UNDERSTANDING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE FOR LIVING
There really is only a (Part One) to the purpose of your life.
“All of our desires, aspirations, and affections, should be governed by our prior determination to please and glorify God.”
When many professing Christians speak of knowing their purpose and destiny, what they are really talking about is using their talent and skills to obtain success, and find fulfillment in this present life.
In the introduction to this study, we discovered the truth about God’s purpose and destiny for our lives. In Part One, we’ll explore the role and purpose of our spiritual gifts, as well as our life gifts, which are our natural talents, skills, and abilities. These together form what I call our “mission equipment.”
David declared in Psalm 139:14: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
You are without a doubt an awesome and unique creation. A purposeful design of God who has been sculpted, embroidered, and crafted in such a way, that by expressing your unique design you bring glory to God. (Psalm 139:15-16)
The ultimate goal of the universe is to showcase the glory of God, it is the reason everything exists. (Psalm 19:1-4; Psalm 8:1, 3)
What is the glory of God?
It is who God is, the essence of his nature, the demonstration of his power. God’s glory is the expression of his goodness and all his eternal qualities. (Psalm 29:1, 2; 72:18-19; 115:1; 148:13)
How do we glorify God?
Remember: The beauty of purpose is in its simplicity. When anything in creation fulfills its purpose, it brings glory to God. We were created for God’s pleasure and to show forth His glory in our lives. What delights him should matter first and foremost. (Psalm 100)
God is the master designer of our lives. Who we are and what we can do, expresses his purposeful design in our lives. The key to unlocking our purposeful design and glorifying God is doing what comes naturally (aptitude/inherent qualities/what you do best). By the expression of our spiritual gifts, personality, and our life gifts (natural skills, talents and abilities), particularly the ones (or one) we most enjoy to use we bring glory to God. Who we are and what we can do is already pre-programmed. (Psalm 139:19) It’s kind of like breathing, we don’t try to figure out how to breathe so we must resist the temptation of trying to figure out what to do with our lives, and start seeking intimacy with the creator.
The principle is this: I do because I am. The design of your life is the unfolding revelation of the treasure trove of himself that God has deposited in your life. The treasures are designed to unfold as the natural fruit of your intimacy with him and being led by his spirit. Intimacy with God is a gift awarded to those whose hearts desire is to do what pleases Him. When we walk with him, what He desires will always be the desire of our heart. (Enoch Gen 5:21-24; Psalm 37:4; James 4:8; Romans 8:4; John 15:1-8; Psalm 91)
Note: Inherit qualities will unfold even in a life out of relationship with God. But only a life in intimate relationship with him, can fulfill His purpose, and find the true happiness that comes with glorifying him. (Proverbs 19:21) A lack of intimacy with God ultimately leads to emptiness and frustration.
What does it mean to be intimate with God and how do I achieve it? *
To be intimate with God is to know His ways. To know His ways is to be knowledgeable of the motives of His heart, and intimate with the secrets of His passions as revealed in His word. (Psalm 9:10; 25:14-15; Jeremiah 29:13,14a) It requires you to put God at the center of all you do. Intimacy comes from the total abandonment of your self to the rule of God, which is obedience to His word. It requires death to self’s independent living. (Mark 8:34; 12:30; Luke 14:26-33; Galatians 2:20; (Luke 14:26 the word hate means love less than.) * see: who is the bride ofChrist.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed
with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. (Psalm 32:8-9, NKJV)
Burn this in your brain:
As we explore the role of our mission equipment, always keep this truth in the forefront of your thinking: Our sole purpose for being in this world is to do the will of God and to finish his work (not ours). Our purpose for living is not about the achievement of recognition and personal fulfillment in this life. We cannot be preoccupied with both our lives and His glory too. The second coming of Christ represents our release into the fullness of our purpose and destiny, which is beyond this world. (1 Peter 1:3-5; 1John 3:2, 3)
False and misguided teaching concerning purpose and destiny has caused many Christians to foolishly search for fullness, in this present, imperfect world, that is passing away under the curse of sin and death. (Gen.3:17; 1 Cor.7:31; Romans 8:20; cf. John 12:25, 26; Jude 23) As a consequence, the believers who do this become totally useless in the Lord’s work because of misplaced priorities. (Philippians 3:17-19)
Note: these false and misguided teachings often belittle believers who have a heavenly-minded focus.
