158. DISPELLING THE MYTHS ABOUT PURPOSE
(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
When it comes to purpose, those of us that are children of God because we have accepted and surrendered to his Son Jesus Christ, tend to get excited.
Indeed, this interest in purpose is reflected in the many books out nowadays on finding your purpose and almost everywhere you turn, whether it be Christian television, radio, YouTube and even the pulpit, living a life of purpose is always sure to be addressed.
Focusing on your purpose as you traverse through this life is not a bad thing. The mind of the Christian is renewed early on to think about purpose, as opposed to just going through life mindlessly like the rest of the world, who have no relationship with Jesus and are therefore not reconciled with God the Father. For, when we become children of the King, he has purpose for us and our continued existence here on earth.
However with all the talk about purpose, I’ve realized that there are many myths about it that need to be dispelled. I have therefore decided to write about these here.
MYTH 1: God has ONE great purpose for your life
It is not my belief that God has one sole great purpose for your life here on earth. He has purposes (plural) and things (plural) for you to do, some of which may be big but also some things that may seem small and insignificant but are of great value to his Kingdom.
You ought not therefore, to sit around waiting on ONE GRAND, BIG PURPOSE that will make sense of your whole life. See the many opportunities that God gives you every day to reach out to people, to bless them and to demonstrate Christ’s love. When you show the love of Christ to those you meet everyday, you fulfill purpose. Lending a listening ear to a lonely elderly woman on a bus or train is achieving purpose. Giving a homeless man a cup of water to drink is achieving purpose because you are demonstrating the love of God, through service.
MYTH 2: God has NOT YET revealed your purpose
You may be trying to figure out the purpose that God has for your life but if you are a genuine Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, he has already given you your mandate: To go into all the world and to preach the gospel (Mark 15:15-16). The gospel is the good news of salvation being freely offered for the soul of man, to whoever believes on the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Think about it: When the Samaritan woman met Jesus at the well and believed on him, she did not sit down and wait for some grand instruction or revelation, to begin to do something for God’s Kingdom. No. Once she believed on Jesus Christ, the Bible says that “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”
Maybe God has not yet revealed all the things he wishes for you to do at different stages in your life and Christian experience but if you get busy obeying the GREATEST purpose for which he has allowed you to remain on earth, which is to carry out the commission of Jesus Christ and to pursue (not career, position, a husband, children, a house or the good life) but lost souls for Jesus Christ, God will reveal the other things he wants you to do, along the way.
MYTH 3: If you find THE RIGHT CAREER, you find your purpose
Purpose is much bigger than a job or a career. What you want to be when you grow up or the career you choose is not purpose. It may be an instrument through which God may choose to use you in establishing some of the purposes that he has for your life.
However, not all of your purposes are tied to your career or profession. Please don’t confuse a secular job or career choice with purpose. They are two different things. You could be a Doctor and yet God has called you, as one of your purposes in life, to give out Christian tracts and a meal to the homeless.
MYTH 4: Once you have ACHIEVED THAT ONE GREAT PURPOSE on earth, you would have finished your work for God
Even if God should have you do some great thing on this earth, your work never finishes, once you have breath and are in your right mind. The purposes (plural) for your life continue and every day that you continue to live, God wants to use you, in different ways, for his glory.
When you think of yourself as having just one reason for being here on earth and one big thing to accomplish, this limits the different ways that God would like to use you for his glory.
Notice, that when Paul through discernment sensed that his life was about to end, he did not say I have finished ‘my one purpose’. He said in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have finished my course…”
It is a course. It is a journey. It is a process. It is a purpose-filled and God-fueled life, not one great purpose.
God may have some great thing he wishes to do in your life, yes. I am not disputing that he sometimes has a main mission for a person to accomplish. However, whether he has one great mission for you to do or not, it is a fact that he wishes to do many things, in many ways, in your life, if you submit to him and right up to the end.
He even establishes purposes in the life we have lived, after we are gone, as is evident in the lives of the men and women of the Bible, who lived for him.
They would have done things for the Lord while they lived and therefore achieved purposes but still, their testimony and legacy live on, even after they have died. They never thought that their lives would be recorded in the Bible for generations to come. They simply tried to live a life pleasing to God and he used it for his purposes. Today, there are also men of God who have passed on and their preaching or teachings which were recorded or documented are still being broadcasted or published over the airwaves through radio and television programmes, on the computer and through other mediums.
God, who is author and finisher of our faith is the only one that gets to decide what he will use our lives for and when there is no further use he wishes to extract from a life lived and that he created.
The true stories of the lives lived by God’s people and contained in the Bible, show, that the purposes that God has for your life, can transcend even the time that you spend here on earth.
Think of Joseph and of David and of Abraham and of Hannah and of Ruth and of Esther. People are still being touched and reached for God’s glory, through their stories, although they left the earth thousands of years ago.
(Written on 28th April, 2018)
Dear Reader, a life without purpose is a wasted life. If you are not a Christian or you’re not sure and you want to understand more about why you’re here on earth and why God created you, please browse through the Articles under the ABUNDANT LIFE Series of my ‘SINGLE Daughters Of God’ Page numbered from 76-100 and 226-250. These Articles may have answers to your questions.