Finding Your Purpose in Life -- Part One

Have you ever wondered why you've been placed in the life you've been given?  What's your purpose?  Why are you here?  Does God have a plan for your life, and if so, what is it?

Ultimately, we all have the same purpose in this life--to glorify God.  But in that, God has called and equipped each of us for different tasks.  Some jobs are big and obvious while others seem small and insignificant, but make no mistake, if God called you to it, the task is big and important in His eyes.  For the next few posts, I would like to explain some ways that you can discover your purpose in life, or more specifically, in what ways God wants to use you to further His kingdom and bring glory to His name.

There are many passages in the Bible that we could use, but I can cover each point using a single portion of Scripture.  Exodus 36 details the calling of particular men to oversee the building of the tabernacle.  It was a huge and very specific job, and God picked out a couple of men by name to be the ones in charge and to teach the others what needed to be done.

Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it: - Exodus 36:1-2

First off, we see that God gave these men wisdom.  Chapter 35 also states that they had knowledge.  In basic terms, knowledge is information acquired through experience or education.  Wisdom is the act of putting that knowledge to good use.  These men had both.  God didn't just tell them to build a tabernacle and then leave them on their own to figure out how to do it.  He taught them.  He gave them detailed instructions.  He placed in their hearts everything they would need to know to do the task God had given them to do.

When God calls a person to do something, He will ensure that they have the education and experience they need to see it through.  For missionaries, that may mean giving them the opportunity to attend classes to learn a foreign language.  For teachers, this could include schooling or one-on-one training.  One way or another, God will equip you with the knowledge you need to perform the thing He's called you to do.

For me, my formal education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.  Guess what?  I haven't taught elementary in eleven years!  Sure, for nine years, I put that education to work, but then God moved me to another task, and you know what?  He arranged for me to be educated in various writing skills and techniques.  Not only that, but I still use much of the knowledge I obtained in my college classes even though I'm not pursuing that vocation anymore.  I use my teaching techniques every week when I stand before my Sunday School class, even though the students are adults rather than children.  My purpose is to teach and encourage others through writing, speaking, teaching, music and more.  God has given me the knowledge I need to do these things, and He is continuing to meet that need by giving me the ability to learn more about my craft and ministry every day.

The first step in finding your calling is to look at the areas in which you have knowledge or the desire to gain knowledge.  Does science fascinate you?  How about history?  Do you love to take stuff apart simply to figure out how it works?  What kind of things do you know or want to know?  This will give you a good idea of how God is preparing you for the work He has for you.  Lord willing, we'll talk about the next step tomorrow.