UNDERSTANDING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE FOR LIVING
The author of one book on purpose says it best:
“The search for the purpose of life cannot begin with the starting point of self. We cannot ask self-centered questions like:
- What do I want to be?
- What do I want to do with My life?
- What are My goals and ambitions for My future? Emphasis added
We cannot discover our life’s meaning by looking within ourselves or at ourselves.”
In fact: questions such as these only serve as distractions from our true purpose and destiny.
(2) The point!
Our purpose for living has nothing to do with what we do for ourselves in this life.
God’s purpose, plan, and destiny for us, is tied to His eternal plan, purpose, and destiny for His creation, which is: The reversal of the curse inflicted upon it because of Adam’s sin, and the restoration and then recreation of all things. (Gen 3:17, 18; Matt 19:28; Acts 3:21; Romans 8:21; Rev. 21:5)
When world history comes to its predetermined end, God’s plan is to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:10)
That is the reason we pray: “your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:9) This will occur at the second coming of Christ, when He establishes His prophesied kingdom on this earth. (Matt. 24:27-30; 25:31; 1Chronicles 17:11-14; Luke 1:31-33; 2 Timothy 4:1)
At that time the kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our God and His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever. (Rev. 11:5; 1 Co 15:24-28; Psalm 2; Isaiah 2:2,3,9; 9:6-7; 11:6-12; Daniel 2:44; Rev. 19:1-20-20:1-6)
We were made by God and for God. “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment and happiness. It is far greater than your career, or your personal dreams and ambitions,” which is generally the focus of the questions asked about purpose. If you want to know why you were placed on this earth, you must begin with God. You were created by his purpose and for his purpose. (See Psalms 138:8; 139:13-16)
Purpose speaks to:
- Origin = where you came from.
- Identity = who you are.
- Meaning = why you are alive.
- Destiny = Destiny is the end of a matter. Contrary to some of the popular teaching of today, it is where you are going and what you will do, not in, but after this present age.
The only one who can provide the answers to these questions is God who created you, and He has richly done so in his word.
According to God’s word His Purpose for us is:
- To be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, which is: There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:3-6; Acts 4:12) (Apart from salvation there is no purpose for living.) This study assumes that you are saved. If you are not sure of your salvation, stop here and take time to read a letter to a friend.
- God’s purpose for us is to be conformed to the likeness (image) of Christ. (Romans 8:29)
- Heaven’s purpose is to take people who have lost the image of their creator through sin and re-clothe them in Christ.(Genesis 1:26-27; 2 Cor. 5:17; 3:18; Col 3:10; 1 Cor. 15:53; Eph 2:10; 4:23; 3:18; 4:6; Rom 6:4; 12:2)
- God’s purpose for us is to know Him and His ways (Jeremiah 9:23,24; John 17:3)
- God’s purpose for us is to fear Him (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
God’s Plan for us is:
- That our mortality be swallowed up by life (1 Cor.15: 45-55; 2 Co 5:1-8; Phil 3:21; 2 Peter 1:12-14; 1 John 3:2,3)
Our Destiny is:
- To be with Christ and to share His glory. (John 17:5,24; Phil 3:20,21; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2)
- To rule with Christ in His earthly messianic kingdom and throughout eternity in the new heavens and new earth. (Rev. 3:21; 5:10; John 17:24; Matt. 25:19,27,28; 25:21; 1 Co 6:2; Rev. 21,22)
This is the Pure and Simple truth of God’s Purpose, Plan, and Destiny for our lives!
In part 1 of this study we will explore the role, purpose, and use of our life gifts, which are our natural talents, skills, and abilities. But, before we go any further, there are three points that we must grasp and accept that are crucial for a correct understanding of God’s purpose for us in this life.
Point #1- Life for us on this earth is about God’s business and not our business.
The apostle Paul makes it clear in 2 Co 5:14, 15 “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (Cf. John 4:34; Acts 20:24; Galatians 2:20)
Point #2- This world of sin and death is our harvest field and not our reward.
Here is where the confusion lies for many believers concerning purpose and destiny. Contrary to some of the popular, false and misguided teaching of today, we are not on this earth to achieve worldly success and fulfillment, or to be recognized and remembered for our achievements in this life. This world in its present form is passing away. (1 Co- 7:31)
We are only on this earth to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to finish his work. Our life on this earth is a trust for which we will ultimately give account to Christ our master, for how we handled our time, intelligence, opportunities, energy, relationships and resources, which includes our life gifts. These are all gifts from God entrusted to our care and management (stewardship), and are to be used for his glory. Warning!! Danger!! Looking for rewards in this life will lead to loss later. (See 1 Cor 3:10-15; 4:1-5; 2 Cor 5::9-10)
The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Christ’s mission is to be fulfilled through the life of every believer, utilizing all of the gifts and resources he has so graciously provided in our lives.
