What Is My Purpose In Life?
As an individual how can you find your purpose in life? Whether you’re a Christian or not, we all have been designed to find meaning and purpose in life. We all seek some kind of significance and relevance in our family, workplaces, communities – and even in society or the world at large.
Many of us seek to understand why we were born and how to find our specific purpose for why we exist.
First there is a universal purpose or reason for why we exist in the world. This universal purpose is found in the Bible and it is meant for everyone. Then secondly there is a specific purpose or reason but this type of purpose is something that each individual is meant to discover for him/herself.
So let’s start with how to discover your specific purpose in life and then look at the universal purpose that God desires for every human being.
How To Discover Your Specific Purpose In Life?
How do you find your specific purpose in life? For example, are you meant to be a businessman or a doctor? Are you meant to be a singer or a preacher?
We all desire to know if there is any specific function or title or activity or job description that explains the reason for our existence on this earth.
1) Our knowledge of our specific purpose in life such as a particular function / job / activity within society really depends on our relationship with God. Without a relationship with our Creator, it can be difficult to know or understand our specific purpose in life. Only God our Creator knows the specific reason and purpose for why He created us and allowed us to be alive. So for example, only God knows why He allowed you to be alive in the 21st Century and why He didn’t allow you to be born in a totally different century or time.
Only God knows why you were born in a particular country and into a particular family and have a particular ethnicity.
Therefore the specifics of how to find our purpose in life can only be discovered when we seek God prayerfully and patiently.
Jeremiah 33:2-3 says: “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it— the Lord is His name: 3 Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
In Jeremiah 29:11-13 God says: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart,
So seeking God is essential to knowing and understanding God’s specific plan for your life. Just like Jeremiah himself, God says that He knew Jeremiah before he was born and that God had already appointed Jeremiah as a prophet whilst he was in his mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
Therefore God our Creator is the Source through whom we can know our specific purpose in life because He alone knows why He created us.
2) You need to recognize the gifts and talents that God has given you. What do you enjoy doing and why do you enjoy doing it? Whatever gifts and talents you have – are they the type of gifts that help or edify other people? Are they the type of gifts and talents which you could use in order to glorify God?
The gifts or talents that God has given us are not always for monetary or personal gain. So are you prepared to use your gifts and talents even if you won’t make money? Are you prepared to use your gifts even if you won’t get any praise or recognition from men? Are you prepared to have a God-given purpose that might even get you persecuted for using the gifts and talents which God has given you?
God does not give us gifts so that we may be swallowed by arrogance and pride (Romans 12:3). Every good gift comes from God (James 1:17) and every gift or talent that God gives us is meant to glorify God and edify others. Therefore God’s gifts will encourage an attitude of humility and selflessness.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Therefore it is necessary to discover the gifts and talents that you have or believe God has given you. It is also important to seek God’s guidance pertaining to how you can use them for His glory alone.
Your gifts or talents are often linked to your purpose in life and how God desires to use you.
3) If you do not currently know God’s specific plan for your life – or if you’re confused or still trying to discover His plans, it is important to remain prayerful and patient.
While you wait and pray – seek God and not just the gifts that He can give you. Desire to know God Himself from a pure motive. So seek the Giver and not the gift.
As you wait and pray, continue to seek to grow spiritually in the Lord. Continue to desire to obey Him and glorify Him whenever you have the opportunity.
God is more interested in the condition and purity of our heart as we relate with Him. God desires to see us mature spiritually in all situations. True significance in life is found in our intimate relationship with God and not in the external things we do nor in the titles that we seek or have.
Therefore our sense of significance and purpose in life is found in God Himself and in our relationship with Him. It is God alone who completes us. Christ alone fulfills us. Christ alone gives us significance.
Colossians 2:10 says: And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Our Universal Purpose in Life
According to the Bible every human being was created by God for the following reasons:
We were created for the pleasure of God. God created us for Himself so that we could worship and praise Him.
Isaiah 43:21 God says: The people whom I formed for Myself that they might declare My praise
Revelation 4:11 says: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.
Our purpose is to fear God and to obey His commandments. We were created to respect or revere our Creator and to obey His word.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 says: The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Before the fall of man in the garden of Eden, God created us to have dominion over all the creatures and the earth itself.
Genesis 1:26 says: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Our purpose in life is to love God and to love others. These are two of the greatest commandments which Jesus Christ gave us (Matthew 22:36-40).
Love is one of the greatest of all virtues. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and 1 Corinthians 16:14 describes love as the most important reason or motive for why we should do anything in word or deed.
Our purpose in life is to seek God and seek a personal relationship with Him. Man has sinned and therefore sin separates us spiritually from God. Sin puts us at enmity with God and therefore we need forgiveness from God. It is only through believing and receiving Jesus Christ as our Saviour that we can receive forgiveness and be reconciled back to God.
Isaiah 55:6-7 says: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
Our purpose in life is to demonstrate the character and nature of God through the way we live everyday. We are meant to become more like Jesus Christ and glorify God through our lifestyle. Matthew 5:16 says: In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
So as we read the Bible we will discover our universal purpose as mankind. Every single individual has a purpose where he/she is urged by God to draw near to Him. Every individual is sought after by God to receive salvation because God desires to have a personal relationship with mankind. God seeks to reconcile with us and to give us eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
Without Jesus Christ in our life, whatever we do will eventually be in vain. The Bible says that we are nothing if we do not abide in Christ.
In John 15:5-9 Jesus says the following: I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love.
So are you looking for purpose in life? Jesus Christ is linked to your purpose. As we grow to know Christ, God will reveal it to us both through the Scriptures and also in His own time and in His own specific way in your personal life.
Our gifts and talents which God gives us are meant to edify others and to glorify God.
It is also important to note that our sense of significance is found in our relationship with Jesus Christ and not in what we do externally. Christ alone completes us because He alone is all we need. God alone gives us our purpose in life.