Fact: God did not re-create you for the imperfection that this present world represents. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
+ We are ambassadors of the heavenly agenda
Christ is our king and we are His ambassadors representing His agenda here on earth.
2 Cor. 5:17-21
The purpose of our Spiritual and Life gifts:
Our spiritual Gifts, along with our life gifts (natural skills, talents and abilities), are all a part of our mission equipment.
Before we continue, we must first clear up the confusion that has been created by faulty, or the lack of teaching, concerning what it means to be in full-time ministry. When many Christians talk of working full-time in ministry, they are referring to becoming a professional Christian, who is employed full-time in the function of a local assembly or Christian ministry. The truth is: as a member of the body of Christ, every believer, no matter what your station in life is in fulltime ministry. Our entire life in this world is a fulltime ministry. (2 Co 5:14, 15; Romans 5:8; 1 Co 6:20; Colossians 4:5-6; 1 Peter 3:15; Jude 22, 23; Romans 12:1-21; 1 Corinthians: 12,13)
Burn this in your brain:
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 well we handled our time, intelligence, opportunities, relationships and resources, which includes our spiritual gifts and our life gifts. These are all gifts from God entrusted to our care and management (stewardship), and are to be multiplied and used for the glory of His Holy name. (Matt. 25:14-30; 1 Co 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10)
In the introduction to this study we learned the purpose for eating meals. Again, most of us eat food because we feel hungry and enjoy eating. And while there is nothing inherently sinful about that, it is not the purpose for taking meals. Filling our stomachs satisfies our hunger, but that is a benefit of eating and not the purpose. The reason (purpose) we eat and drink is to give our bodies the fuel that is necessary to sustain life for the purpose of serving God. The ability to enjoy our food is a gracious gift and benefit. But contrary to the opinion of some it is not the purpose.
That same principle applies to the use of our life gifts, which are designed to enable us to provide for our needs while we are here on this earth. All earthly enterprises are simply a means to that end. Many believers work for a paycheck, or attend school to obtain an education, diploma, or degree, in order to get a bigger paycheck. But just as the ability to enjoy our food is a benefit of eating it, those things are the benefits of our jobs and education, but not the purpose of them.
Believers are not to be swept up in temporary earthy enterprises and matters connected to this passing world system, so that the purpose of the kingdom becomes secondary. (2 Cor. 7:29-31) When we utilize our assets and resources wisely (with an eternal prespective), as a gracious benefit we are able to support ourselves, enjoy the fruits of our labor, and help others. Whatever success we have in this world must always be measured in the light of our eternal destiny.
Our life gifts gain us opportunity for greater service, and therefore should be used faithfully to the best of our ability, because we represent God. (Luke 16:10; Colossians 3:17; Daniel 1:3, 4; 17-20; Romans 12:11; Ecclessiates 9:10; 1 Co 10:31) We are chosen to be His ambassadors in the circle (realm of influence) in which we move, and are to make the most of every opportunity. (Ephesians 5:16; Matt, 5:15-16; 1 Peter 3:15-16) No matter what your station in life (job or career), or whatever your hands find to do, or where you currently are, you are there to represent the kingdom of God. There is never a time or a circumstance of your life as a believer that this is not the case. (ECCLESIATES 9:10; Colossians 3:23, 24)
So for example: if you are a student, you are not just a student you are there to serve as an ambassador of the kingdom of God to your school. What an awesome privilege and responsibility! The education you obtain, the diploma or degree that you earn, is a secondary, valuable, gracious benefit, but not the purpose. In the light of eternity, everything is temporary except the souls of men and women!
