Finding Life, Part 3: Your Purpose

Welcome back! We’re in the middle of a series about discovering your path to a life of passion, mission, purpose, and freedom. The previous posts can be found here:

The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

— Frederick Buechner

So far in our journey we’ve talked about your passions (those things that make you come alive) and your missions (the direction or intention you use to point your passions at your purpose). Today we’re going to talk a little about that purpose; the thing that you were put on this Earth to do.

First things first and above all else I want you to know this:

You were created on purpose with a purpose.

It’s true. On the day you were born God embedded in you a reason for your life. Your life has a “why”.

You may not believe that you do. You may not know what it is. But that doesn’t negate the fact that it’s true. You have a purpose, a reason for being here. And it’s for more than just going to work, eating, coming home, and doing it all again tomorrow … over and over again until you die.

You can feel it, can’t you? Deep inside of you, when you’re in that time between sleep and wake. When the day’s filters haven’t been turned on and your wall hasn’t been thrown up to block out all the things that you want to keep out, you can sense it.

There is something more for you in this life. Something deeper and more meaningful.

We can’t miss this. The stakes are too high. If we never realize we have a purpose given to us from our Creator, then we’ll never attempt to fulfill that purpose. If we never attempt to fulfill our purpose then it doesn’t matter how many passions we have or how strongly we feel about them. It doesn’t matter how many missions we go through to try to make those passions come to life. If there is no purpose, all the rest is futile. It’s chasing after the wind.

So many people feel like their life is pointless, like they have no meaning. I believe that is only because they don’t know their purpose. When you know your purpose, nothing you do from that moment on is meaningless.

How To Find Your Purpose

You won’t find your purpose in a fortune cookie. You won’t just happen upon it as you’re walking down the street.

I love what Buechner said in the quote at the beginning of this article. Your purpose can be found at the intersection of your passions and what you see the world needs. When your passions fill a void left by the world, you might be on the right track.

I think that’s a great starting place, but there is also more to it.

There are two important things that I believe you need to know about your purpose: I believe your purpose is bestowed upon you, and finding it is an act of discovery.

Your purpose was set inside of you by God from the moment of your creation. In your soul, He placed a gem that tells the story of why you are here. Your purpose was bestowed upon you. It has been given to you.

It was not, however, shown to you right away.

I think there are reasons that God doesn’t just make our purpose known to us from an early age. His reasons are His reasons and I don’t necessarily want to put words in His mouth, but I think we’d be too reckless with it. We wouldn’t know how to care for it. I firmly believe that we wouldn’t be prepared for the fight it will take to keep it safe once we are aware of it.

In this sense, finding your purpose will be an act of discovery. We’ve got to be willing to do the hard work of digging into our lives, our hearts, and our souls to find the gem that is buried there.

When you lie awake and night and that sense of “there’s something more to my life” comes over you, that is a chance to dig a little deeper into yourself to find that purpose.

When you do something and you get that little jolt in your spirit of “this is what I’m meant to do,” dig a little deeper. There is a purpose just waiting for you.

When other people call out something great in you, a glimpse of your purpose just escaped. When someone says you’d be awesome at something or that they could see you doing this or that, take some time with that. Your purpose could be waiting for you just below the surface.

When people call out something great they think you could do, or something they see in you, the majority of the time they are calling out a mission. If you dig a little deeper, you can point that mission toward your purpose.

What Does a Purpose Look Like?

You’ll know you’ve hit upon your purpose when it scares you. Not in a horror film kind of way, but more of a “there’s no way I could do that,” kind of way.

I believe that’s intentional. God placed your purpose in you but He didn’t plan to make you do it alone. Your purpose is meant to be walked out with Him and others every step of the way.

Your purpose should be big. It should be scary. It should haunt you. You’ll be uncomfortable. That’s okay. It’s an adventure after all. This isn’t sitting in your living room watching football on Sunday afternoon.

You’ll also have an inkling that you’ve found your purpose when you start to see that it is opposed.

You have an enemy. Did you know that? This is going to be a battle. Your enemy will do anything to make you forget your purpose. The Bible says:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

— 1 Peter 5:8

And also:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

— John 10:10a

There is nothing that your enemy would want more than to see you fail in pursuit of your purpose. Satan wants to see you get off track however he can get you there. He quite literally wants to destroy you.

If he can’t get you to not be a child of God, then he will attack any and everything good in your life in order to push you away from God.

But there is good news.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

— John 10:10b

You’re not on your own. You can have someone by your side to help you. And there is nothing more that I want in the world than for you to know the One who would bring you life.

You were made on purpose with a purpose. This starts with knowing God, knowing that He put a purpose in you from the moment you were created, and that you were meant to walk it out with Him and others over the course of your life.

Guys and gals, this is so important. I don’t want you to settle for a life of obligation. I don’t want you to live just letting life take you wherever it wants to take you. I want you to tell your life where it should go. I want you to live a full, abundant life. But most of all, I want you to know and live from a deep sense of purpose; that everything you do has a point and it’s leading somewhere really, really good.

Next week we’re going to have a little chat about how living our lives from our passions through missions pointed toward our purpose can lead to the life of freedom that we’ve always dreamed of. See you then!