Summary: Learning how to find your purpose in Life through God.
Knowing Your Purpose in Life
I received a letter a while back from a guy I know. From all appearances he’s got his act together. He is a good Christian, attends church regularly and he’s financially successful. He’s a nice guy too; he doesn’t seem to have any hidden agendas or ulterior motives. As far I can tell he really, sincerely wants to do whatever God wants him to do.
That’s why I was surprised by his question. He asked me how he could find his purpose in life. Then it hit me that there are probably a lot of people out there that are otherwise successful and happy, but have no clue about why they are here.
Not so long ago I felt the same way; that my life was meaningless. I had a great family, a successful business and people liked me; but I felt like I wasn’t doing anything of significance. I didn’t see my life as having any sort of eternal purpose.
I put my trust in myself and in what I could see. I was responsible for putting food on my table and making my way in the world. As an employee I knew that if I did my job, the company would give me a paycheck. When I started my own business I relied on my customers to do their part. My company had a contract with Joe’s company. If I came through on my end and Joe came through on his end then we would get paid. I could see where things were coming from.
When things got beyond me, when there were obstacles I thought were impossible to overcome, I would go to God. I would work until I couldn’t think straight, eventually go home and try to forget the day and then go to bed to sleep it off and recharge for the next day. By midnight my worries would wake me. I’d turn over in bed, adjust my pillow, open the window, count sheep, count backwards; anything to push myself back into sleep. When none of this worked I would get out of bed, go into the next room, find my Bible, read and confess to God that I was finally at the end of my own ability and ask Him to get me out of the jam. It usually took till about 3:00 AM to come to this point.
God was always faithful, even though I wasn’t. He would provide a way out of the jam every time. As soon as I was out of the jam I would go back to relying on myself and the support systems I could see. Until the next jam and the next time I couldn’t sleep at 3:00 AM.
In all the years I did that, God remained faithful. I was doing my own thing, serving myself in every way. If there was ever anything He wanted me to do for Him I would have missed it completely; I wasn’t paying attention.
Looking back, I can see how His purpose still worked itself in. I had to learn (and I’m a slow learner) that relying on myself and what I can see is way overrated. I had to learn that the stuff I couldn’t see was more reliable than the stuff I could see. I had to learn that everything I could accomplish in my own strength, relying on my own talent and grit, wasn’t much and it certainly didn’t transfer into the next world.
I also learned something else. I learned that God’s purpose for me kept right on trucking – even though I wasn’t mentally, physically or spiritually involved. That was the part about Him being faithful even though I wasn’t. He knew that I had to get on the other side of all that stuff before I would finally come to the realization that none of it mattered in the long run. He knew that because of my arrogance and obstinacy and selfishness, He would have to be faithful and care for me in spite of myself until I was ready to listen. I didn’t give Him any good reason to be patient with me. He just was. It was His grace that waited for me. Nothing I did deserved any sort of grace period.
Like I said, He worked in my life anyway. He directed where I went and what I did and who I met, even though I wasn’t asking for any sort of direction. A lot of people come to the realization that God loves them and has something He wants to do with their lives, and when they do they get hit with this wave of regret. Regret over all the wasted years before they came to the place where they’re ready to surrender to the purpose God has for them.