Purpose in action:
To see the principles of purpose lived out, study the lives of Jesus, Paul and Daniel.
Jesus – (The mindset of purpose)
(Philippians 2:1-11; Matt. 26:39; John 4:34; 5:30; 6:30)
Cf. Mark 6:1-6, what was one of Jesus’ life gifts? _______________________________________________________________________
The apostle Paul
In Acts 18:1-3 and 20:34-35, what was one of Paul’s life gifts and what did he use it for?
Take notice of Paul’s spiritual gifts and his mindset of purpose.
(In Romans 1:1; Philippians Chapter 3; Acts 20:24)
Daniel chapter 1
The mindset of purpose, (1:8) Life gifts, (verses 4, 17, 20)
Burn this in your Brain:
The mission of Christ is to be fulfilled through the life of every believer, utilizing all the gifts and resources He has so graciously provided in our lives. Our spiritual gifts come as a result of the indwelling Holy Spirit in our lives. These gifts are used to edify and build up members within the body of Christ, as well as for our mission to the world. Our life gifts enable us to make a living, and in conjunction with our spiritual gifts, they serve as assets that help position us in this world, to become our Lord Jesus’ feet to go where He sends us, his hands to do what He tells us, and his voice to call sinners to repentance and faith in him. (Galatians 2:20)
Our mission perfectly corresponds to the mission of Christ.
0ur mission is:
- Like His in its object. The father sent His son to make known His love and His will in the salvation of sinners.
- To exhibit the father’s love.
- To represent the unseen father in heaven, that people on earth might know what the father is like.
- To represent Christ, the invisible one that from seeing us men can judge what He is like.
- To reflect the image of the invisible Christ, just as Jesus reflected the image of the invisible God.
- To be a fountain of love, life, and blessing.
- To bring glory to Christ that He may bring glory to the father.
The truth about our life in this world:
Life on this earth is an extremely brief and very temporary assignment. (Psalms 39:4-6; 89:46, 47; 90:10-12; 103:15; 144:4; James 4:14, 17; Ephesians 5:16) In Ephesians 5:16, the Gk. word for “time” denotes a fixed, measured, allocated season for our time on this earth. We are to make the most of our time on this evil earth fulfilling God’s purposes lining up every opportunity for useful worship and service. (cf. 1 Peter 1:1)
The true believer’s life in this world will always be one of tension, because as long as we are in this world we are away from the Lord and our true home. (2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Philippians 1:21-24)
Living in the light of eternity
Perspective is everything. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame and set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) The question is: will you live for the temporary of what you can see knowing it will soon disappear? (2 Cor. 4:18; 1 Cor. 7:31) Or will you look to the joy set before you in eternity? (Matt. 25:21) The heart of purpose always looks beyond life on this present imperfect earth to the glory that is set before us. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
We are never to allow a mindset of permanence or a feeling of being at home here on this way-station earth, for it is a very temporary residence. Every place on this earth is a rented room, a place to spend the night on a journey. Beware becoming attached to it! Home is where the heart is. (Genesis 19; Philippians 3:17-21; 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4; John 12:25; Psalm 73:25)
“We must begin to see life on this earth as God sees it. The Bible uses these terms: we are aliens, pilgrims, foreigners, strangers, visitors and travelers to describe our brief stay here on earth.” (1) Take time to research the definitions of these words. (cf. Hebrews 11:13; 13:14; 1 Peter 1:1, 17; 2:11, Psalm 119:19)
Our homeland is heaven, which is our country of citizenship. (Hebrews 11:16; Philippians 3:21; John 14:2, 3) Jesus said: “but now (meaning: at this present moment of time) my kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36) We belong to the kingdom of heaven under the rule of our heavenly king and obey heaven’s laws. (1 Peter 2:11) Our names are registered in heaven. (Luke 10:20) Our identity, our life, and our heart and mind are in heaven. (Col 3:1-3) Our treasure is in heaven. (Matt. 6:21) Our blessings are in heaven. (Ephesians 1:3)
In His providential grace, God has always given believers total blessing. (Romans 8:28; Col. 2:10; James 1:17; *2 Peter 1:3) In 2 Peter 1:3, the word “spiritual” does not refer to immaterial blessings as opposed to material ones, but rather the work of God, who is the divine and spiritual source of all blessings, including His righteousness, resources, privilege, position and power. (Cf. Romans 8:16, 17)
In Revelation 22:12, Jesus said: “And behold I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to everyone according to his work.” (1 Cor. 3:12-15; 2 Cor. 5:10)
This world is not our home or our reward!
