Summary: Paul’s prayer and God’s focus is to complete the work which he has started in us. I want to give you 4 critical tools to help you pursue and live out your life purpose.
Continuing the Journey
Before God created us, He had a purpose in his mind. I love what God told Jeremiah, “I knew you before you were in your mother’s womb.” Jer. 1:5 To know means to know intimately, inside and out, to know the very fiver of your being as well as the purpose of your life. In those words, God was simply telling Jeremiah that his purpose was established before he was born, before he was conceived. With these words from God, Jeremiah sensed that he could not be nor would he ever want to be anything other than the prophet God created him to become. That’s how powerful God’s purpose can be in your life when you discover it and claim it. We no longer have to question if we have a purpose in life. The sole quest for our life is to answer if I have a purpose in life but rather “What is God’s purpose for my life?” Our challenge is to discover what that specific purpose is. For the past 6 weeks, we’ve been teaching a series on “Discover God’s Purpose” and it’s been my hope and prayer that this series has led you to pursue God’s purpose for your life. Don’t stop after these 7 weeks, but continue to pursue and fulfill God’s purpose with great passion and intensity because until you discover your purpose, life has no meaning.
Proverbs 20:5 says, “For the purpose of the human heart is like deep waters, but those who have insight draw them out.” There are five keys to understanding your purpose in life through your S.H.A.P.E. S stands for Spiritual gifts. “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant…to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Cor. 12:1, 7 Spiritual gifts are special abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit to every believer according to God’s design and grace. Every believer has at least one spiritual gift. They enable us to do the miraculous work of God and in so doing experience God’s love, grace and power as we serve. When we use our spiritual gifts, we are drawing upon the power of God as we minister in the name of Jesus. But they are not for our benefit. Spiritual gifts are given for the benefit of others, that we might minister to them and build the kingdom of God built.
H stands for Heart. Your heart is where your passion resides. Passion is the God-given desire of the heart to make a difference somewhere. When you discover your passion, you become excited and energized in serving God. The heart is the driving force within us that moves us to action and focuses our life in such a way that we have an impact on those around us. Your heart’s passion revolves around either people or issues and causes. If your passion revolves around people, you can have a passion for children, youth, single parents or the elderly. Or if it revolves around causes or issues it can be things like prejudice, abortion, the environment, hunger and so on. dentifying our passion helps us understand where God wants us to serve.
Abilities. You can also serve God through your abilities and learned skills. These are not spiritual gifts but learned abilities and can be used in the service of God, for the benefit of others and His kingdom. For example, a court reporter or secretary can transcribe the sermons for others to read on the internet. A woodworker can build things around the church. A school teacher can teach. A painter can paint. A chef can cook.
Personality. God has given you a unique personality to use for His kingdom work. Your personality determines how you receive and focus your emotional energy and the way in which you prefer to interact with your environment. There are two elements to your personality when it comes to serving. First you are either task oriented or people oriented. Task oriented people are energized by doing. People oriented folks are energized by interacting with people. There’s a second element and that’s how you are organized. People are either structured or unstructured. If you are an unstructured person, you should serve in a ministry which has lots of spontaneity and flexibility. If you are a structured person, you need to serve in a ministry which is clearly defined and has structure and clear responsibilities. God has given each of us a personality and thus a personal style which is the way we prefer to relate and deal with the world around us. God has made you the way you are by no accident so maximize your personality for His benefit. It’s how God made you.
Experiences. You have had experiences both good and bad which not only make you who you are but can be used and even redeemed by God in His service. One example if your pain. Most of us try to bury or forget painful experiences but God seeks to redeem it by using it for His glory. So don’t deny your pain or bury it. Embrace it. Your pain can become an instrument through which you can minister to others in their time of pain and become an instrument of healing grace and hope in other peoples’ lives.