, our careers, our contribution to those around us.
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (MSG)
Our assignment has never been about what we can do for God, but what God can do through us.
It’s His light in us. It’s not our light. All we have to do is take the covers off.
Philippians 1:27 frames it this way, “Whatever happens, keep living your lives based on the reality of the gospel of Christ, which reveals him to others.”
For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. Ephesians 2:10 (AMP)
God has prepared good works for you and for me.
And that is something that you can do right here, right now. You don’t need to be somebody else or somewhere else.
Did you know the apostle Paul wrote several of the New Testament epistles while he was imprisoned? Talk about finding purpose in the everyday! Purpose isn’t always extravagant. Actually, most of the time it’s pretty ordinary. Think about Jesus. He didn’t go looking for His calling. He just stayed in relationship with the Father and everywhere He went, God went. He performed His first miracle at a wedding. He healed people in the synagogue, in the streets, in the city and by the sea.
There’s no such thing as sacred and secular if you’re a believer. Because wherever you go, you bring God with you!
Back under the old covenant, people would have to go to the temple to experience the presence of God. But now, because of Jesus, we have become carriers of God. 1 Corinthians 6:19 reminds us, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
Just recently I had one of those, ‘ordinary, everyday’ moments. We were having people over for our church prayer night and I realised I didn’t have milk. So, I quickly raced to the shops down the road. As I was speeding down the confectionery aisle, I walked past a young lady and felt the Holy Spirit ever so gently whisper, “She’s beautiful to me.” I thought to myself, “Yea, well that’s nice God.” And went to pick out a packet of lollies. Again, I felt God impress gently, “No, go and tell her, she’s beautiful to me.” A little annoyed as I was in a rush, I tried to negotiate my way out of it. “Lord, people are about to arrive at my house. What happens if she thinks I’m like a super weirdo? His response went a little something like this, “You’re about to go and pray for people at a prayer night, but you won’t listen to me when I ask you to go and talk to them?” Ouch. Felt that.
So, I moved closer to where she was and prefaced the conversation with this. “I’m so sorry, I don’t mean to be weird (insert awkward pause), but I’m a Christian and I just felt like God really wanted to tell you that you’re beautiful to Him and He loves you.” She looked at me with a sweet smile, “Thank you so much I really needed to hear that today.” Aw exhale. Now I didn’t lead her to Jesus right there next to the chocolate blocks, I just did what God told me to do. Who knows what seeds that may have planted in her heart? Who knows what those words might mean for her future? She may not know God, but at least she was reminded that God knew her.
And you know what the great thing is? God doesn’t ask us to do something that we can’t or give something that we don’t have. God has never asked me to give away a million dollars. You know why? Because I don’t have a million dollars. But has God asked us to give away thousands of dollars? Yes? Has God asked us to give away cars? Yes? Has God asked us to pack up our lives and move cities? Yep? God asks for what’s in front of you.
Maybe you’re a mum, with a house full of young children. God’s not asking you to go and volunteer somewhere 5 days a week. He just wants to be invited into your home. He wants to help you raise your kids and reach the mums at your local school.
Maybe you’re a young adult. God doesn’t expect you to have the same financial ability as someone 40+. But maybe He’s been prompting you to tithe, to become connected to a faith community? To include Him in your studies, your career choices, your relationships.
Wherever you are, do what you can, with what you have.
And lastly, we are purposed to:
3. Serve God in Unity.
As Christians, we have been called to serve God in unity. Together, side by side and hand in hand.
Jesus is so passionate about His bride and His people. We should be too! Because the Church is the vehicle that God uses to bring His Kingdom to earth. The Church is what God will use to bring revival and reformation to a city. We have the opportunity to make her shine. It doesn’t mean we all have to work at church, but it does mean we need to value her, defend her, And carry and contribute where we can.
Jesus says to Peter in Matthew 16:18, “And on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail.” Jesus didn’t say He was going to build your business, build your brand, your ministry, your name. Not even your legacy. No Jesus said, He was going to build His church!
The Greek word, ‘Ekklesia’ is used 115 times in the New Testament. At its core, it means, called out ones or assembled for purpose. As believers, our purpose will always be connected to the body. Because what kind of limb thrives when it’s cut off from the life source? None.
Jesus says these words in John 17:21, “that they all may be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe [without any doubt] that You sent Me.”
I remember the moment, my Pastor, Mark Varughese, reminded us as a staff, that that’s the only prayer Jesus prayed that we are actually the answer for. That we would be one. That we would be unified. Let’s be people that do all that we can to protect unity, to seek God personally and to outwork Him in our everyday lives, amen. I sincerely hope you were encouraged by this. Big love x
Article supplied with thanks to Sabrina Peters.
About the Author: Sabrina is a writer, pastor and relationships blogger. She is passionate about Jesus and changing the way people think about God & sex.