Our reward/inheritance (lit. portion) is in heaven
1 Peter 1:4; Ephesians 1:14; Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:12, 18; Hebrews 9:15; 12:23; Romans 8:29, 30)
Every believer has been made an heir of God our father (Matt 25:34; Gal 3:29; Eph 1:11; Col 1:12; 3:24; Heb 6:12; 9:15; 1 Pet 1:4)
We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. (Matt 25:34; Acts 20:32; Romans 8:17; Gal 3:29; 4:7; Eph 3:6; Tit 3:7)
God has his son our Lord Jesus Christ to be heir of all things (Heb 1:2)
Every adopted child of God will receive by divine grace, the full inheritance Christ receives by divine right. (Cf. Matt 25:21; John 17:22; 2 Co 8:9)
God himself (Lamentations 3:24; Psalm 73:25; Rev. 21:3)
Glory (Romans 5:2
Salvation (Hebrews 1:14)
Eternal life (Matt 19:29)
The full right as sons (Gal. 4:4-7)
The rights of the firstborn (Heb 12:22, 23; Cf.2 Kings 2:9)
The earth (Matt. 5:5; Psalm 37:11)
The kingdom (Matt 25:34; Luke 22:28-30; Rev. 21:7)
All things (Luke 15:31; 1 Cor. 3:21, 22; Rev. 3:21)
Everything in the universe (Heb 1:2)
“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
(1 Corinthians 4:2) Live and work toward your well done (Matthew 25:14-30)
Remember the “blessed hope” (the promised return of Christ).
(John 14:1-3; Titus 2:13; Philippians 3:20, 21; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Col.3:4)
The hope of Jesus’ return should be the important, central part of our daily walk. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10) The blessed hope should remind the believer of h/her first love.(Rev.2:4,5) It should stir him or her to look beyond the entrapments and struggles of this life, and set our eyes on the glorious hope that awaits every child of God. Nothing is more important than keeping and holding on to that first love for the savior. This world of sin and death has a date with destiny. (Rev chapters 6-20:11-15; 2 Peter 2) Our concerns should be shifted from the cares of daily living to concern for the spiritually lost and dying.
The blessed hope (Lit. the appearing of the glory) is our salvation from the very presence of sin. (Titus 2:13)
- We shall be like him and see him as HE IS. (1 John 3:2,3) Freedom from our corpse life! (Romans 7:24; 2 Cor. 5:1-9; Romans 8:22-25; 1 Cor. 15:50-53)
- We shall be where He is (John 14:3)
- We shall see His glory (John 17:24)
- We shall see, know and understand (1 Cor. 13:12)
This is the Why, the Reason, the Purpose, and The Point of our existence in this world!
The tragedy of all tragedies is: The blessed hope is not blessed, for professing believers who have their heart set on fulfilling a dream, or achieving success, in this present, imperfect world, that the scriptures tell us is passing away in its present form, under the curse of sin and death. That is the tragic consequence of false and misguided teaching concerning purpose and destiny.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24; see also vv. 19-23)
“Vanity of vanities,” says the preacher; all is vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
A young African martyr wrote these words in his prison cell:
“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made-I am a disciple of Christ-I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure-I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goals is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up and prayed up for the cause of Christ.
I must go till He comes, give up till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me and when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.” (2)
Keep Watching (Matt. 24:42), Be Ready (Matt. 24:44), Keep Serving (Matt. 24:46)
In His service
Elder Harry Oliver