What is Christ’s mission?
Jesus Christ came into the world to:
- Reveal the father. (Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 14:9)
- Destroy the devil’s works. (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8)
- Rescue man. (John 3:16-18; 1 Tim. 1:15)
- Call sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:32)
- Reconcile man to God. (2 Co 5:18)
- To vindicate the glory of God’s holy name.
What is our mission?
God has commissioned every believer to be an ambassador of his kingdom. (2 Co 5:17-21)
Through our Godly living we are to reveal Jesus Christ, who by his death and resurrection has destroyed the devil’s work, in order that men, women and children may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. He has been raised from the grave and seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in this age but also in the age to come, which will bring his kingdom rule upon this earth. (Ephesians 1:9, 10; Psalm 2; 1 Co 15:24-28)
Jesus said: “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18)
Based on, in and by his authority, we are to go forth and share with others the gospel of the kingdom of God, and teach them the way to that kingdom, which is by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15; John 1:12; 3:3-4; 14:6; Romans 10::9, 10; 2 Co 5:17-21)
We are to reconcile men to God by calling them to repentance and faith in Christ. We are Christ’s representatives to the world. Everything we do in this life is to be connected to our mission, and done for His glory. Note: (His glory must be our single minded preoccupation.)
Our life gifts are a part of our mission equipment and serve a dual purpose, which we will look at in part 1 of this study. The real issue centers on the reason and motives for our actions. For example: most of us eat food because we feel hungry and enjoy eating. And while there is nothing sinful about that, it is not the purpose for taking meals. Yes, filling our stomachs satisfies our hunger, but that is a benefit of eating, not the purpose. The reason why we eat and drink is to give our bodies the nutrients that are necessary to sustain life, for the purpose of serving God. The ability to enjoy our food and drink is a gracious benefit, but it is not the purpose. As we shall see in part 1 of this study, the same principle applies to the use and purpose of our life gifts.
Point #3- Purpose focuses on an intimate relationship with our creator God and our being led by the spirit of God. (Psalm 91:1; Mark 12:30; John 15:1-5; Romans 8:14; James 4:8)
THE BEAUTY OF PURPOSE IS IN ITS SIMPLICITY!
Our purpose and destiny concerns the kingdom of God. Just as a life outside of Christ is pointless (devoid of meaning and purpose), so is a life in Christ that is not centered and focused on the coming kingdom of God. (Titus 2:13) The coming kingdom and the people who are shut out of it because of their sin, is the Goal, Purpose, and Meaning of the Christians life in this world. Contrary to some of the popular, false and misguided teaching of today, God’s purpose for our lives, never, at any time, has success or fulfillment in this present, imperfect world as its focus or motivation. The Truth is: according to God’s word, this present, imperfect world, is under the control of Satan’s rebellion against God, and is designed by him to undermine our true purpose and destiny. (1 John 5:4, 19)
Burn this in your brain:
Just like marriage, living out your purpose is based upon intimacy. At issue is the faithfulness of your Love, Allegiance and Devotion to Christ.
Question: Would you marry someone who was in love with someone else? (See the bride of Christ)
Christians are not to love this world because it is under the control of Satan. (Luke 4:5-7; 1 John 5:19)
In Luke 4:5-6 what did the devil do and say to Jesus?
In verse (7) what did he want Jesus to do?
For further study:
2 Corinthians. 4:4; 1:27; Gal. 1:4; 6:14; Eph. 2:1-10; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:1,13; 3:8; 5:19; John 12:25; 15:18-19; 16:33; 17:14-18; 18:36-37; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Matt. 6:24; 16:26; Mark 4:18-19; Heb 2:10-18; Titus 2:12; 2 Timothy 4:10; James 4:4; 2 Peter 2:20; 1 Corinthians. 2:12; 7:31; Phil. 2:1-15
In John 12:31 and 16:11 what did Jesus call Satan?
In Ephesians 2:2 what is the devil called?
Who is he at work in?
In 2 Corinthians 4:4 what is the devil called?
What does he do to those who are perishing?