At one time or another, many of us struggle with finding our purpose in life. We're told to "grow up, get a degree, find a job and make lots of money." We're told that is where we find our true purpose.
Are you looking for purpose in your life? Are you barely keeping your head above water -- desperately trying to figure out whether you should get a degree, a job etc.? Are you disappointed because the future is so unknown? Do your days often seem pointless?The thing about us humans is that we want to understand everything. We need answers and we need them NOW.
As Christians, we are told that God has beautiful plans for our lives — but what are we supposed to do when we don't know what the plans actually are?! This is where we start seeking answers... but from where? My dear friends, let me blow your mind for a second: The answers to life's questions are given to us. We have access to them 24/7. Those answers are found in the Bible. In the bible are the means to live an overwhelmingly purpose-full life.Now you may be thinking: "Tara, I get it. The Bible is always the answer. Yada-yada-yada. But this book doesn't tell me if I should go to college or if I should get a job! It doesn't tell me if I should take a year off of school or if I should get married now. How can it possibly give me those answers?!"
Although God's Word may not explicitly tell you to get a Biology degree or a Business degree, it does provide answers and they are clear if we have the eyes and the heart to seek. You may not find verses about when you should get married or where you should go to college — but you will begin to know the heart of God. And knowing the heart of God helps us to know His will for our lives. Psalm 119:105 says that God's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths. Knowing God's Word shines light on what is dark and uncertain and makes everything clear. Some say that the Bible is irrevelant because it was written thousands of years ago. But if you truly seek, you will be amazed at how God orchestrated every single word to apply to our lives, no matter the year. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us that God's Word is useful for everything. The Bible is able to do this so that we will be made complete in God and equipped for every good work. Our sweet Savior uses the Bible to equip and ready us for our lives -- a life for His glory.
As Christians, we need to remember something really important: Our lives are no longer about us, but about HIM. You were born by His purpose and for His purpose! If we are truly willing to follow Him, we will remember that our ultimate purpose in life is to glorify and serve God. That is the ultimate purpose of our lives. God does give us opportunities to have a career, education and family on earth, but His glory should always be our priority. Colossians 3:16-17 says, "For by God all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — ALL THINGS were created through him and for Him."
Life is all about God. A life of purpose can only be fulfilled when we put God first and make Him the center of our lives. Only after we do that will God make known the smaller purposes of life -- school, jobs, family etc. Take a second and evaluate your life with these questions...
1.) What are your gifts and strengths?
God has gifted each and everyone of us differently. We all have different strengths — maybe you are gifted in public speaking. Maybe you are gifted in hospitality or encouragement. Often times, God's purpose for your life involves something you are gifted and interested in. Please don't deny your natural gifts — God has made you to love and excel in certain things for a reason. And never restrict yourself to the conventional mold — please don't let society tell you that you have to do a certain thing. Success in God's eyes never determined by the amount of money you make, if you go to college and get a degree, etc.
2.) What are you passionate about?
When I was deciding whether or not to leave college a year ago, I wrote down a list of things I was passionate about. I took the academic side of things out of the picture—- I removed careers and job opportunities and just focused on what I was passionate about. For example, I wrote down things like, "people, encouraging women, friends, family, God, church body." Let the Holy Spirit reveal what you are passionate about — and He will surely point you in a direction. Never be surprised if it's something you never thought of!
3.) Who are the most important people in your life?
Community is so essential when it comes to seeking out God's purpose for your life. Proverbs 19:20 encourages us to listen to wise advice and counsel. Surround yourself with people who will pray for you, encourage you and keep you accountable. If there is no one in your circle that you trust, pray and ask God to bring people into your life. He will!
3.) Where have you placed your trust?
It is all too easy to place our trust in money, a secure career or even a significant other. Yet, we have to ask ourselves WHO our trust is in. If it's in worldly possessions or human beings, we will only be let down. God is the only one who is worthy of your trust and capable of illuminating your path. Your Heavenly Father has every resource at His disposal and He desperately wants to give you GOOD things. He can only give good things -- IT'S WHO HE IS! He wants you to have a meaningful, purposeful life on earth. FOR HIM. You may be confused, but God will neve be.
To know your purpose, you have to first start with God. We first have to realize that life isn't about us first and foremost — it is about God and His glory. Once we have surrendered our lives to God, He will illumine our paths and show us our purpose on this earth. God has given us all the information we need — so dig deep into the Word and be prayerful always. The Bible is our owners manual: telling us what to avoid, what works, what doesn't work and what to expect in the future!So, dear ones, keep God at the center of your life. Turn to Him instead of the world, it's silly standards and cookie cutter molds. Acknowledge His trustworthiness and His capability to do immeasurably more in your life.
You will discover who you are and what you're supposed to do by sticking close to Him. I cannot wait to see what amazing things God has for your life. Please believe that is true and never stop running after Him. God is a door, just waiting for you to step into His goodness. He came and brought salvation so that you may have life and life abundantly (John 10:10).